Disabled Tibetans Must Denounce Dalai Lama to Get Jobs

tibet-seramonks-040919.jpg A monk walks past prayer wheels at Sera monastery in Tibet's regional capital Lhasa in a file photo.

Disabled Tibetans seeking low-paying jobs in Chinese government departments must now pass political tests to qualify for employment, with applicants required to reject “ethnic separatism” and denounce Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a state directive says.

Issued in the Tibet Autonomous Region on June 11, the recruitment notice restricts employment to would-be government workers who “have a firm stand on the political principles of anti-secession, criticizing the Dalai [Lama], safeguarding the reunification of the motherland, and national unity.”

The notice, a copy of which has been obtained by RFA, also requires applicants for jobs including drivers, office cleaners, kitchen helpers, and other kinds of support staff to “support the [ruling Chinese Communist] Party’s leadership and socialist system.”

“Job seekers with disabilities must abide by the Constitution and laws of the People’s Republic of China,” the recruitment notice goes on to say.

Chinese demands that even disabled Tibetans now meet political qualifications to find work “shows the CCP’s sense of deep insecurity,” U.S.-based China analyst Ganze Lama Kyab told RFA’s Tibetan Service in a recent interview.

“It underscores that in Tibet, the Chinese government’s top priority is political correctness as a number-one requirement for hiring. Anyone who doesn’t toe the official Chinese policy line has no chance for a livelihood now in Tibet,” he said.

Tibetans seeking work as auxiliary police officers in Tibetan areas of China have also been barred from employment over a wide range of concerns, with recruiters told to disqualify anyone engaging in “separatist activities” or having family members who have left Tibet to go into exile abroad, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

“My younger brother tried to enroll in the Chinese police force,” a former resident of Tibet’s Chamdo prefecture now living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service, adding, “But because I’m now in India, they have denied my brother the job.”

Tibetans wanting to join the Chinese army must also have no record of engaging in Tibetan political activities, Shide Dawa—a researcher at the Tibetan exile government-connected Tibet Policy Institute in Dharamsala, India—said.

“The Chinese crackdown on Tibetans for their loyalty and devotion to the Dalai Lama is in violation of international laws as well as a breach of freedom of speech and worship,” Dawa said, adding, “It even goes against China’s own laws, including its regional ethnic autonomy laws.”

Regarded by Chinese leaders as a dangerous separatist, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet into exile in India in the midst of a failed 1959 Tibetan national uprising against rule by China, which marched into the formerly independent Himalayan region in 1950.

Displays by Tibetans of the Dalai Lama’s photo, public celebrations of his birthday, and the sharing of his teachings on mobile phones or other social medial are often harshly punished.

Chinese authorities meanwhile maintain a tight grip on Tibet and on Tibetan-populated regions of western China, restricting Tibetans’ political activities and peaceful expression of cultural and religious identities, and subjecting Tibetans to imprisonment, torture, and extrajudicial killings.

Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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