Tibetans looking for work in their region’s state sector must first renounce all ties to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as a condition of employment, an official Chinese announcement says.
The directive sent on Tuesday to all provinces and municipalities of the Tibet Autonomous Region says that workers employed in Tibetan government offices, schools or hospitals must be “trustworthy and reliable citizens” and remain loyal to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
They must also renounce the Dalai Lama and his followers, the directive says, referring to the group of supporters that has formed around the exiled spiritual leader over the years as a “clique.”
Speaking to RFA, a source in Tibet said that China’s new order further restricts the rights of Tibetans living under rule by Beijing and violates China’s own laws.
“Whether it’s for new employment, admission to schools, or promotion in your current job, your basic rights are denied if you don’t fulfill the conditions mandated by the Chinese government,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for reasons of security.
“The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China clearly states that all citizens are equal before the law, so this new announcement denies Tibetans their basic rights. It is sad that the Chinese government’s need to control Tibetans living in Tibet is based on the strength of Tibetans’ loyalty and devotion to the Dalai Lama,” he said.
Tenzin Lekshey, spokesperson for Tibet’s India-based exile government, the Central Tibetan Administration, called China’s new order “a futile attempt by the Chinese government to force Tibetans inside Tibet to renounce the Dalai Lama and not respect their faith.”
“Instead, the Chinese government should fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people to resolve the issue of Tibet,” Lekshey said.
“The Chinese government has implemented many such strategies in the past,” added Gonpo Dhondup, president of the India-based Tibetan Youth Congress. “However, the loyalty and devotion felt by the Tibetans for the Dalai Lama has never faded.
“The Tibetan Youth Congress strongly condemns these policies imposed by the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is widely reviled by Chinese leaders as a separatist intent on splitting Tibet, a formerly independent nation that was invaded and incorporated into China by force in 1950, from Beijing’s control.
The Dalai Lama, who now lives in exile in India, says only that he seeks a greater autonomy for Tibet as a part of China, with guaranteed protections for Tibet’s language, culture and religion.
Chinese authorities maintain a tight grip on Tibet and Tibetan regions of western China, restricting Tibetans’ political activities and peaceful expression of ethnic and religious identity, and subjecting Tibetans to persecution, torture, imprisonment and extrajudicial killings.
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