The public security apparatus in Tibet has called on disciples of Tibetan Buddhism to report cliques supporting the Dalai Lama or any protégés of the exiled spiritual patriarch, who has never come to terms with Beijing’s authority over his followers.
The government of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, aka Xizang in Mandarin, recently promulgated a detailed guideline on how the public should provide information on activities of “criminal gangs connected to the separatist forces of the Dalai Lama,” according to Xinhua.
The document warns locals to be on the lookout for forces embedded in the region that use local temples and religious fervor to foment trouble and incite people against Beijing.
Anyone with any information about infiltration by demagogues or secretive gangs, groups or missionaries loyal to the Dalai Lama is urged to report to any local public and national-security bureau.
The public security departments will protect tipsters’ identities and safety, the circular reads.
The circular listed 22 illegal activities that Beijing wants people to report, three of which directly mentioned the Dalai Lama, who has continued to be a thorn in Beijing’s side even decades after he broke ranks with Mao Zedong and fled to India in 1959. Since then, Beijing has labeled the Tibetan leader a secessionist.
“Colluding with criminal gangs is a tactic the Dalai group uses to spread its message of separatism. These kinds of gangsters were involved in the Lhasa riot in the 1950s and the 2008 unrest,” a professor at Public Security University of China who claims expertise in religions told the Global Times.
Despite the fact that the Tibetan Plateau has been largely fortified with a heavy Chinese military presence, in tandem with the perceived suppression of religious freedom – one sign being that the Panchen Lama, the Dalai Lama’s deputy, is now seen as just a puppet – Beijing still feels uneasy about the simmering antagonism under the facade of calm and peace in the temples and streets of Tibet.
Beijing fears that there are groups within its borders that are at the Dalai Lama’s beck and call to promote ethnic extremism.
“The Dalai group always interferes in national affairs by controlling temples, including lamas and living Buddhas, and by spreading a kind of middle way to the world,” said a Xinhua op-ed.