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At making Tibetans more loyal to China than to Buddhism China closes 2 Tibetan monastery schools, sends novices to Chinese  state boarding schools! This is an original article from RFA!

Students attend a Chinese language class at Nagqu No. 2 Senior High School, a public boarding school for students from northern Tibet, in Lhasa, capital of western China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, June 1, 2021. Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Chinese authorities have closed Buddhist schools at two monasteries in Tibetan-populated areas of western China and forced hundreds of novice monks to attend state-run boarding schools that teach a curriculum in Mandarin, Tibetans with knowledge of the situation said.

Officials said young monks in training at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba county and Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Dzoge county — both located in Sichuan province — had not attained the age at which they could receive monastic education, the sources said. 

Chinese authorities have now set that age at 18, though children as young as 5 or 6 years old previously had been allowed to enroll in schools at monasteries, they said.

This month, authorities pressured parents not to send their young children back to the monasteries – now patrolled by police – after summer break, said the sources from inside Tibet who declined to be named for fear of retribution.

Instead, the roughly 1,000 novices at Kirti Monastery and 600 novices at Lhamo Kirti Monastery must now attend government-administered residential schools. 

Tibetan rights activists and U.S. lawmakers call such educational institutions “colonial-style” boarding schools, where Tibetan children are separated from their families and taught a Chinese-language curriculum.

The measures are part of the Chinese government’s systematic efforts to Sinicize Tibetan Buddhism by making Tibetans more loyal to the Chinese Communist Party and its political agenda than to their own religious doctrine, experts say.

To this end, Chinese authorities also restrict the entry of new monks into monasteries, interfere in religious activities especially around politically sensitive dates, require Buddhist monks to translate texts from Tibetan to Mandarin, and force monasteries to display portraits of party leaders.

All the young monks between the ages of 6 and 15 joined Kirti Monastery in Ngaba county voluntarily and did not violate any Chinese laws by doing so, though Chinese authorities suspect that the head lama ordered their admission, one source said.

But this April, provincial authorities ordered the monastery to send novices and young monks under the age of 18 to government-run residential schools, he said. 

In response, monastery administrators said the government had to bear responsibility for educating the youngsters. Otherwise, they would not expel them from the school. 

Authorities also met with administrators at Lhamo Kirti Monastery and demanded that all 600 students be enrolled in government-run schools, another source said. 

Security personnel guarded the entrance to the monastery to prevent parents from entering, he added. 

Chinese authorities also have forbidden young novices from entering Ngaba Nangshug and Gomang monasteries in Sichuan province and Labrang Monastery in Sangchu county of neighboring Gansu province. 

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