Living Buddha: Tibetans enjoy full religious freedom
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-19 14:22:33 Print
Special Report: Focus on Tibet
NEW YORK, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Freedom of religious belief is one of the basic rights of Chinese citizens, including all Tibetans, a living Buddha of Tibetan Buddhism said Wednesday.
"Whether people believe in religion or not and in which religion they choose to believe are all at their own choices," Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak, a living Buddha of the Kagyu sect, said when meeting with overseas Chinese.
He was the head of a delegation of five Tibetan deputies of the National People's Congress, which is in the United States for a visit.
The delegation came after a wave of attacks on China by the Dalai Lama, who in a March 10 speech said the religion, culture, language and identity of Tibetans "are nearing extinction."
Speaking through a Mandarin interpreter, Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak, dressed in traditional Tibetan costume, said any one who had been to Tibet would be able to tell whether the Tibetan Buddhism is nearing "extinction" or not.
"There are more than 1,700 monasteries and religious sites of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. And almost all Tibetan families have niches for Buddhist statues or small scripture-chanting halls at home," he said.
"Religious practice is protected by law as long as it is legal and does not harm the interests of other people," he said.
The 59-year-old living Buddha also said that Tibet used to see serious conflicts between different religious sects before 1959, but now all religious sects and religions coexist in Tibet peacefully.
Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak said the Tibetan cultural heritage has been effectively protected, inherited and developed over the past 50 years.
"Taking the Tibetan oral epic tale Life of King Gesar for example, I remember I saw only two or three books on it when I was young. Now I have seen more than 70 books on it," he said.
The lengthy oral epic which was created between the 10th and 16th centuries tells the story of the ancient Tibetan King Gesar who conquered other Tibetan tribes and brought stability to Tibet.
For a thousand years, the tale has been passed down through singing or recitation by ballad singers or lyricists among Tibetans, Mongolians, and Tu and Naxi people living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The Chinese central government has earmarked special funds for the collection, collation and publishing of the text of the oral epic tale.
Chen Ching-chun, head of a Chinese society in New York, said he visited Tibet in 2007 and was convinced that "there is no such things like oppression of religion in Tibet."
"I think the so-called religious oppression was fabricated by some Western media and politicians for their own interests," he said after the meeting.
Chen's comments were echoed by Hua Chuen-Hsiung, leader of another overseas Chinese association.
Hua, a Taiwanese American, said he visited Tibet in 1984 and 2005 and noticed great changes in Tibet during his second visit. "It's obvious that people's life has greatly improved," said Hua.
But Hua said most Western people know nothing about the achievements that Tibet has made over the last 50 years. "Their knowledge of Tibet is rather one-sided."
Secure religious order to stem separatism infiltration
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China should secure order of Tibetan Buddhism according to law to stem infiltration of "Tibet independence" separatists, said a Tibetan political advisor on Monday.
Tibet Daily slams Dalai Lama's March 10 speech
BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- An editorial in Tibet Daily Monday refuted the Dalai Lama's speech on March 10, saying his label of "peaceful uprising" on the failed armed rebellion 50 years ago is a lie that cannot cover up the violence.
The Dalai Lama delivered the speech at his exile base in northern India, saying the "peaceful uprising" was the Tibetans' fight against the repressive campaigns by the Communist Party of China.
Living Buddha: Tibetan culture well preserved
WASHINGTON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The unique culture of the Tibetan people is well preserved in China and the claims that the Tibetan culture is nearing extinction are simply not true, a living Buddha of Tibetan Buddhism said here Tuesday.
"In old Tibet, 95 percent of Tibetans were illiterate. Now the illiteracy rate has dropped significantly, as almost all school-age children in Tibet have access to education with subsidies from the government," Shingtsa Tenzinchodrak, a living Buddha of the Kagyu sect, told a press conference.
Claim of Tibetan culture "elimination," "assimilation" can not hold water
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Compared to the dark and backward feudal serfdom age, traditional Tibetan culture has been effectively inherited in Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabited areas, and modern education has been developing fast in the past 50 years, according to Tibetologists in northwest China's Gansu Province.
Reality has shown that Tibetan culture did not extinct. Instead, it has prospered as a bright pearl in the treasure house of the Chinese and world culture. Therefore, the claim of some "Tibet Independence" cliques and anti-China forces that Tibetan culture has been "eliminated" and "assimilated" can not hold water.
China makes great efforts in protection of Tibetan culture
BEIJING, Feb. 6 -- China has made significant achievements in protecting and spreading Tibet's magnificent traditional ethnic culture, especially in terms of the successful preservation, transmission and development of intangible cultural heritage.
"I'm glad to see great attention has been paid to the protection of traditional ethnic culture," said 73-year-old Tseten Dorje, who was recently designated as a national representative of intangible cultural heritage.
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