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Young Tibetan Monks Must Leave Their Monasteries, ‘Serve Society’

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Village life in Tibet, just outside Samye

Village life in Tibet, just outside Samye. Image: Quadell.

Chinese authorities in a Tibetan-populated region of Sichuan are removing young monks from their monasteries so that they can return to government-run schools and learn to “serve society,” a Tibetan source says.

All monks in the Dzachuka region under 18 years of age must now return to the community schools in which they were previously enrolled, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“They are not allowed to stay in their monasteries, in accordance with the law,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“They have to serve society,” the source said, adding that Chinese authorities see monks’ enrollment in the monasteries at a young age as a loss to their communities.

“The Chinese say that they should not be allowed to join the monasteries because they are too young and immature, and can’t think for themselves yet,” he said.

About 20 novice monks aged 15 and under have already been removed from Jowo Ganden Shedrub Palgyeling monastery in Dzachuka, an area in historic Tibet’s eastern region of Kham, sources told RFA in an earlier report.

Many had enrolled in the monastery’s courses in Buddhist logic and philosophy, and some were top students in their class, sources said.

Full story:

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

Copyright © 1998-2017, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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