Monks, nuns have shared basic benefits

Publish Time: 2019-05-06 Author: Li Ruohan in Lhasa and Xigaze From: Global Times

Enhanced legal awareness helps monks better exercise civil rights

Tibetan Buddhist believers pray outside the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on March 7. Photo: Li Qian/GT

As China mulls all-out efforts to ensure that the country's achievements during the past six decades are shared by each and every citizen, there's no reason that monks and nuns from monasteries in Tibet are excluded. Such an idea was strongly felt by Global Times reporters during their visits to the monasteries in the region in early March. 

China's national flag was frequently seen at monasteries in Lhasa, capital city of the autonomous region in Southwest China, as well as posters introducing the country's policies to protect religious freedom. 

Articles written by monks and nuns expressing gratitude for the change in their lives brought about by Party and government policies are posted in the monasteries' offices, including some handwritten ones from elder monks. 

Since 2011, Tibet has invested nearly 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) on a campaign to ensure that all monasteries or temples in the region are connected to roads and have access to electricity, water and telecommunications services. 

Temples are also building public bathrooms, canteens and reading rooms and movies for the monks and nuns. The films, mostly featuring patriotic and religious themes, are provided with subtitles in the Tibetan language.

Phurbu Tsering, a monk at the Sera Monastery, who is also the head of Lhasa's Buddhist Association, said that the most impressive film for him was the 90-minute documentary Amazing China. The film highlights a series of major developments the country has made since 2012, including the world's largest radio telescope FAST, the world's largest maritime drilling rig Blue Whale 2, and the development of 5G mobile technology.

"It broadens my eyes and I had a strong feeling of those great achievements our home country has made," said Phurbu Tsering. 

As of March, 98 percent of Tibet's temples had achieved the goal of the campaign. The intention is simple: Monks and nuns are also citizens, and they have the same rights to enjoy modern facilities as other citizens do, said Luobu Dunzhu, deputy head of Tibet's religious affairs bureau. 

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