After 17 year ban across Tibet, monks in Lhasa monastery permitted to display pictures of Dalai Lama

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Free Tibet sources confirm that monks at Gaden (Gendun) monastery in Lhasa have been informed that they can now display pictures of the Dalai Lama. The ban on displaying his image was introduced in 1996 as part of a crackdown on religious freedom, and was marked by violent clashes that resulted in the shooting of three monks. (1)

Free Tibet sources have also been reliably informed that this policy has recently been discussed at meetings in a number of locations in Tibet (including outside the Tibet Autonomous Region). However, at present, Free Tibet has received no confirmation or information regarding the accuracy of these reports from any participants in these meetings. No reliable documentary evidence about the policy has become available. Free Tibet is making strenuous efforts to confirm and corroborate these reports.

Until now, enforcement of the ban in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has been strictly applied.

Director of Free Tibet Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said

“Tibetans’ reverence for and loyalty to the Dalai Lama has almost no equal among the world’s communities and if this policy is extended beyond this individual monastery, as other reports suggest, it will be very significant for the Tibetan people. However, these reports remain unconfirmed and, in those circumstances, it would be unwise to speculate on their implications regarding China’s policies in Tibet. A local change in policy can easily be reversed.

“The underlying grievances of the Tibetan people remain the occupation of their country, abuse of their human rights, economic marginalisation and the denial of their right to self-determination. China has yet to demonstrate any willingness to address those fundamental issues.”


For further information or comment, contact Free Tibet campaigns and media officer Alistair Currie:
M: +44 (0)780 165 4011
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Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.