Qinghai [China], December 2 (ANI): Chinese authorities in northwestern Qinghai province have stepped up efforts to berate the Dalai Lama, going as far as questioning children to discover what their parents have told them about the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing sources in the region.
"Under the pretence of assessing the livelihood of Tibetans, Chinese officials carry out random home inspections to check for photos of the Dalai Lama," RFA's source said at the condition of anonymity. "And the officials also make sure that parents are not saying anything about the Dalai Lama to the children living in their homes."
The Washington based publication said that the new push expands efforts beginning in 2017 to ban displays of the Dalai Lama's photos in private homes in Qinghai, historically a part of northeastern Tibet's Amdo region.
The report further revealed how visiting officials will sometimes begin conversations with the children living in Tibetan homes, asking them what they know about the exiled leader, who is regarded by Chinese leaders as a separatist seeking to split Tibet from rule by Beijing.
"They are making sure that parents are not teaching their children anything about the Dalai Lama," he said.
Officials also destroy family altars and shrines and warn them to take down Tibetan prayer flags hung outside their doors, the source said.
A second source in Tibet told RFA that a campaign launched three years ago in Qinghai's Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture now restricts Tibetans from performing many traditional religious activities.
"For example, they are not allowed to hang Tibetan prayer flags outside their homes or to build heaps of stones carved with mantras, and they are not allowed to keep shrine rooms in houses provided with government support," he said.
"If anyone is found violating these guidelines, they will be deprived of any benefits provided by the state," he said.
China, which has been accused of imposing restrictions on religious freedom in Tibet, has imposed a ban on religious activities on all party members and cadres in Amdo province in Tibet, according to reports.
A similar ban was reported from Golog prefecture in October where a large number of informers would ensure that no Tibetan party member engaged in religious rituals including "Kora (circumambulation), using rosary, digital prayer beads and other religious objects."
Chinese troops occupied Tibet in 1950 and later annexed it. The 1959 Tibetan uprising saw violent clashes between Tibetan residents and Chinese forces.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled to neighbouring India after the failed uprising against Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama, the supreme Tibetan Buddhist leader, established a government-in-exile in India. (ANI)