border review | 11 April 2012

Returning pilgrims

Last week, Radio Free Asia reported that a large number of the detained pilgrims who had attended the Kalachakra ceremony in Bodh Gaya (India) in January were finally released after two months. Around 200, however, were still in custody. Edward Wong’s piece for the New York Times last Sunday sums up the story quite well.

I never read anything official from the Chinese government on the affair. But Wong found a commentary by Xiao Jie (China Tibetology Research Center in Bejing) which gives us some indication of how the Party sees the event. This year’s Kalachakra

… was not a political gathering, it was a political show staged by the Dalai Lama and his clique in the name of Tibetan Buddhism. He added: “The assembly was filled with sermons instigating hatred, terror and extremism, and the self-proclaimed ‘government-in-exile of Tibet’ irresponsibly declared that it admired the spirit of the Tibetan people who committed suicide by self-immolation.”