Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mahabharata on the Roof of the World?

Zhu Weiqun with fake Rinpoche, Dupkang
The serious South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Zhu Weiqun, the interlocutor of the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoys and a hardliner on Tibet affairs (see my yesterday’s post on the subject) has been accused to take huge bribes “to grant approvals for people to become living Buddhas”.
Zhu dismissed the accusation as a ‘vulgar smear’.
The SCMP quotes the overseas Chinese website BowenPress which announced that Zhu was under investigation by China’s graft busters (The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection?) for allegedly granting the status of ‘living Buddha’ in exchange for cash.
This is big news.
As mentioned yesterday, Zhu has always taken a hard line on Tibet and particularly on the religion.
From 1998 and 2013, Zhu served as Vice-Minister in the United Front Work Department; as such, Zhu was directly responsible for Tibet (at vice-ministerial level).
Presently, Zhu is presently chairman of the CPPCC’s Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, under Yu Zhengsheng.
Zhu always said that Beijing is the sole authority to decide the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
For Zhu, the Central Government (Beijing) has decreed “a set of rules to authorise living Buddhas based on historical and religious practices and he has strictly followed the policies and regulations.”
This is the end of it, even if no Tibetan is ready to accept it.
Zhu answered the accusations of corruption in The Global Times; he said that he had no idea who was behind the smears, but he believed the accusations were targeted at his ‘long-term battle with the splittist Dalai clique’, which only made him ‘proud’ of his work.
The fact that he can answer in The Global Times tends to prove that he is not fully out of the Tibetan scene.
Zhu Weiqun told the Party’s newspaper: “The Dalai Lama continues to proclaim his reincarnation is a 'purely religious matter' and something only he can decide, …quite apart from making a fool of Tibetan Buddhism, is completely useless when it comes to extricating him from the difficulty of reincarnation."
Reuters quoted Zhu saying that the Dalai Lama is 'making a fool' of Tibetan Buddhism with suggestions he may not reincarnate, or reincarnate as something inappropriate, but the faithful are not buying it.

The New Role of Zhang Gaoli

Incidentally, these days it is Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo who speaks for Tibet.
Is Yu Zhensheng not trusted anymore (see my yesterday’s post)?
On March 25, Zhang spoke of the upgradation of the rural electric power grids  to improve local residents' livelihoods and bolster China's economy.
Zhang said that priority should be given to Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions as well as Tibetan areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
Zhang also announced that Beijing will invest more than 700 billion yuan (107 billion U.S. dollars) in rural power grid upgrades in China.
This is a lot of money!
Already on March 11, Zhang Gaoli had met the Tibetan delegation during the Nation People’s Congress.
Where was Yu Zhengsheng? Yu is 'technically' in-charge of the United Front Department and Tibetan affairs?
The climate seems to be changing on the Roof of the World.

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