In a fresh report from the Radio Free Asia Tibetan, the authorities in the South Western China’s province Sichuan has banned the local Tibetans from celebrating their traditional religious festival which involved religious gatherings and celebrations like horse racing after the Tibetans did not comply to hoisting Chinese flags at the events.
“The annual gathering, in which villagers burn juniper branches to propitiate mountain deities for timely rainfall and a good harvest, was to have been held at the beginning of August, with the horse race to follow on Aug. 5, a former Tibetan political prisoner now living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service.” explains the report.
These festivals have been held for centuries without any restrictions throughout the history of the Tibetan people. However, when the authorities curbed the event with a condition, i.e., to fly out the Chinese flag at the events, houses as wells as the monasteries which the locals did not entertain owing to the reality of no such restriction existing for the celebration of the festivals.
This led the authorities to ban the events where the religious Sang-sol (Juniper Burning) was organized by Dargye monastery in Sichuan’s Kardze (Ganzi) county in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture from happening.
The Chinese authorities have been vigorously involved in forcing the Tibetans across Tibet in embracing the Chinese flag and the portrait of Mao while they charged to imprisonment to those Tibetans possessing the portraits of His Holiness Dalai Lama as well as the Tibetan flag.
However, Tibetans have been increasingly participating in such large gatherings as well as programs which involved the practice of traditional values of the natives to assert their identity against the increasing influx of Chinese migrants into Tibet.
The primary reason behind banning these sort of events are their fear of forming a unified protest group against the Chinese rule while the case of flying the Chinese flags becomes a test of their submission to the invaders.