Sub­si­dies and sup­port for monks and nuns

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET - By Phuntsog Tashi and Palden Ny­ima in Lhasa, Ti­bet

The gov­ern­ment of the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion has placed an em­pha­sis on sup­port­ing monas­ter­ies and nun­ner­ies, ac­cord­ing to the Ti­betan branch of the Bud­dhist As­so­ci­a­tion of China.

There are 1,787 monas­ter­ies and tem­ples and about 46,000 monks and nuns in the re­gion.

Most monas­ter­ies were linked to roads, while nearly 1,460 had wa­ter sup­plies and 833 had elec­tric­ity.

Monks and nuns re­ceive med­i­cal in­sur­ance, pensions, low-in­come al­lowances and free an­nual check­ups un­der a se­ries of gov­ern­ment mea­sures.

“Pref­er­en­tial

mea­sures such as free health check­ups, low-in­come al­lowances, pensions and med­i­cal in­sur­ance are re­ally help­ful for monks and nuns,” said Lob­sang Sherab, a monk from Sangngak Monastery in Lhasa’s Dagze county.

“A se­ries of pref­er­en­tial poli­cies were in­tro­duced in 2011 to ben­e­fit monks and nuns,” said Palden Donyo, vice-pres­i­dent of the Ti­betan branch of the Bud­dhist As­so­ci­a­tion of China at the ple­nary ses­sion of the Ti­bet com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence.

“Th­ese in­cluded in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects, such as link­ing re­mote monas­ter­ies to nearby towns with roads and pro­vid­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity,” he said.

Palden Donyo said that the gov­ern­ment not only sup­ported the monas­ter­ies ma­te­ri­ally but also helped to pro­tect cul­tural relics and es­tab­lished li­braries.

“The Sakya Monastery in the re­gion’s Shigaze pre­fec­ture was funded with 97 mil­lion yuan ($16 mil­lion) in 2013,” he said.

“Monks and nuns, within the range of ap­proved posts, each get a sub­sidy of 5,000 yuan for re­fur­bish­ing their quar­ters,” said Losang Gyalt­san, chair­man of the re­gional gov­ern­ment in a work re­port ear­lier this year.

Palden Donyo said the sub­si­dies for re­build­ing monas­ter­ies and nun­ner­ies was one of his pro­pos­als from last year.

This year, he pro­posed that the monas­tries of Sakya and Tashil­hunpo in the Shigaze pre­fec­ture should ap­ply for a place on the World Her­itage list.

As many as 84,000 scrolls of an­cient writ­ings were dis­cov­ered in a wall 60 me­ters long and 10 me­ters high at the monastery, which was built in 1073 in Sakya county, about 400 km from Lhasa, ac­cord­ing to a Xin­hua News Agency re­port.

“As part of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts, 10 Bud­dhist col­leges were es­tab­lished within the re­gion last year,” Palden Donyo said. Con­tact the writ­ers at palden_ny­ima@chi­nadaily. com.cn and phuntsog-tashi@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Ear­lier this year, Ngag­wang Ziji was ac­cred­ited as the top win­ner of Geshe Lharampa, the high­est aca­demic de­gree of the Gelukpa school of Ti­betan Bud­dhism.

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