According to information obtained by Tibet Times, a Tibetan-language news outlet based in Dharamshala, Chinese authorities in Samey-shi village, located in Gumong Township, in the so-called Qinghai Province in eastern Tibet, canceled a significant Buddhist ceremony on July 19 and ordered the return of roughly 10,000 disciples who had gathered to attend the teachings of Kyabje Athi Kalsang Tashi Gyatso that were scheduled to take place from July 20 to July 24.
The Tibetan lama who had come to the area to oversee the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) initiation, according to the story, was also compelled to leave by the local authorities and police. The article said that the Kalachakra teachings’ organizers had been arrested and questioned.
According to a source in Tibet who was quoted by Tibet Times, when the instruction was canceled, devotees made valiant efforts to dissuade someone from splashing water on the Kalachakra sand mandala, but it still happened. The five-day teaching, according to the same source, was organized after receiving the required approvals from the Chinese government. However, the sudden cancellation of the Kalachakra teaching has shocked followers who had traveled from different parts of Tibet and local Tibetans who had raised about 200,000 yuan ($27,000) for the religious event.
According to the information gathered by Tibet Times, the situation worsened when local Tibetans protested peacefully there and begged the Chinese authorities not to interfere so they could go on with the ceremonial event. The Chinese security forces eventually halted the protesters, beat them, and then ordered them back to their original locations.
Another source raised alarm and denounced China’s activities in a statement that read: “The Chinese government first granted permission for the Kalachakra teachings to occur, but they suddenly abruptly cancelled the event and stopped it from occurring. This abrupt shift in course demonstrates how religious freedom is undercut and abused in the area.
The termination of the Kalachakra instruction in Chinese-occupied Tibet underlines the continued struggle of the Tibetan people to freely practice their religion and brings up important questions regarding religious freedom in the area.