“China ‘to give Tibetan monks welfare benefits'”

Interesting move being reported by the BBC. It should be noted that this plan is apparently aimed at Tibet province, and not the Tibetan regions outside the province which have given Beijing the most trouble recently. Also, one does have to wonder what strings will be attached… but here goes:

Monks can expect pensions, medical insurance and living allowances.

The announcement came at a gathering of the Tibetan branch of the Chinese Communist Party.

“The government will take great pains to ensure that public services such as electricity, water, telecommunications, radio and TV stations are provided to the local monasteries,” he is quoted as saying by the Global Times newspaper.

He added that there would also be personal help, including allowances, for monks and nuns living in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The government intends to spend nearly $60m (£37m) on farmland irrigation and water conservancy projects.

It will also ensure there is more information – books, magazines and TV programmes – published in the Tibetan language.

Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, even said that a compensation scheme was helping preserve wildlife on the Tibetan plateau.

The project allows herders to claim money for livestock eaten by wolves, thus undermining farmers’ need to kill them.

Is this to be the trademark style of the new Party Chief of Tibet province? It certainly beats disappearing people and maintaining power with the barrel of a gun, but we’ll have to see if/how it’s actually implemented.

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Filed under Beijing does a Good Thing, religion, Tibet

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