Reports that Beijing is “experimenting” with its Tibet policy have surfaced recently, with suggestions that it waslifting – unofficially at least – a decades-old ban on the Dalai Lama’s image in certain ethnic Tibetan regions. Some outside observers saw it as a new gambit under recently inaugurated President Xi Jinping to appeal to Tibetans and put an end to the series of self-immolations that have damaged China’s human rights image.
Beijing quickly refuted the reports. But analysts believe Chinese authorities would want to keep any changes quiet, which for now are likely being tested in certain areas. For the moment, then, it’s a matter of wait and see.
Since 1994, Beijing authorities have run a particularly hostile campaign against the exiled Tibet’s spiritual head, the Dalai Lama, including prohibitions on the display of his photographs and requirements for monks and nuns to denounce the Dalai Lama. The policies led to mass protests inside Tibet in 2008 as well as ongoing religious suppression in the region. READ MORE