The ICT reports on an interesting, if temporary and idiosyncratic, development in rural Dhrango County in Kham (near Nyarong; outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region): at the time of the Dalai Lama’s birthday a couple months ago, instead of preventing the public from celebrating, local officials actively promoted the celebrations. They apparently handed out photographs of the Dalai Lama and, according to one source, they even “gave a speech in praise of the Dalai Lama”! It’s not unprecedented for CCP officials in rural areas to organise religious festivals, such as, for instance, a festival honoring a local god or King Gesar, etc.; but a living political figure is something different, and the Dalai Lama is normally considered radioactive in Chinese politics.
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