China's ruling Communist Party is cracking down on its officials who are taking part in religious activities violating party's ideology of adhering to atheism and secretly maintaining contacts with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who has been branded as "separatist" by Beijing.
A video produced by the Tibetan provincial government has revealed cases in the region where local Communist Party of China (CPC) members violated the CPC regulations on religion, anti-separatism and anti-corruption, state-run Global Times reported on Saturday.
So far three officials have been expelled from the party and 10 others received warning, the report said.
The Tibetan authority attaches great importance to the party discipline consistent with a nationwide campaign to strengthen the party management. It regulated 46 violations by local CPC members, including religious beliefs, according to the video produced by the publicity department of the regional commission for discipline inspection of Tibet and Tibet television.
The video, part of a four-episode series featuring the region's efforts on anti-corruption and regulating the party members, was aired from January 28 to 31 on Tibet television, the report said.
Buddhism is a widely popular religion in Tibet, which is governed by the CPC ever since China took control of it in 1950. Despite his exile in India since 1959, the Dalai Lama remains the most revered religious figure in the Himalayan region.
The CPC remains an atheist organisation. Thus, CPC members are banned from religious beliefs, because they can only believe in Marxism and believing in other religions means betrayal of their chosen belief and it will shake their belief in Marxism and separate them from the party, Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times.
"However, there are some two-faced people in Tibet, who claim loyalty to the party while secretly sympathising and even working for separatists. The regional government has already identified these people so it is strengthening its regulation to kick them out," Xiong Kunxin said.
The video tells of a story in Zaxizong village in Nyalam county, Xigaze in 2016. Nyalam police found some "politically forbidden objects" in a cave in the village. Pictures of "illicit goods" were digitally blurred in the video.
An unnamed official from the regional commission for discipline inspection said in the video that "in Tibet, taking a firm political stance is the most important thing in abiding by the party''s political disciplines. We must wage a tit-for-tat battle with the Dalai Lama and his group. If any CPC member has the wrong attitude on this subject, it would be a serious problem," the Global Times report said.
"Some people have been hiding ''illicit objects'' in the cave since 2009. Some village officials, including the party chief of the village's CPC branch, had participated in worshipping these illicit objects," it said.
The case led to three CPC officials being expelled from the party and 10 others receiving a warning, it said.
"Apart from these two-faced people, there are also other CPC members and officials who committed mistakes due to a lack of political sensitivity and consciousness," Dolma, a CPC member, who works at Tibet television, told the Global Times.
"Once Party members and officials are corrupted with wrong political ideas, the influence is worse. So we should be more cautious than others, and pay attention to what we consider trivial," Dolma said.
Regional commission for discipline inspection established an office in 2018 to supervise Party discipline. A total of 215 people had been involved in such violations as of October 2018, the video said.