Archive for January 2nd, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ganzi Living Buddha jailed

Tibetan Snow Lion

Tibetan Snow Lion (གངས་སེང་གེ་)

Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche (普布泽仁仁波切), charged with illegal possession of ammunition and embezzlement, has been sentenced to more than eight years in jail, the BBC reported on Friday. His trial was probably continuously held at Ganzi Intermediate People’s Court.

He had been arrested on 18 May 2008, a few days after more than 80 nuns in Ganzi held a demonstration against an official campaign to impose “patriotic re-education” on their convents, in which they were required to denounce Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

“He was tried in April and the sentence had been scheduled to be read out days later, but for some unknown reason it was postponed until 23 December,” [his lawyer Jian Tianyong told AFP].

Jian Tianyong was reportedly not allowed to attend the court. Phurbu Tsering Rimpoche, an abbot and a Living Buddha from the “autonomous” prefecture of Ganzi (甘孜藏族自治州) in Sichuan Province, was apparently defended by two Han Chinese lawyers who had reportedly previously been told by government officials not to take any cases of Tibetans. Rather surprisingly, the court postponed judgment in April, but has now brought a verdict and a sentence, apparently on December 23.

The 53-year-old abbot hasn’t yet decided if he will appeal, the BBC quotes Jian Tianyong.

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Related:
Zap zap jé, October 16, 2009

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shaolin Monastery: A Monk and his Merits

Zhengzhou / Dengfeng City (登封市), Henan Province — Shaolin Monastery won’t become a shareholder in a new tourism company which will seek to list in 2011 in either Hong Kong or on the Chinese mainland, Clifford Coonan of The Independent quotes Shi Yongxin (释永信), the monastery’s abbot. That said, abbot Shi has an undeniable sense for business: the temple’s list of commercial achievements would put any theme park to shame. The monastery’s management could and still can draw on the place’s traditional popularity with people at home and abroad, among them Kangxi (康熙帝), the Qing Dynasty’s second emperor (a Manchu and himself half-a-foreigner to China back then).

But it wasn’t popular with everyone. The monastery is certainly in need of solid funding, as it was destroyed or damaged many times during the imperial times, by warlords during the Republican era, then by the Japanese in 1941, and once again by the Red Guards.

Traditionalists distrust both the Wushu adaptation of Kung-fu by the PRC, and Shaolin’s commercialization. Both came with the post-Mao era, the policies of reform and opening. Allegedly, abbot Shi himself also reaped some fruits of the new times, by accepting a brand-new luxury car for his services to the local tourist industry.

It seems that as a party to the controversial plan, Shaolin Monastery would have entered as a shareholder via a company more or less of its own, the Songshan Shaolin Shaolin Cultural Scenic Area Co. Ltd. (少林景区的嵩山少林文化有限公司).

The company reportedly open for investment is the Songshan Shaolin Culture and Tourism Co. Ltd., co-established on December 27, 2009, by Songshan Shaolin Culture and Tourism Group Co., Ltd. (嵩山少林文化旅游集团有限公司), wholly owned by the Zhengfeng City Government, and China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Ltd. (香港中旅国际投资有限公司). The China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Ltd. itself is wholly owned by the China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (中国港中旅集团公司), which again is a state-owned enterprise under the direction of the of the State Council’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (or 国务院国资委).

The China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Ltd. has a share of 49 per cent in Songshan Shaolin Culture and Tourism Group’s registered capital of 100 million Yuan RMB. And Songshan Shaolin Shaolin Cultural Scenic Area Co. Ltd. – i.e. Shaolin Monastery itself – doesn’t have a share in it, according to the disclaimers.

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Footnote/Disclaimer
The above is the background according to JR’s (possibly limeted) understanding of the Chinese articles linked to in this post.

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Related:
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (国务院国有资产监督管理委员会) official website (in English)

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