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Spanish scholar contradicts allegation over religious freedom in Tibet
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A Spanish scholar published Thursday an article contradicting the Dalai Lama clique's allegation that Tibet "lacks freedom of belief."

The complaint of the so-called Tibetan government in exile is a totally careless claim without the minimum basis, said Inaki Preciado Idoeta, a Ph.D. in philosophy who has traveled to Tibet on many occasions since 1996 and lived Tibetan towns to go deep into his studies.

The Tibetan monks and nuns enjoy total and full freedom in performing any kind of religious activity, and what is not allowed is to be involved in secessionist activities, said Preciado.

Preciado noticed that the current proportion of religious people in Tibet's population is higher than that in any other western country.

"Some years ago in the Ganzi region's Serta district, I visited a monastic university where as many as 8,000 monks lived. They told me of many monasteries with about 2,000 or 3,000 monks," Preciado said.

More than 1,700 monasteries are currently active and the monks go freely from one monastery to another for pilgrimages or lessons, he said.

Citing the existence of an important Muslim community with mosques and of small Christian communities with Catholic and Protestant churches, Preciado pointed out that the freedom in Tibet is not only enjoyed by Buddhists, but by people with other religious beliefs.

Preciado said that the Dalai Lama's slander of the religious freedom in Tibet is not only aimed at justifying his radical political plans, but also at withholding an excuse to prolong his comfortable "golden exile."

Preciado said he used to ask nomad Tibetans in the Kham region's Dege district about the whereabouts of their living Buddha, or the Rinpoche, and the answer was "he has been living in Canada since years ago and sometimes comes to see us and give us money, but he stays only a few days and leaves quickly."

A Rinpoche has once told me that those Rinpoches who went abroad have "changed for worse" and he would not follow that way, Preciado said.

Most Rinpoches continue to live with their people, instead of abandoning them, because their religious activities have not been interfered with to the slightest level by authorities, and they are all the more respectable great Lamas, Preciado said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2009)

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