The text below was translated by Human Rights Watch from an original text in Tibetan transcribed by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, from a screenshot of a television broadcast that showed the notice.
Human Rights Watch believes, though cannot confirm, that this November 14, 2012 notice, issued by the Huangnan prefectural authorities in Qinghai province, is an official document.
Urgent notice from the Huangnan Prefecture Party Work Department and Huangnan Prefecture Peoples Government Work Department concerning issues related to social stability
To the Party committees and Peoples Governments of each county, departments of the Prefecture Party committee, Prefecture agencies, Provincial offices based in the prefecture, Mass organizations and Armed [Police] branches in the prefecture:
In the period of the 18th Party congress, six incidents of instability have occurred one after the other in the Rebkong [Ch.: Tongren] area of the prefecture. This has caused serious damage to harmony and stability in the whole prefecture and been a negative influence on the province and nation. The incidents are clearly a case of the Dalai group, while wearing the cloak of religion, using self-immolation to encourage social grievance and incite unrest among students to create social disturbance in an attempt to split the nation. At this time when upper, lower and middle [level officials] throughout the prefecture are giving all their strength to maintaining social stability, the masses in some areas, both monks and laypeople, are putting about random and nonsensical talk and being taken in by the incitements of the Dalai group through ignorance, believing the self-immolators to be heroes and even going to greet their family members and make voluntary donations to them. They have made a problematic scene and upset normal social order. With firm determination, those responsible for implementing the policies of the provincial Party committee, and those responsible for forcefully maintaining the appearance of social stability throughout the prefecture, must strictly smash the small number of criminals who despicably manipulate people who do not understand the real situation and incite them to self-immolate and create social grievances, must establish good order and smash disorder, in order to maintain general harmony and stability in the prefecture. The urgent notice on current related work follows below.
One: Each area, department and office must take swift measures to cancel benefits received by the households of self-immolators under public benefit policies, such as minimum income support, disaster relief aid and so on. No retrospective allocation is permitted. All projects running on state funds in self-immolators’ villages must be stopped. All previously made arrangements must be reviewed and cancelled. The main responsible [local officials] in townships where self-immolation incidents have occurred must be thoroughly investigated by the county Party committee, and criticized in notices circulated throughout the prefecture. Township leaders and other government and Party officials may not be recommended as advanced personnel this year. Townships in which multiple incidents of instability have occurred may not benefit from state-funded projects for the next three years, leading party and government officials in those townships must be replaced, other staff must be corrected, rejections of responsibility must be investigated, and insufficient attention to duty and failures in this regard strictly punished according to Party discipline.
Two: Each area and related departments must swiftly and clearly establish whether there were instances of greeting and making contributions to family members of self-immolators among the masses in their locality. If there were instances of greeting, donation and paying of respect, the county and township Party committees must send special personnel to swiftly put a stop to it, educate them and clearly explain why this is mistaken and has serious consequences. Public security agencies must swiftly take measures against those who do not listen to this advice and strictly smash them.
Three: Laypeople and monks who greet and make donations must be given corrective training and criticism [skyon brjod slob gso], and the households of those who organized it and acted as public representatives, and of monks who went to greet family members, must have benefits granted under public benefit policies, such as minimum income support, disaster relief aid and so on cancelled. In the case of members of monastery management committees, they must be put together and determinedly dealt with by United Front and Nationalities and Religion departments. Where villages or monasteries organized to make collective donations (down to ‘Five-support households’) [poorest households that qualify for five kinds of state assistance] must have all benefits received under public benefit policies, such as minimum income support, disaster relief aid and so on cancelled. Those villages and monasteries may not benefit from any state-funded projects for the next three years, and those already underway must be cancelled.
Four: Laypeople and monks who organized to greet family members and forced others to participate must be swiftly investigated, and once solid evidence of their activities is gathered, they must face legal proceedings at an early date, and be smashed quickly and heavily, according to law. (Village and local Party officials) and especially village Party secretaries and village heads who were involved must resolutely be changed, their responsibility investigated, and their cases entrusted to disciplinary, organizational, Public Security and inspection departments for strict punishment, and any violations of discipline and law strictly dealt with. In the case of Lamas and monastery DMC members involved in such organizing activities, their monasteries must be closed according to law and strictly investigated, and those involved in organizing activities punished heavily.
Five: Officials who are found to have disregarded Party and government discipline and state laws to greet and make donations to the families of self-immolators must be swiftly dismissed from government service and handed over to the judicial departments to be strictly dealt with according to law.
Each locality, each unit and each office must use multiple methods to publicize and enact this notice, and report to Prefecture Party and Government on related matters in a timely way. Prefecture Party agencies responsible for internal oversight must monitor related matters in conjunction with the Prefecture Party and Government oversight departments, and if implementation is inadequate, and further incidents of self-immolators being greeted and offered donations occur, the Prefecture Party and Government will hold Party and government officials strictly to account.
Huangnan Prefecture Party Work Department, Huangnan Peoples Governmnent Work Department
November 14, 2012