Chinese state media reported on Tuesday that dozens of officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region were punished last year for disciplinary violations, 15 of whom were accused of being involved in separatist activities. The New York Times’ Edward Wong reports:
The officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which includes the capital, Lhasa, provided intelligence to the “Dalai Lama clique” and took part in activities that “would harm national security,” according to an article by China News Service, an official agency, that was published by several major news outlets, including Global Times, a populist newspaper, and the website of People’s Daily, the main party newspaper. The report cited officials with the party Commission for Discipline Inspection of Tibet.
The report said there had been six cases of party members and civil servants violating party discipline and 45 officials who had abandoned their posts or neglected their duties. Those 45 officials were being “severely punished,” the report said, citing Wang Gang, a party discipline official.
It was unclear from the report to what degree the cases of these officials overlapped with the 15 cases involving separatist activities. […] [Source]
In November of last year, Tibet’s top Party official Chen Quanguo promised “severe punishment” to cadres who support the Dalai Lama. Beijing continues to regard the Dalai Lama as a separatist, but the spiritual leader says he only seeks greater autonomy and ethnic coexistence in Tibetan regions of China.
Late last year, the Dalai Lama offered hints that relations with Beijing could be thawing: In September he praised Xi Jinping as a “more open-minded” leader than his predecessors, and in October he spoke of an informal dialogue with Beijing over a pilgrimage to Wutai Shan—a trip that Chinese officials called impossible.
The Dalai Lama ceded political power over the Dharamsala-based Central Tibetan Administration to a democratically elected sikyong (equivalent of prime minister) in 2011. He has repeatedly said he could be the last reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.