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Monks appear for top degree exam in Tibet

Monks appear for top degree exam in Tibet


Ten monks from Buddhist monasteries across Tibet are taking their final test in the provincial capital Lhasa in a bid to attain the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhism studies.

The test, covering the general knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan language and sutra debate, began on Friday at Ganden Monastery and will last for five days, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The candidates have stood out from thousands of lamas at 10 different monasteries in Lhasa, Xigaze, Chamdo and Ngaqu," Benba, an official with the Tibet branch of China Buddhist Association said.

Candidates who pass the final test will present a formal dissertation at the Jokhang Temple in spring before being awarded the "Gexe Lharampa," equivalent to doctorate, Benba said.

"Gexe" means knowledgeable and "Lharampa" is the highest among all four ranks in the Gexe system.

Ninety-five Monks have been awarded the degree since the test resumed in 2004.

The test was suspended after riots against Chinese control in 1988, which China blamed on the separatists.