Chinese officials have lifted a ban on photographs of the Dalai Lama at a prominent monastery in the Tibetan capital, in a turnabout that could ease tensions.

Monks will now be allowed to display images of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader at the Gaden monastery in Lhasa, reports Reuters.

Officials in western Qinghai province are also considering lifting the 17-year ban, according to the International Campaign for Tibet, a US-based advocacy group.

“Tibetans’ reverence for and loyalty to the Dalai Lama has almost no equal among the world’s communities and if this policy is extended beyond this individual monastery as other reports suggest, it will be very significant for the Tibetan people,” Free Tibet spokesman Alistair Currie said.

Such measures are apparently aimed at reducing tensions between the Tibetans and Beijing after a series of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule, analysts said.

More than 120 Tibetans have set themselves alight in China to protest against what they say is oppression from Beijing.