Larung Gar the Largest Buddhist Institute, Serthar County, Tibet
Dharamshala, August 19: Chinese authorities started demolishing Tibet’s biggest Buddhist Instituition “Larung Gar” at Serthar County, Eastern Tibet, with an excuse that they are in process of renovating and also to reduce the number of unregistered monastics.
Chinese workers are demolishing nearly 100 to 250 houses in a day. The monastic leaders have instructed monks and lay practitioners not to protest or resist. With many dwellings already flattened to ground, the number of people affected is rising steadily. 600 dwellings have been torn down, with no sign that this will stop any time soon,” a local source told Radio Free Asia.
Free Tibet, a London-based charity that campaigns to end China’s control of the region, said that parts of Larung Gar academy had been destroyed. The Chinese government demanded in October that the academy reduce to 5,000 its population of 10,000 monks and nuns. But the fact is, in 2001 over 8,000 students were evicted forcibly from the Institute and approximately 2,000 dwellings of monks and nuns were demolished that year.
Nun Rinzin Dolma committed suicide
A Tibetan Nun Rinzin Dolma, committed suicide saying she could no longer bear the pain of the endless Chinese harassment of innocent Buddhists who quietly studied at the institute; offered her savings to the institute and committed suicide by hanging herself to death on July 20, RFA reported Aug 8.
Rinzin Dolma was a native of Dege region in Kham and she lived on Pema Khado Road inside the Larung Gar complex.
US State Department’s spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau has urged China to stop resorting to actions that escalate tension and pressed for meetings with the institute’s leaders to address safety concerns by not violating the right of the Tibetans to practice their religion freely. Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch has said, “China’s authorities should not be determining the size of monasteries or any other religious institution, but should accept that religious freedom means letting people decide for themselves their religious practices,” according to a report on HRW’s official website on Aug 9, the report added.
Followed the distruction, in August 12, Tibetan source told RFA that the officials have so far targeted those dwellings inhabited by students coming from Lhasa, Ngari, Nagchu, and Chamdo, which are regions situated in TAR. Monks and nuns from Driru County in Nagchu were the first to be forced out by the authorities. They were even warned of serious consequences upon their family members if they refused to leave, the source added.
The demolition drive is aimed at cutting the academy’s strength to 5,000 from 10,000 by 2017. “Tibetans were not willing to sell their land, but were forced to part with it and were then evicted from the area,” the source said adding that they have plans to build a tourist complex on the confiscated land.
Recently in August 15, the annual 10-day ceremonies at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy have been banned by the Chinese authorities owing to the fear of huge gathering at the vicinity of the ongoing demolition site.The ceremonies have been moved to Shoru Monastery and were only allowed to conduct it for a day on August 15, reported RFA .
“These ceremonies meant to dispel obstacles used to be performed for ten days at Larung Gar, but have been banned there this year due to the ongoing demolitions and related tensions in the area,” the source said.
Though the Chinese claim that they give equal rights and religious freedom to their minorities, demolition of Buddhist Monastery itself shows that Chinese are dissimulating.