Over 4,000 removed from Larung Gar this year

Diggers destroying residences at Larung Gar (RFA News)
Diggers destroying residences at Larung Gar (RFA News)

10th November 2016

Monks and nuns continue to face new restrictions on their religion and access to the site

4,600 residents have been forced to leave Larung Gar Buddhist Academy since planned demolitions and removals began earlier this year.

China’s central government and local authorities in Sertar County, Kardze, eastern Tibet, are carrying out what they call a process of restructuring at Larung Gar in order to reduce the number of residents to 5,000 people by September 2017. The site had previously housed at least 10,000 monks, nuns and visiting students, with some estimates putting this number far higher.

An estimated 2,800 of those that have been removed from Larung Gar have been returned home to other regions, although it remains unclear whether any of those evicted will be permitted to practice their religion freely once back home.  A number of those taken back to the Tibet Autonomous Region have already been told that they cannot join new monasteries or nunneries.

Demolitions at Larung Gar are expected to continue, but have reportedly slowed down due to a change in the weather.

Larung Gar Buddhist Institute

Behind closed doors

As reported on Monday, residents that have been removed from Larung Gar are being made to sign pledges promising not to return.

Around 300 monks, nuns and other residents have also been forced to leave Larung Gar without their personal belongings after returning from attending classes and running errands to find themselves locked out of their homes by the authorities.  Authorities have issued a warning that anyone found tampering with the locks, which are numbered and painted red, will be heavily punished.

In addition to the latest wave of evictions and forced removals, authorities have cancelled an eight-day annual religious ceremony, Dechen Shingdrub, which was scheduled to take place on 17 November. The decision was taken in order to prevent any large public gatherings at the site. Monks and nuns have been left to pray privately in their rooms instead.

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