‘Chinese authorities have announced the destruction of thousands of monastic dwellings and expulsion of monks, nuns and lay practitioners at Serthar Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, the famed Tibetan Buddhist religious encampment located in Serthar (Ch: Seda) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in eastern Tibet.
An eight-point document issued by the Chinese authorities spells out the step-by-step guide to demolishing housing facilities of thousands of monks, nuns and lay practitioners and their expulsion, so as to reduce the number of residents to government-set ceiling of 5000. Citing the decisions taken at the Sixth Tibet Work Forum Conference and the Second National Work Conference on Religion, the document stated that the demolition order was aimed at proper regulation and management of Larung Gar Buddhist institute. Mainly prefecture-level departments under the direction of mostly Han Chinese officials would carry out the demolition order.In 2001, Chinese authorities implemented similar crackdown on Larung Gar by destroying thousands of monastic dwellings and expulsion of monastic and lay practitioners, some of whom died of shock or resorted to suicide, while some were rendered mentally unsound. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the charismatic founder of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute later died under mysterious circumstances at a Chinese government hospital in Chengdu.’
Photo: A view of Larung Gar