Exile Tibetan NGOs hold vigil to condemn Larung Gar demolition

DHARAMSHALA, October 20: As a part of the Global Day of Action for Larung Gar, five Tibetan NGOs today organized a solidarity event to extend support and condemn the ongoing demolition of the institution on Wednesday.

Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Tibetan Women Association (TWA), Gu Chu Sum, National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) and Students for a Free Tibet-India (SFT) jointly organized the event at TCV Day School in McLeod Ganj, joined by over 300 people including monks and nuns from 10 monastic institutions.

“The demolition of Larung Gar has an indication of another cultural revolution carried out by the Chinese Government. Today we are sending a message to Beijing that we exile Tibetans haven’t lost hopes,” said Tashi Lamsang, General Secretary of TYC.

Founded by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok in 1980, the institution is currently witnessing a massive demolition drive in the name of renovation and reductions in the strength of the institute.

Dolma Kyi, currently residing in Dolmaling nunnery and a former student at Larung Gar said that she came into exile in 2003 after China’s initial eviction and demolition drive in 2001.

She stated that the authorities then gave excuse of severity of excessive litter around the premises due to over population, which eventually led to demolition of over 2000 dwellings then.

“We were also warned that even a slightest protest could end up in demolition of the entire institute. It was the reason why most of us stayed quiet in fear of the severe consequences because of an individual act of dissent,” she said.

Also known as Dolkyi, the nun blames China for the lack of day-to-day information on Larung Gar. “The communication blockage is so severe. When I call my friends there, I can only hear their voice and they don’t hear mine. We desperately want to know the situation but due to the blockade we are unable to do so,” she said.

The demolition work that began on July 20 this year intends to curb the population at the academy to 5,000 from 10,000. Last month, over 2000 monks and nuns were forcefully evicted from the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy.

Due to the demolition, three nuns have committed suicide. On July 20, Rinzin Dolma hanged herself as she could not bear the destruction of her academy. Following her death, two more nuns – Sengma and Tsering Dolma – took their lives.

Phayul, October 20, 2016


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