By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan nuns at a security checkpoint at Larung Gar. Photo-RFA
DHARAMSHALA, December 15: Tightening the security around a much-reduced Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the Chinese authorities now have setup security check points where monks, nuns and visitors must produce their permit allowing them to enter the premise, reports Radio Free Asia.
“Residents and visitors are checked through each day after being closely questioned by the guards,” a source said on condition of anonymity.
The source added that the officials have installed two entries with magnetic security gates on the main road leading up to the complex. The source said that only the one with passes are allowed through the gate.
“After being cleared through one gate, people seeking entry are then stopped and questioned again at a second checkpoint farther down the road,” the source said.
With the restriction also applied towards visitors, another source confirmed that laypeople also must show ID cards at the checkpoint before entering the premises of the Buddhist center.
Once the largest Buddhist center in the world, boasting over 10,000 students, have been reduced to less than half through Chinese demolition drive. The demolition reportedly destroyed 4725 monastic dwellings since its first began last year in July. It also resulted in forceful removal of over 4,825 monks and nuns studying at the institution founded by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok in 1980.
The sprawling Tibetan Buddhist study center in Serthar County has been subjected to forceful reduction of its strength over the decade. Aimed at cutting the center’s strength into less than half, the drive was initiated under the pretext of construction of road and development.
The year 2001 also saw a similar dismantling of the institute, in which over 8,000 students were evicted forcibly from the institute and approximately 2,000 dwellings of monks and nuns demolished that year.