By Tenzin Monlam
Arif Virani speaks at a Tibetan gathering/file
DHARAMSHALA, August 19: The Chairman of Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT), Arif Virani, yesterday said he was devastated by the news of Chinese government’s demolition drive at Larun Gar Buddhist institute. “I am devastated to learn of the demolition. Over 5000 resident monks and nuns have now been displaced. They have not just lost their home and their religious community but their sense of belonging and safety,” said the Canadian Member of Parliament.
He also voiced his grief over the death of the Tibetan nun Rinzin Dolma, who reportedly took her own life on July 20, unable to bear the demolition of her institution.
“My thoughts are with Tibet and members of the Tibetan diaspora around the world who are now even more committed to their pursuit of Buddhist studies. I know the spirit of Larung Gar and the Tibetan people will remain strong,” Arif said while praying that the remaining resident student could carry on with their studies in freedom and safety.
According to the latest information, the Chinese workers are continuing with the demolition drive despite governments, leaders and NGOs calling on China to stop the demolition.
The Chinese officials are targeting monks and nuns from the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) studying at the institution first. Monks and nuns from Driru County in Nagchu were the first to be forced out along with students from Lhasa, Ngari, Nagchu, and Chamdo area.