By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, October 4: The Chinese authorities in Serta County have evicted over 2,000 nuns studying at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in the county in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
A video posted on social media on September 30 shows monks and nuns being removed from largest Buddhist institution of Tibet in buses as several others can be seen crying and praying as they leave the premises. Sources say the evicted nuns and monks were from Lhasa and nearby areas.
The situation in Larung Gar is deteriorating day-by-day and over 1,000 monks and nuns working for the institution are also being ordered to leave along with all the other students, reported RFA.
“Except for 100 monks who have official permission to study in Larung Gar, all the monks and nuns from the Lhasa area have already been expelled from the center,” a source said adding that the officials are now targeting monks and nuns from Qinghai, Gansu, and Yunnan.
The officials have informed families of those studying at the institution to comply with eviction orders or face severe consequences. They have also warned the families of withdrawal of government monetary assistance and subsidies if their relatives did not comply, said the source.
According to the source, the officials have prohibited the members of the institution from building any new structures.
The sprawling Tibetan Buddhist study center in Serthar County has been subjected to forceful reduction of its strength over the decade. The latest drive, aimed at cutting the center’s strength to 5,000 by 2017, began on July 20 under the pretext of renovation works.
Three nuns have committed suicide due to the ongoing demolition at Larung Gar so far. On July 20, a nun named Rinzin Dolma who resided in the institution hanged herself as she could not bear witness to the destruction of her academy.
Following her death, two more nuns took their lives owing to the destruction - Sengma from Dowa village in Dzamthang County and Tsering Dolma from Mewa Township in Marthang County, both in Sichuan province. Tsering Dolma in her last note expressed her distress and complained that the Chinese government was not letting them ‘live in peace’.