By Tenzin Monlam
Larung Gar under demolition. file photo
DHARAMSHALA, June 23: The Chinese authorities in Serta County have demolished more dwellings at the world’s largest Buddhist Center, Larung Gar, where demolitions have been going on since July last year, the Radio Free Asia
According to a senior abbot at Larung Gar, 4,725 monastic quarters have been demolished since the second wave of demolition drive began last year and over 4,828 monks and nuns have been forcefully evicted since 2016.
In March, following an appeal from the Larung Gar management committee, the Chinese officials had pledged to destroy only 3,225 dwellings, for a projected total of 4,320 houses.
No explanation has been given for the demolitions exceeding the agreed number.
Due to the demolitions and the eventual eviction, many monks and nuns have been denied the chance to study at the institution. The abbot said, “We are discussing ways to help those who have had to leave Larung Gar in their studies and practice.”
Praising those who are still studying at the institution for their hard work, the abbot congratulated them on their ‘excellent performance’ in the annual exam.
The institution founded by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok in 1980 that once housed around 10,000 students including Han Chinese have now been reduced to rubbles.
“We are hoping that Larung Gar will not face tough situations like these again for a very long time,” he said.
A group of six UN human rights experts on February 24 (eve of 34th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva) had jointly condemned China for committing grave violation at Buddhist institutions including Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar.
Among many appeals and condemnation by the international governments and civil society, the European Parliament last year passed an urgent resolution covering numerous issues, including the demolition of the Tibetan monastic university of Larung Gar.
The demolitions also led to the deaths of three nuns who committed suicide, not able to see the destruction of their academy.