By Tenzin Dharpo
The image showing demolition of the Yachen Gar in Occupied Tibet. Photo- RFA
DHARAMSHALA, July 29: Chinese authorities in Sichuan province have begun more aggressive demolition of dwellings and structures at Yachen Gar, one of the foremost Buddhist learning centers in occupied Tibet. The demolition drive is said to be larger and more aggressive in scale than it was first conducted in August 2017.
In the recent weeks, authorities have razed to ground over a hundred dwellings at Yachen Gar that belonged to monastics who were forcefully evicted back in May this year, according to Radio Free Asia
. Heavy dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers, in addition to Chinese demolition crews, are being employed for the demolition drive that began on 19 July.
Beginning May this year, Yachen Gar, located in Palyul County in Sichuan saw the removal of about 3,500 monks and nuns by Chinese authorities to curtail the growing influence of the centre that also hosts many Chinese practitioners. These monastics are now held for political re-education classes in Jomda (in Chinese, Jiangda) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Chamdo (Chengdu) prefecture.
Earlier this month, before the demolition work began, the once sprawling Buddhist monastic university was placed under further clampdowns as Chinese authorities imposed strict travel restrictions, stationed check points and flew drones for surveillance.
Sources also say that senior monks and administrators at Yachen Gar who wrote over 40 petitions so far to Chinese authorities at all levels, were met with rejection and even physical reprimand. An unnamed source cited by RFA
said, “When they go to the relevant Chinese offices and departments to appeal, the Chinese officials reprimand them by pointing their fingers in their faces, and have even slapped them. Those in charge at Yachen Gar have endured all of this silently in the hope that their petitions will be heard, but in vain.”
Founded in 1985, the Yarchen Gar of Palyul County boasts over 10,000 monks and nuns studying in the complex. It is one of the biggest Buddhist centers in the world along side Larung Gar, situated in the same province. Over 7000 monks and nuns have been forcefully evicted till date from Yachen Gar.