Another giant statue of Buddha torn down in Drago County

Head of the giant Buddha statue being loaded into a vehicle (Photo by TCHRD)
Head of the giant Buddha statue being loaded into a vehicle (Photo by TCHRD)
6th January 2022

Monks and civilians arrested and tortured in detention amid a wave of demolitions

Tibet Watch has learned from sources that another giant statue of Buddha was torn down amid a wave of ongoing demolitions in Drago County that has also seen a 99-foot Buddha statue, 45 prayer wheels, and a Tibetan monastic school torn down. Several monks and civilians were detained for expressing their disapproval. They have been given little food while in detention and at least some have been tortured.

The three-storey high statue is of Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, and stands inside Drago Monastery. The process of destroying it began from 21 December onwards.

The detainees identified so far are Paga, the abbot of Drago Monastery, Nyima, Treasurer of Drago Monastery, Nyima and Tashi Dorje, both monks from the same monastery, Tsering Samdup and Trolpa. With the temperature dropping below zero these days in Drago, Lhamo Yangkyi, a woman, was tortured in detention, with sources stating that cold water was poured on her and she was beaten by the detention centre authorities. Sources confirmed that another unidentified monk’s eyes have been damaged.

Drone footage showing the Maitreya Buddha statue housed inside Drago Monastery (centre left), the 99ft Buddha statue under a white canopy (top centre), a row of prayer wheels (bottom right) and the L-shaped Gaden Namgyal Monastic School (centre right)

Information supplied by Tibet Watch