Abbot of Buddhist Academy informs residents about evictions and demolitions
New orders have been issued this year for fresh evictions and demolitions at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. Plans were released on 12 March for 3,225 homes to be destroyed by the end of April.
The programme of forced removals and demolitions, ordered by Beijing and carried out via the local authorities, has been on hold over the winter months due to the weather.
This number is a reduction from a previous order, issued in January this year, that required 4,320 homes to be destroyed. The monastic administration at Larung Gar was told that this number could not be further reduced. Authorities added that the entire site would be destroyed if there was negative behaviour or no cooperation.
Four days after the new order was released, on 16 March, one of the abbots at Larung Gar, Choeyang Nyima, gave a speech to residents about the current situation. In his speech, Abbot Choeyang Nyima told residents how last year 3,729 monks and nuns had been forced to leave Larung Gar. They were taken back to their places of origin and strictly forbidden from returning to the institute.
Those who have already been sent back to their native regions in western Tibet, the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region, have been subjected to humiliating political re-education sessions before being allowed to go home to live with their families.
Due to the difficulties in getting information from Larung Gar, now closed off to outsiders, there has been some confusion regarding the numbers of evictions reported. Last year 6,700 people were ordered to be removed, but it appears that just over 3,700 were made to leave Larung Gar.
Last year, 172 monks’ residences and 1,328 nuns’ residences were destroyed - a total of 1,500 residences demolished.
New orders issued in 2017 also required that 1,154 residents must be removed from Larung Gar. Pressure has been put on Larung Gar’s authorities to implement this, and also on the families of monks and nuns living in Larung Gar, telling these families to bring their relations back home. 895 residents have already been forced to leave, while 259 residents, all from parts of Tibet in China’s Qinghai Province, are expected to leave soon.
The executive members of the monastic administration have pursued numerous appeals and petitions with the authorities in attempts to halt the evictions and demolitions but have had all but no success, save for the reduction in the number of residences slated for demolition from 4,320 to 3,225.
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