China appoints Communist Party members to take control of Larung Gar

Larung Gar
Larung Gar (photo credit: Marco Grassi)
25th August 2017

The six CCP members were appointed this week in line with orders released by local authorities last summer

Six members of the Chinese Communist Party have been appointed to take control of the management of Tibet’s Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, it was announced this week.

According to the announcement, issued on 20 August, Dhakpa, Dhondup Tashi and Lokhang Pun, have been assigned to manage Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. Another three CCP members, Dhargay Tashi Tsering, Sonam Choephel and Sonam Yangzom, will head the Larung Gar Monastery Management Committee (MMC).

The appointment of the Party Members is in line with the eight-point order on Larung Gar issued last year by Serthar County authorities. Section 7.4 of the order states "In terms of management, the monastery needs to be managed by both lay officials and monks, while the institute’s management style needs to be in conformity with the management of a government-run school. A management committee with both monks and officials must be established. In the manner of taking seven steps forward, a 2+3 management approach should be practically implemented."

The appointed members

Dhakpa, currently working as the Deputy Director of Kardze Prefecture Public Security Bureau, has been appointed as Party Secretary and President of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute.

Dhondup Tashi, the incumbent Deputy Secretary of the Gyesur County United Front Work Department and Chairman of the County Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, and Lokhang Pun, a prefecture government researcher in Tibetan studies and section officer for the prefecture government’s library and translation department, have both been designated as Deputy Party Secretaries and Vice-Presidents for Larung Gar.

Sonam Choephel, Deputy Party Secretary of Serthar County will take charge as the Party Secretary of the MMC and Director of the Institute.

Dhargay Tashi Tsering, the current Deputy Party Secretary of Politics and Law Committee of Dabpa County, and Sonam Yangzom, the incumbent Party Secretary of Tsosum Township in Lithang County, will both be MMC’s Deputy Party Secretaries and Deputy Directors of the Institute.

You can find the information in Chinese on this official state media.

Destruction of the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world

Since July 2016 Larung Gar has been targeted by the Chinese authorities in a series of demolitions and forced removals of residents, the stated aim being to cut down its population of monks, nuns, students from between 10,000 and 40,000 to 5,000.

4,828 people have been expelled since July 2016 and 4,725 houses and buildings demolished. With these Party members’ appointments, China is tightening its grip over the institute.

The announcement of the appointments comes a few days after the order of the demolition of 3,500 monks and nuns quarters in Yarchen Gar, another large Buddhist Institute which is located in Kardze.


Information supplied by Tibet Watch

Take action

Demolitions and evictions are still occuring at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. Add your voice to the call for this destructive action to stop.