China restricts renovations at Yarchen Gar

Yarchen Gar
Yarchen Gar
Yarchen Gar
25th September 2018

New restrictions come a year after 3,500 homes were torn down at the Buddhist site

Chinese authorities have issued new orders at Yarchen Gar monastery in Kardze County, eastern Tibet, which make it difficult for monks to settle there. This follows years of forced relocations for the monastery's inhabitants and the destruction of their homes.

In September 2018, authorities at Yarchen Gar monastery issued a notice which banned the building of new homes and renovations in the area. The notification reads:

To all the monks of Second Divisional Area, In the area of second division Yarchen Gar it is not permitted to build a new house or renovate old homes. If renovation work is required it is mandatory to petition the authorities, with both photographic proof and a recommendation letter. The authorities will respond to the application within fifteen days. If any individual carries out renovation work without permission they will face repercussions and the building will be forcibly demolished.

Copy of the notification restricting building at Yarchen Gar
Copy of the notification restricting building at Yarchen Gar

Years of Destruction at the Monastery

In August last year, Free Tibet reported on demolitions that were carried out at Yarchen Gar. Instructions issued by local authorities stipulated that 3,500 homes were to be demolished. The reason given for the order was that space needed to be cleared for the construction of a series of roads within Yarchen Gar. As a result of the order, there were reports of monks and nuns having to dismantle their own houses.

Similar demolitions have been taking place at the site since 2001, with at least 2,000 homes demolished prior to 2017. Furthermore, approximately 3,000-4,000 people have been removed since 2008.

Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch found cases of residents being summoned by authorities and made to give thumb prints on a letter pledging that they would not return to Yarchen Gar in the future.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch.

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