Hundreds forced to leave Larung Gar, others face threats and intimidation

Residents with their lugagge preparing to leave Larung Gar
Residents with their lugagge preparing to leave Larung Gar

7th November 2016

New tactics include forcing residents to sign pledges, locking their rooms and threats of violence

Hundreds of monks and nuns were sent away from Larung Gar Buddhist Academy last week as part of the process of forced removals and demolitions there. Videos from the scene show the latest removals, which took place on 30 October.

In the videos below, a group of monks and nuns can be seen saying goodbye to fellow residents before their coaches pull away and drive out of Larung Gar. In one video, residents can be seen running after a departing coach while others can be seen crying.  Digging machinery is visible in the background.

Removals continued in the days following 30 October, with smaller groups of monks and nuns being taken away from the site.

Forced entries, forced exits

Free Tibet has also learned that new tactics are being used to remove monks and nuns from Larung Gar and prevent them from returning to the site. These include installing locks on the doors of residences, threats of violence, and forcing those evicted from Larung Gar to sign documents agreeing not to return to the site permanently.

Photos shared by Tibetans show two kinds of pledge letters that evicted monks and nuns are required to sign. English translations of the pledges, which also commit those signing them to maintaining “unity among nationalities” and “social stability”, can be found below.

 

A lock installed on the door of a residence in Larung Gar

Pictured above: Monks and nuns are returning home from outings to find their doors padlocked shut.

The numbers of people forced to leave Larung Gar remains unclear, with some sources estimating that “thousands” have already departed. According to the order issued by the local authorities in Sertar County, 1,200 residents were required to leave Larung Gar by 20 October.

Several hundred residents from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) were forced to leave in August this year and were driven home, nearly 2,000 kilometres away, in buses. Some of those returning to the TAR have already been told that they cannot join new monasteries, and it has also been confirmed that a group of monks who returned to the Nyingchi area have been forced to undergo patriotic religious education.

Translations of the pledges

Residents forced to leave Larung Gar have been made to sign the following two pledges, committing not to return to live at the site. The documents are written in Tibetan. English translations follow each photo.

Translation of above document:

"Larung Gar Buddhist Institute EvicteesPledge Letter"

The document has to be filled in with name, gender, nationality, ID card number, county and township or village.

Pledge:

1.  To maintain unity among nationalities, social stability and not engage in any activities disrupting social stability and not spread rumours against the policy.

2. To extend support to the government's policy on Larung Gar Buddhist Institute; voluntarily returning home from Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, not to listen and believe in rumours; to not engage, organise and support any activities against the policy.

3. To strictly abide by the rules of security check-posts; follow the rules and regulations of the institute returning to; abide by the government laws of a place; never to return permanently to Larung Gar Buddhist Institute.

Shall take full responsibility in case of violation of any of the above.

Name and thumb print

Date:

Translation of above document:

 

Larung Gar Buddhist Institute,

Through educational guidance,

Asks the monks and nuns to sign the promissory letter to return home

As per the given disciplinary proclamation instruction to be adopted at Serthar County Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, I shall have patriotic re-education, uphold vows, respect the law, and I shall never come back to permanently stay after I will have departed from Larung Gar Buddhist Institute.

                                                                                              Promised by

                                                                                        Day   Month   Year 2016

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