Last year, three nuns committed suicide amid the destruction of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute at the hands of the Chinese authorities. A note penned by one of the tragic religious devotees has recently been released.
A series of suicides at Larung Gar nunnery
On 19 July last year, 20-year-old Tsering Dolma took part in a suicide protest alongside two fellow nuns from the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. It has been reported that she hanged herself out of despair following the demolition of the religious facility. Harsh Chinese censorship laws have prevented any investigation into her case. Her last suicide note, which was obtained by Tibet Watch last week, remains a key document explaining her actions.
Tsering Dolma was a native of Mewa Township in Kakhok County, which is located in Sichuan Province. She had chosen to settle in Larung Gar’s Pema Khando residential complex for nuns.
Although the suicide of a second nun, Rigzin Dolma, on 20 July last year, has been determined, the circumstances surrounding the third nun’s death are still to be clarified. A fourth nun is said to have attempted suicide but she was successfully rescued by her fellow residents.
A last note detailing the demolition of Larung Gar
In her note, handwritten in Tibetan, Tsering Dolma clearly expressed her outrage against the on-going destruction of Larung Gar:
I am very sad because the Chinese government does not give freedom to even study religion. Small quarters (of monks and nuns) were also demolished, I would be happier to die.
Larung Gar, the endangered city in the sky
Larung Gar in Serthar County, eastern Tibet has been the heartland of Tibetan Buddhism for decades. It hosts the world’s largest school for Tibetan Buddhism, namely the Larung Five Sciences Buddhist Academy, which has educated tens of thousands monks, nuns and students.
In June 2016, compelled by so-called “sanitary concerns”, Chinese authorities in the region decided to cut the population down to 5,000 residents, paving the way for widespread demolitions and mass forced evictions. More than 4,200 inhabitants have already been expelled and at least 4,000 buildings torn down.
Free Tibet has been campaigning on the demolitions since they began last year. The demolitions have attracted international outrage and criticism from, among others, the United Nations and the European Union.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch
Demolitions and evictions are still occuring at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute at the moment. Add your voice to the call for this destructive action to stop.