Video: Nuns forced to undergo patriotic re-education

Nuns being made to undergo "patriotic re-education"

30th November 2016

Nuns in the video appear to have been recently returned from Larung Gar

A video has emerged of a group of Tibetan nuns being forced to undergo a patriotic re-education exercise.

This footage comes from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), where restrictions on people’s movement and communications are particularly tight. As a result, photo and video evidence from the TAR is rare. See the bottom of this story for a translation of the song.

Some of the nuns seen in the footage appear to be people who were removed from the Tibetan Buddhist academy Larung Gar, as a part of the continuing process of demolitions and forced removals.  

Journey into doubt

Nuns and monks removed from Larung Gar face an uncertain future. It is unclear whether they will be permitted to continue practicing their religion freely, with a number of those evicted from Larung Gar and sent back to the TAR already having been informed that they will not be allowed to join new monasteries or nunneries.  

Free Tibet had also received reports of recently returned nuns and monks in the TAR being subjected to patriotic re-education before the emergence of this video.

Since the demolitions and removals began earlier this year, 4,600 people have been removed from Larung Gar. Many of the residents have been sent back to their home regions on buses on journeys lasting several days. Some have been evicted without their personal belongings after the Chinese authorities placed padlocks on dwellings whilst the occupants were not there.

Patriotic re-education

In the video, the nuns are seen singing a revolutionary song, the lyrics of which are as follows:

In Tibetan

The Tibetans and the Chinese are daughters of the same mother.

The name of the mother is China.
The name of the mother is China.

In Chinese

The Sun and the Moon are daughters of one mother.

The name of the mother is China.
The name of the mother is China.

The Tibetans and the Chinese are daughters of the same mother.
The name of the mother is China.
The name of the mother is China.

Political or patriotic ‘re-education programmes’ are used by the occupying Chinese authorities as a means of punishing Tibetans by forcing them to denigrate their own religion and culture.  

Those forced to participate are often made to declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and denounce the Dalai Lama, an act that is deeply distressing to Tibetans.  Anyone who refuses to participate will generally punished with fines and beatings, and, if they are resident of a monastery or nunnery, expulsion.

Take action

Evictions and demolitions are due to continue at Larung Gar until late 2017. Add your voice to the international pressure calling on China to halt further damage.