Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the largest Tibetan Buddhist institution in the world, is under threat.
Under plans issued by the local government, a series of forced removals and extensive demolition work will be carried out to cut the number of residents from more than 10,000 down to 5,000 by October 2017. The first round of demolitions and removals, carried out in July, reduced large areas of the site to rubble and caused widespread distress among Tibetans.
The plan is to be implemented in various stages. A series of deadlines have been imposed, with a certain number of removals and demolitions required to be carried out at each stage. According to religious authorities at Larung Gar, 4,282 people have been removed and as many as 4,725 houses and buildings have been demolished.
If a deadline is missed, punishments will be imposed. These include expelling additional people and even destroying Larung Gar in its entirety.
The plan has been imposed by local authorities under the direction of China’s central government in Beijing, a regime that has no legitimacy for Tibetans. The authorities and residents of Larung Gar were not consulted about this top-down plan, which would disfigure one of the most important sites in Tibet.
There are several things you can do to stop this destruction:
1. CONTACT CHINA
The planned removals and demolitions are being overseen at every stage by the United Front Work Department. This body, a department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), oversees CCP policy on other political parties and ethnic and religious groups. It has its own bureau to oversee policy in Tibet.
Add your name to our message to the United Front Work Department , calling on them to bring these planned demolitions and removals to an immediate halt, and allow Tibetans to determine how their monasteries are run. We will send this message every week with the list of people who signed that week.
2. CONTACT CHINESE EMBASSIES
Send a message to the Chinese Embassy in your country, asking them to tell the Chinese authorities to halt the demolitions.
Citizens of the UK, US, Australia, Canada, India, France, Ireland and Germany can follow the links below to contact the Chinese embassies in their country. We are currently working on compiling a list of other embassies. In the meantime, if your country is not listed below, please send your message and your country to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure that it is forwarded on to the relevant embassy.
CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY TO CONTACT YOUR CHINESE EMBASSY:
3. CONTACT YOUR FOREIGN MINISTER
The US State Department has criticised the demolitions at Larung Gar in passing, but there needs to be far more international pressure on China. Please contact your Foreign Minister and tell them to urgently call for a halt to China’s demolitions.
Citizens of the UK, US, Australia, Canada, India, France, Ireland and Germany can follow the links below to contact your foreign ministers to demand a halt to the removals and demolitions at Larung Gar. If your country is not listed, please see our guide for the relevant contact for your country, and how to reach them, here.
CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY TO CONTACT YOUR GOVERNMENT: