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 has dramatically reduced the number of residents. The demolitions and removals, which commenced in July 2016, have already reduced large areas of the site to rubble and caused widespread distress among Tibetans. According to religious authorities at Larung Gar, 4,828 people have been removed and as many as 4,725 houses and buildings have been demolished.
The plans are being 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 has already caused great damage to one of the most important sites in Tibet.
In further moves to tighten its grip on Larung Gar, Chinese authorities have cancelled religious celebrations traditionally held there, introduced screening procedures including scanners and ID cards forcing residents to prove that they live at the site, and members of the Chinese Communist Party have been appointed to take control of the management of Larung Gar.
There are several things you can do towards stopping these developments:
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 a complete halt, and allow Tibetans to determine how their monasteries are run.
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 and to return management of Larung Gar to Tibetans.
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 and to return management of Larung Gar to Tibetans.
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, and a return of its management to Tibetans. 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: