Larung demolition

Demolitions begin at Larung Gar, ‘monastery for the world’, as religious teachers urge calm

July 25, 2016

Demolitions of monks’ and nuns’ dwellings began last week at the important Buddhist center of Larung Gar in eastern Tibet, one of the world’s largest monastic institutions with a population of thousands of Chinese and Tibetan practitioners. Larung Gar in Serthar has become increasingly prominent in both Tibet and China in recent years as a vital center for the study, practice, and promotion of Buddhist teachings otherwise difficult to access or non-existent in regular monasteries and nunneries due to restrictions put in place by the Chinese goverment.

Images circulating on social media of bulldozed wooden buildings with monks standing in the rubble are reminiscent of the demolitions of more than a thousand homes and expulsions of hundreds of monks and nuns that took place in 2001 at Larung Gar, located in Serthar, in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Kham).

The demolitions, which are expected to continue this week, were outlined in an order issued by the county government – which also gave no indication that Larung Gar’s religious leaders had any involvement in the process of decision-making.

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