Tag Archives | Larung Gar

Major religious festival cancelled and new police checkpoints at Larung Gar

November 3, 2017

  • A major religious festival, the prayer gathering Dechen Shedrub, has been cancelled at Larung Gar institute despite earlier assurances that it would go ahead, according to Tibetan sources. The new development follows the demolition of monastic residences, expulsion of thousands of monks and nuns and the imposition of direct Communist Party control at one of the world’s leading Buddhist institutes in Serthar (Chinese: Serta), Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan.
  • Checkpoints have been set up on the approach to Larung Gar, indicating the tightened security following the wave of demolitions and the appointment of Chinese Communist Party members to key positions at the institute, the world’s largest center of Buddhist study and ethics, according to new information received by the International Campaign for Tibet.
  • Recent construction work confirms that the Chinese authorities are using the development of tourism as a tool to counter cultural resilience and monastic influence, as the CCP seeks to impose more stringent restrictions in its stated aim of ‘Sinicizing religion’, emphasized at the 19th Party Congress and following the imposition of new religious regulations across the PRC.
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Inside Tibet: Use of “lie-detector” to test Communist Party members indicates escalation of control in Tibet

May 15, 2017

Officials in an area of eastern Tibet are being compelled to undergo a polygraph test, popularly known as a ‘lie-detector test,’ linked to an evaluation of their political loyalty to the CCP. The news, published in the state media, is evidence of a disturbing new level of intrusion into the private lives and thoughts of Tibetans, indicating the atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia in the official sphere and the CCP’s insecurities over the erosion of its authority.

The state media report from Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) stated that the lie-detector test was being imposed in order to establish the “true feelings” of Party cadres in the region. While it stated that this is a matter of establishing their “psychological stability”, the priority of the authorities appears to be to ensure political loyalty to the CCP and compliance with CCP policy.

The introduction of lie-detectors to test even Communist Party officials represents an escalation of the CCP’s efforts to assert its dominance in a climate it has created of fear and mistrust. It is also an implicit acknowledgement that in the official sphere as well as in the wider society, many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama and maintain their strong sense of identity as Tibetans.

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Security crackdown follows first Tibetan self-immolation in 2017

March 28, 2017

  • Security has been intensified in an area of Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) where a 24-year old Tibetan farmer, Pema Gyaltsen, set fire to himself on March 18 near a monastery.
  • A video has emerged from another area in Kardze, Serthar (Chinese: Seda), which appears to show Tibetan pedestrians in traditional clothes being attacked and brutally beaten by police. A voice over removed from the video footage, circulated by Voice of America, reflects shock and sadness among onlookers, with one voice saying over and over again, “They are doing this for no reason at all.”
  • Tensions are high in the Serthar area, which is close to the religious institute of Larung Gar, also in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Kham. Images and video of more demolitions at the religious institute over the last few days are circulating on social media.
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Shadow of dust across the sun: how tourism is used to counter Tibetan cultural resilience

A special report by ICT

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ICT Welcomes European Parliament Urgency Resolution on Larung Gar Demolitions and Ilham Tohti

December 15

Brussels, 15 December 2016 – The European Parliament today adopted an urgency resolution on breaches of human rights, democracy, and rule of law in China, in which it urged the Chinese authorities to stop the dismantling at Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist academy.

This resolution follows the September visit of the Dalai Lama to the European Parliament where he met former President Schulz and addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee in Strasbourg calling on Europe to engage in ‘constructive criticism’ of China[1].

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Distressing scenes at Tibetan Buddhist Academy Larung Gar as monks and nuns compelled to leave

November 3, 2016

Distressing scenes of monks and nuns being forced to leave Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in the last few days have emerged on footage shared on social media. Many monks and nuns have been compelled to sign a document stating that they would not return to the globally renowned religious centre in Serthar (Chinese Seda) eastern Tibet (in present-day Sichuan province), where thousands of Tibetan and Chinese monastics have studied over the years.

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Emotional video of nuns leaving Larung Gar as expulsions continue in ‘religious winter’

October 4, 2016

  • Video footage circulating on social media shows Tibetan Buddhist nuns sobbing as they gather for the departure of those forced to leave the Larung Gar religious institute in Serthar, eastern Tibet.
  • New information has emerged from the area confirming mass expulsions from the monastic community both at Larung Gar, one of the world’s largest Buddhist centers, and Yachen Gar, a religious encampment in remote grasslands also in Sichuan.
  • There is evidence of construction work and development of infrastructure at both sites, consistent with the Chinese authorities’ push to develop tourism based on promotion of Tibet as a location for spiritual seekers, at the same time as authentic Tibetan religious culture is undermined by official policy.
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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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Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok

Charismatic Tibetan Buddhist leader Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok passes away

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the highly-respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher and founder of Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in eastern Tibet, near the town of Serthar (Ch: Seda) in present-day Sichuan Province, passed away at approximately 9:40 am on January 7, 2004, at a hospital in Chengdu. He was 70. “Since the tragic news of the passing of […]

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Chinese security forces attempt to demolish Larung Gar huts

Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials entered the compound of the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute near the town of Serthar (Ch: Seda) in eastern Tibet (present-day Sichuan Province) on December 25, 2002, and attempted to demolish the reconstructed huts there, according to the Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). The PSB officials […]

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ICT President testifies before Congress on religious persecution in Tibet

John Ackerly, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, testifies today on religious persecution in Tibet in front of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee. Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights Statement of John Ackerly, President International Campaign for Tibet February 13, 2002 Thank you Madam […]

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ICT Director testifies before Congress

Bhuchung Tsering, Director of the International Campaign for Tibet, testified for a Congressional Human Rights Caucus briefing on the human rights situation in Tibet (December 6, 2001). Congressmen Mark Udall (D-CO) chaired the Briefing attended by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Congressman Stephen Horn from California. The purpose of the briefing was to highlight the […]

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Larung Gar

Thousands of Tibetan monks and nuns ordered to leave remote encampment

Officials from Beijing and Chengdu have ordered thousands of monks and nuns to leave a massive monastic encampment in eastern Tibet, according to several eyewitness sources. As monks and nuns leave, their residences are being destroyed to prevent them, or others, from returning and inhabiting the sprawling complex. The confrontation has been building for weeks […]

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