Chinese work crews have torn down hundreds of dwellings in recent weeks in a section reserved for nuns in Sichuan’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, with the work of demolition continuing despite the onset of winter, local sources say.
About 4,000 nuns’ homes once stood in the Tashi Lung valley of Larung Gar, a resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service this week.
“Now, in the past two weeks alone, about 300 to 400 houses of nuns in Tashi Lung have been torn down, and the destruction is still going on,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The demolition of nuns’ dwellings in Tashi Lung has been carried out with no concern for those still living there, “and many nuns whose homes were destroyed have had to seek shelter with others,” the source said.
Now, with so many monks and nuns sent away from the study center, “Larung Gar has become quieter and more solemn,” RFA’s source said.
“Winter has already set in, but the work of demolition still continues,” he said.
“Larung Gar used to be a valley buzzing with the activities of the monks and nuns, but has now turned into a dusty valley filled with Chinese police and wrecking machines.”
Many thousands of Tibetans and Han Chinese once studied at the sprawling Larung Gar complex, which was founded in 1980 by the late religious teacher Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok and is one of the world’s largest and most important centers for the study of Tibetan Buddhism.
Many have now been expelled from the makeshift dwellings that once lined the hillsides around Larung Gar as authorities seek to reduce the center’s population by about half to a maximum level of 5,000 by next year, sources told RFA in earlier reports.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.