Authorities in a Tibetan-populated county of Sichuan are demanding that monks forced out of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy now leave their new homes in a remote retreat center, warning them of “severe measures” if they try to stay, a local source says.
Expelled from Larung Gar in a state-ordered campaign to downsize the sprawling complex, the nearly 300 monks had moved to the Belo Ri center in Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Tawu (Daofu) county, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA.
“But some officials from Tawu county recently arrived and told the monks they cannot stay there either,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“They told the monks that if they attempt to remain, they will face severe consequences.”
Senior monks at Belo Ri, which was established by the well-respected lama Lungtok Tulku—a close student of Larung Gar founder Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok—pleaded that the group be allowed to stay at the center, saying that they had broken no laws or regulations and have nowhere else to go, the source said.
“But the authorities insisted they have to leave,” he said.
Recorded in a brief video obtained by RFA’s Tibetan Service, a visibly angry official warns monastic representatives at Belo Ri that the former Larung Gar monks will have to leave within the next few days and “will not be happy” if they remain.
The order for the monks to leave Belo Ri appears to have been given within the last week, and no information has been received regarding their departure or follow-up action by the authorities.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.