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Tibet: Monks and Nuns helpless as Buddhist Academy at Larung Gar faces Chinese demolition

Nearly 1,400 houses will be demolished in the first stage which mainly includes nuns' homes and hostels owned by the elderly people

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Larung Gar, Wikimedia Commons
Larung Gar, Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Larung Gar is a worldwide famous for Tibetan Buddhist teachings
  • The government gave the reason behind the demolitions saying, it is a part of ‘correction and rectification obligations’
  • the action against the institution is not only for the intention of demolition but also for the construction development and a project for “accelerated urbanization”

Dharamshala: Chinese demolition teams have rolled into Serthar, Kardze and shattered down the homes of monks and nuns again at one of the world’s largest monastic institutions- Larung Gar institution, with over 10,000 population of Buddhist practitioners.

The demolitions came following the government order which was issued in last month, in June, stipulating that “by September 30, 2017, the population of the encampment must be limited to 5,000 persons.” Areas with authorized houses and the areas that will be demolished have been separately marked on the map by the local authorities. Nearly 1,400 houses will be demolished in the first stage which mainly includes nuns’ homes and hostels owned by the elderly people, reported myinforms.com.

The government gave the reason behind the demolitions saying, it is a part of ‘correction and rectification obligations’. The order further states that “Residence of those expelled since 2013, illegal new residences, residences that have become old age homes and nuns’ hostels, a total of 1,500, will be demolished at one go”.

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According to the local authorities, the action against the institution is not only for the intention of demolition but also for the construction development and a project for “accelerated urbanization”.

The secretary of Serthar County United Front Work Department reacted to the people’s wrong perception about the order and said “Online it has been said that ‘Larung Gar will be demolished,’ ‘it’s the end of Larung Gar,’ ‘the monks and nuns will be removed,’ ‘the authorities are destroying and sweeping away a holy religious place,’ and so on. This is totally untrue, and irresponsible.”

Buddist institute at Larung Gar
Buddist institute at Larung Gar, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

He further added they are trying to expand the nearby Lo-Nor Township “because Larung Gar monastery is close to Lo-Nor township it will naturally be integrated into overall planning and construction.”

According to the myinforms.com Website, as the demolitions have potentially angered the residents, Tibetan lamas who are in charge of the institutions are calm and recommended those affected to continue with their studies and concentrate on Buddhist teachings, not on the ruination of physical possessions.

In 2001, Larung Gar faced the same demolition in which thousands of homes were destroyed by 500 armed police and military force. According to the witnesses at the time, the huts were dismantled with shrines and possessions inside; elderly and disabled residents were forcibly hauled out of their homes before tearing their houses down; in few cases, the demolitions started while the owners were inside their homes. This demolition led to the eviction of 8,000 practitioners and destruction of 2,000 meditation huts and 1,74 monastic residences.

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President of the International Campaign for Tibet, Matteo Mecacci claimed, “These demolitions are a part o a set of policy measures implemented by the Chinese government that severely restrict the religious freedom of Tibetan Buddhists.”

Larung Gar is a worldwide famous for Tibetan Buddhist teachings. It is of great significance in terms of Tibetan language, culture and religion and also for the upcoming generation of Chinese Buddhist scholars and pilgrims. Therefore, it should be protected and its religious teachers must be allowed to make the full decision for its long-term future.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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‘Dalai Lama is a Political Figure under the cloak of Religion, Meeting or Hosting the Dalai Lama is a major offence’ Warns China

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing.

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Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

Beijing, October 21, 2017 : As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to visit India next week, China on Saturday warned that it will be deeply offended if any foreign leader meets with or any country invites the Dalai Lama.

On the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a Chinese Minister dubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “political figure under the cloak of religion”.

“Any country or any organisation or anyone accepting to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

“Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment,” Zhang added.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of stoking unrest and secessionist activities in Tibet from where the spiritual leader fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The Dalai Lama has urged for more autonomy for Tibet.

Beijing opposes any country or leader keeping in touch with the Dalai Lama.

“I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion,” said Zhang.

In February this year, Tillerson had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama.

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi had visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in May, and sought to draw the world’s attention to human rights in Tibet, triggering protests by China.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama. For instance, Beijing blocked a major highway leading to Mongolia, crippling the economy there after Ulan Bator hosted the leader late last year.

Mongolia later apologised and promised Beijing never to invite the Dalai Lama.

“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” Zhang added.

The comments from the Chinese Minister also comes days after Tillersoon described India as a partner in a strategic relationship and said the US would “never have the same relationship with China, a non-democratic society”.

According to reports, last month China refused to fund travel for visiting scholars at University of California, San Diego, apparently in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker.

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing. (IANS)

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Dalai Lama on Three Day Visit to Manipur

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Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama will be in Manipur on Tuesday. ians

Imphal, October 16: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to Manipur, officials said.

This will be his second trip to India’s northeast after his April visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told IANS on Monday that the government had declared the Dalai Lama a state guest.

“We will extend a warm welcome to him. He will be given all facilities as an honoured guest,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama will be given a public reception at the Convention Centre here. It will be followed by a felicitation programme at the same venue.

The Dalai Lama will interact with members of the public and dignitaries.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since fleeing his homeland in 1959, is coming to Manipur at the invitation of the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly.

His Arunachal Pradesh visit had sparked a diplomatic row between India and China.(IANS)

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China pays Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Celebrates Gandhi Jayanti in Beijing

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Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Beijing, Oct 02: China on Monday celebrated the 148th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, with the India Embassy in Beijing releasing commemorative postage stamps on the Ramayana.

Many Chinese nationals offered flowers to a statue of Gandhi at Beijing’s Chaoyang Park, while school children recited his famous quotes in Mandarin on a nippy overcast day.

“Gandhiji looked forward to a day when a free India and a free China could cooperate in friendship and brotherhood for their own good and for the benefit of Asia and the World,” Wilson Babu, Charge D’Affaires at the Indian embassy, said.

“Leaders of our two countries have been striving to build strong India-China relations based on Gandhiji’s ideals of world peace and respect for all human beings.”

In Shanghai, the Indian Consulate organised a series of events including a memorial lecture, screening of a documentary film and a painting completion for children of the Indian community.

Mahatma Gandhi has become increasingly popular in China, with many Chinese researchers studying his ideology of non-violence.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar in Gujarat to Putlibai and Karamchand Gandhi. (IANS)