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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bemoaning lack of religious freedom, Tibet monk ends his life

Thabke in an undated photo. photo courtesy RFA
Thabke in an undated photo. photo courtesy RFA

(TibetanReview.net, Jul19, 2014) –A young Tibetan Buddhist monk at a large monastery in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) County of Kanlho (Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province, has ended his life by hanging himself from a tree on Jul 9. Thabke, about 24, had earlier told close friends at his Labrang Monastery that he could not live with the kind of tight restrictions that the Chinese authorities had imposed on monastic life and that he therefore wanted to end his life, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jul 17.

The monk was reported to have hanged himself from a tree and died in front of the monastery.

The report said news about the incident came out belatedly due to tight communication restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities in the county over the past one week.

The monastic restrictions included limits on the enrolment of monks and nuns, interference with the religious curriculums and on the everyday exercise of religious freedom, ban on keeping photos of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and the hardships resulting from these and other kinds of control measures.

Thabke, who originally belonged to Sangchu’s Ngakpa Village, had previously protested against China’s policy of limiting enrolment at Labrang Monastery to 999 and on other kinds of restrictions. He was said to be disappointed that many Tibetan monks and nuns had been forced to quit their monastic institutions to lead the lives of laypeople due to such Chinese restrictions.

 

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