China bans new enrolments at famed Tibetan Buddhist learning centre

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta. (Photo courtesy: Lucy Young)

(, Apr21’19) – China has imposed new entry and exit controls on the famed Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta (Chinese: Seda) County of Sichuan Province and issued an order banning new enrolments there, reported the Tibetan Service of Apr 19, citing local sources.

It is not clear whether the ban is a general one or limited to admission of students from outside the Serta area. “The restriction requires that not even one new admission from outside [Larung Gar] will be permitted,” the report quoted a local source as saying.

Besides, China has strict limits on enrolments at Tibetan Buddhist religious centres, with admission beyond it being banned.

The report cited another local source as saying walls had recently been built around large sections of Larung Gar, with three checkpoints having been put in place to prevent any kind of unauthorized entry.

“The arrivals and departures of monks and nuns are closely monitored, and they are kept under strict surveillance around the clock,” the source was quoted as saying.

These are only the latest restrictions and controls on the religious school. Over the period of 2017-2018, the authorities expelled at least 4,820 Tibetan and Chinese monks and nuns from it, with over 7,000 dwellings and other structures being torn down from 2001 onwards, the report noted.


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