China demolishes hundreds of pilgrims’ tents pitched at major Tibetan religious centre

Pilgrims' tents are shown outside Yachen Gar in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy:
Pilgrims’ tents are shown outside Yachen Gar in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy:

(, Apr15, 2017) – Chinese authorities have demolished camps with hundreds of tents pitched by Tibetan pilgrims who had arrived at the Yachen Gar Buddhist Centre in Palyul (Chinese: Baiyu) County of Karze (Ganzi) Prefecture, Sichuan Province, for the duration of their one-to-two-month period of receiving religious teachings and carrying out religious practices at the centre, said the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Apr 13.

The report cited a local Tibetan resident as saying that at least 200 tents and other temporary dwellings were torn down after a notice ordering their destruction was posted on Apr 1. It quoted the unnamed source as saying, “The pilgrims come here for one to two months to receive teachings and accumulate merit by circumambulating and viewing the complex.”

The religious centre, founded in 1985, housed some 10,000 monks and nuns devoted to scriptural study and meditation until China began carrying out the demolition of a good portion of the residential complex and the expulsion of thousands of its monks and nuns from Jul 2016.

The report cited the source as saying Chinese surveillance and other tightened security measures at Yachen Gar had become growing cause of concern for the center’s resident monks and nuns, rendering it difficult for news about the situation at the place reaching the outside world.

As justification for ordering the demolition, the authorities have cited difficulties posed by the encampments to the orderly management of the complex.


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