China expels 100 from a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery

A big Tibetan dwelling that was ordered to be demolished. (Photo courtesy: TCHRD)
A big Tibetan dwelling that was ordered to be demolished. (Photo courtesy: TCHRD)

(, Oct16, 2015) – China has expelled 100 nuns, amounting to 50 percent of the residents, from a nunnery in Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region in a purge carried out over Sep 27-29, said Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Oct 13.The report did not say why the purge was carried out, or on what grounds the 100 nuns were expelled.

The centre said Mr Sangye Yeshi, the head of the Diru (Biru) County government known for his repressive ways, visited Jada Gaden Khachoeling Nunnery in Pekar (Baiga) Township over the period and carried out the purge. The report added that the nunnery is now left with only 49 religiously active nuns as its authorized strength. The remaining 51 nuns, being not legally allowed to be registered, can only stay as workers rather than as students and practitioners.

Besides, nuns have been ordered to leave the nunnery and join homes for the elderly upon reaching the age of 50.

The authorities were reported to have put severe restrictions on the expelled nuns, banning them from donning their religious robes, joining other nunneries, and travelling outside their home area. Their village heads and families have been warned with punishments that include imprisonment and denial of permission to harvest caterpillar fungus – a seasonally growing medicinal herb which is the main source of livelihood for most locals – for three years if the travel ban was violated by anyone of them.

The centre noted that last year, the authorities had expelled 26 nuns from the nunnery.


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