China expels 26 Tibetan Buddhist nuns lacking state permit

Jada nunnery, in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Jada nunnery, in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Nov19, 2014) – China has expelled 26 Buddhist nuns from Jhada Nunnery in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, for lacking state permit to enrol there. The action followed the launched on Sep 20 of a new month-long “rectification and cleansing” campaign against monasteries and nunneries in the county.

China has fixed limits on the number of monks and nuns allowed in each monastery or nunnery. Those desiring to enrol must get written permissions from at least three different state authorities and must be above 18 years old. Jhada had a state permit to enrol only 140 nuns but also had nuns from other parts of Tibet studying in it outside the permitted strength, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Nov 17.

The authorities were reported to have increased their scrutiny of the nunnery and renewed their crackdown after its residents refused to publicly denounce Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in Dharamshala, India, during Work Team visits.

The “illegal” nuns used to temporarily leave the nunnery whenever Work Teams visited it to avoid detection. However, during the intensified crackdown, the Work Team members stayed at the nunnery over several days, with the result that the unsuspecting nuns got caught when they returned.

The original nunnery was said to have been built in 1477 but demolished during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966-76. It was rebuilt in 1984 by a group of nuns.

Driru came under a series of repressive Chinese government campaigns after the authorities launched a campaign in Sep 2013 to require all Tibetan homes and religious centres to fly the Chinese national flag from their rooftops. Tibetans not only refused but staged large-scale protests against it, leading to killings, large scale detentions and imprisonments, closing down of monasteries and so on in Chinese reprisal actions.


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