China expels over 100 Tibetans from nunnery

A map showing Dingri county in the Shigatse prefecture of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
A map showing Dingri county in the Shigatse prefecture of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Nov22, 2014) – Chinese authorities have not only expelled more than 100 Tibetan Buddhist nuns from a religious centre in Dingri County of Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, in March this year but also ordered them to become laypeople in violation of their sacred vows, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Nov 20, citing a teenaged nun who had recently escaped from there. The nuns belonged to Changlo Nunnery, located near Tibet’s border with Nepal.

The nunnery had around 200 nuns but the local Chinese authorities had given the mandatory permission for it to enrol only 21, rendering the vast majority illegal.

The initial order said the nuns should return to their homes for two months pending decisions on their applications for permits, during which they were prohibited from wearing their monastic robes. Some of the nuns had returned to Changlo after the two-month period but their situation remains unknown, the report said.

Nuns lacking state permit do not get state welfare payments and allowances; they also cannot have their own residence in the nunnery. Rather, they have to be taken in by those having the state permits in their living quarters which therefore become very crowded. When officials come to conduct checks, the nun-students lacking the state permits have to make themselves scarce, remaining in hiding outside.

This remains the situation at monasteries and nunneries across Tibet.


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