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China’s expulsions, demolitions has halved Buddhist centre’s nuns’ quarter

Chinese authorities have expelled 3,600 more monks and nuns from the Yachen Gar Tibetan Buddhist study. (Photo courtesy: NYT)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug30’19) – The nuns’ residential complex at the Yachen Gar Buddhist centre in Palyul County of what is now part of China’s Sichuan Province has become only about half of what it was a couple of months or so ago due to expulsions and demolitions carried out by the Chinese authorities, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Aug 29.

Since May this year, the authorities expelled more 7,000 residents of Yachen Gar (officially known as Yachen Ogyen Samdenling) which once housed around 10,000 monks and nuns who were devoted to scriptural study and meditation.

Demolition of the nuns’ dwellings began on Jul 19 and moved ahead quickly, with at least 100 structures now torn down, the report said.

A photo accompanying the rfa.org report shows a gaping empty space where 3000 nuns’ dwellings were reported to have once stood. The Chinese authorities were stated to have planted grass and covered the ground with green plastic sheets.

“Almost half of the Yachen Gar complex has been destroyed,” the report quoted a local source as saying.

As regards the extent of the destruction, the report quoted the source as saying, “It takes a walk of about 20-30 minutes to cover the entire length of the leveled ground.”

“The Chinese authorities still intend to destroy more monks’ dwellings in other parts of Yachen Gar. However, due to repeated appeals by senior monks, it is temporarily put on hold,” the source was further quoted as saying.

Many of the expelled nuns are being held in detention centres in their home counties to undergo political re-education amid allegations of humiliation, beating, and even rape.

The general condition for the expulsion is that those who do not belong to the local area originally cannot remain at Yachen Gar.

Earlier, in 2017 and 2018, at least 4,820 Tibetan and Chinese monks and nuns were expelled from Larung Gar in neighbouring Serta County, with over 7,000 dwellings and other structures torn down since 2001, the report added.

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