More nun suicides follow China’s destruction at famed Buddhist academy

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta. (Photo courtesy:
Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta. (Photo courtesy:

(, Aug31, 2016) – Two more Tibetan Buddhist nuns have been learnt to have ended their own lives, unable to bear the pain of seeing their study centre and residence, the famed Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta (Chinese: Seda) County of Sichuan Province, being subjected to demolition by the government of China, reported the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Aug 29, citing local sources. Besides, an attempt by a third nun to follow suit was blocked at the last minute by friends, the report added.

The reported cited a local Tibetan source as saying a 20-year-old nun named Tsering Dolma hanged herself on Aug 17, leaving behind a note expressing distress at the demolition and complaining that the Chinese will not let the Tibetans live in peace.

The native of Mewa Township in Marthang (Hongyuan) County of Sichuan’s Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture was seen to be “depressed and worried” over Chinese authorities’ destruction of thousands of dwellings at the academy before she took her own life.

The report also said a nun named Semga, a native of Ngaba’s Dzamthang (Rangtang) County, was also believed to have taken her own life recently, although details on how and when she took that step were not available immediately.

The report also cited the source as saying a third nun had attempted suicide but was stopped by others just in time. The report did not give any further details about this case.

Earlier, when China began carrying out the demolition on Jul 20, a 20-year-old nun named Rinzin Dolma hanged herself.

China was reported to be razing 100 to 250 structures a day, with the aim to halve the sprawling complex and reduce its student population of monks and nuns to a maximum of 5,000. These students included people from mainland China and other countries as well. Around 2,000 dwellings of monks and nuns are to be pulled down this year, with more to follow next year. The demolition is said to have been ordered from Beijing with President Xi Jinping reportedly taking personal interest in it.

The ecumenical institute for the study of Tibetan Buddhism was founded in 1980 by the late religious teacher Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok with support from the previous Panchen Lama.


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