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Political re-education awaits monks and nuns expelled from Larung Gar

A Chinese instructor conducts a political re-education class for Larung Gar evictees in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
A Chinese instructor conducts a political re-education class for Larung Gar evictees in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Nov06, 2016) – A total of around 3,000 student monks and nuns have been expelled and some 1,000 dwellings demolished at the famed Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta (Chinese: Seda) County of Sichuan Province since China began carrying out a forced downsizing of this sprawling Tibetan monastic centre on Jul 20, reported the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia (Washington) Nov 4, citing a local source. And the expelled monks and nuns are being subjected to months-long re-education by the authorities in their home regions, the report added.

Described as “rehabilitation”, the expelled monks and nuns are detained and educated in Chinese government policies and regulations on Tibet. The report cited a local resident as saying one group of 100 monks and nuns sent back to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) from Larung Gar were detained in Nyingtri (Linzhi) County to undergo such education which was held with use of overhead projectors and other materials. While most of them were allowed to return home after two months, some were reported to be under continued political re-education.

Likewise, a total of about 300 monks and nuns were sent back to Riwoche (Leiwuqi) County in the TAR and to Sershul (Shiqu) County in Sichuan Province in September with orders to report to their respective police departments for their political re-education.

All the monks and nuns sent back home from Larung Gar by the Chinese government, with officials from their home counties visiting the academy to facilitate their return, are said to be required to undergo the political re-education for a period of up to six months.

Larung Gar was said to have tens of thousands of student monks and nuns before the current crackdown began. The Chinese government aims to bring down the student population to a maximum of 5,000 monks and nuns by Sep 30, 2017. For this purpose it has ordered all the monks and nuns who do not belong to the local area to return home while demolishing their dwellings. Even monks and nuns from the local area are also said to be encouraged to leave with offers of monetary compensation.

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