China completes demolitions at Larung Gar despite worlds outrage

Saturday 30 September 2017 marked the projected end of the Chinese government’s evictions and demolitions plan at Larung Gar. Large scale demolitions and forced evictions are currently taking place at Yachen Gar as well.
Since July 2016, these two key Tibetan Buddhist centers in eastern Tibet have been maliciously targeted by the Chinese authorities. Monks and nuns from Larung Gar Buddhist Academy (1), the largest and most respected Buddhist institute in the world, and Yachen Gar have been forcibly evicted and their homes razed to the ground. There have been at least 6,500 monks and nuns expelled since July 2016 and around 7,000 houses and buildings demolished. Our common belief is that China’s main goal in cutting down the population of the institutes has been to enable easier monitoring and control of the residents at the institute. Furthermore, recent evidence has shown that there are also plans to develop Larung Gar as a tourist destination with growing concern that we will see the renowned institute transformed into a low quality Disneyland-style tourist site.
Compounding this intense crackdown by China on Tibetans’ religious freedom, it was announced in August 2017 that Chinese Communist Party members are now positioned in the management committee at Larung Gar and exercise direct control over the management and day to day workings of Institute; a further tightening of China’s central control.
In November 2016 six United Nations human rights experts expressed their “deep concern” to China about the serious cultural and religious repression in Tibet raising the mass eviction of Tibetan monks and nuns and the demolition of their homes at the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute as a violation of international human rights laws and “attacks on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which constitute serious violations of cultural rights of current and future generations.” A number of governments, including the EU, have also raised strong concerns about the demolitions and expulsions.
Urgent solutions need to be found to solve the crisis and to stop any further attempts by China to erode the cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people, including the development of Larung Gar into a tourist destination. With China’s 19th Party Congress opening in October, China is further tightening restrictions on everyday life in Tibet, including the practise of religion. This is emblematic of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aim to enforce and promote an authoritarian system of governance with complete disregard for human rights.
Tibetans and Tibet activists continue to work to stop China’s abhorrent abuse of Tibetans’ rights and freedoms and resolve to help bring freedom back to the Tibetan people.
International Tibet Network, Students for a Free Tibet, Free Tibet and Lungta.
  1. Larung Gar and Yachen Gar are in Serthar County, Kardze, Kham, Eastern Tibet (Ch: Ganzi/Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province).
  2. Source:

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