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Tibetans and Supporters Stage Global Protest for Larung Gar


Global Action Day for Larung Gar observed in Dharamsala Photo courtesy Lhakpa Kyizom

Global Action Day for Larung Gar observed in Dharamsala Photo courtesy Lhakpa Kyizom

Tibetans gathered in Dharamsala, Northern India where the Central Tibetan Administration is based to mark Global Action Day for Larung Gar by participating in a prayer and solidarity gathering on October 19, 2016.

The Action Day, facilitated by the Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association, GuChuSum Tibetan Freedom movement, Students for a Free Tibet, and National Democratic Party for Tibet brought hundreds of Tibetans and supporters.

Tashi Lamsang, General Secretary of TYC spoke about the purpose of their campaign with VOA, and Dolma Kyi, a former nun from Larung Gar shared her experience being present at the site during its first demolition in 2001 and her views on the present destruction plan which would result in the downsizing of the monastery population by 50 percent.

Likewise, Tibetans and Tibet supporters from Toronto, Washington DC, New York, London, Berlin, and other major cities and capitals around the world gathered outside their respective Chinese Embassies to protest the ongoing demolition of the world's largest Tibetan Buddhist institution.

Larung Gar is home to at least 10,000 monks, nuns, lay students and elderly people, although some tourism websites put estimates closer to 40,000 people. Human Rights Watch in June reported on Beijing’s plan to reduce the population to 5,000 by September 2017.

Since 2008, the number of monks in monasteries across the Tibetan Autonomous Region was drastically reduced, leaving most monasteries with only a handful of monks and Chinese Communist Party members in charge of the facilities. Many monks in the region subsequently decamped to Larung Gar in order to continue their studies. In 2014, however, TAR-based Chinese officials ordered families in Driru County to bring monks back from Larung Gar and other monasteries in Ganze prefecture.

Larung Gar was established in 1980 by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, a highly regarded Tibetan Buddhist master. It houses both Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist students and practitioners.

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