On March 9, one day before the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising against Chinese rule, local authorities in the Tibetan township of Dakar in Kham Tawu, (in today’s Sichuan province), visited Ganden Choeling nunnery.
The authorities brought gifts of shoes for each nun and advised the monastery to not make trouble the next day. The nuns however did not accept the gifts, and threw them outside the monastery walls.
The nuns told the Chinese officials that their problem was the lack of religious freedom, and not the lack of shoes to put on their feet.
Ganden Choeling is the monastery that Ani Palden Choetso belonged to before she carried out her self-immolated protest in November, 2011. Choetso had told friends in the days before her death, that there appeared to be little hope for happiness if the Dalai Lama could not return to Tibet.
Following Palden Choetso’s self-immolation, the monastery was put under lockdown and the nuns put through periodic reeducation programs where they are forced to renounce the Dalai Lama, their spiritual head.