A 6 second long video of Tibetan nuns in shock and on the verge of losing consciousness has come out of Tibet on December 24 which indicates that the mass evictions of students from a Buddhist institute are not only continuing, but that the scope of the evictions is much larger than previously thought.
The systematic demolitions of hundreds of personal living quarters at Larung Gar, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Institute in the world, accompanied by the forced eviction of thousands of Tibetan and Chinese students started this summer and appear to continue unabated. Photos and videos have emerged on social media over the last few months of bulldozers leveling small houses belonging to private individuals and of groups of evicted nuns boarding buses who appear emotionally traumatized and distraught.
The number of students forced to end their studies and return back to their places of origin have included both Tibetans and Chinese and are believed to number in the thousands. Little information has been available regarding the extent of the demolitions and evictions but it was believed that authorities had targeted students from outside the region first and foremost. By late summer it was known that students were being sent back to China and groups of monks and nuns were being transported back to their home areas in Lhasa, Nagchu, Chamdo etc, all areas outside of Sichuan, the Chinese province within which Serta, the Tibetan area where the institute is located is situated today. However, a source has informed VOA that the nuns in the December 24 video are from Golok, a region close to Larung Gar, which indicates that the evictions are also affecting students who are from much closer regions than previously assumed, indicating that the scope of the evictions is larger than previously known.
Due to tight controls on the internet and communications in Tibetan areas, and lack of access to Tibet for foreign reporters, little was known of what happened to the thousands of evicted students once they were sent away from Larung Gar. However a rare and shocking video that appeared on Chinese social media in November which was quickly deleted by censors showed a group of young Tibetan girls with cropped hair wearing camoflage uniforms, nervously singing a Chinese communist propaganda song from the 1960s. The 30 or so girls were in a room decorated with propaganda posters and Chinese flags, and posts on Weibo, the Chinese social media, identified the group as being young nuns who had been forced to leave Larung Gar and sent back to Nagchu, an area in the 'Tibet Autonomous Region.'
The video of Buddhist nuns looking terrified, forced to wear military clothing and sing political songs has shocked Tibetans around the world, reminding many of the nightmares of the 1950s and the destruction and humiliation of how the Chinese cultural revolution was brought to Tibet in following decades. Sources say that it is the prospect of meeting a similar fate that explains the fear and shock on the faces of the newly evicted nuns from Golok in the December 24 video.