By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, August 9: Demolition of Larung Gar, the largest Tibetan Buddhist institute in Tibet, by China has forced a Tibetan nun to hang herself to death.
As Chinese officials in Serta county in Karze in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham began razing residences of monks and nuns at Larung Gar Buddhist academy last month, Rinzin Dolma, a Tibetan nun studying at the famed institute committed suicide by hanging herself to death on July 20.
She left a note saying she could no longer bear the pain of the endless Chinese harassment of innocent Buddhists who quietly studied at the institute; offered her savings to the institute and committed suicide by hanging herself to death on July 20, RFA reported Aug 8.
Rinzin Dolma was a native of Dege region in Kham and she lived on Pema Khado Road inside the Larung Gar complex.
US State Department’s spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau has urged China to stop resorting to actions that escalate tension and pressed for meetings with the institute’s leaders to address safety concerns by not violating the right of the Tibetans to practice their religion freely, the report adds.
“we are concerned that Chinese authorities initiated the demolition of residences at Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute without the consent of the institute’s leaders,” she reportedly told reporters at her daily news conference on Monday reports indianexpress.com, Aug 9.
Despite international outrage over the ongoing forced demolition, China claims the Buddhist institute is being renovated to prevent fire incidents and to ease crowd levels.
Dismissing the Chinese claim, Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch has said, “China’s authorities should not be determining the size of monasteries or any other religious institution, but should accept that religious freedom means letting people decide for themselves their religious practices,” according to a report on HRW’s official website on Aug 9.
“If authorities somehow believe that the Larung Gar facilities are overcrowded, the answer is simple: allow Tibetans and other Buddhists to build more monasteries,” the report further quoted her as saying.