International Day of Action: Stand with Larung Gar
EVENT: October 19, 2016
October 13, 2016 - In response to the ongoing demolitions and evictions at Tibet’s Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, Tibet supporters across Canada will join an International Day of Action on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The day of action seeks a determined effort from world governments to stop the expulsion of residents and students at Larung Gar and to ensure that Tibetans are able to enjoy their right to freedom of religion.
In July 2016, large-scale demolitions of monks’ and nuns’ homes began at one of the world’s largest monastic institutions, Larung Gar located in eastern Tibet (Ch: Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province) . The order to reduce the institution size by half to 5000 residents was announced following the 6th Central Government Tibetan Areas Work Conference, and National Religious Affairs meeting .
The demolitions at Larung Gar have caused distress among the residents of Larung Gar and the wider population of Tibet. Three Tibetan nuns have committed suicide at Larung Gar in protest against the mass demolitions. Two of them, Rinzin Drolma and Tsering Drolma left notes referring to the demolitions or to Government “harassment”. There are reports of a further attempted suicide “though others intervened in time and saved her” .
A second Tibetan Buddhist institution in eastern Tibet, Yachen Gar, is also under threat. Since about April 2016, up to 1,000 nuns at Yachen Gar have been compelled to leave the institution and return to their homes. All the nuns were from the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and their instructions to leave came from TAR officials, not from local authorities .
As well as the destruction of dwellings and expulsion of religious students, the authorities are increasing surveillance and implementing entry screening procedures. Those believed to have shared images and information with outsiders, have come under investigation by authorities . In addition, new management committees are being formed at the religious institutions, with government officials in majority.
Such interference in religious affairs in Tibet runs counter to international human rights law and also to China’s Constitution and its national law on regional autonomy .
What are we asking for?
- An immediate stop to demolitions at the Larung Gar and Yachen Gar Buddhist institutes.
- An immediate to end to the expulsions of residents and students at both institutes.
- Reversal of the order that Larung Gar be run by Chinese government officials rather than by religious leaders.
- Unfettered access for foreign diplomats to visit Larung Gar and Yachen Gar .
- Confirm dates for a visit by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to China and Tibet as agreed during China’s UN Universal Periodic Review in 2013.
Here's what you can do:
Write to your Member of Parliament: Request your member of parliament to ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about what actions Canada has taken to raise concerns about Larung Gar with Chinese officials. Find your MP’s contact information here: http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC
Join the vigils in Toronto and Vancouver: In Toronto on October 19, 18:00-21:00, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W; In Vancouver on October 19, 18:00-20:00, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 2H7
Use the hashtag: #StandWithLarungGar
Participate in the tweet-blast: Send a message to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing @CanadaChina: “Support religious freedom in #Tibet. End the demolitions at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. #StandWithLarungGar”
Add the “Twibbon”: Link your social media accounts to the Larung Gar campaign by adding the twibbon from http://twibbon.com/support/i-stand-with-larung-gar?fb_ref=Default
Notes (more information):
- Destruction Proceeds at Larung Gar, With at Least 600 Structures Torn Down So Far http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/demolition-07292016161347.html
- Serta County Order on Larung Gar Monastery; Human Rights Watch, July 2016: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/09/serta-county-order-larung-gar-monastery
- Tibetan Nun Commits Suicide at Buddhist Complex in China’s Sichuan Province; More Suicides Reported in Protest of Destruction at Sichuan’s Larung Gar; Radio Free Asia, August 2016: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/tibetan-nun-commits-suicide-at-buddhist-complex-in-chinas-sichuan-province-08082016130313.html | and http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/suicides-08292016143614.html
- See emotional video of nuns being removed at https://www.savetibet.org/emotional-video-of-nuns-leaving-larung-gar-as-expulsions-continue-in-religious-winter/
- Chinese Authorities Block Reporting From Larung Gar as Demolition Proceeds; Radio Free Asia, August 2016: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/proceeds-08032016134518.html
- Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, Article 36 translated to English at http://www.npc.gov.cn/englishnpc/Constitution/node_2825.htm ; Law on Regional Autonomy, Article 11 translated to English at http://www.cecc.gov/resources/legal-provisions/regional-ethnic-autonomy-law-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china-amended
- China regularly denies access to Tibet for Canadian diplomats: http://tibet.ca/en/library/wtn/13548