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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

International Human Rights Day: Canada must speak up for religious freedom at Tibet's Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

December 10, 2016


#StandWithLarungGar

December 10, 2016 - Canada must press China for an immediate end to the ongoing violations of religious freedom at Tibet's Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, said the Canada Tibet Committee on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.             

In a letter written to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion, the CTC urged his immediate intervention with Chinese authorities in an effort to halt the demolitions and forced evictions at Larung Gar, which is the world's largest Buddhist learning centre. [1]

Last week video emerged showing some of the evicted monks and nuns undergoing re-education drills, including the recitation of political obedience slogans, while others were compelled to dance on a public stage. [2]

"Events at Larung Gar are an egregious violation of religious freedom" said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee. "The Government of Canada has a long tradition of defending religious freedom around the world and now is the time to act on that commitment - not after Larung Gar has been destroyed."

In August 2016, Liberal MP Arif Virani, Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, issued a statement calling for the end of demolitions at Larung Gar.  On November 23, 2016, Tibetan Political Leader, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, appeared before the 34th session of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights and appealed for a Canadian fact-finding mission to investigate events at Larung Gar. [3]

As well as the destruction of dwellings and expulsion of religious students, Chinese authorities have increased surveillance in the area surrounding Larung Gar.  New management committees, with government officials in majority, have been created to govern the institution. [4]

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[1] For background on Larung Gar, see New York Times, Nov.28, 2016: "China takes a chain saw to the center of Tibetan Buddhism". http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/world/asia/china-takes-a-chain-saw-to-a-center-of-tibetan-buddhism.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur 

[2] https://www.facebook.com/robbie.barnett.14

[3] For an audio transcript, visit: http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/XRender/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20161123/-1/26230?globalstreamId=23&useragent=Mozilla/5.0%20(iPhone;%20CPU%20iPhone%20OS%208_1_3%20like%20Mac%20OS%20X)%20AppleWebKit/600.1.4%20(KHTML,%20like%20Gecko)%20GSA/20.3.136880903%20Mobile/12B466%20Safari/600.1.4

[4] 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     

 

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