A suicide note left by a Tibetan nun last year following the demolition of her shelter by Chinese authorities at Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute has finally become public.
The nun named Tsering Dolma hanged herself on 19 July 2016 at her quarter located in the Pema Khando Nuns’ Residence, the nuns’ district in Larung Gar. As reported earlier by TCHRD, Dolma had committed the suicide along with another nun called Semgha who also died by hanging the same day. The demolition was carried out on 20 July and continued until early May 2017.
In her suicide note, Dolma wrote, “My heart is so sad. The reason is the Chinese government does not allow us the freedom to practice our religion. Even the tiny shelters have been destroyed. It is better to die.”
The note was made available to the India-based Tibet Times newspaper by an Australia-based former Tibetan political prisoner named Shel Gedun Tsering who had contacted sources in Tibet.
Soon after news of Dolma’s suicide reached the outside world, sources in Tibet had mentioned the existence of a suicide note. Despite persistent efforts, the note could not be obtained until now due to extreme restrictions and surveillance at Larung Gar.
Tsering Dolma was born and raised in Kyungchu (Ch: Qiongxi) County, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.
Other known cases of suicide by nuns at Larung Gar include Rigzin Dolma who also died by hanging on 20 July 2016. Three days before, on 17 July, another nun whose identity remains unknown survived a suicide attempt.