Expulsion of Monks in a Bon Monastery

Fifteen monks, including 12 juveniles and three elderly monks above the age of 65, were expelled from Yungtrung Peri Monastery following a visit of ‘Work Team’ officials, according to Tsultrim Tenzin, a 26 year-old monk from the Monastery who fled to India in April 2000.

In June 1998, a six-member ‘work team’ officials came to Yungtrung Peri Monastery and summoned all the residents of the monastery for ‘re-education’. Documents were distributed to monks for study and each monk was individually interrogated.  Later the officials expelled 15 monks and they were prohibited from participating in any religious practices.

All 65 monks currently residing at the monastery were asked to put their thumbprints on a piece of paper assuring the authorities that they would not involve in any political activities against the motherland. Each monk had to bear responsibility for another monk’s behaviour, including visits to India. The limit of monks allowed to stay at the monastery was set at 65.

The members stayed at the monastery for around two months and left the monastery in the end of July.

In September 1999, two ‘work team’ members revisited the monastery for five days as a follow up of the previous visit.  The members held a meeting with the Democratic Management Committee of the monastery to review the functioning of the monastery and conduct of the monks.  The DMC was instructed to continue the ‘re-education’ campaign and maintain the discipline as set out by the “work team” officials.

Yungtrung Peri is a Bonn Religious Monastery and is located in Sershung township in Tingchin County, Chamdo Prefecture. This monastery was partially destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985 the monastery was renovated and reopened. Tenzin joined the monastery at the age of 15.

Tsultrim Tenzin pointed out that “the rules and restrictions imposed on us hindered our religious practices.”

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