The ongoing demolition of monastic dwellings and eviction of monks and nuns at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, one of the leading centres for Buddhist scholarship and practice in Tibet, demonstrate that religious freedom remains a distant reality for religious believers in Tibet.
Since 20 July, Chinese government-employed demolition squads have torn down more than half of the targeted 1000 monastic residences at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Serthar (Ch: Seda) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The target will be achieved by the end of this year. The demolition order issued early this year also requires the eviction of thousands of monks and nuns from the institute. The ceiling requirement of 5000 monastics – 2000 monks and 3000 nuns – has necessitated the eviction of the rest of the residents. The total number of monastics, apart from lay and foreign practitioners, at the institute hovered around 10,000 before the demolition began.