Two nuns expelled

Lobsang Dolkar is a 22-year-old nun from Gonpa Phug nunnery in Dongkar Shang, Nyemo county under Lhasa city. Lobsang joined the nunnery in 1990. At that time, there were only nine nuns which later increased to 15. On 5 June 1997, she was expelled from the nunnery along with another nun for not having obeyed the principles of the workteam members.

On 9 March, 1997, a six-member work team had arrived at the nunnery and started the “re-education” sessions. Many rules were made which included restrictions on freedom of monement. The nuns’ behaviour was observed and recorded since the date of their arrival in the nunnery. They were given four books to study according and were expected to follow the principles laid down which included opposing the Dalai Lama.

The “re-education sessions” went on for three months during which time the nuns at no point of time obeyed the ideologies. As a result, the work team called the parents and relatives of the nuns to the nunnery and told them to advise the nuns.

Despite these heavy threats, Lobsang Dolkar and one of her friends refused to follow the instructions of the work team members. They were expelled from the nunnery on 5 June 1997. Subsequent to their expulsion, four other nuns were also expelled on similar grounds. Four months after Lobsang and her friend’s expulsion, they decided to flee to India.

The work team is reported to have stayed at the nunnery for a total of four months. When they left there were only remaining in the nunnery.

Lobsang further also reports on the plight of four nuns from Rangjung nunnery in Nyemo county under Lhasa city, who had participated in a demonstration in Lhasa in 1994 to show their support for peace marchers from India. These nuns were: Sangye Chodon (27), Tsering Chozom (22), Dekyi Yangzom (21) and Trinlay Dolkar (21). Sangye Chodon was later sentenced to 6 years, while other three were sentenced for 4 years. They were first detained in Gutsa detention Centre, and after being sentenced, they were transferred to Drapchi prison.

Ranjung nunnery also faced expulsion after workteam members arrived. The nunnery previously had 35 nuns, out of which only 24 remain.

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