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Demolition Continues at the Serthar Buddhist Institute

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 02/06/03; June 3, 2002.]

Dharamsala, June 3, 2002 (TCHRDD) -- According to the latest update emanating from Serthar Buddhist Institute, demolitions and evictions have still not ceased. Confirmed reports indicate a total of 18 dwellings demolished on three different dates between late April and early May 2002.

On 29 April 2002, five dwellings of monks were razed to the ground, followed by four more monks' dwellings on 30 April. Nine of the nuns' dwellings were demolished on 7 May 2002. Reports indicate that 'work team' members are still stationed in the International Religious Committee division of the Institute.

The summer and autumn of 2001 saw the demolition of the leading centre for Buddhist scholarship and practice on the Tibetan plateau. Over 8000 students were evicted and approximately 2000 of their homes were demolished under the supervision of teams of military and armed police personnel. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok and his niece Jetsunma Muntso continues to be held incommunicado in Chengdu.

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok founded Serthar Institute in Larung valley near Serthar Town, Karze Prefecture, Sichuan Province in 1980 to meet the pressing need for renewal of meditation and scholarship all over Tibet in the wake of China's Cultural Revolution. In the 21 years of its existence, Serthar Institute (known locally as Larung Gar) had expanded from a solitary mountain hermitage to spiritual oasis for over 9000 monks, nuns and lay students.


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