The Chinese government has begun evicting residents and destroying the Tibetan Buddhist Academy which sits 13,500 ft above sea level and western Sichuan province. Government workers began using bulldozers to demolish homes of the Tibetan Monks and nuns, citing overcrowding concerns and it being a fire hazard.
The population at Tibetan Buddhist Academy has climbed to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 residents. The government wants to reduce the population to 5,000 residents by 2017, according to Human Rights Watch.
The wooden cabins and huts sit along the hill side of Serta, Sertar County. The houses were built by the monks and nuns who reside there. Many people around the world visit the Tibetan Academy, which is considered a the sacred site.
In 1913, the 13th Dalai Lama issued Tibet’s independence from China, and the country maintained its own national flag.
The Chinese government has created a document that states for clear separation between monastic and lay practitioners and between the monastery and the institute; and implementation of social management and provision of social services within the Larung Gar community, reported by the Tibetan Centre of Human Rights And Democracy.
According to Human Rights, this would give the Chinese government control over the Larung Gar community. Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch China, stated, “If authorities somehow believe that the Larung Gar facilities are overcrowded, the answer is simple: allow Tibetans and other Buddhists to build more monasteries.”
The Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is the world’s biggest Tibetan Buddhist learning center. The Tibetan Academy was founded by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok in 1980.
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was born in 1933, became a monk at the age of five years-old, and was thought to be the reincarnation of Lerab Lingpa. When Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was 29 years- old, he began teaching and started gaining a following.
In 1959, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok went into hiding as the the People’s Republic of China began to make life difficult for the Tibetan people. Phuntsok fled to the mountains around Serta. Phuntsok started teaching a small group of people, and by 1976 his following became enormous. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok grew in fame, and by 1980, he opened Tibetan Academy, according to The Treasury Of Life.
In 2001, the Chinese government also bulldozed thousands of homes at the academy. Many residents at the time committed suicide or had been declared mentally incompetent. At this time Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was forced to stop teaching and was put into a hospital by authorities. Phuntsok died in 2004, while waiting to under go heart surgery, via, the the Tibetan Centre For Human Rights And Democracy.
The Tibetan Buddhism religion became a religion in 7th century CE. The religion encourages compassion, wisdom, self responsibility, meditation, fairness, and universal responsibility. They follow the Four Noble Truths, truth of suffering, truth of the cause of suffering, truth of the end of suffering, and truth of the path that frees us from suffering; these are considered the most important teachings of the Buddha.
The life of a Buddhist monk consists of waking up around four a.m and doing three hours of meditation. At the end of mediation, monks do their daily assignments of cooking, cleaning, and studying. Monks are also required to take daily tests to see how much they have learned from their teachers.
Buddhists also believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that the soul lives on and is re-born again,”suffering-laden cycle of life, death, and rebirth, without beginning or end”. Many ancient cultures also believed in reincarnation, via, the Oxford Press.
Tibetan Buddhists also use a pray wheel that holds prays for every person world wide in hopes of world peace. There is also a belief that any person who spins the wheel will get anything they wish for.
With the Tibetan Academy razed by the China’s government thousands of Tibetan monks and nuns are facing homeless.
[Photo by China Photos/Getty Images]