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Tibet-Serta-Larung-Gar-2016New Delhi Tibetan Youth Congress has condemned demolition of Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute, one of the largest centres of Buddhist learning in Tibet, by China.

The Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, which is probably the world's largest Buddhist monastic community, was founded by Norbu Khenpo Jigme Phuntshok. The academy, as framed by the late Khenpo, has been serving as the wellspring of knowledge. It is also the home for many Buddhist practitioners and the source of happiness for people across the globe.

However, the Chinese government has issued an order to reduce the population of the institute to 5,000 residents when there are well over 10,000 monks and nuns alone. The government also announced the planned demolition of living quarters, which would leave residential space for only five thousand members. News and photos of the demolition work have been circulating widely on social media sites.

The obvious concern is regarding religious freedom for the thousands of monks and nuns that have renounced the world and made Larung Gar their home just to practice their religion. As the Chinese government continues to manipulate the number of monks and nuns in monasteries all over Tibet, this directly obstructs the practice of religion for many. It has been reported that three nuns from the monastery have committed suicide protesting the demolition.

Currently the Institute is closed to foreigners. Many Tibetans and Buddhists are appealing to engage in hunger strike, risking their lives to save Larung Gar. The sources say demolitions at the site began in July and a number of people living there have been evicted. The students commonly stay in log cabins and correspondents say the site has grown considerably in recent years. A Tibetan nun, Rinzin Dolma, from Larung Gar who reportedly died by hanging herself on July 20 to protest the demolition.

It follows an order last month by the local authorities to cut the number of Larung Gar residents by half to 5,000. Chinese officials are reported to have cited overcrowding concerns. Larung Gar is also said to be the biggest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world.

The TYC on Thursday said its plan to stage demonstrations in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi on October 14 during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to attend the 8th BRICS summit on October 15 and 17, 2016.

The protest in Delhi is set to coincide with the visit of President Xi to India. "This is a clear sign of the Chinese governments policies to wipe out Tibetan language, culture and identity. It also shows that Tibetans in Tibet have no freedom of religion and the right to preserve their culture. We condemn the illegal demolition of Larung Gar and demand Xi Jinping to stop the destruction immediately", states Tenzing Jigme, President of Tibetan Youth Congress.

TYC has demanded that China end the illegal occupation of Tibet. He has stated that over 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of Chinese invasion since 1949. "As long as the occupation continues, as long as the communist government continues with their hard line stance and policies; ignoring the cries of the Tibetan people, the struggle and resistance of Tibetans will continue," Jigme stated in a press statement.

Tibetan Youth Congress is the largest Tibetan NGO in exile and regional chapters of the organization will be organizing protests throughout India today. We express our outrage and condemn the desecration of heritage sites like Larung Gar in Tibet. The organization has also submitted petitions to the US State Department, UN and UNESCA urging for an intervention on this issue.

Tibet was invaded by Communist China, starting in 1949, Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation". Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed— the acts of murder, rape and arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet.

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