Dharamshala: The demolitions at Larung Gar began on 20 July 2016 following the eviction of a number of its residents. Home to thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns, Larung Gar- the globally known Tibetan Buddhist institute, is now on the verge of extinction. In protest to the eviction and ongoing demolitions, three Tibetan nuns committed suicide last year. A suicide note left by one of the Tibetan Nuns has at long last been made public.
Tsering Dolma, aged 20 and a native of Mewa Township in Khakok County located in the Sichuan Province, hanged herself on 19 July at her quarter located in the Pema Khando Nun’s residence, the Nun’s District in Larung Gar. Harsh Chinese censorship laws had prevented any further investigation into her case.
Her suicide note, obtained by Tibet Watch last week, substantiates that she hanged herself out of anguish and unhappiness emitting from the demolitions carried out in Larung Gar.
In her suicide note, Tsering Dolma wrote, “My heart is so sad. The reason is the Chinese government does not allow us the freedom to practice our religion. Even the tiny shelters have been destroyed. It is better to die.”
According to TCHRD, the note was made available to the India-based Tibet Times newspaper by an Australia-based former Tibetan political prisoner named Shel Gedun Tsering who had contacted sources in Tibet.
Other known cases of suicide by nuns at Larung Gar include Rigzin Dolma who also died by hanging on 20 July 2016 and Semgha who died by hanging on the same day as Tsering Dolma. Three days before, on 17 July, another nun whose identity remains unknown survived a suicide attempt.
Larung Gar is said to be the biggest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world. The academy and monastery, founded in 1980, sprawls over a mountainside in Sertar county in eastern Tibet, and attracts thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns who wish to study there. The demolition of this renowned institute started from 20 July and continued till early May 2017. The population of Larung Gar has been nearly halved in the past year from its original population of approximately 10,000.