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Tibet Monks beaten, arrested for ‘leaking info’ after being forced to watch the demolition of giant Buddha by China in Draggo: Details

11 monks from Drago’s Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery have been arrested by the Chinese for sending news and photos outside Tibet.

The Chinese authorities in the Sichuan province destroyed a 99 foot tall Buddha statue and 45 prayer wheels in the Draggo county, Kham, Tibet. They also forced the monks from the Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery and the local Tibetans to witness the demolition of the sacred statue, which began on December 12 and continued for the next nine days.

Following official complaints that the monument had been constructed too high, the authorities in Sichuan province compelled Tibetan monks and other residents to watch the dismantling of the Buddha statue. The local Tibetians and monks who were forced to witness the demolition have said that they had all the legal documents for the construction of the giant Buddha statue and that the Chinese authorities demolished it six years after it was built. The Buddha statue was established in 2015 with the financial support of local Tibetans in Draggo County, Kham, Tibet to prevent famine, war, and catastrophes of fire, water, earth, and air.

Author Brahma Chellaney responding to the issue has pointed out on Twitter that China is was walking in the footsteps of the Taliban. The Taliban had destroyed countless religious artefacts in Afghanistan during their first reign before the U.S. invasion where their most notable targets were two massive Buddha statues built in the sixth century. Chellaney said China was on its way to wipe off the Tibetian culture and was walking in the footsteps of the Taliban.

“The wanton demolition was carried out to teach Tibetans a lesson. Xi-led China is working to annihilate Tibetan religion, culture and identity. Authorities have switched Tibetan-language schools to Chinese and cut Tibetans off from ancient traditions, like herding and farming”, he said.

The reports by Radio Free Asia (RFA) read that 11 monks from Drago’s Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery have now been arrested by the authorities on suspicion of sending news and photos of the statue’s destruction to outside Tibet. It is worth noting that the monks were barred from taking pictures or videos of the demolition and were threatened by the authorities to not inform the incident outside.

The locals have called the destruction of the sacred statue to be a part of China’s campaign to eradicate Tibet’s distinct national culture and religion. Before the demolition of Buddha, the Chinese had arrested the monks from the monastery in Drago saying they needed to be taught a lesson. The monks were brutally beaten and provided with no food in prison. Some of them were even made to stand naked in freezing cold for raising their voice against the planned demolition.

The local Tibetians are still under the threat and are not being allowed to hang prayer flags outside their homes. The police are also targeting local Tibetans on other unreasonable excuses. Earlier to the statue, the Chinese authorities had destroyed the Gaden Namgyal Monastic School of Draggo monastery that occupied more than one hundred students and fifty rooms. The monks who further showed unwillingness to destroy the statue were summoned to the police station and were severely interrogated.

According to the RFA, which is looked after by the US Agency for Global Media, the US state department has said that it has deep concerns for the Tibetians and has urged China authorities to respect the human rights of Tibetans. It says it stands for the preservation of Tibet’s environment as well as the unique cultural, linguistic, and religious identity of Tibetan traditions.

Recently, the US govt had also announced a new special coordinator for Tibetan issues to promote substantive dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama and push to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Tibetan people.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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