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China Demolishs Tibetans Buddhist Statue

Posted by Author on November 6, 2007

International Campaign for Tibet, November 1st, 2007-

New eyewitness accounts have revealed that local Tibetans attempted to prevent the demolition of a statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) near Mt Kailash in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) on September 28. Approximately 20 Tibetans were seen forming a human shield around the two meter high statue before they were dispersed and the statue demolished by armed security personnel.

The risk taken by the Tibetans in trying to protect the statue indicates the distress and resentment among Tibetans at the demolition of a significant representation of their religious culture. There has been a trend towards the tightening of control over religion in Tibet, and the destruction of the statue at Darchen, at the beginning of the pilgrimage route around one of Asia’s most sacred mountains, Kailash, is a further example of the aggressive enforcement of wide-ranging new regulatory measures introduced in the TAR in January 2007.

A tourist who witnessed this rare attempt by Tibetans to protect the statue told ICT: “We heard a rumor that the army was going to destroy a large Buddha at the edge of town. From our vantage point it was clear that a group of perhaps 20 people were in fact in place around the Buddha [the Guru Rinpoche statue] forming a human shield. The mood was tense. [Later] a Tibetan woman pulled me aside. In broken English and with tears running down her face she said that the Chinese were no good – that they were going to destroy the Buddha – and that I should take pictures and get them to the Dalai Lama.” The same Western tourist said that security police later stopped his tour group and accused them of taking pictures of the protest around the statue, and demanded to check the group’s cameras. The tour group did not have images of the protest or the destruction of the statue, but before and after images of the statue show that only the statue’s base now remains on the hillside (see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gyalpo/sets/72157602378824050/).

The destruction of this statue in Darchen, in Ngari (Chinese: Ali) prefecture of the TAR, follows the demolition of another statue of Guru Rinpoche in mid-May at Samye, Tibet’s oldest monastery. Guru Rinpoche, or ‘precious master’, who is revered by both Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists, is accredited with establishing Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. Worship of Padmasambhava is of particular historical and spiritual significance to Tibetans, who believe that worshipping him can remove obstacles to the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as preservation of Tibet’s unique Buddhist culture.

After they saw the human shield of Tibetans forming around the statue, the group of tourists left the town for the day. One said: “The idea that such a thing [as destroying the statue] could happen seemed absurd.” When they returned, at around 4 pm, the Tibetans had either left or been removed from the area and military or security personnel had taken up positions around the statue, which was over six feet high. One tourist estimated the number of security personnel in the area at that time as between 80 and 100.

A second tourist said: “The army was lined up from the Buddha [Guru Rinpoche statue]….across a stream and up the incline to two chortens which looked as though they were part of a monastery or other religious building.” She added that three plain clothes officials who spoke good English had then approached the tourist group nearby and accused them of taking pictures of the protest.

At around 5 pm, the tourist group could see that the head and part of the shoulder of the Padmasambhava statue was missing. Later, the entire statue was demolished. One of the tourists said: “Tibetans were very distressed and the mood was tense.”

The destruction of the Darchen statue followed an incident in mid-May 2007, when the authorities ordered the destruction of a 30-feet high gold and copper plated statue of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) donated by Chinese Buddhists to Samye monastery. There is an increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism throughout China, with many Chinese now following Tibetan Buddhist teachers and going on pilgrimage in Tibet……. (more details from International Campaign for Tibet: Rare protest as Tibetans attempt to save Buddhist statue from demolition)

5 Responses to “China Demolishs Tibetans Buddhist Statue”

  1. […] 9th, 2007 by Bill China Demolishs Tibetans Buddhist Statue « Status of Chinese People New eyewitness accounts have revealed that local Tibetans attempted to prevent the demolition of […]

  2. chinaview said

    The ruling Chinese Communist Party has never stopped destroying traditional culture, because its theory opposes traditional culture. The traditional culture is an obstacle to the CCP’s dictatorship, it challenges the legitimacy of the CCP Rule.

    Please don’t forget, Communism is a foreign theory came from Europe which has nothing to do with the 5000-year-long Chinese tradition.

    For details of why and how the Communist Party destroys Chinese culture, please check out following post:

    Video: Part 6, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party– On How the Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Traditional Culture

    https://chinaview.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/video-part-6-nine-commentaries-on-the-communist-party/

  3. I was just in Dailan, Beijing, and Shanghai last month…They have a long way to go towards civilizing themselves..300 pedestrians are run over per week in Beijing… a 70 year old lady was quietly arrested on Tiannamen Square for unfurling a banner critical to the regime…we had as many as five regime agents following our tour group of 40 carefully listening to all conversations. I went hoping to see Buddhist Temples and Monks which were not easily available, the only monks I encountered were nuns visiting from Mendocino, California.We should start defaulting on our loans and boycott Walmart…it would be better for our health.Namastase..Paul Herbert

  4. anjaneya reddy said

    In destroying the statue of Padmasambhava, China seems to destroy a part of its own culture apart from oppressing the Tibetans in an effort to wipe out their unique religion and culture. China will one day pay for all its sins.

  5. ina eaton said

    How can the Communist China leaders so say they are a KINDER and more understanding country,when all they do is bestroy thier own people’s rights to the select thier selected religions. They have no right to destroy any Buddhas,EVER!!!! The world is more alert then they think it is,and there are those who know what they are doing,and do not approve at all. They are so excited to have the Olympics there,yet they should truly let the world see how unjust and corrupt they have been,for way to many decades. Not all things are controlled by politics,there are things,and,unstoppable beliefs that they have no control over that are going to be working against them,that they cannot control. They will see,this is not the way China was meant too be.

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