By N24 Correspondent, KATHMANDU:- In what appears as a cultural attack on Tibetans and their faith, China has targeted and demolished a giant 99-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha, the spiritual and religious icon of Tibetans, in Drago County, Eastern Tibet.
According to Tibet Post International (TPI), along with the huge Buddha statue, 45 prayer wheels were also destroyed by the Chinese authorities. Local Tibetans, who built the statue in a monastery, had all the required legal documents, based on which the statue was constructed six years ago. Despite this, the statue was demolished citing the lack of permission from the Chinese government authorities.
The destruction began on December 12, 2021, and the statue and prayer wheels have now been completely demolished.
The construction of the Buddha statue was completed on October 5, 2015, at a cost of 4 million RMB with the financial support of local Tibetans in Drago County in Kham, Tibet. It was set up to receive blessings of Lord Buddha against famine, war and the catastrophes of fire, water, soil, and air.
In November 2021, the Chinese authorities had already destroyed the Gaden Namgyal Monastic School of Drago monastery. This school had more than 100 students and 50 rooms. This school used to teach Buddhism along with Tibetan, English and Chinese languages.
Over the past seven decades, there has been ongoing political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, and forceful cultural assimilation of Tibetans, particularly due to Chinese migration to Tibet, which is fueling intense resentment among the people of the occupied Tibet.
Since the illegitimate occupation of Tibet by China in 1959, more than 1.2 million people or 20 percent of the nation’s population of six million, have died as a direct result of China’s invasion. In addition, more than 99 percent of Tibet’s 6,000 religious monasteries, temples and shrines have been looted or decimated resulting into the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist heritages and scriptures.
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