Activists protest demolition of Buddha’s statue in Tibet

Activists protest demolition of Buddha’s statue in Tibet

Members of Tibetan groups take out a candle march in McLeodganj.

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, December 29

Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) activists took out a candlelight march in McLeodganj last night to protest the demolition of a 99-feet-tall statue of the Buddha by the Chinese government in Tibet.

The activists alleged that the Chinese government had demolished the statue at Kham Drakgo in Sichuan Province of Tibet. As many as 45 huge prayer wheels erected near the Drakgo monastery were removed and prayer flags were burnt, the protesters alleged.

The bronze statue was built with the contributions of Tibetans in Drakgo which cost around 40,000,000 Yuan (around 6.3 million USD). In 1973, Drakgo had witnessed a massive earthquake that caused widespread damage. The statue was built on October 5, 2015, to ward off natural disasters.

Activists said the statue was built after getting requisite permissions. However, in the last two-three years, officials who visited the area criticised the size of the statue. On December 12, the county authorities ordered its demolition after invalidating the documents and claiming that the statue of such a height was prohibited.

“Such a reason fails to justify the razing of 45 prayer wheels that costed around 1,800,000 Yuan (around 282,500 USD) and the burning down of prayer flags in the vicinity,” said a TYC activist. They said the act was a direct attack on the traditions of Tibetans.

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