tirsdag 28. mai 2024

Teen Tibetan monk takes own life after being forced to leave monastery

A 17-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk who was forced to leave his monastery and join a government-run school committed suicide after authorities said he could no longer wear his maroon robes, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Radio Free Asia. Kunzang Longyang died in mid-April in Qinghai province’s Drakkar County, the sources said on condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns.

The death comes as young Tibetan monks are facing immense pressure because of growing restrictions on practicing Buddhist religious and cultural traditions. The restrictions include a requirement since 2018 that young monks below the age of 18 be removed from monasteries across the Tibetan region. Chinese authorities have said that young monks are too immature to think for themselves and should serve society instead.

Chinese authorities have long sought to restrict the size and influence of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, traditionally a focus of Tibetan cultural and national identity. “Even during their school winter and summer break, the young monks are not allowed to return to their monasteries or go on visits,” one of the sources told RFA.