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article imageGroup: China Demolishes Tibetan Statue

By Chris V. Thangham     Jun 17, 2007 in Politics
Chinese authorities demolish one of the revered statue of Guru Rinpoche at Tibet's oldest monastery. Chinese government says it is just enforcing the rule not to have any outdoor religious statues.
Chinese authorities have demolished a statue of a Buddhist master at Tibet's oldest monastery, an activist group said Friday, and the latest act in what critics say is an effort by Beijing to dilute Tibet's unique Buddhist culture.
China demolished the 30 foot tall, gold and copper plated statue of Guru Rinpoche during the month of May. International Campaign for Tibet blamed China for destroying the holy statue of Tibet’s Buddhists. China recently introduced “aggressive enforcement” measures to regulate the construction of outdoor religious statues.
"Even if Samye monastery had arranged for the construction of the Guru Rinpoche statue, the monastery would still have had to apply to higher Communist authorities for permission," the Washington-based group said in a statement.
Chinese authorities said in a statement posted on the Web site of the China Tibet Information Center that’s the statue’s construction was against the law. The monastery tried to move the open air statue but no further information was given, whether they were given permission to do so or not.
A man who gave his name as Guo at the State Administration of Religious Affairs press office in Beijing said he had no information on the case. Calls to various Tibetan government officials went unanswered Friday.
Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, said to have established the Buddhism religion in Tibet in the 8th Century and he laid the foundation for the Samye Monastery.
Buddhism is followed by everyone in Tibet and prayers offered on a daily basis. China considers this devotion to the religion and the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, as a threat to its supremacy.
China says it had ruled Tibet for many centuries, but many Tibetans say otherwise that they were independent most of the time. Chinese communist troops occupied Tibet in 1951 and Dalai Lama fled immediately after along with thousands of his followers. Since then China has asserted its power in Tibet and is trying to assimilate the Tibetan people to Chinese culture. It has build railroads connecting Mainland China to Tibet and has put many of its people in control of many Tibetan affairs. Soon many say the Tibetan culture will vanish and destroyed like the Guru Rinpoche statue. Neither UN nor any countries voice any opposition, so this heavy hand of Chinese government will continue.
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