In December 2021, a megastatue of Buddha was destroyed in Luhuo (Drakgo). As protests continued, hundreds are being taken to re-education camps.
by He Yuyan
In December 2021, Bitter Winter reported that a 30-meter (99-feet) tall statue of the Buddha had been destroyed by the authorities in Drakgo (Ch. Luhuo). Drakgo is under the administration of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is part of Kham, one of the regions of historical Tibet, now incorporated into the province of Sichuan. The authorities even burned down prayer flags and destroyed 45 prayer wheels around the statue.
Widespread protests followed, and continued into the new year 2022. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was also not happy about the publicity the incident received abroad.
The CCP has reacted by claiming that the new Religious Affairs Regulations should be interpreted to the effect that “large-scale religious statues” should be all demolished.
Previously, the measures were interpreted as referred to statues outside the areas of temples and monasteries. However, in Drakgo the authorities have even entered a Buddhist monastery and destroyed statues accused of being “too tall.”
In January, hundreds of Tibetan Buddhists protesting against the anti-statue campaign have been detained in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and taken to transformation through education camps for “reeducation.” Their families do not know where they exactly are.
Clearly, a campaign is going on aimed at eradicating Tibetan Buddhism, and even Buddha himself through his statues, from the area of Sichuan province that was once part of historical Tibet.