The third Tibetan Buddhist statue destroyed in the past 3 months by the Chinese government

China/Tibet: Representational image by Dieter Schuh via Wikimedia Commons

Chengdu, China/IBNS: The Chinese government has destroyed a third Tibetan Buddhist statue, a measure seen by many as the latest example of official efforts to stamp out the Tibetans’ religious traditions.

The statue of Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, is the third verified by Radio Free Asia (RFA) as having been destroyed by Chinese officials since December.

It once stood three stories high at the Chanang Monastery in Drago (in Chinese Luhuo) county of the Kardze (in Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It was razed in late January, sources living in exile and satellite imagery revealed.

“This is the second massive destruction in Drago in January alone,” a Tibetan living in exile told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

RFA reported that another three-story statue at a different monastery in Drago had been destroyed in early January, only weeks after authorities toppled a 99-foot Buddha statue just 900 meters (2,700) away. A three-story structure is around 40 feet high.

Satellite imagery of the Chanang Monastery taken Oct 3, 2019, shows the site of the statue of Padmasambhava which stood three stories high, but an image taken Feb 25, 2022, shows the destruction of the statue as indicated by the circular objects on the ground.   

“Though there has been no explanation of the reasons for its destruction, it falls in line with the Chinese government’s policy of demolishing Tibetan religious sites in the region,” the exiled Tibetan said.