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Tibetan Buddist Monks Detained for Saving Yaks from Slaughter

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Three senior Tibetan Buddhist monks are being detained by Chinese authorities in Golog, which occupies the southeastern corner of Quinghai province in the People’s Republic of China, for purchasing and freeing three hundred yaks headed for the slaughterhouse.

Ringpu, 50, Yutruk, 51, and Salshap, 47, are all respected figures in the Golog Gangshar monastery, and “were taken away on Feb. 6 to the Pema [in Chinese, Banma] county center and detained for saving about 300 yaks by purchasing them from the slaughterhouse,” a Tibetan resident from Golog told RFA’s Tibetan Service. “All three monks have been with the same monastery since they were ten years old,” he said. “Ringpu was the head of the monastery and had the experience of working as discipline coordinator of the monastery for six years.”

Saving animals by purchasing them alive from slaughterhouses and freeing them is a common religious practice among Tibetan Buddhists. As part of their faith, Tibetan Buddhists practice “life liberation,” which means they do not believe that animals should suffer and that it is their duty to free and help whenever they can. This not only benefits the animals, but is also good for the karma of the individual requesting the rescue, or for others to whom the practice is dedicated.

Once the animals are rescued, they are looked after for the rest of their lives by a family or monastery where they provide milk, hair, and wool for their guardians. This practice is so much part of Tibetan Buddhist culture and spirituality that “animals can be seen everywhere with colourful yam hanging from their ears, marking them as “saved” for life.”

Tibetan Buddhism is a religion that is being forced out of its homeland ever since Tibet was conquered by the Chinese. In a 2007 report by New York based Human Rights Watch, it states that “No one has the Liberty to Refuse” Chinese authorities. It is illegal for Tibetans to hold organized protests opposing the Chinese-operated slaughterhouses being built in Tibetan areas.

Ever since the Chinese have conquered Tibet, the people have been abhorred by the number of animals killed in slaughterhouses. The Chinese have set up large-scale factories where numerous animals are killed every day. To make it even worse, the Tibetans are being forced to sell fixed amounts of animals to the Chinese butchers and some of their rescued animals are being stolen and sent to the slaughterhouses.

“Local people in areas where theses incidents took place claim that they have been ordered to donate animals for slaughter on a per-household basis. In some cases, local protests have been led by religious figures and have led to animals and violence,” the report said. “Clearly slaughterhouses are offensive to Buddhist beliefs and these have provided some sanction for the protest, but to Tibetan herders it appears that the slaughterhouses also reflect the influx of Han Chinese entrepreneurs.”

A peaceful and compassionate people are being stripped of their culture and their spirituality so that capitalists, and the Chinese government can profit off the exploitation, and slaughter of the innocent.

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  • Tasha

    Another disgusting display of aggressive selfish human behavior. Sickening.

  • SLM

    So repulsive on so many levels – Bless the monks and the Tibetan Buddhists for understanding the REAL meaning of religion

  • Siraganda

    Shame on the Chinese oppression in Tibet! Here we see the difference between high thinking human beings and these low occupying jerks and criminals!

    All the blessings to the Buddhist monks and the animals!


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