China shifts Tibet Buddhist shrines to crematorium

May 8th, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by admin  

Dharamsala, May 8 (IANS) At least 11 Buddhist stupas have been moved to a crematorium to make way for a picnic spot in Tibet, said a spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile Thursday. A stupa is a popular Buddhist shrine or pagoda that houses a relic of an important saint or teacher. Considered sacred, it is worshipped by passing devotees.

“Eleven stupas have been shifted in Nagchu town with the help of heavy machinery to a crematorium located on a hill side. The entire process took eight days,” the official said here.

“A Chinese official told monks of the Nagchu Shabten monastery that the stupas had been re-located as they did not look ‘appealing’ to many tourists who visited the monastery,” the official said.

“The sacred stupas stood behind the prayer hall of the monastery for decades. They had been partially damaged during the cultural revolution but had been repaired soon after by Tibetans.”

“Monks and the general public have been protesting against this move by the Chinese officials,” the official said.

The Tibetan government-in-exile, based here since 1959, is not recognised by any country.

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