Author Topic: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.  (Read 4417 times)

jagger

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Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« on: July 23, 2013, 05:51:04 PM »
Dear all.

There's a new piece of news posted on CNN's iReport online which I'd like to share. It has not been verified by CNN yet but from the pictures posted, it does seem like China is moving towards a new development of Tibet's ancient capital. Will it be for better or really degeneration of the culture and their religion? Or is Karma taking its course on the people whom have done unjust to an enlightened Being such as Dorje Shugden in the past?

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-970436

China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa City in Tibet
Thursday, 09 May 2013 13:00 Yeshe Choesang
 
Ignoring both religious freedom and the outcry of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have begun demolishing the ancient capital of Lhasa, including one of the most important Buddhist sites of the city, Tibet's holiest Jokhang Temple.
 
Chinese authorities are planning to destroy the ancient Buddhist capital of Lhasa, and replace it with a tourist city similar to Lijiang. "Shangri-La" in Yunnan Province. Several large-scale construction projects are underway for a number of shopping malls around the Buddhist holy temple as well as underground parking at Barkhor Street.
 
"Traditional Tibetan buildings in this ancient city are once again facing the destruction crisis under Chinese modernization", well-known Tibetan writer Woeser told the RFA Mandarin section. She is also appealing to the global institutions, including UNESCO and Tibetans around the world to 'save Lhasa.'
 
Woeser, who is currently living in Beijing, has published an article on her blog-page (Sunday, May 5) with pictures of the ongoing construction in the ancient city of Lhasa. She has called for a global intervention in the serious situation in the city, where thousand year-old traditional buildings are being destroying by the Chinese in the name of modernization and social stability.
 
'The construction project in the areas of Barkor streets of the Jokhang temple covers an area of 150,000 square meters to use as new shopping malls and 1,117 square meters for the underground parking spaces", said the sources.
 
Woeser said many recent visitors already raised strong concerns over the constructions as well as the fate of Lhasa. She expressed her concern over the Chinese authorities' activities and condemned them for demolishing the ancient symbols of Tibetan civilization.
 
She alludes to photos of the ongoing constructions that she has received, "The photos reflect the situation in the old town of Lhasa, it is a serious matter of concern."
 
Woeser claims that this is an unlawful act, aiming directly at multiple targets. There is an old Tibetan saying: 'One stone for two birds', which springs to mind.
 
She said its not only just for economic development, there are other targets. If we look carefully at the photos of the shopping mall project, there are several requirements for alterations of the Tibetan old city, including one called 'evacuation'. This means clearing vendors from the Barkhor streets, perhaps better named 'destruction.'
 
The Tibetan writer said China was criticized after converting the two ancient Chinese cities; Lijiang in Yunnan and Hunan city into modern tourist cities, with both projects now widely seen as poor decisions.
 
In fact, such reconstruction has already occurred in Tibet. China now wants the Tibetan Autonomous Region to become like the Zhongdian City (Tibetan: Gyalthang county of eastern Tibet). After the reconstruction, Lijiang was changed to "Shangri-La", mainly to attract tourists. She said this kind of destruction has caused great damage and should be considered 'tourist colonialism'.
 
Previous experiences from the so-called economic development of Gyalthang County, which caused the disappearance of many Tibetan cultural symbols, including the disappearance of the customs and cultural heritage of the Tibetan people is the "most worrying matter of concern."
 
The Chinese government is also set to expand various so-called 'interests', including governmental and economic measures, regardless of the consequences. The regime is seeking to further "maintenance in social stability", meaning the authorities have significantly increased surveillance and monitoring in the region, particularly in Lhasa city, prompting an escalation of security measures.
 
The Potala Palace was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 2000 and 2001, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka were added to the list as extensions to the sites. Rapid modernization has been a concern for UNESCO, however, which expressed concern over the building of modern structures immediately around the palace, which threaten the palace's unique atmosphere.
 
The Chinese government responded by enacting a rule barring the building of any structure taller than 21 meters in the area. However, sources stated that there are new modern buildings higher than 21 meters to be found in the vicinity. Woeser further stated that Jokhang Temple in Lhasa City should be granted protected status under UNESCO's cultural heritage regulations.
 
UNESCO was also concerned over the materials used during the restoration of the palace, which commenced in 2002 at a cost in millions of dollars, although the Chinese authorities have promised that only traditional materials and craftsmanship were used.
Jaggerboy

Ensapa

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 05:51:53 AM »
Sad to read, but there is not much that can be done at this stage as the modernization of Tibet cannot be prevented. The Tibetans in Tibet however can learn to adapt and protect the rest of the traditional temples and structures from being destroyed. But one thing odd is that China says that they are actually renovating the temple as opposed to building a shopping mall (which doesnt make sense as most Tibetans are kinda poor anyway...and tourists are usually barred from entering Tibet) so I'd take news like these with a grain of salt as it may have anti Chinese propaganda.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 03:18:27 PM »
Culture and heritage are the best examples of impermanence. At the extortionate price of economic development comes the loss of historic buildings. I am not saying that the destruction of these temples can in any way be at all justified but i would like people to see both sides of the story. One side is of course the historic and spiritual value of these temples, which are essentially priceless. On the other side is the modernisation of Lhasa which is a necessity to bring in infrastructure to this ancient city. Neither is more important than the other but obviously in China, the needs of society is more important than history. Look at other countries in the world which has lost historical buildings through war and restoration. They were necessary evils that had to be implemented.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

pgdharma

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 08:58:21 AM »
If China wants to attract tourists, why pull down this historical and holy temple that is a tourist attraction? I feel that this is another step by the Chinese Communist Party towards the erosion of Tibetan religion and culture. By destroying the vestiges of Tibetan culture, the Chinese government hopes to destroy any hopes of the continuation of the Tibetan way of life. 

Tourism is big business in Tibet and I hope the temple is not being knocked down but that there are plans to make that site a tourist area which can hopefully be altered to keep the heritage of the Jokhang temple.

Rinchen

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 08:36:52 PM »
It is saddening that Tibet would soon not be able to keep that rich strong culture already. By opening up to tourists, it would cause Tibet to lose some of their culture along the way.

On the bright side, the temple is not fully being destroyed, instead it is being renovated in a way. But we will not know how the renovation would be like till it is being done. We can only wait and see how would Tibet be like in the future.

lotus1

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2013, 07:13:12 AM »
 Is this news confirmed?

It would be very sad if China were destroying the ancient Buddhist temples in Lhasa. Would it be all due to the political reasons that China is trying to lessen the influence of HH Dalai Lama and CTA?

However, on the other hand, China is supporting the work of Lama Jampa Ngodrup Rinpoche in spreading Dharma. We can see that Lama Jampa Ngodrup Rinpoche is giving initiations in Chengdu early this March (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/lama-jampa-ngodrup-rinpoche-giving-dorje-shugden-and-amitayus-initiations-chengdu-march-2013/) and also attending the TAR 10th government Committee’s first conference.
 
I sincerely hope Lord Shugden will support and help to spread Dharma to China.

wang

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 07:48:51 AM »
There is no damage to the Jokhang temple.

There was construction work around the Barkor streets though, they put on bricks covering the street.  Actually if you went to streets around the Barkor 10 years ago, you would find people piss around corners and you have to walk carefully, because there were places you have to 'jump over' the urine pool.  So is Woeser wishing back to the 'good old days'? 

Anyway, the Barkor street is getting 'commercialized', as like most of the historical heritage in mainland, where you can find shops for tourist only.   This is not what I like...
 

Rihanna

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 04:33:42 PM »
Regardless of how important  a development project may be for the future, it should not be at the expense of holy sites or places with huge archaeology value. Unless it is a must do for safety reasons, I don't see the necessity in demolishing holy temple (as holy as Jokhang temple) or sites for the sake of rebuilding another new one and build shopping complexes nearby the demolished holy site. If this news is really true, why not consider retaining the temple and if needed, at be best preserve the main structure and whatever part that still holds the building together and build shopping complexes/malls somewhere else.

wang

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 09:55:44 AM »
Didn't you get my point?

There is no destruction to the temple, it's just someone's distortion of reality.

Major construction site as shown in the photo is 2km from the temple.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 10:33:23 AM »
Culture and heritage are the best examples of impermanence. At the extortionate price of economic development comes the loss of historic buildings. I am not saying that the destruction of these temples can in any way be at all justified but i would like people to see both sides of the story. One side is of course the historic and spiritual value of these temples, which are essentially priceless. On the other side is the modernisation of Lhasa which is a necessity to bring in infrastructure to this ancient city. Neither is more important than the other but obviously in China, the needs of society is more important than history. Look at other countries in the world which has lost historical buildings through war and restoration. They were necessary evils that had to be implemented.

I agree with WisdomBeing. While I would not agree with such development as I would advocate development around this holy site and retaining the temple itself, after all what better marketing than the temple itself?; I also have to agree that since things are impermanent and due to the collective karma of Tibet and of beings in planet Earth itself, we got to accept whatever comes.

Too bad. But do we have a choice?

Rinchen

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Re: Tibet's holiest Temple is destroyed.
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 09:55:14 PM »
To me, I feel that some developments would be necessary for the environment around the holy site, but not too much development. If there is too much development, people would not want to visit the holy site again because they would think that it is not good. But if there are no developments, people would think that the place is backwards and would not visit as well. Hence, I would say if there are some developments it would be good, but not too much developments to the place.