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From: China Tibet Online 2013-12-25 09:20:00
by: Lethe Guo
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Yushu completed post-quake construction for 92 Tibetan monasteries

Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has completed the rebuilding of 92 Tibetan monasteries after the big earthquake three years ago.

Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Qinghai Province was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in April 2010, in which 73 monks and nuns were killed and nearly a hundred religious sites were damaged.

China's government has invested 990 million yuan (163 million US dollars) to the post-quake reconstruction for religious sites.

With the efforts of 3,000 workers from more than 100 construction teams, altogether 92 Tibetan monasteries in Yushu have been restored, including 429-kilometer newly-built road and four new bridges, and 89 monasteries have access to tap water instead of fetching water from afar in the past. 18 monasteries also have telecommunication stations with 244 kilometers optical cable installed.

Among the restored monasteries, four are rebuilt in a different place since the original scripture halls, Buddha shrines, and monastic dorms were all destroyed in the disaster. The rebuilt monasteries together take up 140,000 square kilometers.

"Jyegu Monastery has a thousand years history but was destroyed with simply the main part of the main hall after the earthquake. Now the main hall has been restored. We used to fetch water from the valley, but now we have tap water," said Wangyal, abbot of the Jyegu Monastery, adding that the infrastructure in the monastery had been improved a lot with more than 1,000 square meters of dorms, kitchens, rinpoche residences, monastic offices and play rooms.

Some renovated monasteries have a long history and require special craftsmanship in terms of architecture style and materials.

"Local craftsmen were employed to help with the restoration for distinctive buildings. Monks mainly help to monitor and assistant the work," according to Lore Rinpoche from the Garpa Monastery, who is also the chairman of the Buddhist Association of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Yushu is located in alpine region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Due to the special geography and climate, the effective construction period is very limited.

"The most pressing issue was traffic during the restoration construction since many monasteries were in valleys," said Losang Lungrig, a living Buddha from the Ba Monastery and deputy director of the Chumarle County's People's Congress in Yushu. "We really appreciate that they manage to conquer the difficulty and get the building material to the temples."

Dorje, abbot of the Tsongda Monastery, said: "Even though our monastery was not hit by the earthquake, it was enclosed to the restoration project. Our monastic hotel got five more floors built onto the original two-storey building, which brings nearly 3 million yuan (about 500,000 US dollars) income a year rather than 200,000 yuan (about 33,000 US dollars) as in the past. And this can be used to improve the life of monks and old Tibetans in the temple's senior house. These changes were beyond our imagination."

According to the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015), "Helping the religious circles resolve difficulties encountered in the construction of some projects. The state will provide financial support to the construction of new school buildings in the Buddhist Academy of China and the improvement and expansion of the China Islamic Institute. The same support will be rendered to the rebuilding and expansion of venues for religious activities of the Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces. Financial support will also be extended to the post-earthquake rebuilding of venues for religious activities in Yushu, Qinghai Province, and to mosques damaged during natural disasters."

[editor : ]
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