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The PAL Soldiers Save the Lamas

28 April 2010

This is one of the oldest Tibetan Lamaist temples in Yushu. Changu Monastery (禅古寺), built 700 years ago when Tibetan Lamaism just came into being, was destroyed in 4.14 deadly earthquake.

The people who were the first to rush to the lamas' rescue were the military police descended from the sky. After pulled out 49 lamas trapped under rubble and sent 267 injured to the medical centres for treatment, the police spent next 6 days to scavenge lamas' belongings and the worship items, and recovered 1636 gold-plated deity statues, 4376 volumes of Lamaist scripts and 120 Tibetan Tangkas, including one painted 600 years ago. During the operation, a young soldier used his own body to protect two Lamaist books when the ceiling collapsed.

By yesterday, all the lamas have resettled in specially arranged temporary accommodations and resumed their deity worship practice.

It is reported that Chinese government has also designated a plot of land on a verdant grass field for the construction of a new temple to replace the ruined one.

Yushu's biggest and oldest monastery, first built 2,000 years ago as the temple of the home-grown Tibetan religion Benjiao but later became the monastery of Lamaism after it destroyed the indigenous faith, was also severely damaged in the quake, with its main worship hall crumbled to the ground when the most lamas in the monastery were gathering there performing their daily morning prayer.

(Source of info/photos: 吴光于 - 新华社)

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