Dalai Lama speaks: What you wouldn’t know if you’re not Tibetan

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].

 


 

By Sil Klose

Imagine being forced to choose between abandoning your religious beliefs or facing segregation, being thrown out of your community, getting fired from your job, having your business boycotted, losing your friends and even finding family members turning against you. Imagine being named on government blacklists, so that you can be persecuted publicly and your personal details, including your address, are openly published on official websites so that you and your entire family live in fear for your lives. All of this is imposed upon you alongside other punishments including being denied basic amenities and vital services such as healthcare and education, as well as having to face constant harassment and also violent attacks. Then, imagine knowing these cruel treatments will also fall upon your loved ones, including your children, solely due to your choice of religion.

Despite such obvious discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, the Tibetan leadership continues to lie about there being no Dorje Shugden ban. Click to enlarge.

These are familiar scenes often described in historical accounts of famous public persecutions such as the Spanish Inquisition, the anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, the racial discrimination of coloured people in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement, and South Africa’s apartheid system. As much as we would like to believe that such scenarios are a thing of the past, unfortunately, it is a harsh reality faced by Dorje Shugden practitioners for the past two decades.

The practice of Dorje Shugden originated in the 17th century, as a common practice in the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism until Gelug masters also began to propagate this protector practice. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself received the practice from his tutor Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, and propitiated the powerful deity until he turned his back on the practice in 1976, largely due to politically-motivated reasons. By that time, Dorje Shugden had become widespread, practiced by lamas of all ranks and in almost all Gelug monasteries and Tibetan communities. Despite the Dalai Lama’s stance, the practice was heavily relied upon for its effectiveness and continued to grow.

That was until 20th March 1996, when the Dalai Lama announced at a teaching that everyone should abandon the Dorje Shugden practice. The Dalai Lama also instructed that those who would not comply should immediately exit the hall. Ten days later, an official decree was issued from the Private Office of the Dalai Lama for everyone to stop practicing Dorje Shugden, along with instructions to make the public aware of this through government offices, monasteries, associations, and other formal bodies.

Every democratic leadership respects and upholds the religious freedom of its citizens. Yet, the Tibetan leadership does not hesitate to use state instruments to blatantly victimize a segment of its people simply because they disagree with their choice of religion. Click to enlarge.

The decree was quickly followed by a resolution passed by the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies — the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile as it was known then — banning the worship of Dorje Shugden by Tibetan government employees.

The shocking announcement was the start of a schism that would divide not only the Tibetan monastic community but also the lives of lay Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhists all over the world.

Evidence attesting to the serious consequences of being associated with Dorje Shugden in Tibetan communities are aplenty. Dorje Shugden practitioners, be they lay followers or members of the Sangha, have had their lives destroyed for steadfastly holding on to their faith.

As a result of the Dorje Shugden ban, Dorje Shugden practitioners are clearly ostracized within the Tibetan communities. Click to enlarge.

Even the monastic communities were not spared. In the aftermath of the unwarranted Dorje Shugden ban, monasteries which were once lifelong homes for monks were split in two. Click to enlarge.

Thus, it is nothing short of amazing that there are still those who remain blind to the pain and suffering caused by the Dorje Shugden ban. In fact, the Tibetan leadership and supporters of the Dalai Lama outright deny the existence of the ban even when confronted with plentiful evidence. Instead, pro-Dalai Lama supporters habitually dismiss the evidence as propaganda fabricated by Shugden practitioners, whom they have branded to be against the Dalai Lama and the so-called Tibetan cause, and even accuse them of being agents or spies of China.

The far-reaching detrimental consequences of the Dorje Shugden ban pervade into the cyberworld where hate speech, vulgarities and threats are blatantly directed at Dorje Shugden practitioners. Click to enlarge.

 

The Dalai Lama Ten Years Ago

To better understand the seriousness of the Dorje Shugden ban and its effects, we need to travel back to 2008, a crucial year of events that informed and shaped the mindset of Tibetans both in China-controlled territories and in all 24 Tibetan settlements in India; of Tibetan Buddhists residing everywhere in the world, and the regional politics of Tibet, India and China.

This video of the Dalai Lama speaking at a teaching in January 2008 has been identified as being the catalyst for the escalation of the Dorje Shugden ban. The points that were raised by the Dalai Lama became the narrative held by pro-Dalai Lama groups and the fuel for their anti-Dorje Shugden hate speech as we know it today.

This speech at Drepung Loseling Monastery was attended by the presiding abbots of the most influential monasteries – Ganden Shartse, Ganden Jangtse, Sera Mey, Sera Jey, Drepung Loseling, Drepung Gomang, Ratö and Tashi Lhunpo Monasteries along with their sponsors and patrons. The Dalai Lama’s teachings also coincided with several formal government functions, making it probable that top officials of the Tibetan Government-in-exile such as the Justice Commissioner, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, the then-Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) Samdhong Rinpoche and other ecclesiastical heads were also in attendance.

It is also important to remember that at the time the Dalai Lama gave this speech in Drepung Loseling Monastery in 2008, he was still the secular leader of the Tibetan people and had yet to relinquish his political power.

 

Video: The Dalai Lama at Drepung Loseling Monastery, 2008


or watch on our server:
http://video.dorjeshugden.com/videos/HHDLReferendum.mp4

TRANSCRIPT:

While you are having tea, I have something to tell, thought of telling in detail later. But today, as there are many sponsors here, and some of them are leaving tonight or tomorrow, therefore, I thought it is better to explain whilst everyone is present.

Have to translate it, [the Dalai Lama points in the direction of the translators] translate it. Where is the Chinese translator? There you are!

First of all, the Dalai Lama’s insistence that the translators are present clearly reflects his intention for his speech to be made available to an international audience. Similarly, the Dalai Lama makes it clear he wants everyone to hear his message before they leave, so that sponsors with the financial capacity to support the activities of Shugden practitioners are dissuaded from lending their assistance.

A screenshot of the 2008 video with the Dalai Lama pointing to his translators

TRANSCRIPT:

Now, all of you have heard about a controversy called Gyalpo Shugden! Now that controversy, since the 1970s, it continued up to now. Now, since recently, that controversy turned into something even the Chinese government started to take interest!

Recently, during our representative’s 6th round of talks with China, they have included it as a point of accusation. The Dalai Lama’s restriction of Shugden is suppression of religious freedom! So now, even the Chinese government which does not believe in religion, now, due to the Dalai Lama’s actions, is forced to take responsibility in order to protect religious freedom.

Right from the opening of his speech, the Dalai Lama set the stage by playing up the Tibetans’ negative sentiments against China and associating Shugden practitioners with the Chinese. For the Tibetans and their supporters, the association is simple – China is bad for invading Tibet, and therefore because Shugden practitioners have alleged links with China, they must also be bad. Nevermind whether these accusations are true or not, or whether any proof has been provided (it has not) because it is simply enough that the Dalai Lama has said so.

The Dalai Lama also employs his oft-used tactic of giggling, to make his tough message more easily digestible. Although he is in the midst of accusing Shugden worshippers of having links with the Chinese – a very serious topic indeed – the Dalai Lama turns his message into a joke. By appearing endearing and in possession of the moral high ground, with a few well-placed giggles here and there, something sinister becomes acceptable to the audience.

In truth, there was harmony between Shugden practitioners and the wider Tibetan Buddhist community until the Dalai Lama began speaking against Dorje Shugden’s practice. Before the ban, there was no record in the 400-year history of Dorje Shugden practice that Shugden followers collectively caused any harm, or performed harmful or unwholesome actions.

TRANSCRIPT:

They said Dalai Lama’s restriction on Dolgyal is in violation of religious freedom. The Chinese government has officially accused me! Now, I doubt Chinese government know anything about Dolgyal…ha, ha…but, they saw it as a political tool and started using it to criticize me.

If they accuse me personally, it’s no big deal. But, in Tibet, Dolgyal propitiators are given special privilege and support, funding their construction projects, etc. and then tell monasteries to propitiate Dolgyal. It is religious freedom and Dalai Lama is suppressing religious freedom. They encourage them in Tibet…like that.

Although self-defeating at first glance, the underlying message of the Dalai Lama’s speech is this: it is ridiculous that the Chinese government should accuse him of anything, but he is very magnanimous because “it’s no big deal”.

For the Dalai Lama to take potshots at China for not having full knowledge in relations to Dorje Shugden is, quite frankly, illogical. Since when has it been necessary for a government to have full and complete knowledge of every single religion, in order to safeguard their citizens’ religious freedom? This is especially applicable for governments who claim to be democratic in nature.

Any peaceful government would want to ensure stability and prevent in-fighting among its populace, especially when those fights are based on religion which can elicit very strong emotional reactions. On that note, China’s preventive actions against any unrest potentially triggered by religious issues are exactly what anyone would expect from any self-respecting, responsible government.

The irony is that the Dalai Lama accuses the Chinese of employing Shugden worship as a political tool when in reality, Shugden worship could not be used as anything if there was no ban. If China does indeed extend special privileges to Shugden-worshipping monasteries, who made that happen? Everything leads back to the Dalai Lama – if he proclaims over and over again that he is against the practice of Dorje Shugden, is it so surprising if the Chinese leadership hears about it and decides to support Shugden-related institutions?

So, even if it is the case where the Chinese government is capitalizing on the Shugden conflict to sway public opinion in their favor with sponsorships and other financial benefits, then the solution is quite obvious – all the Dalai Lama has to do to undermine the Chinese is to simply lift the ban.

So why does the Dalai Lama not just defuse the issue, lift the ban and prevent the Chinese from exploiting the controversial Dorje Shugden ban?

TRANSCRIPT:

Then most UNFORTUNATELY!! I believe at the instigation of Dolgyal propitiators, there is a statue of Guru Rinpoche at Samye, which was built recently. They have DISMANTLED it. Like that, there seems to have been other cases of dismantling Guru Rinpoche’s statues. There is so much restriction.

Then in western Tibet, there is a huge statue of Guru Rinpoche, built by the people. The Chinese Army surrounded the area, prohibiting anyone from coming near it, maybe to prevent anyone from taking pictures of the incident. Then they destroyed the statue with EXPLOSIVES!!

‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is a fundamental rule of law upheld by any democratic government. Yet, the Dalai Lama callously, without producing any solid proof, blames Dorje Shugden practitioners for allegedly instigating the destruction of holy images.

This type of name-calling and finger-pointing in the absence of proof is a highly irresponsible action coming from a respected political and spiritual leader. Imagine if President Trump alleged that Mexicans blew up a Hindu temple or that Hindus blew up a mosque – what would be the fallout and reaction from the American people at such a statement? Yet, when the Dalai Lama alleges that Dorje Shugden practitioners destroyed a number of Guru Rinpoche statues, everyone just listens because it is the Dalai Lama talking.

In fact, the Dalai Lama’s choice of Guru Rinpoche is deliberate – Guru Rinpoche is commonly worshipped by the Nyingma sect and by alleging that Shugden practitioners destroyed a Guru Rinpoche statue, the Dalai Lama is trying to paint Shugden devotees (who are generally Gelugs) as sectarian and attempting to turn Nyingmapas against them. In effect, this statement from the Dalai Lama is highly schismatic as it pits two schools of Tibetan Buddhism — Gelugpas and Nyingmapas — against each other.

The Dalai Lama also reinforces a misconception that Guru Rinpoche is somehow a Nyingma deity because the Nyingmas famously propitiate him. However, to label Guru Rinpoche as such is actually ignorant because Guru Rinpoche, through meditation and practice, became attained and enlightened. To say that any Buddha belongs to the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu or Gelug sects is illogical; abiding in a state of enlightenment, the Buddhas do not have labels. Is Tara, who is commonly worshipped by all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, a Gelug Buddha or a Sakya Buddha? Since Amitabha is popular amongst Chinese Buddhists, is Amitabha Chinese?

So just because one sect propitiates a particular Buddha more, does not mean that the Buddha ‘belongs’ to that sect. Hence the idea that Shugden worshippers would destroy the image of another Buddha (i.e. Guru Rinpoche) is preposterous, because it would be destroying the image of an enlightened being, even if it is one whom they do not commonly propitiate.

The Dalai Lama’s accusations become all the more outlandish when we consider that the Dalai Lama’s own Guru, Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, who was one of the greatest propagators of Dorje Shugden practice, was known to have given Guru Rinpoche teachings and empowerments to many, including to Nyingmapas.

The Guru Rinpoche statue at Mindrolling Monastery. Guru Rinpoche does not exclusively ‘belong’ to the Nyingma sect; in fact, his teachings are revered by high lamas from all traditions including Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, as reflected in his autobiography, The Illusory Play.

TRANSCRIPT:

In that sense, it is now turning into an URGENT matter! So, under such circumstances, if we still keep treating fish and turnips as one, it creates problems for many people.

Then also, Dolgyal group recently submitted an application to the Indian Government, stating that the Dalai Lama restricts their religious freedom, and they also face danger to their lives, and requested the Indian government to provide them protection. And the Indian Foreign Ministry has also given them a letter acknowledging receipt. So, now this thing has become a serious issue.

This is the turning point in the video, the moment when the Dalai Lama makes his intentions clear. “Fish and turnips” is a Tibetan proverb meaning the two items in question could not be more different from one another. In this instance, this proverb is used to reinforce the point that Dorje Shugden practitioners and non-practitioners have absolutely nothing in common. Hence to treat them in the same way – meaning to allow Dorje Shugden practitioners into mainstream society and give them access to public events like the Dalai Lama’s talks – will be inviting trouble.

Unlike Westerners, Tibetans generally speak in a less direct manner. Hence to those who are unfamiliar with Tibetan customs, the Dalai Lama’s advice can come across as a friendly recommendation. However, to the Tibetans, especially given the Dalai Lama’s God-like status in their society, his words are in reality unquestionable and beyond challenge. In Tibetan society, regardless of how the Dalai Lama presents it, when he says something, it is not a choice but an instruction that must be followed. In the case of the Shugden ban, and in the case of this video especially, saying something is like ‘fish and turnips’ is actually a call to segregate Shugden followers from everyone else because they are not and can never be the same. Can anyone really believe that this is democracy?

A telling Tendor cartoon highlighting the Tibetan mentality when it comes to making choices. Click to enlarge.

The Dalai Lama, who ironically calls himself a democratic leader, then berates Shugden practitioners for reporting his actions to the Indian government. This is despite the fact they were well within their rights to do so; Shugden followers were merely exercising their freedom of speech to protest against the illegal ban and trying to protect their religious freedom. But in highlighting to Tibetans that someone had the gall to speak up and report him to the Indian government, the Dalai Lama’s message is very clear – Shugden practitioners are traitors who work against him, therefore they are deserving targets of violence, segregation and vulgarities.

Does this sound like the actions and words of a democratic leader to you? And is it really surprising that Dorje Shugden practitioners would seek the assistance of the law after being segregated and discriminated against for over a decade (at the time this video was filmed)?

TRANSCRIPT:

Up to now, I have only given advice about the disadvantage of such a practice, based on my own experience and words of past great masters as it is my duty to point out faults of such practice. But, it is up to the individual whether they want to heed my advice or not. NEVER EVER have I told anyone that you cannot propitiate Dolgyal. Right from the beginning, I have always quoted a stanza from KHACHE-BHALU’s advice, that “I Khache-Bhalu have given you my sincere advice, now it is up to you whether to listen or not”. I have always told everyone this way by referring to Khache-Bhalu’s advice. So, it is up to you whether you want to listen or not. NEVER EVER have I told before nor at any time that you have to obey to what I say.

This is a highly contradictory statement from the Dalai Lama. In the same year, the Dalai Lama went on a tirade against Dorje Shugden followers in Drepung Loseling Monastery and gave clear instructions for the monks to expel all Dorje Shugden practitioners from the monasteries. He even went as far as to congratulate the monasteries for taking harsh steps to eliminate this so-called scourge from the Sangha community and said clearly that he approved of such measures. Various documentaries from international media groups such as SwissTV, France24 and Al-Jazeera have also covered the Dorje Shugden controversy in great depth and it has been made clear that an official ban exists at the behest of the Dalai Lama. Clearly it is a ban and not just advice.

If there was no ban, why were 600 Ganden Shartse monks forced to leave their monastery to form Shar Ganden Monastery? If there was no ban, why does every Tibetan store in Mundgod and Bylakuppe have signs in the window stating that Dorje Shugden practitioners are unwelcome? Why do hospitals have signs denying service and treatment to Shugden followers?

Monks protest to demand the departure of Dorje Shugden practitioners from their monasteries, South India, 2008.

Furthermore, as the political leader of the Tibetan exile community, why does the Dalai Lama ban Shugden followers from attending his secular talks? All citizens are entitled to attend talks by their country’s leaders regardless of their religious persuasions. Surely the members of the US Congress do not have to be of the same religion as the US President in order to attend his speeches? Surely not all the people who attend the Dalai Lama’s foreign talks are Buddhists? Therefore, why aren’t Dorje Shugden practitioners allowed to listen to his political speeches? Imagine the fallout if President Trump excluded all Muslims from attending his talks or if the Queen of England excluded all Hindus.

It is arguable that Dorje Shugden is a spiritual matter and hence, those who continue to uphold Dorje Shugden’s practice may not have samaya with the Dalai Lama and therefore should not attend his spiritual teachings. Other religions have such exclusions too. For instance, non-Muslims are not allowed to enter mosques and in Nepal, some temples are off-limits for non-Hindus. But the bottom line is, if the Dalai Lama is giving a talk about the future of the exile community, everyone should be allowed to attend even if they practice Dorje Shugden. And they should most definitely be allowed access to services in hospitals, schools, stores and so forth. Their choice of religion should not affect their rights as human beings.

A senior monk of Ganden Monastery testified to the threats and coercion that Shugden worshippers faced. However, the Dalai Lama has continued to deny that there was any discrimination.

TRANSCRIPT:

But now, the time has come where we no longer can continue with this ‘on and off’ like status quo! We have to make it clear, FOR THAT REASON! As it is mentioned in the Sutra, to settle the monastic dispute, there are I think seven points? Like distributing grass, painted sticks, etc., right? Now, the time has come for us to distribute colored sticks. Then also in modern democratic method, the English word, “Referendum”. “Referendum”, to ask the majority! Now the time has come to ask the majority!

Therefore, after this Loseling programme is over, all of you will return to your respective monasteries. There in your monasteries, to all the monks, there should be one question, “Whether you want to propitiate Dolgyal or not?” Those who want to propitiate Dolgyal should sign, “YES. I want to PROPITIATE”. And those who don’t want to propitiate Dolgyal should sign, “NO. I don’t want to PROPITIATE Dolgyal”, understood?

Then, next question. Those who want to share religious and mundane activities with Dolgyal propitiators should sign, “Yes! I want to share”. Then, those who don’t want to share religious as well as mundane activities with Dolgyal propitiators should sign, “NO!” Understand? Then, see what happens. Let’s do the voting. Nobody is forcing.

The Dalai Lama mentions a referendum but despite this democratic-sounding label, a shrewd analysis of the Dalai Lama’s speech indicates that his call for a referendum is a ruse, designed to legitimize his command to segregate Shugden worshippers from mainstream society. Knowing that his speech was being translated into English and Chinese, and would therefore be broadcast all over the world, the Dalai Lama used the concept of a referendum to appear modern and democratic, paying lip service to give a good impression to his international audience.

In reality, the referendum was anything but democratic. First of all, the referendum was not requested for by the majority of Tibetans. And not only was it held at the instructions of just one individual, but the voting also took place openly. This meant peer pressure would force Tibetans to vote against Dorje Shugden, knowing that if they did not, everyone would know they disobeyed the Dalai Lama’s instructions.

Yellow vote sticks denote renouncement of the Dorje Shugden practice and a refusal to share any spiritual and material relations with Dorje Shugden followers. Red vote sticks indicate the opposite. Those who chose the red sticks were expected to explain themselves further.

Similarly, the referendum was designed to force people who do not practice Shugden to openly disassociate with those who do. In what kind of democratic society are people forced to disassociate from others just because they do not share the same opinions or religious beliefs?

Hence the referendum was nothing more than an open call for monks to officially “disown” and marginalize their fellow Dharma brothers. Why make the monks “unfriend” their fellow Sangha with whom they have been walking the spiritual path for decades? This is like a father telling his sons not to be harmonious and to hate each other.

In this entire section of the video, the Dalai Lama also repeatedly addressed the abbots who were in attendance – from Drepung Loseling, Drepung Gomang, Sera Jey, Sera Mey, Ganden Shartse, Ganden Jangtse, Rato and Tashi Lhunpo Monasteries. This is very revealing of the Dalai Lama’s forceful insistence that his instructions were to be carried out by those present. Failure to do so would automatically mean the abbots were disobeying the Dalai Lama, who has clearly told them over and over again that the referendum, with the Dalai Lama’s preferred outcome, is mandatory.

Trode Khangsar marks the official establishment of Dorje Shugden’s practice in Tibet by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama, who commissioned Trode Khangsar as a “Protector House” for Dorje Shugden in the 17th Century.

TRANSCRIPT:

If the final result of voting shows more than 60% want to propitiate Dolgyal, then from that day onwards, I shall never utter even a single word about Dolgyal. Understand? Then you all have to take full responsibility!

But if it turns out that more than 60%-70% says they don’t want to propitiate Dolgyal and they don’t want nothing to do with Dolgyal propitiators, then we shall have to think accordingly.

While it may seem fair and even democratic to hear the Dalai Lama mention that he will never utter a single word about Dorje Shugden again should 60% vote to keep the practice, his next statement of caution is a clear indication of the Dalai Lama’s preferred outcome and his continued coercion of the monks to abandon their practice, by issuing what is essentially spiritual blackmail. In saying “you all have to take full responsibility”, what this really means in reality is “practice Dorje Shugden and you will all go to hell” as well as “this will be your fate if you do not obey my instructions”. Thus by him saying that, the Dalai Lama is playing on the baseless fears of the anti-Dorje Shugden camp who falsely claim that the enlightened protector is nothing but a spirit.

The Dalai Lama is very shrewd to employ this “threat” as he is fully aware that all members of the Sangha must know that the heavy karma for propitiating spirits will lead to a rebirth in the hell realms. He also knows that to the outside world, he is viewed as the spiritual leader of all Tibetan Buddhists (although, in theory, this is not true since each lineage has its own head). So to foreign audiences, the Dalai Lama’s words sound like spiritual advice born out of concern for his followers’ spiritual wellbeing. But Tibetans know better, and Tibetans hear the underlying message of spiritual blackmail that accompanies the Dalai Lama’s words.

In the history of mankind, no democratic country has ever forced its citizens to choose between their religion and friends. That is, until this unethical ban imposed by the Dalai Lama. Knowing this, in the second scenario where the majority gives up their Dorje Shugden practice and severs ties with those who want to maintain it, the Dalai Lama had this to say: “Then, we shall have to think accordingly.” He makes it sound open, as though he has never considered the ramifications of the referendum. Yet he had it in mind all along to call for the referendum, what questions need to be asked, and even a specific figure that he is looking for (60 to 70%). Hence the Dalai Lama’s reply, though innocent in appearance, has been read by many Tibetans as another threat i.e. “get 60 to 70% to agree with me, or else…

How can all these highly attained lamas be oblivious to the demonic side of Dorje Shugden, if it were true that he is an evil spirit?

TRANSCRIPT:

But, then in reality also, those who propitiate Dolgyal have no reason to come to India. We who came to India came here in protest of the Chinese Government’s policy. But as the P.R.C. government patronizes Dolgyal propitiators, they are taking special care of them! Then, obviously it is better for them to go back to where they are specially welcome. What is the point of staying here? Understand?

It is precisely this type of talk from the Dalai Lama that makes life so difficult for Dorje Shugden practitioners living in the Tibetan exile communities in India. By saying this, the Dalai Lama is essentially telling the Tibetan government and the heads of the monasteries not to entertain Shugden-practicing refugees who have made the arduous journey from Tibet to India. Although it may not sound that way to foreign ears, the message to Tibetans is clear: Don’t help the refugees who practice Dorje Shugden. Don’t give them travel permits, job opportunities, health services, education, etc. Basically, make their life so difficult that they have no choice but to return to Tibet to face whatever is coming to them.

It is shocking that the Dalai Lama, as the leader of the Tibetans, does not welcome his own people escaping supposed Chinese oppression in Tibet. When the Tibetans escaped from their home country after the events of 1959, they were all fleeing from a common threat. Many did not succeed and died; and both Shugden practitioners and non-Shugden practitioners had their lives taken indiscriminately. As the leader of the Tibetan people at the time this video was filmed, is the Dalai Lama not responsible for their welfare if they choose to flee Tibet and escape to India? If things in Tibet are so bad because the Chinese leadership is so bad, why is the Dalai Lama rejecting his own people who wish to escape into exile? Is the Dalai Lama suggesting that Shugden practitioners are undeserving of a safe haven in India?

Shugden practitioners suffered just as much as any other Tibetan during the political upheaval of 1959. Just because they practice Dorje Shugden does not mean they are less Tibetan, or that they experienced less suffering in 1959. Almost every family in Tibet lost someone during those tumultuous years so theoretically, Shugden-worshipping Tibetans have every reason to want to escape into exile, just like any other Tibetan. Yet, the Dalai Lama continues to reinforce the mentality of “us versus them” – according to the Dalai Lama’s view, on one side are loyal Tibetans “who came to India in protest of Chinese government policy” and on the other side are so-called disloyal Tibetans who practice Dorje Shugden under the alleged support of the Chinese.

It is time the Dalai Lama changes this view. It has been nearly 60 years since the Dalai Lama led the exodus of Tibetans into India. To give some context, the infamous Berlin Wall was raised in 1961 and after 28 years, the wall came down when Germany was reunited. In 1945, when Japan surrendered to the US-led Pacific allied forces, the island state suffered massive devastation but 40 years later, the Japanese rebuilt their country to become one of the biggest economies in the world.

On the other side of the coin, modern China is nowhere like the ‘Red China’ it was under Mao in 1959. China today is a modern industrial nation that has overtaken all of Europe to become the second biggest economy in the world and is rapidly closing the gap between themselves and the USA, which maintains its position as the biggest world economy. China today also employs diplomacy for negotiations, as opposed to enforcing their military might. Hence, it is not unusual that in their bid to become a global superpower, China is becoming more democratic and open. By allowing freedom of religion which includes Dorje Shugden practice, China’s decision to support all religious practices is moving with the times.

What is not moving with the times however is the Dalai Lama’s feudalistic belief that assumes all Dorje Shugden devotees are Chinese supporters and therefore, have no right to come to India. What’s more, the Dalai Lama again reinforces his misguided point that Dorje Shugden practitioners are all receiving special treatment from the Chinese and are therefore anti-Tibetan and anti-Dalai Lama by virtue of their spiritual practice.

Many of those who escaped with the Dalai Lama in 1959 under Dorje Shugden’s protection remain confused and devastated by the Dorje Shugden ban.

TRANSCRIPT:

Well, if the majority decides they want to propitiate Dolgyal, then I have nothing more to say except, “Yes, of course”. It doesn’t make any difference to me.

Before, even I propitiated it and I was wrong. So, I apologise that to past masters and started practicing in proper way. That is my current position. But, if majority decides they want to propitiate Dolgyal, it’s OK, you have your freedom to choose. Understand? For that you don’t have to be cautious or fear or flatter Dalai Lama in any way. But first, make sure you understand the whole issue completely.

Once more, the Dalai Lama makes a deliberate psychological play. First, he expresses that it does not make any difference to him whether people want to practice Dorje Shugden or not, and even goes further to say that he will be okay if they decide to. Our question: then why even call for the referendum, if it does not matter to him and there is no issue? And why spend so long talking about Dorje Shugden if it doesn’t make any difference to him?

Next, using another disarming approach, the Dalai Lama admits to having practiced Dorje Shugden himself. He then goes on to say that it was his mistake to have done so, then offers his apologies to his Gurus. Our question: but where is his apology to the Gurus who gave him the practice, which he is now giving up and attacking?

The Dalai Lama then smoothly slips in his advice that people should first be fully informed before they make a choice to practice. Our question: Does that mean his own holy Gurus were not fully informed when they practiced and propagated Dorje Shugden and only he, the Dalai Lama, is fully informed on the matter?

TRANSCRIPT:

Also, later on, tomorrow or day after tomorrow, I have copies of quotes from relevant scriptures for distribution. Starting from the 5th Dalai Lama, what many great masters of the past say, and their view about Dolgyal propitiation and how they have restricted / banned the practice. Those literature, right now, I have asked to print more copies for distribution and I shall distribute it. Now, before referendum, make sure everyone knows how, starting from 5th Dalai Lama, what past masters who criticize Dolgyal propitiation have to say. Explain to everybody about that in detail.

Then, they should also know what Dolgyal propitiators say about the advantages and purpose of propitiating Dolgyal. Regarding that, since recently, they have published many books. Like if you propitiate Dolgyal, Dolgyal is a god of wealth and you will be rich! Then, first obtain the vase, then gradually you trust your life force to Dolgyal followed by monthly grand worship – seem to follow in that sequence. If you propitiate Dolgyal, you will be rich, you will be successful in every venture. Those things are written in late Dagom Rinpoche’s book. Many have seen books like that and know about them.

So, you should know what Dolgyal propitiators say about the advantages and purpose of propitiation. Then on the other side, know about the views of those who say it is wrong to propitiate Dolgyal. Then like weighing on a scale, see which view holds more weight! Those who are pro-Dolgyal or those against it. Starting from the 5th Dalai Lama, Trichen Ngawang Chokden, Changkya Rolpai Dorje, Phurchok Ngawang Jampa, then Yongzin Yeshi Gyaltsen, these are the main great masters. So, keep them at one side and then balance and think which side has more reasons. So, I feel this is how it should be done. Understand? Sponsors, do you understand?

This psychological play fast reaches its conclusion with the Dalai Lama announcing that he has already made all the necessary preparations to distribute information about Dorje Shugden practice — printed literature with the negative views of a handful of “great masters” who supposedly restricted or discouraged Dorje Shugden practice! But where are the views of the attained masters who say that Dorje Shugden’s practice is good and beneficial? High ranking and highly respected masters such as H.H. the 9th Panchen Lama, H.H. the 10th Panchen Lama, H.H. the 101st Ganden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, Mahasiddha Tagphu Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, H.H. Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Dorje Chang and H.E. Domo Geshe Rinpoche, not to mention hundreds of other lamas far outnumber the ones who have spoken negatively about Dorje Shugden. Even the current 11th Panchen Lama practices Dorje Shugden. Furthermore, they all taught Dorje Shugden practice to tens of thousands of Tibetans and foreigners over the past century. Why didn’t the Dalai Lama make copies of their teachings too?

This image of Dorje Shugden was commissioned by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama and is still housed in Phelgyeling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Not to mention that His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama was actually the first to recognize Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Dharma Protector! He established the very first chapel dedicated to Dorje Shugden called Trode Khangsar in Lhasa, composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden, and even commissioned a statue of Dorje Shugden which remains to this day in Phelgyeling Monastery in Nepal. These facts are conveniently left out and the 14th Dalai Lama chooses to only highlight the negative things that the 5th Dalai Lama had to say about Dorje Shugden before he realized his mistake.

Our question: How can people be “fully informed” when they are only given one-sided information on Dorje Shugden’s practice? Why didn’t the Dalai Lama distribute teachings from high lamas who fully supported, recommended and condoned Dorje Shugden practice? How are people supposed to weigh both sides of the matter prior to making their choice if the Dalai Lama restricts the information distributed to only that which paints Dorje Shugden in a negative light? Our answer: the entire referendum is a smokescreen to hide the fact that there is no democracy at all when it comes to the Dorje Shugden issue. The referendum is couched in the language of democracy but the truth is that the Dalai Lama is just forcing his point of view onto the Tibetan people by spreading unbalanced, one-sided information to get the results he wants from the referendum.

The Dalai Lama also makes negative insinuations about Dorje Shugden’s role as a “god of wealth”. However, the Dalai Lama is conveniently ignoring the fact that Tibetan Buddhism is rich in other wealth deities and practices such as Dzambala, Namtose, White Mahakala, Yellow Yamantaka, Yellow Tara and so forth. The outer purpose of these deity practices is to remove obstacles and attract wealth – it is not just unique to Dorje Shugden. So if the Dalai Lama is going to criticize Dorje Shugden for being a “god of wealth”, shouldn’t he discourage the practices of these other deities too?

The Dalai Lama even goes further to stress that those present should “explain to everybody” his views of the Dorje Shugden practice “in detail”. Tibetans will know that this is essentially a command from their leader to disseminate propaganda that refutes Dorje Shugden practice and discredits its practitioners. Being that it is the Dalai Lama’s views, there is in reality no choice – failure to conform and obey means going against the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama then makes it a point to address the sponsors directly, stressing the importance of them understanding what he has said. Although it was posed as a question, it is in fact the Dalai Lama’s way of applying pressure on the sponsors to withhold financial support for monasteries, groups and individuals who are Dorje Shugden practitioners. Now that the Dalai Lama has directly addressed them, anyone who attempts to support Shugden worshippers will be viewed as contradicting the Dalai Lama’s direct instructions. It is nothing but a systematic oppression of Dorje Shugden practitioners, segregating them from everyone and everything that could support them.

TRANSCRIPT:

As per an old saying which says, “separation of moustache and mouth”, I think the time has come to do just that. Because now the Chinese government has started to take such a strong stance.

The Dalai Lama now uses another Tibetan proverb, the “separation of moustache and mouth”, to make one of his strongest statements in the video. To Western ears, the phrase may sound poetic but Tibetans know full well what the Dalai Lama means – despite the mouth’s close proximity to the moustache, they are separate and not the same, just as in the case of fish and turnips. Thus, the Dalai Lama is strongly stating that Shugden practitioners should be segregated and separated from the rest of the Tibetan community, and the reason he gives for enforcing this segregation is that the Chinese government supports Dorje Shugden practice.

It is astonishing that the Dalai Lama uses a foreign government’s policies and yet-to-be-proven support as a basis to justify obstructing an individual’s religious freedom. This enforced segregation is miles away from the democratic image the Dalai Lama tries so hard to portray throughout his video. It is also miles away from the justification the Dalai Lama initially gave for banning the practice – that is, Dorje Shugden is supposedly bad and unenlightened. Yet here, the Dalai Lama makes it clear that his main reason to call for the segregation of Shugden practitioners is their alleged link to the Chinese government. So which one is it? Is it because this long-established 400-year-old practice is not in accordance with Tibetan Buddhist doctrine? Is it because the Chinese government supports it? Or is it merely a political smokescreen to hide the failures of the Tibetan leadership to regain their homeland by blaming it on a protector deity? The inconsistencies in the Dalai Lama’s words over the decades when it comes to the undemocratic ban on Dorje Shugden practice bears further investigation and analysis.

A screenshot of the 2008 video where the Dalai Lama talks about “separation of moustache and mouth.”

TRANSCRIPT:

Till now, Dolgyal propitiators have committed murder, have beaten people and threaten people who oppose their view. Those are in a way, no big deal.

Here, the Dalai Lama is obviously referring to the murder of Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, the Director of the Tibetan School of Dialectics, which anti-Shugden groups keep raising as proof of the character of Dorje Shugden followers despite a lack of tangible evidence or arrests proving that the crime was committed by Dorje Shugden practitioners.

And after talking about the murder and violence, the Dalai Lama rounds off his point by saying it is ‘no big deal’. Notice the pattern here – once again, the Dalai Lama adds a lighthearted touch to a very important subject so that he can make potentially offensive information more acceptable to the audience. He is essentially creating the association in listeners’ minds that all Dorje Shugden followers are aggressive and violent, in the hope that it will make the act of banning Dorje Shugden more palatable.

Yet, the Dalai Lama’s statement can be interpreted in another way. Is the Dalai Lama actually saying that murder, beatings and violence are “no big deal”? That would explain why no repercussions are meted upon his supporters who beat and threaten Shugden followers within the Tibetan settlements; if the very top thinks violence is “no big deal”, then the underlings have no reason to.

Astute observers will find the callousness behind this thought process to be not in keeping with the Dalai Lama’s image of tolerance and compassion. Just because an individual or a small group of people from a particular faith allegedly performed an act of violence, it does not mean that everyone who subscribes to that faith should be criminalized. For example, when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked by terrorists, the United States government did not respond by banning the practice of Islam or by segregating its practitioners. Similarly, after the Jewish genocide of World War II, the world did not respond by segregating all Germans. To criminalize an entire group of people for the acts of a few is illogical, wrong and a huge infringement on human rights.

TRANSCRIPT:

But now they have decided to side with the People’s Republic of China. That is indeed very surprising! Right now we are arguing with the Chinese government, that if they give us meaningful autonomy that Tibetans can trust, then we are ready to stay within the People’s Republic of China. Right now, we are arguing that what the Chinese are doing in Tibet as they please with utter lack of respect to Tibetan feeling, is wrong! While we are arguing, they choose to side with the Chinese government. That is very sad indeed!

By this point in his speech, the Dalai Lama has accused Dorje Shugden practitioners of being enemies of the Nyingmapas, murderers, thieves, liars, etc. and now – the icing on the cake – as Chinese spies. The Dalai Lama is well aware that most Tibetans have strong feelings about their enemy #1, China. Despite the fact that it is illogical to label all four million Dorje Shugden practitioners as being pro-China, the Dalai Lama has done so through this speech and as a result, Dorje Shugden practitioners all around the world, old and young, are being labeled Chinese dogs and Chinese spies.

TRANSCRIPT:

Then as to the proportion of lying, they accuse their religious freedom has been denied. But in reality, this is not a religious matter at all! Like we touched on the subject yesterday, this matter is propitiation of a spirit who is in violation of pledge (Dam-si) with distorted aspiration (monlam-logpai). It is not even a Dharmapala class of spirit.

But then, if you say perfidious spirit, in Yamantaka’s 15 cardinal protector’s ritual cake offering prayer, there it says:

Spirits and Vetalas (zombie) in front of Lord Yamantaka and Manjushri,
You who have pledged to protect the Dharma, karmic lord of death,
Mamo and dakinis as well as perfidious spirits and Vetalas (zombies),
You who are protector or external, internal and secret aspects bounded by oath.

But at the end, it says those who uphold PLEDGES!!! Not those who VIOLATE pledges. If it is one who upholds pledges, then even it is a perfidious spirit or Vetala (zombie) are also OK. But if it is a perfidious spirit who is also in violation of pledges, then it is not right. Understand?

Because some might think a perfidious spirit is OK as it is mentioned in Yamantaka’s prayer, “Perfidious spirit, vetala (zombie), who are protector, To you I bow with respect.” So a perfidious spirit is OK since it is mentioned in Yamantaka’s prayer, BUT then at the end it says, those who UPHOLDS PLEDGES! Here is one who is in VIOLATION of pledge!! It is like I told you yesterday. Maybe I shall explain later. I myself have not much to say. But I shall distribute the documents later on.

Returning to the so-called doctrinal basis for banning Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama cites scriptures in the Yamantaka propitiation rites to support his view that Dorje Shugden is a perfidious spirit and therefore, deserving of a ban.

Buddhism teaches that a sentient being can take rebirth in any one of the six realms, one of them being the spirit realm. After death, and by virtue of their negative karma, beings who are extremely attached may take rebirth as one of the many classes of spirits. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a tradition of subduing spirits by putting them under oath to protect the Buddha’s teachings. Spirits who are subdued in such a manner are known as worldly protectors. Unlike enlightened beings who manifest as enlightened protectors, these worldly protectors do not serve the Dharma out of compassion, but because they are oath-bound to do so.

A painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden, the Protector of the Tibetan government

One famous example is Nechung or Pehar, who was once a war-mongering Persian spirit who found his way to Tibet, where he was put under oath by Guru Rinpoche. In time, Nechung, who was first commonly propitiated by the Nyingmas, became accepted by the Gelug school and has since become the Protector of the Tibetan government. Likewise, his oracle has been appointed as the State Oracle of the Tibetan government.

However, in his speech, the Dalai Lama is saying that Dorje Shugden is not even in the class of spirits who have been subdued. This implies that Dorje Shugden is one of the worst perfidious spirits who has also violated his pledges. But the Dalai Lama is overlooking one very important point: if Dorje Shugden is as harmful and perfidious as he claims, then why doesn’t the Dalai Lama just subdue Dorje Shugden and “force” him to serve the Dharma? Tibetan Buddhism is renowned for its powerful rituals that can subdue even the most malignant spirits and black magic. Surely, it would be a simple matter to just subdue and bind Dorje Shugden thus bringing an end to the Dorje Shugden controversy? Why expend so many hours talking about the harm a so-called spirit can cause when it would just be easier to solve the problem once and for all?

Having said that, even if Dorje Shugden is truly a perfidious spirit, this should not be the Dalai Lama’s concern as the secular leader of the Tibetan people. Whether people choose to worship spirits or demons, or if they want to pray to a teapot or a slice of bread – none of this should be an issue for the Dalai Lama if he truly respected religious freedom. The Dalai Lama, in his position as the Tibetan head-of-state, should be guaranteeing his people’s rights to freedom of religion, and not oppressing the rights of Dorje Shugden followers to practice their religion freely and openly.

A real head of a truly democratic state should only be concerned about ensuring that the citizens have religious freedom, and to provide a safe environment for them to practice their religion of choice. What a person wishes to have faith in – even if it is a teapot – is entirely up to them and should not be policed.

TRANSCRIPT:

Now for 300, almost 400 years, this problem continued. For 360 years, 370 years it remained in a subtle way. But for last 30 years, it has become a prominent controversy. In addition to that, now even the Chinese Communist Government has started to take special interest. So now, on our part, we have to think carefully and decide what to do. Do we separate mouth and moustache? Do we separate fish and turnips? And how do we go about doing it?

The Dalai Lama claims that for nearly 400 years, the practice of Dorje Shugden has been an ongoing issue but historically speaking, there are no such reliable accounts. On the contrary, there is plentiful evidence to show a widespread reliance on Dorje Shugden worship over the last four centuries. Even when the Dalai Lama escaped into India and for decades after, there was no problem with Dorje Shugden and even the Dalai Lama continued to practice Dorje Shugden in exile without any negative repercussions.

But by saying that Dorje Shugden practice has been problematic, the Dalai Lama has rewritten history because his words cannot be challenged. Because of that, pro-Dalai Lama groups viciously target Dorje Shugden practitioners both online and offline. And yet again, the Dalai Lama raises the mouth-moustache and fish-turnip analogies to remind his audience about separating from, and segregating and discriminating against Shugden practitioners.

Ironically, the Dalai Lama also proclaims that in the last 30 years, Dorje Shugden has become a prominent controversy. But how and why did the practice become “a prominent controversy”? The truth is, Dorje Shugden practice has grown more in the last 30 years than it has in the past few centuries only because the Dalai Lama keeps talking about it over and over again.

And, by mentioning China and the segregation of Dorje Shugden practitioners in the same breath, the Dalai Lama is skilfully planting the idea in the audience’s mind that Dorje Shugden practice is negative and its followers should be segregated.

TRANSCRIPT:

First, listen to both sides carefully. Then contemplate. After that we shall decide by vote. Understand? Abbots understand? Shall distribute documents later. Sutra teachers understand? Administrators also understand? Sponsors also, did you understand? That is how it is. So, no use leaving it like that. Even in the Sutras, when there are major differences of opinion in the Sangha, they settle it by monks voting with coloured sticks. It is written as seven ways to settle monastic disputes. Like that, even in our modern way, referendum is a very good way. So, we shall settle it with referendum!

Then you western monks, do you want to participate in the referendum too? Ha, Ha, Ha…

OK. There is no hurry. When you all return to your respective monasteries, there, after settling down, then explain everything in detail, and make sure everybody understands the whole thing clearly, and give them time to think and contemplate. Then, only after that, we shall hold voting. That is how we do it, understand? So, this I thought is a good time to explain while the sponsors are present.

Having presented all of his so-called irrefutable evidence, the Dalai Lama once again reminds the abbots, teachers and administrators of the biggest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to carry out his referendum. Remember – at the beginning of his speech, the Dalai Lama suggested a referendum. And by the end of his speech, having presented all of his arguments, no one in the audience is able to refuse the referendum especially since the Dalai Lama singled out different groups of people. It is the Dalai Lama’s subtle way of letting them know that he is watching to see what they will do next, and if they will disobey his orders. From the outset, the entire speech looks and sounds relatively democratic but in reality, the abbots, teachers, administrators and sponsors have no choice if they want to remain in the Dalai Lama’s good books.

As predicted, in the months following this speech, the referendum took place exactly as the Dalai Lama had described, with colored sticks and all. Monks were forced to choose between giving up their Shugden practice or continue practicing and suffer the consequences.

 

Video: The vote-stick referendum regarding the worshipping of Dolgyal (Dorje Shugden)


or watch on our server:
http://video.dorjeshugden.com/videos/RedAndYellowStickReferendum.mp4

Those who decided to remain loyal to their Gurus and continue practicing came to suffer grave consequences. Not only were they ostracized from their brethren as outcasts and pariahs, but many were expelled from their monasteries, the only home they had ever known. All around them, the community gathered to routinely degrade and berate them, refusing them service in shops or treatment in hospitals, and dealing them a level of indignity one would not expect from a so-called democratic, supposedly Buddhist society.

In another time and place, if this had occurred in Tibet and not in an exile settlement in India, and if the Dalai Lama had full control over the law and its enforcers, it would not be hard to believe that Dorje Shugden practitioners could easily have been placed in concentration camps. Only Indian law tempered the Tibetan leadership’s behaviour, preventing them from going all the way to decimate the population of Shugden practitioners.

 

Video: Tibetan Leadership Organizes Violence Again

Monks and lay Tibetan protestors turned violent at the instigation of Tibetan Government-in-exile representatives and threw stones at a khamtsen (fraternity house) of Ganden Shartse Monastery because its residents chose to remain Dorje Shugden practitioners. While the violent protests were happening, the monks inside remained calm and performed a Dorje Shugden puja.


or watch on our server:
http://video.dorjeshugden.com/videos/CTAOrganizesViolence.mp4

 

10 Years Later, An Unexpected U-turn?

Fast forward 10 years from 2008 and the Dalai Lama has changed his mind on various issues which he has been typically very staunch about.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about total independence, he now pushes for genuine autonomy under Chinese rule.

Where the Dalai Lama once attacked China with rhetoric (as can be seen in the video above), he now makes various overtures to appease the Chinese leadership.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about the terms and conditions of his return to China, he has since sent his personal emissary, Samdhong Rinpoche on a secret visit to China, presumably to renew strained Sino-Tibetan relations and discuss the terms for the Dalai Lama’s return.

Where the Dalai Lama was once very firm about his choice of candidate for the position of the 11th Panchen Lama, he has since acknowledged China’s choice of Panchen Lama as “official” and even commented that he is receiving a good education from a good teacher.

 

Video: The Dalai Lama Corrects Himself on the Chinese Panchen Lama


or watch on our server:
http://video.dorjeshugden.com/videos/11PanchenLamaIsAlive.mp4

All these developments lend hope that, despite his harsh words against Shugden practitioners, the Dalai Lama might soon change his mind about them too. If the Dalai Lama has begun to reverse his stance on the issue of Tibet and the Panchen Lama, it definitely leaves open the possibility that he could do the same with his stance on Dorje Shugden. Certainly it would be a change that Shugden practitioners worldwide would welcome with open arms.

 

The End of the Ban on Dorje Shugden?

In a famous prediction by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, the junior tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama, he said that,

…in the future, it will appear that the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden are in conflict, but in actuality they are helping each other to make the Buddhadharma grow, through making the practice of Dorje Shugden known to the world-at-large.

For those of us without clairvoyance, what we can irrefutably see with our own eyes is the extent of the Dalai Lama’s power over the monasteries and the Tibetan community at large. If the Dalai Lama can make such a shocking statement about the Chinese-backed Panchen Lama, it would be just as easy for him to speak up to negate the ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Only time will tell and by looking at the fast-moving political changes between China, India and the Tibetan leadership in the recent months, there is increasing hope that that time may be close.

Dorje Shugden: Will this 400-year-old Dharma Protector practice become the cause that unites a world at odds with each other?

 

Supporting Documents

A letter from the Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibetan Youth Congress to Sera Mey Pomra Khangtsen, pressuring the monks of Pomra Khangtsen to give up their practice of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

English translation:

To the monks under Sera-Mey Pomra monastic section, the object of refuge, who did not pick the vote-stick and who didn’t take oaths:

We, the members of standing committee of Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan Woman Association here in Bylakupee as well as the members, would like to request you:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the champion of peace and spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan religion and politics has delivered advices and instructions at row.

In the announcement by Department of Culture and Religion of Tibetan government in exile, “Henceforth, in order to not pollute the commitment between guru and disciple by those who continue to worship Dholgyal [Dorje Shugden], they [Shugden devotees] are not permitted to attend the teachings of the Dalai Lama; they are not permitted to be admitted in any Gelug monastery, as per the charter of Gelug monastic establishment; and they are not permitted to take part together in prayers, exams and so on. Nevertheless, they can equally enjoy other rights of Tibetan in exile.

It is imperative to take this into consideration to maintain peace and security in the community, and that there should be no harassment between Shugden monks and non-Shugden monks. Furthermore, spiritual activities including the great prayer festival in Sera, Drepung and Ganden should be held traditionally – and on time. Even in the future, each monastery must accept if anyone, with pure motivation, takes oath and engages in what to take and what to abandon.”

It is vital to abide by the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the refuge of this and next life, and in particular, there is a peril that will stain the dignity of Sera Mey Monastery and the root of happiness of the six million Tibetans.

Therefore, in order to maintain pure commitment and harmony as it was within Sera Mey Monastery in particular, and to ensure the dignity of Sera Monastery as it used to be, we strongly request you, from now on, to give up the practice of Dholgyal, and to take vote stick and oath of not worshipping. And we urge you to bear the matter in the mind.

Dated: February 25, 2008
Tibetan Youth Congress, Bylakuppe
Tibetan Woman Association, Bylakuppe
With seals

Copy to:
The Hon. Private Office of the Dalai Lama
Department of Culture and Religion
The Office of Chief Representative of Southern Settlements
The representatives of old and new settlements in Bylakuppe
Sera Lachi monastery
Abbot of Sera-Jay monastery
Abbot of Sera-May monastery
The headquarter of Tibetan Youth Congress
Tibetan headquarter of Tibetan Woman Association

 

A leaflet featuring the names and photos of six expelled Sera Mey monks, circulated amongst the Tibetan monastic and lay community, encouraging them to ostracise these Dorje Shugden practioners.

English translation:

To the Tibetan public and monks,

Since earlier time, the following monks under the affiliation of Sera Mey Pomra, whose names are listed together with their photos, have engaged in mere conceit exaggeration to around six thousands monks, in the name of Dorje Shugden.

Therefore, the lords of law of Sera Lachi Monastery, disciplinarian Geshe Thupten Tendar and disciplinarian Geshe Tsultrim Gyaltsen have excommunicated them from the institution of Sera Monastery. We thus call for Tibetan public and monks not share to religious and material resources with these persons.

Thupten Samphel (photo), Thupten Kunsang (photo), Tenzin Tsering (photo)
Jampa Khetsun (photo), Jampa Chogyal (photo), Lobsang Jigme (photo)

Dated: April 8, 2008

 

The General Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture personally decrees that recommendation letters for monastic entry are not to be issued to Dorje Shugden practitioners. Click to enlarge.

English translation:

To Abbots and Administrators of the Gelug monasteries,

We have received the copy of the decree dated 02.17.2007, which was sent by the Kashag [Tibetan Cabinet] to the directors of Tibetan Reception Offices, and urged us to send the notice to every Gelug monastic establishment.

Simply for the sake of Tibetan religion and politics, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been giving advice regarding the worship of Dorje Shugden; even the Head Reception Center has been describing the reasons behind the Dalai Lama’s ban against worshipping Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden) to our Tibetan brothers from Tibet. But we still provide the same recommendation letters, without discrimination, for schools and monasteries to the few Tibetan newcomers who continue taking a rigid stand to worship Dholgyal.

However, in the 7 of 12 section of Gelug’s Code of Conduct resolved on the gathering of Gaden Tripa, Sharjang Choje, abbots and representatives, it is clear that those who want to join a monastery must give up the worship of Dholgyal [Dorje Shugden]. As such, the Head Reception Center must explain to them the reasons why the Dalai Lama has imposed a ban on worshipping Dholgyal.

In case they didn’t listen and take a rigid stand of continuing their worship, there is no way to let them enter any Gelug Monastery including Sera, Drepung and Ganden. Therefore, from the day you receive this decree, you must implement the policy not to provide a recommendation for any monastery which is registered in the Tibetan Government in Exile’s Department of Religion and Culture. But we urge you it is clearly written that for students who want to join a school, it is fine to provide a recommendation.

Tsering Dhondup
General-Secretary
Department of Religion & Culture
Central Tibetan Administration of H.H. the Dalai Lama
Dated: February 27, 2007

 

The Guardian: PM-in-exile urges Tibetans to make Dalai Lama’s return a reality

The sudden announcement by President Lobsang Sangay calling for Dalai Lama’s return to Chinese controlled Tibet. Click to enlarge.

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  1. A plot to murder the Dalai Lama by a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist named Kausar was recently uncovered. Kausar planned to cause the Dalai Lama’s demise and blow up Buddhist temples in the Indian State of Karnataka as revenge for the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by some Buddhists in Myanmar.

    Although Kausar’s plans are appalling and cannot be justified, it is a reminder that the Dalai Lama as a well-known Buddhist personality has a moral obligation to discourage religious persecution in any form. This even includes the discrimination experienced by Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    Bengaluru: JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka?
    Tue, Oct 2 2018 01:46:48 PM
    Daijiworld Media Network – Bengaluru (MS)
    Bengaluru, Oct 2: Explosive information about the plans of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist Kausar alias Muneer Sheikh alias Mohammed Jahidul Islam (38) has been unearthed in which he had targeted to blow up the Buddhist temples of the state.
    Earlier in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation, it came to light that Kausar had planned to plant a bomb at the programme of Buddhist leader Dalai Lama that was held in the month of August at Ramanagara. Dalai Lama had participated in the programme that was held on August 13 at the Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Education, which is situated at the Bengaluru – Mysuru road. Kausar was arrested by NIA on August 7, barely six days before the programme.
    With regard to this information, the top officials of the CID department have held a meeting on Monday, October 1 and it was decided to conduct a separate investigation of this issue, as per the information given by home minister.
    It was also decided to gather information to know whether Kausar had visited the sites of important Buddhist temples in the state like Bailukuppe Tibetan Camp at Kushalnagar in Kodagu, Kollegal and the camp at Mundagod of Uttara Kannada district.
    It is confirmed from the interrogation that Kausar had planned to conduct acts of sabotage and explosions, targeting the Buddhists living in India, as a revenge to the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by the Buddhists in Myanmar. In addition, the investigating officers have also said that Kausar, who had lived in and around Bengaluru from 2014, had hatched a plot to kill Dalai Lama.
    NIA officials had arrested an accomplice of Kausar in the case of Bodh Gaya bombings. It is also confirmed that the JMB terrorists had planned in Kerala to carry out acts of sabotage in the state of Karnataka. It is learnt that a special team will be sent to Kerala also to know Kausar’s link there.
    One accomplice of Kausar still absconding
    NIA has so far arrested seven accused in the Bodh Gaya explosion case. However, Arif Hussain, one more accused and accomplice of Kausar is absconding. Arif is one of the members of the gang that kept IED explosives in the Kalachakra ground of Bodh Gaya. During the investigation, a shocking piece of information has come to light that Arif had met Kausar after the blasts and also discussed with regards to the failure of the intended plan.
    Expert in manufacturing IED explosives
    Kausar, the JMB terrorist is an expert in manufacturing IED explosives. He had come to India with his accomplice Muzafir Rehman from Bangladesh and had planned to carry out terrorist acts on a large scale. Kausar had also trained his accomplices with regards to the manufacture of IED.
    No information of intended bombings in state, says CM
    “No plot was hatched to kill Buddhist leader Dalai Lama in the state of Karnataka. Police are about to file charge sheet against the accused who have been arrested for the bomb blasts that took place in Bodh Gaya. However, I do not know why the name of Dalai Lama is mentioned in this issue. There is no relation between terrorist Kausar, who was caught in Ramanagara, and the attempt on the life of Dalai Lama. However, the police are going to conduct investigation in this angle also. The central government has not sought any information in this regard from the state government,” clarified CM Kumaraswamy to the media.
    Speaking on the issue, Dr G Parameshwar, DCM, said, “The officers of NIA are not sharing any information with us with regard to the plot hatched by the terrorists. They gather information at the international level and arrest the terrorists.”
    Former CM Jagadish Shettar accused the state government and said, “A comprehensive inquiry has to be conducted relating to the issue of the plot to kill Dalai Lama by JMB terrorists. The arrest of suspected terrorists by the NIA shows the utter failure of the state CID.” 
    http://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx?newsID=531008

    Bengaluru JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka

  2. The fact that rangzen activists aim for the goal of Tibetan independence is at odds with the Dalai Lama’s goal for Tibet’s autonomy. This is nothing new but it is an undeniable fact that the Dalai Lama is the most recognisable Tibetan face and representative for the Tibetan Cause. However, for years now there has been a deficit of trust between China and the Dalai Lama, which leaves the future of Tibetan refugees in limbo.

    Recently, the Dalai Lama tried to take conciliatory steps towards China by acknowledging that development in the Tibet Autonomous Region is beneficial and expressed his desire to return to China. He even said he wants to go on pilgrimage to Mount Wutai, China’s most famous Buddhist site. The fact that the Rangzen people are still protesting against China however shows their true colour. They are against the Dalai Lama and want to make sure that his efforts to help Tibetans are unsuccessful.

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY
    [Thursday, September 20, 2018 18:01]
    By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 20: Activists from various countries that calls for freedom from China’s repression gathered in front of the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City on Tuesday on the opening day of the 73rd General Assembly to protest CCP honcho Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    Activists from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong, Taiwan as well as pro-democracy groups in unison called for the end to repressive policies implemented by China and freedom for their countries. The coalition labelled the Chinese president “Xi-the Pooh” in resemblance to cartoon character Winnie the Pooh who is incidentally banned in China, in addition to calling the Chinese leader “Xitler” likening him to infamous Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter.
    Members of the Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan National Congress joined in the rally that saw activists throw ink at an effigy of Xi in apparent solidarity with Chinese woman Dong Yaoqiong who threw ink at a poster of Xi in Shanghai on July 4. The 29-year-old from Hunan province was arrested by Chinese police in July and has been detained in a mental institution, sources say. 
    SFT Executive Director Dorjee Tsetan led the protest where activists denounced China’s narrative that Xi as the face of new China inching towards leadership in the global arena and reiterate their resistance in the face of Xi-led CCP’s totalitarian rule.
    Tiananmen massacre survivor and pro-democracy activist Rose Tang wrote in her Facebook page, “Very honoured to be with my sisters and brothers from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US to de-face Xitler. Xitler and the Chinese Communist Party rely on lies and violence; our weapons are peace, love and compassion. We shall defeat Xitler!”
    Representatives from various occupied nations and activists such as Ilshat Hassan, President of Uyghur American Association, Enghebatu Togochog, Director of Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Sarah Cook, Senior Researcher for East Asia, Freedom House, Teng Baio, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer and Activist, Omer Karnat, Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Ngawang Tharchin, President, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NY/NJ, Anna Cheung, Activist, New York For Hong Kong and Marvin Kumetat, US Program Coordinator, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization were seen speaking at the protest rally in New York city.
    http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=40781&article=Activists+coalition+rally+against+%E2%80%9CXi-the-Pooh%E2%80%9D+at+Un+headquarters+in+NY

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY

  3. Sex Predator in a Monk’s Robes?

    In USA, Shambhala’s head Sakyong Mipham with his huge ceremonial hat, blue and gold brocades on a high throne. So much pomp and ceremony and underneath it all was a monster… a sexual predator in religious robes exploiting women and people. Such a disgusting shame. Sakyong should be barred from any activities in the future and go for counselling. He needs it badly. His father was Chogyam Trungpa who did the same thing to women and included drugs and orgies in the 70′s. Dalai Lama supports Sakyong Mipham as sizeable donations were given to the Dalai Lama’s office. Shame. We all thought Dalai Lama was clairvoyant and can see the hearts of sentient beings? Sakyong Mipham wears monk robes, shaves his head but has a wife and kids. Why keep wearing monk robes? He is wearing monk robes to look authentic as he is not authentic. Easier to swindle and fool people. Ontop of wearing robes, shaved head masquerading as a monk, has a wife and kids, he further attacks other women sexually. What kind of spiritual leader is this? Disgusting.

  4. It is not understandable for most people that the Dalai Lama, who has received the Nobel Peace Prize can act in such a way against his very own people.

    In terms of Buddhism, who would guess that such discrimination against one Buddhist practice happens right now and for 20 years already – and supported by the Dalai Lama.

    It is very disappointing but the God King of the Tibetans has done this and it is well proven as you can see above.

    I really hope that the ban and discrimination against the Dorje Shugden practice and practitioners will end as soon as possible and that we all can unite.

  5. China and India are becoming closer and in a recent meeting have agreed on some points. One of these points is that the Dalai Lama will not be allowed to carry out any more political activities against China on Indian soil. Being a spiritual leader, why is he so political anyway? The Indian leaders are slowly silencing the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in India. The Dalai Lama and his Tibetan government in-exile regime had better make friends with China already. They should either go back to Tibet/China or become Indian citizens and remain silent.

    China will review new inputs on Azhar

    Delhi says no anti-Chinese activity will be allowed in India

    China has assured India that it will, in future, consider any additional information that is provided on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar to designate him as an international terrorist.

    The assurance was given by Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Zhao Kezhi, to Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a high-level meeting held in New Delhi last week.

    Dalai Lama’s visit

    On its part, India said its territory would not be used for any political activity against China, when Beijing raised the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh in 2016.

    The Doklam stand-off between the armies of the two countries at the China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction last year, which lasted for over two months, was not raised by either side.

    China had blocked India’s proposal to designate Azhar as an international terrorist at a UN sanctions committee. “The Chinese Minister also promised action on United Liberation Front of Assam leader Paresh Baruah, who is said to be hiding in China. He said they would consider any fresh information provided by India on both Azhar and Baruah,” said a senior government official.

    China considers Arunachal Pradesh a disputed territory and has referred to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama as a “separatist.” China was categorical that no protests or demonstrations should be organised by the Tibetans here.

    ‘A spiritual leader’

    “They wanted to raise the so-called disputed status of Arunachal Pradesh, but we did not agree to include it in the agenda. The Chinese delegation was assured that no political activity against the Chinese will be allowed from any Indian territory and as far as the Dalai Lama is concerned, he is a spiritual Tibetan leader who was given shelter in India,” said the official.

    Beijing also raised the unrest in Xinjiang province and sought India’s cooperation on the movement of Uighur militants.

    ‘No Uighur militants’

    “There is no evidence of the movement of Uighur militants in India, but the Chinese raised the subject as they have an apprehension that they may use India as a transit. They were assured that no such activity will be allowed,” said the official.

    On October 22, India and China signed an agreement to “strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, organised crime, drug control and other such relevant areas.”

    A Memorandum of Understanding had been signed in 2005 with China, but that lapsed two years ago.

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-consider-information-on-azhar-china-tells-india/article25347756.ece

    ChinaWillReviewNewInputs

  6. A powerful article, a must-read! Makes people wonder, why are they so biased against China when all the other countries are doing exactly what China is doing but behind the facade of ‘democracy’? 👎

    Opinion: In Search Of Historical Parallels For China’s Rise
    October 15, 20182:55 PM ET
    Alexis Dudden teaches history at the University of Connecticut and is the author of Japan’s Colonization of Korea and Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States. Jeffrey Wasserstrom (@jwassers) teaches history at University of California, Irvine, and is the author of Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo and coauthor of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.
    History can be helpful in making sense of what the Chinese Communist Party is doing within and beyond the borders of the People’s Republic of China. But when it comes to understanding today’s China, history is an imperfect guide. Neat parallels with the past aren’t possible. Certain aspects of China today are completely without historical precedent. And even when certain parallels do become possible, history isn’t helpful in quite the way that either Chinese President Xi Jinping or others promoting comparisons to the past may assume.
    Some have warned that as China threatens to displace the U.S. as a world power, war is inevitable — the so-called Thucydides Trap. While it may be tempting now to view the U.S. as Sparta to China’s Athens, this analogy does not stand up to scrutiny. There are more than just two major states locked in competition. Moves by Russia, the European Union, Japan and other powers will affect what does or does not happen next. The existence of international organizations and nuclear weapons alone makes it problematic to summon ancient Greek wars as templates for contemporary geopolitical tensions.
    Xi’s own ideas about the past are particularly significant, and similarly flawed. In promoting his outward-facing Belt and Road Initiative — an ambitious global infrastructure project — and his more domestically focused “Chinese dream” vision of national rejuvenation, he advances the idea that China should be seen as both rebooting and rejecting the past.
    In terms of rebooting, he presents the Belt and Road Initiative as putting a glorious new high-tech spin on the ancient Silk Road. In terms of rejecting, he presents China as breaking completely from the way two previous rising powers — the U.S. and Japan — behaved during the so-called “century of humiliation,” the period between 1839 and 1949 when they were part of an imperialist ganging-up on China.
    But there are no perfect historical analogies for the Belt and Road Initiative. It is not the modern version of the ancient Silk Road. That “road” was actually a set of roads, and they evolved organically, not via a top-down edict. In addition, Silk Roads also were defined by flows in different directions, with China being transformed by things moving into the country as much as by things heading out from it.
    Similarly, there are no perfect analogies to Beijing’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea or its creation of a vast network of indoctrination camps for Uighurs in Muslim-majority Xinjiang.
    As historians of China and Japan, what intrigues us, though, is that some of the most revealing imperfect analogies that come to mind lie precisely where Xi claims no precedents should be sought: in the actions and rhetoric of America and Japan between the first Opium War and the second world war — the period encompassing China’s century of humiliation.
    As America and Japan leapfrogged up the world’s geopolitical hierarchy, they each, as China does now, generated awe, anxiety and an admixture of the two. Much like China today, these two countries were associated with rapid economic development (facilitated by limits on the rights of laborers), technological advances (such as impressive new train lines) and territorial expansion (including, in each case, asserting control over islands in the Pacific Ocean).
    Leaders in Washington and Tokyo then, like those in Beijing now, often claimed to be breaking with the playbooks of previous empires. They asserted that their actions were motivated not by a naked desire for greater power but by a wish to improve the lot of people already under their control in borderlands or those being brought under their control farther away. When they used force, they claimed, they did so only to ensure stability and order.
    Beijing’s recent actions in Xinjiang and Tibet have echoes in Tokyo’s actions in Manchuria in the 1930s and Washington’s in the Philippines at the turn of the 19th century. Tokyo sent soldiers and settlers to Manchuria and exerted direct and indirect influence over the territory. Japanese official publications treated Manchuria’s people much in the same way as China’s Xinhua News Agency now treats those of Xinjiang and Tibet — as inhabitants of a backward and dangerous frontier that needed guidance from a government in a more advanced capital. In the Philippines, American proponents of expansion similarly celebrated the influx of new people and the importing of “modern” ideas, institutions and influences.
    History does suggest that Beijing’s leaders might consider doing things to make their actions less similar to the negative models of Japanese and U.S. expansion that loom large in China’s textbooks. They could grant greater agency to Uighurs and Tibetans in the path of their assimilationist development moves — allowing various languages to be taught in schools, for example — and reverse the trend in Xinjiang of disappearing people into camps, which conjures up other troubling historical analogies as well.
    In the South China Sea, Beijing is doing things that anyone steeped in the American and Japanese pasts will find familiar. But there are new twists.
    In the 1850s, the Japanese government built six Odaiba island fortresses in Tokyo Bay as a defensive strategy, primarily against the Americans. During an 1879 tour of China and Japan, former U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant boasted about his nation’s completion of the transcontinental railroad, which is notable in this context because it was a grand, “belt”-like project that, among other things, facilitated his successors’ annexations of Hawaii and the Philippines, as well as other islands.
    Beijing’s recent pressure on international airlines to shade Taiwan the same color as the mainland on their maps is a new turn. It does, though, recall schoolchildren’s maps in Japan being modified to include Taiwan in 1895, when Tokyo annexed the island into its growing empire. The same thing occurred again in 1910, when Japan subsumed Korea.
    One important difference between China’s expansionist moves and those of the United States and Japan is how they resonated at home. Until Japan took its dark turn in the late 1930s that resulted in the cataclysmic events of 1945, Japanese critics of Tokyo’s territorial ambitions could express their views in public.
    Mark Twain, a writer Xi admires, found it distasteful when the U.S. took control of the Philippines — when, as he put it, the “eagle put its talons” into new places with rapacious greed.
    Some Chinese citizens doubtlessly feel similarly about their government’s actions in the South China Sea, as well as its repressive moves in Xinjiang and Tibet. Unlike Twain or domestic critics of Japanese expansionism, though, it would be dangerous for China’s people to voice their concerns openly. That may be one of the most troubling comparisons from the past and present.
    https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657019981/opinion-in-search-of-historical-parallels-for-chinas-rise

    ty

  7. The CTA and the Dalai Lama always deny there is a ban on Dorje Shugden practice. They claim themselves to be very democratic and they give religious freedom because they allow Dorje Shugden practitioners to build their own monasteries and to allow them to continue to do their practice. But they did not tell why Dorje Shugden practitioners have to establish their own monasteries.

    The Dalai Lama’s advice of not propitiating Dorje Shugden was actually an order, not an advice. He told the monasteries what they should do if some of the monks refused to give up the practice. This was when the Dorje Shugden monks were forced to establish their own monasteries. Many monks were devastated because they respected the Dalai Lama at a lot but at the same time they were also very loyal to their teachers. The situation has forced them to choose between the Dalai Lama and their teachers.

    The CTA did not make things easier for the lay practitioners either. They discriminate the Dorje Shugden practitioners by disallowing them to work in the government departments, access to public amenity and to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings or talks. The CTA also allow the shops and restaurants to put up a sign to prohibit Dorje Shugden practitioners to use their services. As long as you are a Dorje Shugden, you will be discriminated in the Tibetan community.

  8. “The bottom line is its not about whether anyone trusts or likes China but whether China can help these countries advance their own respective national interests. And the answer is yes. Correspondingly the question is whether any country can afford not to access China’s vast consumer market moving into the future. Not doing business is bad for local economies and no one will elect or re-elect a government that presides over a failing economy.”~NY Times

    How China Has Defied Expectations, in Canada and Around the Globe
    By Ian Austen
    Nov. 23, 2018
    In Saskatchewan, farming is done on a grand scale. So when I visited the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina this week for an upcoming story, I wasn’t surprised to find that the annual gathering of Western farmers is almost overwhelmingly large, luring 127,000 visitors last year to a city of 215,000.
    Like all agricultural exhibitions, the Agribition has a wide array of activities for city dwellers like me, including a rodeo, horse shows and cattle judging. But what started as a regional exhibition 48 years ago has grown into a global event. Cattle ranchers, many from distant parts of North America, parade their livestock to buyers from around the world looking to improve their herds.
    When I asked breeders where their customers come from these days, many of them said China.
    Canada, like the rest of the world, has not escaped the effects of China’s move from isolated backwater to a global economic and political force. For the past several months, more than a dozen New York Times reporters, editors, photographers and designers have been examining China’s dramatic rise in a project called China Rules, which launched this week.
    Phil Pan, our Hong Kong-based Asia editor, has worked in China for about two decades and returned to writing to produce the must-read opening essay on how China’s rise has defied expectations.
    Political shifts in Washington and Beijing helped influence the timing of the series. “One factor was certainly a sense at the beginning of the year that America under Trump was in retreat or withdrawing from the world,” Phil said.
    Under President Xi Jinping, China saw an opportunity to step up, he said. And in recent months, he said, “We began to see this fundamental shift in the relationship between the U.S. and China from engagement to competition.”
    While President Trump has attacked China and launched a trade war against it, Canada has taken an opposing track. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said repeatedly that his government is moving toward a full-scale free trade agreement with China, though that movement’s progress has been stately, at best.
    And Mr. Trudeau’s government continues to rebuff American security warnings about allowing equipment made from Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications company with research operations in Canada, into the coming upgrade of Canada’s wireless networks.
    I asked Phil if Canadians can, or should, trust China.
    “I think the debate in Canada and the United States probably will be much less about trust than about interests,” he said. “Is the fact that the Chinese political system is authoritarian a problem for our national interest?”
    Here, for your weekend reading pleasure, is more from our China Rules series:
    • The American Dream Is Alive. In China.
    • How China Made Its Own Internet
    • How China Took Over Your TV
    • How China Is Writing its Own (Hollywood) Script
    • The World, Built by China
    Among the stories still to come in the series is an examination of China’s authoritarian control of its citizens, as well as articles on how the country is challenging the global, liberal democratic order and why its economic rise left many Western economists red-faced.
    If after reading China Rules, you’d like to discuss the series, we have a new Facebook group: Examining China’s Reach With The New York Times.
    In Conversation
    Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, will join Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, in conversation at the University of Toronto on Tuesday, December 11. The two will discuss U.S.-Canada relations, foreign policy challenges and more. Details and ticket information are available here.
    And a final reminder that Sam Tanenhaus, a former editor of The New York Times Book Review, will moderate a panel on book reviewing on Friday, Nov. 30, also in Toronto. Use the code CANADALETTER for $5 off the ticket price.
    Trans Canada
    —The turmoil that followed the arrest of six teenagers accused of sexual assault during hazing rituals at an elite private school in Toronto is prompting some Canadians to question the value of all-boys schools.
    —Canada is pushing the United States to end steel and aluminum tariffs before the ceremonial signing of the replacement deal for Nafta. But Washington is considering another, similarly unappealing measure to replace the duties.
    —An art historian from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario is among the curators of an exhibit that uses imaging technology to peel back the layers of Bruegel’s complex masterpieces.
    —In Opinion, Amanda Siebert wrote that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada will allow medical research to blossom.
    —While the United States dithers, Canada has approved new regulations that will allow for the sale of cars with headlights that automatically adjust their beams, letting drivers see farther down the road without blinding oncoming traffic.
    A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for the past 15 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/world/canada/china-defied-expectations-canada.html

  9. Everyone is expecting a communist China to fail. But in fact China is getting stronger and bigger and more powerful. China proves communism can work to the chagrin of ‘democratic’ countries such as the US who is jealous and threatened of their own status quo. China will continue to grow according to the New York Times.

    The Land That Failed to Fail
    The West was sure the Chinese approach would not work. It just had to wait. It’s still waiting.
    By PHILIP P. PAN
    Photographs by BRYAN DENTON
    NOV. 18, 2018
    In the uncertain years after Mao’s death, long before China became an industrial juggernaut, before the Communist Party went on a winning streak that would reshape the world, a group of economics students gathered at a mountain retreat outside Shanghai. There, in the bamboo forests of Moganshan, the young scholars grappled with a pressing question: How could China catch up with the West?
    It was the autumn of 1984, and on the other side of the world, Ronald Reagan was promising “morning again in America.” China, meanwhile, was just recovering from decades of political and economic turmoil. There had been progress in the countryside, but more than three-quarters of the population still lived in extreme poverty. The state decided where everyone worked, what every factory made and how much everything cost.
    The students and researchers attending the Academic Symposium of Middle-Aged and Young Economists wanted to unleash market forces but worried about crashing the economy — and alarming the party bureaucrats and ideologues who controlled it.
    Late one night, they reached a consensus: Factories should meet state quotas but sell anything extra they made at any price they chose. It was a clever, quietly radical proposal to undercut the planned economy — and it intrigued a young party official in the room who had no background in economics. “As they were discussing the problem, I didn’t say anything at all,” recalled Xu Jing’an, now 76 and retired. “I was thinking, how do we make this work?”
    The Chinese economy has grown so fast for so long now that it is easy to forget how unlikely its metamorphosis into a global powerhouse was, how much of its ascent was improvised and born of desperation. The proposal that Mr. Xu took from the mountain retreat, soon adopted as government policy, was a pivotal early step in this astounding transformation.
    China now leads the world in the number of homeowners, internet users, college graduates and, by some counts, billionaires. Extreme poverty has fallen to less than 1 percent. An isolated, impoverished backwater has evolved into the most significant rival to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union.
    An epochal contest is underway. With President Xi Jinping pushing a more assertive agenda overseas and tightening controls at home, the Trump administration has launched a trade war and is gearing up for what could be a new Cold War. Meanwhile, in Beijing the question these days is less how to catch up with the West than how to pull ahead — and how to do so in a new era of American hostility.
    The pattern is familiar to historians, a rising power challenging an established one, with a familiar complication: For decades, the United States encouraged and aided China’s rise, working with its leaders and its people to build the most important economic partnership in the world, one that has lifted both nations.
    During this time, eight American presidents assumed, or hoped, that China would eventually bend to what were considered the established rules of modernization: Prosperity would fuel popular demands for political freedom and bring China into the fold of democratic nations. Or the Chinese economy would falter under the weight of authoritarian rule and bureaucratic rot.
    But neither happened. Instead, China’s Communist leaders have defied expectations again and again. They embraced capitalism even as they continued to call themselves Marxists. They used repression to maintain power but without stifling entrepreneurship or innovation. Surrounded by foes and rivals, they avoided war, with one brief exception, even as they fanned nationalist sentiment at home. And they presided over 40 years of uninterrupted growth, often with unorthodox policies the textbooks said would fail.
    In late September, the People’s Republic of China marked a milestone, surpassing the Soviet Union in longevity. Days later, it celebrated a record 69 years of Communist rule. And China may be just hitting its stride — a new superpower with an economy on track to become not just the world’s largest but, quite soon, the largest by a wide margin.
    The world thought it could change China, and in many ways it has. But China’s success has been so spectacular that it has just as often changed the world — and the American understanding of how the world works.
    There is no simple explanation for how China’s leaders pulled this off. There was foresight and luck, skill and violent resolve, but perhaps most important was the fear — a sense of crisis among Mao’s successors that they never shook, and that intensified after the Tiananmen Square massacre and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Even as they put the disasters of Mao’s rule behind them, China’s Communists studied and obsessed over the fate of their old ideological allies in Moscow, determined to learn from their mistakes. They drew two lessons: The party needed to embrace “reform” to survive — but “reform” must never include democratization.
    China has veered between these competing impulses ever since, between opening up and clamping down, between experimenting with change and resisting it, always pulling back before going too far in either direction for fear of running aground.
    Many people said that the party would fail, that this tension between openness and repression would be too much for a nation as big as China to sustain. But it may be precisely why China soared.
    Whether it can continue to do so with the United States trying to stop it is another question entirely.
    Apparatchiks Into Capitalists
    None of the participants at the Moganshan conference could have predicted how China would take off, much less the roles they would play in the boom ahead. They had come of age in an era of tumult, almost entirely isolated from the rest of the world, with little to prepare them for the challenge they faced. To succeed, the party had to both reinvent its ideology and reprogram its best and brightest to carry it out.
    Mr. Xu, for example, had graduated with a degree in journalism on the eve of Mao’s violent Cultural Revolution, during which millions of people were purged, persecuted and killed. He spent those years at a “cadre school” doing manual labor and teaching Marxism in an army unit. After Mao’s death, he was assigned to a state research institute tasked with fixing the economy. His first job was figuring out how to give factories more power to make decisions, a subject he knew almost nothing about. Yet he went on to a distinguished career as an economic policymaker, helping launch China’s first stock market in Shenzhen.
    Among the other young participants in Moganshan were Zhou Xiaochuan, who would later lead China’s central bank for 15 years; Lou Jiwei, who ran China’s sovereign wealth fund and recently stepped down as finance minister; and an agricultural policy specialist named Wang Qishan, who rose higher than any of them.
    Mr. Wang headed China’s first investment bank and helped steer the nation through the Asian financial crisis. As Beijing’s mayor, he hosted the 2008 Olympics. Then he oversaw the party’s recent high-stakes crackdown on corruption. Now he is China’s vice president, second in authority only to Xi Jinping, the party’s leader.
    The careers of these men from Moganshan highlight an important aspect of China’s success: It turned its apparatchiks into capitalists.
    Bureaucrats who were once obstacles to growth became engines of growth. Officials devoted to class warfare and price controls began chasing investment and promoting private enterprise. Every day now, the leader of a Chinese district, city or province makes a pitch like the one Yan Chaojun made at a business forum in September.
    “Sanya,” Mr. Yan said, referring to the southern resort town he leads, “must be a good butler, nanny, driver and cleaning person for businesses, and welcome investment from foreign companies.”
    It was a remarkable act of reinvention, one that eluded the Soviets. In both China and the Soviet Union, vast Stalinist bureaucracies had smothered economic growth, with officials who wielded unchecked power resisting change that threatened their privileges.
    Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, tried to break the hold of these bureaucrats on the economy by opening up the political system. Decades later, Chinese officials still take classes on why that was a mistake. The party even produced a documentary series on the subject in 2006, distributing it on classified DVDs for officials at all levels to watch.
    Afraid to open up politically but unwilling to stand still, the party found another way. It moved gradually and followed the pattern of the compromise at Moganshan, which left the planned economy intact while allowing a market economy to flourish and outgrow it.
    Party leaders called this go-slow, experimental approach “crossing the river by feeling the stones” — allowing farmers to grow and sell their own crops, for example, while retaining state ownership of the land; lifting investment restrictions in “special economic zones,” while leaving them in place in the rest of the country; or introducing privatization by selling only minority stakes in state firms at first.
    “There was resistance,” Mr. Xu said. “Satisfying the reformers and the opposition was an art.”
    American economists were skeptical. Market forces needed to be introduced quickly, they argued; otherwise, the bureaucracy would mobilize to block necessary changes. After a visit to China in 1988, the Nobel laureate Milton Friedman called the party’s strategy “an open invitation to corruption and inefficiency.”
    But China had a strange advantage in battling bureaucratic resistance. The nation’s long economic boom followed one of the darkest chapters of its history, the Cultural Revolution, which decimated the party apparatus and left it in shambles. In effect, autocratic excess set the stage for Mao’s eventual successor, Deng Xiaoping, to lead the party in a radically more open direction.
    That included sending generations of young party officials to the United States and elsewhere to study how modern economies worked. Sometimes they enrolled in universities, sometimes they found jobs, and sometimes they went on brief “study tours.” When they returned, the party promoted their careers and arranged for others to learn from them.
    At the same time, the party invested in education, expanding access to schools and universities, and all but eliminating illiteracy. Many critics focus on the weaknesses of the Chinese system — the emphasis on tests and memorization, the political constraints, the discrimination against rural students. But mainland China now produces more graduates in science and engineering every year than the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan combined.
    In cities like Shanghai, Chinese schoolchildren outperform peers around the world. For many parents, though, even that is not enough. Because of new wealth, a traditional emphasis on education as a path to social mobility and the state’s hypercompetitive college entrance exam, most students also enroll in after-school tutoring programs — a market worth $125 billion, according to one study, or as much as half the government’s annual military budget.
    Another explanation for the party’s transformation lies in bureaucratic mechanics. Analysts sometimes say that China embraced economic reform while resisting political reform. But in reality, the party made changes after Mao’s death that fell short of free elections or independent courts yet were nevertheless significant.
    The party introduced term limits and mandatory retirement ages, for example, making it easier to flush out incompetent officials. And it revamped the internal report cards it used to evaluate local leaders for promotions and bonuses, focusing them almost exclusively on concrete economic targets.
    These seemingly minor adjustments had an outsize impact, injecting a dose of accountability — and competition — into the political system, said Yuen Yuen Ang, a political scientist at the University of Michigan. “China created a unique hybrid,” she said, “an autocracy with democratic characteristics.”
    As the economy flourished, officials with a single-minded focus on growth often ignored widespread pollution, violations of labor standards, and tainted food and medical supplies. They were rewarded with soaring tax revenues and opportunities to enrich their friends, their relatives and themselves. A wave of officials abandoned the state and went into business. Over time, the party elite amassed great wealth, which cemented its support for the privatization of much of the economy it once controlled.
    The private sector now produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s economic output, employs over 80 percent of workers in cities and towns, and generates 90 percent of new jobs, a senior official said in a speech last year. As often as not, the bureaucrats stay out of the way.
    “I basically don’t see them even once a year,” said James Ni, chairman and founder of Mlily, a mattress manufacturer in eastern China. “I’m creating jobs, generating tax revenue. Why should they bother me?”
    In recent years, President Xi has sought to assert the party’s authority inside private firms. He has also bolstered state-owned enterprises with subsidies while preserving barriers to foreign competition. And he has endorsed demands that American companies surrender technology in exchange for market access.
    In doing so, he is betting that the Chinese state has changed so much that it should play a leading role in the economy — that it can build and run “national champions” capable of outcompeting the United States for control of the high-tech industries of the future. But he has also provoked a backlash in Washington.
    ‘Opening Up’
    In December, the Communist Party will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “reform and opening up” policies that transformed China. The triumphant propaganda has already begun, with Mr. Xi putting himself front and center, as if taking a victory lap for the nation.
    He is the party’s most powerful leader since Deng and the son of a senior official who served Deng, but even as he wraps himself in Deng’s legacy, Mr. Xi has set himself apart in an important way: Deng encouraged the party to seek help and expertise overseas, but Mr. Xi preaches self-reliance and warns of the threats posed by “hostile foreign forces.”
    In other words, he appears to have less use for the “opening up” part of Deng’s slogan.
    Of the many risks that the party took in its pursuit of growth, perhaps the biggest was letting in foreign investment, trade and ideas. It was an exceptional gamble by a country once as isolated as North Korea is today, and it paid off in an exceptional way: China tapped into a wave of globalization sweeping the world and emerged as the world’s factory. China’s embrace of the internet, within limits, helped make it a leader in technology. And foreign advice helped China reshape its banks, build a legal system and create modern corporations.
    The party prefers a different narrative these days, presenting the economic boom as “grown out of the soil of China” and primarily the result of its leadership. But this obscures one of the great ironies of China’s rise — that Beijing’s former enemies helped make it possible.
    The United States and Japan, both routinely vilified by party propagandists, became major trading partners and were important sources of aid, investment and expertise. The real game changers, though, were people like Tony Lin, a factory manager who made his first trip to the mainland in 1988.
    Mr. Lin was born and raised in Taiwan, the self-governing island where those who lost the Chinese civil war fled after the Communist Revolution. As a schoolboy, he was taught that mainland China was the enemy.
    But in the late 1980s, the sneaker factory he managed in central Taiwan was having trouble finding workers, and its biggest customer, Nike, suggested moving some production to China. Mr. Lin set aside his fears and made the trip. What he found surprised him: a large and willing work force, and officials so eager for capital and know-how that they offered the use of a state factory free and a five-year break on taxes.
    Mr. Lin spent the next decade shuttling to and from southern China, spending months at a time there and returning home only for short breaks to see his wife and children. He built and ran five sneaker factories, including Nike’s largest Chinese supplier.
    “China’s policies were tremendous,” he recalled. “They were like a sponge absorbing water, money, technology, everything.”
    Mr. Lin was part of a torrent of investment from ethnic Chinese enclaves in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and beyond that washed over China — and gave it a leg up on other developing countries. Without this diaspora, some economists argue, the mainland’s transformation might have stalled at the level of a country like Indonesia or Mexico.
    The timing worked out for China, which opened up just as Taiwan was outgrowing its place in the global manufacturing chain. China benefited from Taiwan’s money, but also its managerial experience, technology and relationships with customers around the world. In effect, Taiwan jump-started capitalism in China and plugged it into the global economy.
    Before long, the government in Taiwan began to worry about relying so much on its onetime enemy and tried to shift investment elsewhere. But the mainland was too cheap, too close and, with a common language and heritage, too familiar. Mr. Lin tried opening factories in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia but always came back to China.
    Now Taiwan finds itself increasingly dependent on a much more powerful China, which is pushing ever harder for unification, and the island’s future is uncertain.
    There are echoes of Taiwan’s predicament around the world, where many are having second thoughts about how they rushed to embrace Beijing with trade and investment.
    The remorse may be strongest in the United States, which brought China into the World Trade Organization, became China’s largest customer and now accuses it of large-scale theft of technology — what one official called “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”
    Many in Washington predicted that trade would bring political change. It did, but not in China. “Opening up” ended up strengthening the party’s hold on power rather than weakening it. The shock of China’s rise as an export colossus, however, was felt in factory towns around the world.
    In the United States, economists say at least two million jobs disappeared as a result, many in districts that ended up voting for President Trump.
    Selective Repression
    Over lunch at a luxurious private club on the 50th floor of an apartment tower in central Beijing, one of China’s most successful real estate tycoons explained why he had left his job at a government research center after the crackdown on the student-led democracy movement in Tiananmen Square.
    “It was very easy,” said Feng Lun, the chairman of Vantone Holdings, which manages a multibillion-dollar portfolio of properties around the world. “One day, I woke up and everyone had run away. So I ran, too.”
    Until the soldiers opened fire, he said, he had planned to spend his entire career in the civil service. Instead, as the party was pushing out those who had sympathized with the students, he joined the exodus of officials who started over as entrepreneurs in the 1990s.
    “At the time, if you held a meeting and told us to go into business, we wouldn’t have gone,” he recalled. “So this incident, it unintentionally planted seeds in the market economy.”
    Such has been the seesaw pattern of the party’s success.
    The pro-democracy movement in 1989 was the closest the party ever came to political liberalization after Mao’s death, and the crackdown that followed was the furthest it went in the other direction, toward repression and control. After the massacre, the economy stalled and retrenchment seemed certain. Yet three years later, Deng used a tour of southern China to wrestle the party back to “reform and opening up” once more.
    Many who had left the government, like Mr. Feng, suddenly found themselves leading the nation’s transformation from the outside, as its first generation of private entrepreneurs.
    Now Mr. Xi is steering the party toward repression again, tightening its grip on society, concentrating power in his own hands and setting himself up to rule for life by abolishing the presidential term limit. Will the party loosen up again, as it did a few years after Tiananmen, or is this a more permanent shift? If it is, what will it mean for the Chinese economic miracle?
    The fear is that Mr. Xi is attempting to rewrite the recipe behind China’s rise, replacing selective repression with something more severe.
    The party has always been vigilant about crushing potential threats — a fledgling opposition party, a popular spiritual movement, even a dissident writer awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But with some big exceptions, it has also generally retreated from people’s personal lives and given them enough freedom to keep the economy growing.
    The internet is an example of how it has benefited by striking a balance. The party let the nation go online with barely an inkling of what that might mean, then reaped the economic benefits while controlling the spread of information that could hurt it.
    In 2011, it confronted a crisis. After a high-speed train crash in eastern China, more than 30 million messages criticizing the party’s handling of the fatal accident flooded social media — faster than censors could screen them.
    Panicked officials considered shutting down the most popular service, Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, but the authorities were afraid of how the public would respond. In the end, they let Weibo stay open but invested much more in tightening controls and ordered companies to do the same.
    The compromise worked. Now, many companies assign hundreds of employees to censorship duties — and China has become a giant on the global internet landscape.
    “The cost of censorship is quite limited compared to the great value created by the internet,” said Chen Tong, an industry pioneer. “We still get the information we need for economic progress.”
    A ‘New Era’
    China is not the only country that has squared the demands of authoritarian rule with the needs of free markets. But it has done so for longer, at greater scale and with more convincing results than any other.
    The question now is whether it can sustain this model with the United States as an adversary rather than a partner.
    The trade war has only just begun. And it is not just a trade war. American warships and planes are challenging Chinese claims to disputed waters with increasing frequency even as China keeps ratcheting up military spending. And Washington is maneuvering to counter Beijing’s growing influence around the world, warning that a Chinese spending spree on global infrastructure comes with strings attached.
    The two nations may yet reach some accommodation. But both left and right in America have portrayed China as the champion of an alternative global order, one that embraces autocratic values and undermines fair competition. It is a rare consensus for the United States, which is deeply divided about so much else, including how it has wielded power abroad in recent decades — and how it should do so now.
    Mr. Xi, on the other hand, has shown no sign of abandoning what he calls “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Some in his corner have been itching to take on the United States since the 2008 financial crisis and see the Trump administration’s policies as proof of what they have always suspected — that America is determined to keep China down.
    At the same time, there is also widespread anxiety over the new acrimony, because the United States has long inspired admiration and envy in China, and because of a gnawing sense that the party’s formula for success may be faltering.
    Prosperity has brought rising expectations in China; the public wants more than just economic growth. It wants cleaner air, safer food and medicine, better health care and schools, less corruption and greater equality. The party is struggling to deliver, and tweaks to the report cards it uses to measure the performance of officials hardly seem enough.
    “The basic problem is, who is growth for?” said Mr. Xu, the retired official who wrote the Moganshan report. “We haven’t solved this problem.”
    Growth has begun to slow, which may be better for the economy in the long term but could shake public confidence. The party is investing ever more in censorship to control discussion of the challenges the nation faces: widening inequality, dangerous debt levels, an aging population.
    Mr. Xi himself has acknowledged that the party must adapt, declaring that the nation is entering a “new era” requiring new methods. But his prescription has largely been a throwback to repression, including vast internment camps targeting Muslim ethnic minorities. “Opening up” has been replaced by an outward push, with huge loans that critics describe as predatory and other efforts to gain influence — or interfere — in the politics of other countries. At home, experimentation is out while political orthodoxy and discipline are in.
    In effect, Mr. Xi seems to believe that China has been so successful that the party can return to a more conventional authoritarian posture — and that to survive and surpass the United States it must.
    Certainly, the momentum is still with the party. Over the past four decades, economic growth in China has been 10 times faster than in the United States, and it is still more than twice as fast. The party appears to enjoy broad public support, and many around the world are convinced that Mr. Trump’s America is in retreat while China’s moment is just beginning.
    Then again, China has a way of defying expectations.
    Philip P. Pan is The Times’s Asia Editor and author of “Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China.” He has lived in and reported on China for nearly two decades.
    Jonathan Ansfield and Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Beijing. Claire Fu, Zoe Mou and Iris Zhao contributed research from Beijing, and Carolyn Zhang from Shanghai.
    Design: Matt Ruby, Rumsey Taylor, Quoctrung Bui Editing: Tess Felder, Eric Nagourney, David Schmidt Photo Editing: Craig Allen, Meghan Petersen, Mikko Takkunen Illustrations: Sergio Peçanh

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/25/world/asia/china-rules.html

  10. India and China now pushing ahead with resolution of their border disputes. It looks like India is finally ready to officially drop the Tibet card.

    Excerpt:

    “India and China will have “early harvest” talks on their vexed border dispute as many agreements have been reached by both sides since their top leaders met in Wuhan, Beijing said on Monday”.

    Sino-Indian ‘early harvest’ spells scorched earth for Tibetan dreams.

    Too bad for Tibetans in India. Too bad for Tibetan leadership. Their karma coming back soon for all the harms they have done.

    India, China for ‘early harvest’ talks on border
    November 27, 2018
    BEIJING: India and China will have “early harvest” talks on their vexed border dispute as many agreements have been reached by both sides since their top leaders met in Wuhan, Beijing said on Monday.
    Days after India and China pledged to intensify their efforts to resolve a decades-long boundary feud in their border talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that New Delhi and Beijing have agreed to authorise the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs to start “early harvest consultations.”
    The Ministry’s spokesperson Geng Shuang said India’s National Security Advisor and Chinese State Councillor had a constructive and forward-looking meeting at the 21st round of border talks last week.
    Asked what he meant by “early harvest,” Geng did not elaborate.
    “After the Wuhan summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the bilateral relations have made very positive progress and made new developments.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    http://gulftoday.ae/portal/f8b61f20-9429-48df-b61d-06df2e236b51.aspx

  11. Dear Lobsang Sangye and Tibetan Govt in exile in Dharamsala,

    How come after 60 years you are still not at the G20 meetings? How come you cannot get your country back? How come the world economies and power are shifting towards the East which is China? How come you cannot get Tibetan autonomy, or freedom or any leeway with China? How come your negotiations with China is a failure and you produced nothing?

    You run around begging for FREE MONEY from Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan and US for 60 years now but no one in your refugee community has made it big or successful? Where did all the money go? In your pockets? How come all your Tibetans from India/Nepal are going back to Tibet or leaving to the west. How come your schools in India are empty? How come Dharamsala is emptying out?

    How come you are getting weaker and more world governments are ignoring you? How come more are paying attention to China? Less governments are willing to pay attention to you and the Tibet cause? Where is all your rangzen groups? How come they are not effective? Maybe they are disillusioned with your corruption, lies and underhanded tactics and human rights abuses using religion to divide your own people?

    What happened to you? Why are you and your community your Tibetan ‘parliament’ such losers and failures? How come you cannot achieve anything?

    Are you going to continue to beg for more FREE MONEY to fund your trips, houses, children’s education, vacations, five star hotels, nice brocade chubas, expensive accessories, and properties. You know the ordinary Tibetan in India has gotten nothing in financial help of the hundreds of millions in aid for that last 60 years you Tibetan exiled government pocketed. Is that why your Tibetan people in India and Nepal are all leaving to back to Tibet and the west? You failed?

    Your policies and work are not effective.

    Too bad.

    China rises at the G20
    The global balance of power is shifting from West to East
    Tensions loom over Argentina, which plays host to the 2018 summit of the G20 which started on November 30. The G20 is an international forum of the EU and the heads of state of 19 major economies, which discusses global economic challenges. And the challenges are mounting.
    Globalization is in reverse, as the US threatens to escalate its trade war with China and other trading partners; and xenophobia is rife in many Western countries. These challenges are a threat to global prosperity, but what will shape much of the long-term evolution of the global economy is the rise of China and other emerging economies.
    Much of the focus at the G20 has been on Donald Trump and his series of sidebar meetings with other leaders, especially Xi Jinping. Trump has said that it is “highly unlikely” that he would postpone the planned increase in tariff levels from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods in January 2019.
    Of course, this may be bluster and a frequent refrain from apologists for Trump is: “Take note of what the president does, not what he says.” But we may be on the cusp of a full-blown trade war, which will not be confined to the US and China and which will reverse and reconfigure globalization. Entering foreign markets will be more costly and global supply chains will be disrupted.
    Globalization is not inevitable
    The notion that globalization is a natural phenomenon, akin to the change in the seasons or the weather or gravity, is a frequent refrain. During his tenure as prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair opined: “I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalization. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer.” A pithy turn of phrase, but patently not true.
    The configuration and extent of globalization are shaped by public policy and technological change. When this changes, it can, in turn, accelerate, slow, or reverse globalization. In periods of severe economic crisis, it has been common for countries to become inward looking — blaming “others” for economic problems and resorting to protectionism and controls on immigration.
    In the interwar period, for example, the response to the Great Depression was a trade war and competitive devaluations as the Gold Standard unraveled. Similarly, since the 2008-09 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, there has been a worldwide rise in protectionist measures and Trump’s interventions may lead to a new phase of “delocalization.”
    An evolving global economic order
    Major economic crises often reflect endemic flaws within the structure of the global economy and lead to major changes in global economic leadership. The crises and lessons of the interwar period led to the establishment of the Bretton Woods system, which managed the world economy during the post-war golden age of capitalism until the early 1970s. It was the system that created new international institutions (the IMF, World Bank, and GATT, which was the forerunner of the WTO) and this was underpinned by the dominance of the US economy.
    But the relative strength of the US (and the dollar) declined and the system unraveled in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This collapse, and a series of oil crises, led to another major economic crisis which temporarily stalled globalization and led to shifting reliance on the power of unfettered market forces.
    Liberal market capitalism may have been unleashed, but is still not ubiquitous in the world economy. The picture of a fully globalized world and the dominance of free markets is a partial distortion of a complex picture. The extent to which countries have embraced the global market agenda is highly variable.
    Although many developed countries have deregulated financial markets, capital controls and managed currencies are still highly prevalent in developing countries. In terms of trade, tariffs have been reduced since World War II but they have not been eradicated.
    Meanwhile, the use of non-tariff barriers has increased, with roughly 80% of all traded goods affected by these restrictive rules and regulations — and these are prevalent in developed countries. The ongoing chaos of Brexit illustrates that “free trade” is not a natural state but is negotiated, complex, and dependent on a litany of regulations and agreements.
    Deregulation, the hollowing out of the welfare state, and intensified global competition have led to rising income and wealth inequality in many Western countries. And many of those who have not benefited from globalization have also borne the brunt of the austerity policies that followed the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The resulting backlash against globalization helps explain the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit.
    The rise of China
    The G20 will focus on current instability but there are long-term structural shifts which are leading to a rebalancing of the global economy. The balance of power is shifting from West to East and we are in the early stages of transition to China as the dominant world economy.
    China is already the largest economy in the world (measured in purchasing power parity) and PwC (using World Bank data) estimates that by 2050, the Chinese economy will be 72% larger than the US. Further, by 2050, six of the largest eight economies will be countries that are still emerging markets.
    China is home to many of the world’s largest companies, including major tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent. It is investing rapidly in research and innovation and although the dollar remains the dominant world currency, the IMF has added the renminbi to its basket of global reserve currencies. It will only become more important as Trump’s policy of American isolationism continues.
    This year’s G20 summit will focus on maintaining some semblance of international cooperation and preventing a global trade war. The short-term noise will probably come from Trump. But China can play a long-term game as its position in the global economy is on the rise. In the face of the gales of the long-term shifts in the global economy, Trump can blow hard now — but as far as the future is concerned, he will be blowing in the wind.
    Michael Kitson is University Senior Lecturer in International Macroeconomics, Cambridge Judge Business School. This article previously appeared in Reuters.
    https://www.dhakatribune.com/opinion/op-ed/2018/12/01/china-rises-at-the-g20

  12. TIBETANS SHOULD NOT HAVE MONKS AS LEADERS, THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE

    Note what Namdol Lhagyari said is progressive and unlike the usual Tibetan rhetoric:

    “The problem I see right now is how reliant we are on one individual,” Namdol Lhagyari, 32, the youngest member of Tibet’s exile parliament, said. “I understand that every freedom movement requires one role model, one leader, who would push everyone in the right direction, bring everyone to one goal. But he has reached an age where we will have to prepare ourselves for a post-Dalai Lama.”

    Source: https://themediaproject.org/news/2018/12/3/as-the-dalai-lama-ages-tibetan-exiles-turn-to-secular-unity-over-sacred

    👎

    These are important points to remember:

    1. Tibetan lamas and monks SHOULD not enter politics. They should not hold positions of power, leadership and political roles. It will demean the Dharma. They are not trained, nor qualified nor have the credentials to be in government. They also do much damage to religion as people start to respect them less. The lines between respecting them as spiritual beings (sangha) and speaking against them when they are in government and make wrong decisions become blurred.

    2. Monks and nuns should not get involved with the running of the country but should stick to education. Giving good education to the public about ethics, morality and in some cases Buddhism. No one wants to see a political monk or nun. Because it contradicts the very reason they renounced the worldly life in order to enter a life of contemplation, learning, meditation and gaining enlightenment.

    3. Look at other countries where Buddhism is strong where sangha is sangha and never get involved with government or being public officials. In Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka etc where there are tens of thousands of sangha, you don’t see them in the government at all. Local or national governments both do not have sangha. Even in Christian countries you don’t see priests in government. That is Tibet’s big mistake to place monks/high lamas in so many government positions and as public officials. Very dangerous for the country as it has proven with Tibet and Tibetans.

    4. Monks, nuns and high lamas should do dharma practice, produce books, videos, give teachings, guide the public, do funerals, blessings, be a nurturer, study dharma, build real temples, keep existing temples spiritual, animal shelters, environmentalists, be mediators, help with orphanages, shelters, the poor, half way houses, poor houses, and basically all sorts of charities that benefit the mind and body of sentient beings that is NOT GOVERNMENT BASED. If sangha gives good education, they can produce kind and good leaders to run the country.

    Tibetans should never never never allow Sangha (monks, nuns and spiritual personages) to be involved with government, politics and rule of law because it ends up in disaster. That is how Tibet lost it’s country and will never get it back. There are too many monks in the Tibetan Parliament and as leaders remember Samdhong Rinpoche as the prime minister of exiles. That was very bad. The King of Tibet currently is a monk. How does that look? Very political.
    Tibet made that huge mistake and Tibet will never recover from it.

    Forum: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=6226.0

  13. Differences between Dalai Lama and CTA president put Tibetan politics in a tailspin
    By Rajeev Sharma, November 27, 2018 SouthasianMonitor.com

    Tibetan politics is in a tailspin as there are signs of serious differences between the 14th Dalai Lama, unquestionably the supreme and undisputed leader of the Tibetans, and Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

    The immediate provocation is the unceremonious cancellation of the 13th Religious Conference of the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition, which was scheduled between November 29 and December 1 year in Dharamshala. Insiders have revealed that the conference was cancelled by Lobsang without consulting the Dalai Lama.

    Even more intriguing is the timing of the move. Knowledgeable sources in the Tibetan establishment in India disclosed that Lobsang made the move while the Dalai Lama was travelling back from Japan, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to do anything to stop it.

    Tibetan politics is turning out to be a cloak-and-dagger mystery. According to sources, Lobsang waited until the Dalai Lama was on his way to the airport before ordering the Department of Religion and Culture to cancel the event. Interestingly, the cancellation of the conference is available by way of an announcement in English on the CTA website.

    The CTA’s Department of Religion and Culture announced that owing to the sudden demise of the supreme head of the Nyingma tradition, Kathok Getse Rinpoche, who passed away this week in Nepal and in respecting the sentiments of the followers of Nyingma tradition, the 13th Religious Conference of the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition was being indefinitely postponed.

    The department cited that many lamas and representatives of the Nyingma tradition were unable to participate because of Rinpoche’s passing away.

    On November 22, the CTA organised a prayer service to mourn the demise of Rinpoche, the 7th supreme head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche passed away following an accident on November 19 in Pharping, Nepal. He was 64.

    Sources say the Dalai Lama is furious with Lobsang Sangay for trying to take credit for his negotiations with China about returning to Tibet.

    Sangay claimed that the Dalai Lama has failed for 60 years in negotiations with China, but he has the power and ability to succeed. This is also an indication of how weak the Dalai Lama’s current position is. Sangay knows that the Dalai Lama has been negotiating with China about returning and he’s trying to position himself to take credit for it. Had this happened a few years ago the Dalai Lama would have had him removed, but since his cancer has become terminal, Sangay has been consolidating his position among the exiled community. He controls the press department of the Tibetan government-in-exile and has done so since he ousted Dicki Chhoyang.

    For the record, the head of the department, which cancelled the conference, was appointed by Sangay.

    By the time the Dalai Lama returned to India the event was cancelled and announcements were issued to the media while he was still in the flight, which would have prevented a confirmation with the Tibetan leader and nothing could have been done to stop it. The reason given for the cancellation was the death of a senior monk.

    Sources said that the real reason for the CTA president to keep the Dalai Lama in the dark was because the latter would decide again whether to back the Karmapa as his successor. The Karmapa issue has been a major reason of discord between the Dalai Lama and the CTA president. Sources spoke about a telephonic conversation between the Dalai Lama and Sangay in this regard on November 22 when the former was in Japan.

    During this conversation, furious arguments broke out between the two. The Dalai Lama is said to have “shouted” at Sangay, saying that the Karmapa wouldn’t be chosen and that he wouldn’t be dictated terms by anyone. In this conversation, the Dalai Lama used some expletives in Tibetan language which he did not expect Sangay to understand as the CTA president doesn’t know the language. However, a Lobsang aide is said to have translated what the Dalai Lama said.

    This marks the most significant power play ever between the different factions within the Tibetan exile leadership. In other words, it’s now an all-out battle between the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay over the future of the exile community, which may worsen in the days to come.

    (The writer is a columnist and strategic analyst who tweets @Kishkindha)

    Source: http://southasianmonitor.com/2018/11/27/differences-between-dalai-lama-and-cta-president-put-tibetan-politics-in-a-tailspin/

    ===================================

    This interesting article has much food for thought:

    1. Dalai Lama is angry and shouting expletives as Lobsang Sangay. Everyone knows the Dalai Lama is in full control. He claims he’s retired from politics but this is just to say what the west wants to hear so he can continue getting funding. It looks good to the west that he voluntarily gave up power and this makes him look progressive. But the Dalai Lama controls everything from behind and if you don’t agree with his decisions, he will be furious. Every Tibetan knows this well.

    2. Interesting the article mentions Dalai Lama’s cancer is terminal. Everyone knew this but the Dalai Lama tries to cover this point up. Why? Who knows? What is the problem if people knows he has cancer. Tibetan govt tries to play it down.

    3. Dalai Lama is angry as his successor will only be on his terms and no one else may dictate to him the terms as Lobsang Sangay tried to do so since it is not a democracy in practice. As all Tibetans know, the Dalai Lama is the Lama-King and he has full power and no one may contradict him. The face he shows the west (soft, friendly, diplomatic, easy-going, democratic) is all just for the west. The face Dalai Lama shows his Tibetan people (fierce, King, angersome, in charge and must be obeyed) is how it really is. Tibetans know the Dalai Lama controls everything and fully manages all politics. People are not happy with this but dare not speak up as there is no democracy.

    Writer Rajeev Sharma is telling the situation like it really is. Finally the truth is coming out. Tibetan government in exile is a regime in every sense of the world that depends on all the hundreds of millions of free dollars it has been taking from the west, Japan, Australia and so on. It exists on free money. It is not a good government and has failed all negotiations with China due to the Tibetan leaders’ arrogance. Why arrogance? They think the world will force China to do what Tibetans leaders want and that they are so important on everyone’s agenda. Tibetans are on no one’s top agenda and China is an economic and military super power. China will not and will never kowtow to the Tibetan demands. It is the Tibetans who must beg China to be friends and get some concessions if at all possible. No country has ever dared stand up to USA, but China has and China is growing in power yearly. Everyone is scrambling to be China’s friend and saying goodbye to the Tibetan cause. Tibetan cause is the thing of the past and no economic benefits to support Tibetan cause.

    These days every country votes in leaders that can better their country’s economy due to world recession. So every country has to do business and trade and aid with China to improve their economy. If you side with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan govt in exile in India, what do you get? Nothing! So leaders of every nation realize this now and will continue to make friends with China and say goodbye to the Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama on a personal level may be rich, famous and sells a lot of books, but that won’t get Tibet back. That won’t win the support of leaders of the free world and other nations.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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