Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche: China and Chinese will be the Protector of Buddhism

“China and Chinese will be the Protector of Buddhism.” – Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche [1]

By: Amber Sonam

Who is Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche?

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, also known as Khyentse Norbu, was born in 1961 to Kyabje Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, who was a prominent modern lama in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was the eldest son of Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (1904 – 1987), the second reincarnation of Dudjom Rinpoche who in turn was a direct reincarnation of Dudjom Lingpa (1835 – 1904). Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje was also appointed the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the 14th Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in 1964, and remained in that position until his passing in 1987. In that sense, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche hails from spiritual nobility.

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

At seven years of age, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche was recognized as the third “mindstream emanation”[2] of the founder of the Khyentse lineage by His Holiness Sakya Trizin Rinpoche. The Khyentse lineage is a lineage of tulkus (highly realized masters) who take rebirth out of great compassion, to carry on the responsibilities of their previous incarnations. The Khyentse lineage began with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820 – 1892) who was regarded as an exceptional master – a scholar, mystic, author, and meditator par excellence. He was an authority on all the different Tibetan Buddhist teachings, and encouraged his students to appreciate the profundity of all the existing traditions, thus shunning sectarian bias. This approach has became known as Rime, the non-sectarian approach. His reincarnation was found in the form of Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro (1894 – 1959) who like his predecessor also received teachings from a wide scope of teachers from various Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro held and spread many meditation practice lineages to lamas and students of Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. In the 1950s, Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro settled in Sikkim where he became the guru of the royal family.

Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo also reincarnated as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche[3] (1910 – 1991) who became a pillar of the Buddhist educational system in the years that followed the Tibetan exodus in 1959. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche became the chaplain of the Bhutanese royal family as well as a tutor to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Apart from his important writings and teachings, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche also built stupas and established several retreat centers and monasteries.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche would also become the tutor for the second lama to bear the “Dzongsar Khyentse” name in this Khyentse lineage. This lama, also known as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, was enthroned in 1968 and studied at the Palace Monastery of the King of Sikkim until the age of 12. He counts as his root gurus teachers from all four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug and Kagyu) which is very much aligned to the unique non-sectarian tradition of the Khyentse lineage. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche studied under some of the greatest contemporary lamas, particularly his main teacher, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In addition, he also studied at Sakya College in Rajpur, and later attended London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Second from left: seven year old Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche with a group of reincarnated lamas and their principal teacher, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has been active in preserving Buddhist teachings, establishing centres of learning, supporting practitioners, publishing books, and teaching worldwide from a young age. At the same time, he supervises his traditional seat of Dzongsar Monastery and its retreat centres in Eastern Tibet, as well as his colleges in Bir and Chauntra, India and Bhutan. He also established centers in Australia, North America and the Far East.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded the Siddhartha’s Intent in 1989. Siddhartha’s Intent is an international non-profit Buddhist association with the principal intention of preserving the Buddhist teachings, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of the many aspects of Buddhist teachings transcending cultural and traditional boundaries.

In 1993, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded the White Lotus Charitable Trust, a secular organisation dedicated to serving and alleviating the conditions of the most neglected and forgotten children of India and Cambodia, through the means of education. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s presence is an inspiration for many around the world and that has helped White Lotus to become a global volunteer network of like-minded humanitarians. Many have gone on to establish their own networks with the view of supporting the Lotus Outreach programs in India and Cambodia.

Lotus Outreach was incorporated in Southern California in 2002 as a non-profit organisation to create an American-based infrastructure dedicated to ensuring the education, health and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in India and Cambodia. White Lotus Charitable Trust’s international Board of Directors, consisting of all volunteers, has continued to raise funds and increase awareness of the cause in their respective home countries covering various issues surrounding poverty and exploitation in Asia.

In 2001, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche founded the Khyentse Foundation, a non-profit organisation which states its goal is to act as a system of patronage for institutions and individuals engaged in the practice and study of Buddha’s wisdom and compassion.

Khyentse Foundation Board members

Apart from his charitable works, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche also authored a number of popular books, including ‘What Makes You Not a Buddhist’, ‘Almost Buddhist’ (Chinese edition), and ‘Not For Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices’. In these books, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche presented the fundamental tenets and practices of Buddhism in simple language, using examples everyone can easily relate to. Hence these books are well-accepted and are in demand by many. In addition, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche provides much wisdom along with good deal of humor in presenting the student-teacher relationships in any spiritual traditions through ‘The Guru Drinks Bourbon?’. This book lends itself to those interested in Tibetan Buddhism as well as anyone seeking insight into the teacher-disciple relationship.

In between his busy schedule of teachings, writings and charitable works, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche also scripted and directed three award-winning films – ‘The Cup’ (1999), ‘Travellers and Magicians’ (2003), and ‘Vara: A Blessing’ (2013). He also studied film-making with the world renowned Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci after serving as a consultant to Bertolucci’s 1993 film ‘Little Buddha’. In addition, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche appeared in the documentary ‘Tulku’ (2009) in which he shared his perspective on Buddhism and his views on the ‘tulku phenomenon’.

Khyentse Norbu and Vara’s production designer, Aradhana Seth. The movie, shot in Sri Lanka, is based on Sunil Gangopadhyay’s short story Rakta Aar Kanna.

 

China needs Buddhism

“China needs Buddhism. The government is allowing it.
I hope the people will want it.”

- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche [4]

Accompanied by his mother, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche first visited Beijing, China in 1985. Observing the growth and increasing needs of Buddhism in China, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche started to visit China more often, working closely with prominent education institutions, including Peking University, where he held discussions and shared Buddhist teachings.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s first visit to China with his mother

It has always been Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s wish to support and assist young and prominent Rinpoches, such as the 17th Karmapa, Sakyapa Dungseys, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Yangsi, Dudjom Rinpoche Yangsi and other such high personages, to go to China and be exposed to Chinese academic institutions like Peking University. He believes that these Rinpoches could have a crash course in how the Chinese think and proves this belief by paving the path himself via the extensive works of Khyentse Foundation. This is just one of the many roles Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche sees the Khyentse Foundation playing, to help shape the future of Buddhism.

In November 2010, during a two-week landmark trip to China, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche held discussions with friends, associates, professors and students at several academic institutes. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche was warmly received and hosted by:

  1. The Peking University Chinese Cultural Institute
  2. Chinese-Buddhist entrepreneur groups, and
  3. Individual Chinese scholars and practitioners

In Beijing and Hangzhou, he met and held discussions with faculties, friends, and students of various institutions, as well as meeting with representatives from Zhejiang University, China Fine Arts Academy, and others.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche with friends at the Leaning Tower of Tian Ma Shan, Shanghai, December 2010

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche also took the opportunity to visit Buddhist temples, museums, gardens, and monasteries, as well as meet with his cinematographer and potential investors in preparation for his film. Part of his travel itinerary also saw him travelling to Shanghai where he met with friends at the Taihu International School, a Buddhist school founded by the Buddhist teacher Nan Huai Jin. During all of his meetings, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche focused discussions on the explanation and interpretation of Buddhist philosophy, as well as the meaning and value of Buddhist culture in today’s world.

Khyentse Foundation 2012 Annual Report. Click on image to enlarge.

The Khyentse Foundation, which has coordinated many of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s visits, also invests on behalf of the organisation for income generation purposes. Their investments place an emphasis on large emerging capital growth markets. In the Khyentse Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report, it was shown that the Foundation’s equity stakes in China amount to 16% of their total investments, just 1% lower than their total investment in the USA (17%). This is in addition to the Khyentse Foundation receiving funding from China and the many occasions Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche remarked that the Chinese will be the future Protectors of Buddhism, not just in terms of spiritual practice but in funding too.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s fondness for the Chinese people has not gone unrequited and unnoticed. The Chinese translation of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s book ‘What Makes You not a Buddhist’ is very popular in China and it is well-accepted by the Chinese, with many copies of it having been sold since its launch in 2007. When asked in an interview whether the result was surprising, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche replied that he was amazed and mentioned that he has told many people before, that the book was written for the Chinese. Even then, he was pleasantly surprised with its success.

 

A real Rinpoche

Dzongsar Khyentse is the grandson of the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje who was appointed by the 14th Dalai Lama and the CTA. Despite being in a position of power, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche does not interfere in secular and political matters such as the Dorje Shugden ban. He has not spoken against the Dorje Shugden practice once, genuinely demonstrating the spirit of Rime which is to accept all lineages and practices without the slightest hint of discrimination. Such is the quality of this true practitioner, a tulku who reincarnated to benefit others.

Clearly, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has neither personal agenda nor interest in any secular or political campaigns, and nor any stratagems that may yield power and financial support for his works. He is proven to be a real Rinpoche who focuses on preserving the sacred lineages that the CTA is destroying. The Dorje Shugden ban continues to ruin an unbroken lineage of Gelug practice that began 400 years ago and to date, it has harmed many people whether Gelug or non-Gelug. The ban is being conveniently used by the CTA to make Shugden practitioners the scapegoat for the CTA’s failures and inability to form a democratic and progressive government of Tibetans in exile. That is, assuming the CTA ever intended to do so.

Thinley Norbu, Dilgo Khyentse and Dzongsar Khyentse

As much as the CTA has a history of lording over the Tibetan people, it has not dared to take any actions against Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche who is very active in China. Perhaps this is due to Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje’s appointment; the CTA do not want to embarrass themselves by criticizing the grandson of the head of the Nyingma lineage, who was appointed by the Dalai Lama. However, it is more probable that the CTA have refrained from attacking Dzongsar Khyentse for his China links because he is NOT a Gelug lama. The CTA is proven to be the Gelug oppressor, causing dissension within the lineage and segregating families and friends using the Dorje Shugden ban as a tool. Interfering in spiritual matters and oppressing the people has been the Tibetan government’s signature since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. The suppression of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s rising fame was an example of the Tibetan government’s ways and, as in the case of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s case, they are not above committing murder.

Even with the CTA’s track record of retaliating against those who oppose their policies and ambitions, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has shown that he has nothing to be afraid of and has gone about his China-related works without any politics.

Meeting with Mr. Deng XiaoJun who is the current Dean of the People’s Books and Arts, the Secretary of Wutaishan Buddhist Association, the Principal of Correspondence University of Chinese, and the Chinese Grassroots Party Organisation Website Art Director.

 

Why the different treatment?

Unlike Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dorje Shugden lamas who are doing similarly noble works in China such as His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche, Lama Thupten Phurbu, Lama Jampa Ngodup Wangchuk, Denma Gonsa Rinpoche, Zemey Rinpoche and so on, are treated very differently. Unlike Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dorje Shugden lamas are accused of being paid by China and of working as Chinese spies to incapacitate the CTA’s ‘fight’ for Tibetan freedom. The same is not said about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche despite his exposure to and obvious relationship with China.

The CTA’s silence on Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s Chinese endeavors, while simultaneously accusing Shugden lamas of such a connection, confirms that having Chinese associates and friends is not really an issue. It in fact confirms that accusing Shugden lamas as Chinese agents is just an excuse and pretense to persecute anyone who does not tow the leadership’s line and anyone who no longer suits their needs. In this case, the unfortunate victims happen to be Dorje Shugden practitioners, but the accusation could just as easily be directed at anyone else who incurs the Tibetan leadership’s displeasure now and in the future.

A tree in China photographed by Dzongsar Rinpoche

One such lama who has faced a great deal of attacks from the Tibetan leadership is His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche. Gangchen Rinpoche has always been open and honest about his devotion to Dorje Shugden and for this alone, the CTA considers him to be an enemy of the Tibetans. Solely for the reason of his faith, Shugden-practicing lamas like Gangchen Rinpoche have therefore been systematically targeted and blacklisted on the CTA’s top 10 list of ‘state enemies’. As a result, it is not uncommon for Shugden lamas and laypeople to regularly receive death threats. These death threats are sent by the Tibetans at the explicit and implicit encouragement of their leadership which, although supposedly fair and democratic, has an entire section on their website devoted to targeting Dorje Shugden practitioners. On various online platforms, the CTA criticises Gangchen Rinpoche for going to Beijing to pay respects to the Chinese-endorsed Panchen Lama and accuses him of having very close and dangerous ties with the enemy, the Chinese leadership. Meanwhile, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche receives no such treatment from the CTA despite his repeated and multiple trips to meet Chinese officials. The disparity in how both groups are lamas are treated is incredibly obvious.

Gangchen Rinpoche, Lama Michel and other participants of an international Buddhist conference in China

The irony is that the CTA often makes derogatory statements against Gangchen Rinpoche although Gangchen Rinpoche has NEVER said anything about the Dorje Shugden conflict. He has simply continued to propagate the practice and uphold the lineage in his own quiet, peaceful way. In spite of his silence over the ban however, Gangchen Rinpoche continues to be accused of being a Chinese spy. He is accused of receiving money from China, in order to incite disharmony within the Tibetan communities. Simultaneously, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has never been accused of anything remotely similar, despite his Foundation’s significant investments in China. How can a lama like Gangchen Rinpoche be a highly revered healer in one moment, and in the next become a supposed Chinese spy to be reviled and avoided? The Tibetan community’s susceptibility to being manipulated by their leadership has certainly been exposed and highlighted thanks to the Dorje Shugden ban.

In some cases, the media has also been manipulated into making similar ‘Chinese spy ‘accusations against Dorje Shugden people. The global news agency Reuters, which has been shown to be an anti-Chinese mouthpiece, even published a poorly-researched article titled “China co-opts a Buddhist sect in global effort to smear Dalai Lama“. The article, which has been widely debunked as baseless and ill-informed, toes the CTA’s negative claims about Dorje Shugden practitioners being Chinese operatives whilst admitting that it has no hard evidence whatsoever to support claims that Shugden practitioners receive funding from the Chinese government. Again, we see a disparity in how various lamas are treated. If you are a Gelug Shugden practitioner, you can be accused (with no proof whatsoever) of being a Chinese operative while those who are proud of their China connection do not have to deal with the same accusation if they belong to another sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, in this case through the Khyentse Foundation, has continuously and openly received monetary support from the Chinese, yet it has not been seen as an issue with the CTA.

Peaceful protest at a July 9 demonstration outside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York

Another example of a non-Gelug lama who has close links with the Chinese, yet never suffers “Chinese spy” accusations, is Tai Situ Rinpoche who is known to be deeply involved in a large variety of activities promoting China. He in fact conspired to have his Chinese-endorsed Karmapa candidate be recognized by the Tibetan leadership. Yet he has never been discriminated against or regarded as the enemy of Tibetans. In fact, he is often spotted attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings, offering long life rituals to His Holiness and generally cozying up to the Dalai Lama. In another example, Amchok Rinpoche, once the personal biographer of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has openly befriended Chinese officials and even decided to be a citizen of China. Despite openly embracing his links with China, he has been spared the violent treatment reserved solely for Shugden lamas.

Tai Situ with happy Chinese students after a teaching

All of the information above is public knowledge and yet none of these lamas were mentioned in the Reuters report referring to Tibetan lamas’ links with China. In fact the CTA has turned a blind eye on them. Our article here is not a call for the Tibetan leadership to attack anyone else, but a call for them to apply their rules fairly, across the board and without bias. If the CTA feels that having links with China is negative and evil, they should apply this rule evenly on all Tibetans, regardless of rank or station instead of picking and choosing their victims. And in the case of the Reuters report, it was obviously published with the intention of painting Dorje Shugden practitioners and China in a negative light, to discredit the Chinese government. It is quite disappointing that a supposedly reputable international news agency would rely on gossip and hearsay as a basis of the whole investigation without taking into considerations any facts. But then again, baseless propaganda with the help of the media has been the CTA’s weapon all along.

A well-respected lama who practices Dorje Shugden, Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche is the holy tutor of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche

It is not by any stretch of imagination to see that the CTA will use underhanded methods of enforcing the Dorje Shugden ban. The CTA has even gone as far as detaining and deporting Dorje Shugden lamas, even those who have not visited China before. They have been detained and held with no probable cause or reason. For example, Yongyal Rinpoche (the abbot of Serpom Monastery) had his valid papers declared null and void and was deported from Bangalore due the CTA’s influence. The CTA used its influence to prohibit Yongyal Rinpoche’s entry to India even though Yongyal Rinpoche is an American citizen in possession of a valid 10-year Indian visa.

As a result, Yongyal Rinpoche was denied entry into India, to carry out teaching activities in the monastery where he is abbot. The truth is, Yongyal Rinpoche’s deportation was improper and clearly forcefully done simply because:

  1. Yongyal Rinpoche and his followers continue to worship Dorje Shugden,
  2. Yongyal Rinpoche has reportedly some Chinese contacts.

The second reason above was clearly contrived and made up by the CTA, seeing as how Yongyal Rinpoche has not traveled to China before. The difference between how the CTA approaches Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, a non-Shugden practicing lama, and Yongyal Rinpoche, a known Shugden lama is brazen and shouts of the institutionalized oppression of Shugden believers.

 

Conclusion

The CTA has launched accusations against Dorje Shugden practitioners, claiming that they are China-sponsored spies or agents, that they are being funded by the Chinese to sabotage the Tibetan cause and other similarly absurd allegations. The CTA discriminates against and targets Dorje Shugden people for visiting China and for even having Chinese friends. In fact, anything to do with China is seen as criminal and blamed as the very cause for the CTA’s failure in the Tibetan cause. However, none of the same accusations have been levied on Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche despite his extensive activities in China and his friendship with Chinese nationals. We are not interested in wishing Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to be in ‘trouble’ with the CTA. In fact we rejoice in his works in China and the financial support he receives from China. We are merely pointing out how unfair CTA is with their smear campaign against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In addition to this, it is evident that the Khyentse Foundation receives funds from the Chinese. The point is NOT at all about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche who has not done anything out of line whatsoever. In fact, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s great works for the Dharma and the international community is undeniable. The point is that the CTA picks on and discriminates against Shugden lamas for the very same activities with China.

Khyentse Rinpoche is loved for his modern and unconventional methods. If a Shugden lama were to take a similar picture, they would be immediately subjected to ridicule and criticism. Why the hypocritical double standards?

The CTA in fact supports and approves of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and his Foundation’s activities because he does not practice Dorje Shugden. Apart from Dorje Shugden lamas, all the other lamas have it so easy and are not harassed by the CTA at all. They are free to do anything they wish and yet the CTA will not take any action against them or even attempt to tear their reputation down. The CTA is afraid to say anything especially if they are not Gelugpa. All non-Dorje Shugden lamas can produce movies, take funky pictures, act in crazy-wisdom style, be unorthodox, unconventional, go to strange places and so on, as some of them are showing new ways to disseminate the Buddhist teachings. But the same cannot be said for Shugden lamas.

Unfortunately, if you practice Dorje Shugden, no matter how hard you work, you are degraded, torn apart, hated and stepped on. Nothing a Dorje Shugden practitioner does is regarded as good and virtuous by the CTA. It is as if just because you choose to practice Dorje Shugden, you can never do anything good. This is to say that nothing you do will ever matter. To the CTA, what matters is if you practice Dorje Shugden or not. If you do practice, then you deserve to be ostracized, attacked, be hated and your life made into a living hell. If you don’t, just like Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, you can enjoy all the freedom to travel to China, befriend Chinese and even receive Chinese donations without fear of attacks and without any stigma.

Is this not discrimination against all things and people related to Dorje Shugden?

 
Footnotes:

  1. 维地亚. “宗萨钦哲仁波切:他们都很悲伤”. Caixin. Trans. 静蕊. Caixin Weekly, n.d. Web. http://magazine.caixin.com/2013-05-10/100526599.html
  2. “Mindstream emanation” (tulku) phenomena is fundamentally related to the five important aspects of an enlightened being: mind emanation, speech emanation, body emanation, qualities emanation, activities emanation
  3. Attained lamas who are in full control of their body, speech and mind are not limited to just one reincarnation. When such an attained being enters clear light meditation, they can emanate an unlimited number of emanations, all of whom operate simultaneously yet independently from one another. When searching for a lama’s reincarnation however, the students will seek to identify the five main emanations: body, speech, mind, qualities and activities. Normally the students of the lama will search for the mind emanation, which is known as the main emanator (from which the other emanations arise from). In the case of the Khyentse lineage, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche is the mind emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, while Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro is the activity emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. These emanations will act independently of each other and do not necessary ‘manifest’ concurrently.
  4. http://khyentsefoundation.org/communique/CommuniqueFebruary2011.html
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  1. Oh yes! Without a doubt its absolutely bias but then again what else are we to expect of CTA? A leopard can’t change it’s spots as the saying goes. Since the times of the 5th Dalai Lama, the administration had been working against Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s lineage. Their persistence are quite unbelievable. It’s 400 years since and they should have learnt by now that Protector Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being that can’t be eliminated. What more they are no longer in an enclosed society but out in the open where modern technology will expose their lies as fast as they give it.

    Come to think of it, it would seem that the CTA is using Dorje Shugden and his practitioners as scapegoats in return for favours from USA. Who is the big sponsor of the Dalai Lama and CTA? Wasn’t it a fact that the CIA is? It is well known that China is the nemesis of USA. So maybe in return, the CTA made the pact to rile up the Chinese government as their side of the bargain. Hey, that makes them the “dog” of USA, right??!! Forgive me but I so enjoy this espionage imagination. After all, for what good sanely reason would CTA go to such length to cause so much sufferings to their own people.

    CTA please wake up and stop selling the remaining of your soul before its too late.

  2. Dharamsala and CTA have been long known as being clever in manipulating religion practices to suit their flavor of the day. It is not uncommon for Dharamsala and CTA to twist the arms of people who are seemingly capable to rival them in fame and influence. The ban on Dorje Shugden is a good example to the effect. Hitherto none of the 20 years long disintegration on Dorje Shugden practitioners had brought any benefit to the reputation of Dalai Lama, CTA nor the Tibetan refugee.

    Furthermore, CTA is seen to be igniting nationalist sentiment against the Dorje Shugden lamas and people by accusing them of being the Chinese spy. This effectively disable the Dorje Shugden lamas’ spiritual work from promoting Buddha’s teaching and Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching from unbroken lineage. Yet this nationalistic sentiment is selective and only applies to Dorje Shugden lama.

    Lamas who are seen or deemed cozying up to Dalai Lama or bidding to Dharamsala’s favor, such as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Amchok Rinpoche and Tai Situ Rinpoche are spared the violent treatment reserved for Dorje Shugden lamas. In another words, the nationalistic sentiment is a tool for Dharamsala and CTA to curtail opposition and immobilize any potential threat.

    Yet, the biggest question remains “why?”. Who will benefit from the disharmony and fractionalized community? Engaging in a prolonged feud with Beijing certainly is not a game the divine office of Dalai Lama or the spiritually motivated people of Tibetan can afford to play. Hence, is accusing the Dorje Shugden people for being Chinese spy a pawn for Dharamsala to continue receiving sympathy funding from the nemesis of Beijing? I think it is not hard to connect the dots.

  3. Goes without saying that the CTA has their agenda for discrediting the lamas that practices Dorje Shugden. They are just whipping the Tibetans into a frenzy against the Shugdenpas. Far as I’m concerned, this looks like a political agenda more than a spiritual one.

    Is the CTA trying to distract the Tibetans away from the real issue of their return to Tibet? Are they trying to bring about the downsizing if not downfall of the Gelugs? What is the real purpose of all these chaos that’s creating so much suffering for the Tibetans?

    But, thanks for the sharing of this article and raising the questions that need to be asked. Highlighting disparities like these does help many to have a clearer picture and knowledge of what the CTA is doing.

  4. Politicians have supported the Dalai Lama in making Dorje Shugden a bogeyman for it fits into their strategy of staying in office. We have seen this bogeyman strategy work out for many, many politicians in many, many countries.

    In the case of the CTA, it fits their political ambitions like a glove.

    Fanning the Dorje Shugden bogeyman give them legitimacy, gives them the authority to

  5. Fanning the Dorje Shugden bogeyman gives them legitimacy, gives them the authority to divide and rule, gives them the power to “squeeze” the public while at the same time be seen as to be obedient supporters of HH Dalai Lama.

    It doesn’t matter if the discrimination, the evidence, in this instance the case of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s work in China, doesn’t fully fit their model that China is behind the Dorje Shugden Lamas. It is good enough for them that most of their theory fits. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to win them enough support to stay in power, even by just one vote.

    In the mean time, the fact that China invaded Tibet and the charge that China is behind Dorje Shugden Lamas will stick. Repeated often enough, it will stay in people’s psyche.

    I don’t know how things will pan out as there are too many equal possibilities but as you can see, even the beration the two politicial leaders received from two oracles and the Dalai Lama himself seems to have fallen to deaf ears. Banning Dorje Shugden and taking action against its practitioners/supporters is simply just too good a political strategy.

    Maybe India will decide that it has too much to lose in its relations with China and will ask the Dalai Lama and the CTA to tone it down.

    Maybe the CTA will realize that it is time to move on to another bogeyman.

    Maybe the young, India-born Tibetans, will ask if the Dorje Shugden “issue” matters at all if there is no material progress for them.

    After all, money does talk.

  6. I love Dzongsar Khyentse’s teachings and I love the way he presents the Dharma, so unconventional. Wonderful for the wild untamed minds like mine. I never Dzongzar Kyentse spread his wings and brought teachings to China… bravo I say and wonderful. Buddhism is for everyone not just Tibetans.

    Fools like CTA are the only fake democratic government who do not even know how to “fake” it by condemning only Dorje Shugden teachers and Lamas always loves to accuse them of being Chinese spies and taking Chinese money. So how come they do not dare question someone like Dzongsar Khyentse?

    Thank you Amber Sonam for pointing this unfairness in CTA out. Not because we want any Dzongsar Khyentse or Lamas to get into trouble… because in actuality why on earth should they get in to trouble for spreading the Dharma. This clearly show what a hypocritical democratic leadership of the exile Tibetan Govt.

  7. Obviously there is a clear double standard on how the CTA applies its policies to the Tibetans. It is also obvious that they favour the High Lamas who are seemed to be favoured by HH the Dalai Lama as well. Rime is the path which HH has a strong inclination to prefer, although he is aware that there is still a strong preference by many High Lamas not to go in that direction because it can contaminate the purity of the teachings which our Lineage Masters worked so hard to preserve for the future generations.

  8. “… the sacred lineages that the CTA is destroying. …”

    CTA can’t destroy any lineages at all. Nothing can destroy all the dharma lineages. Just look at the fact that bon is within mankind about 18.000 years and all other buddhas like Shakyamuni and Garab Dorje refreshed the dharma transmissions after Tönpa Shenrab Miwoche.

    All the dualism and violence within mankind since was not able at all to stop dharma transmissions. Self araising wisdom and compassion (rigpa rangshar) will araise within mankind anyway and nothing is able to stop this. It’s just impossible.

    My experience with the spirit of Rime is that we not only received Teachings and Empowerments from our own Teacher but also from many other Teachers of all Lineages as well. We also study, practice and protect all lineages.

    There is always something special about each Teacher, they also give diffrent advices to study and pratice that are very helpful to be able to make the next step within dharma practice. Rime is very important because it is very helpful.

    My heart is Rime

  9. A fair article, observing the unequal treatment the CTA have given towards different schools of Buddhism. But honestly speaking, even a blind person can see the CTA’s actions of bullying the Gelugpas, simply because they can.

    While the DL tries to unite all obedient Tibetan Buddhists under his wing, almost as if to show China that he’s still got some steam and influence, no one has received more discrimination and outrightly expelled from the community besides Shugden practitioners.

    We have seen several Lama going ‘against’ the Tibetan leadership and some even outwardly, daringly ‘challenge’ the DL such as H.E. Lodreu Rinpoche; But as long as you’re not Gelug, you’re pretty safe. You may get sabotaged quietly here and there, but you wouldn’t hear the DL or the CTA actively knock door to door in the settlements and demand that you to abandon a certain practice; nor will you see their photos and personal details plastered all over the settlement as if they are wanted criminals and it was an issue/warrant for their arrest and prosecution.

    Yes it is an unfair world. We know it, the Tibetans themselves know it… heck, even the kids in the TCV schools noticed the discrimination… how is it possible that any adult with a decent intellectual understanding not see the manipulation and intentional hysteria that the CTA have implanted into their closed community. This have always baffled me…

  10. This is a good article that reveals the bigotry of the CTA and anti-Shugden haters. I recall watching a video wherein a security officer of the CTA accused a Lama Gangchen, Shugden lama of being a spy because the said lama had visited China a couple of times. If a Tibetan lama visiting China makes him a ‘spy’ or ‘traitor’ then surely the illustrious Dzongzar Khyentse Rinpoche must also be a spy!

    But that is not the case here and quite rightly so. Dzongzar Khyentse Rinpoche breaks no law engaging with the Chinese. Neither does the Tai Situpa and many other lamas who are involved in China.

    Dzongzar Khyentse Rinpoche and other Tibetans are in fact doing the very job the CTA should be doing which is to mend relationship with China that will eventually give them a standing to negotiate favorable terms for the Tibetan people’s return to their homeland.

    Dzongzar Khyentse Rinpoche’s good works which is in defiance of CTA policies also reveal how impotent the CTA is and how many who know the CTA have taken things into their own hands and no longer relying on the CTA.

  11. @Sascha – sorry but I totally have to disagree. Rime is bollox and a waste of time. What is wrong with saying you practice and stick to your tradition? Was Lama Tsongkhapa Rime? Was Guru Rinpoche Rime? No, they had their lineage and practices and stuck to it.

    Why are Gelugs always forced to be Rime and if we refuse we are accused of sectarianism? How come Gelugs do Guru Rinpoche pujas but you never see Nyingmas, Sakyas and Kagyus reciting Migstema? Why dont you ask them if THEIR sectarian? Make them put a Tsongkhapa in their gompa. Make them introduce Setrap as a widespread practice.

    You want to be Rime? Fine. Let us practice Dorje Shugden as part of the Gelug tradition which it has always been and stop segregating us. All this talk about non-duality is farfetched at our level. The Buddhas are non-dual but we are not. So you quote lots of big words and big names but your arguments are fallacious and logic absent. In your comment, you prove the very point everyone is making which is that the CTA IS destroying lineages because theyve created people who think Rime is okay.

  12. There are also Chinese who are not Buddhists, but are Muslims or other religions . If China practice like Tibet not to interact with the people who practice Dorje Shugden or implement the ban of Dorje Shugden, it is believed that there are more people in suffering due to the reason of no freedom on religious.

    China needs Buddhism very much. This is because he Buddha’s teachings are focused and inspire people to develop moral responsibility, tolerance, compassion, harmony and many other qualities. With all these qualities, an understanding of the true nature of things will enable the Buddhist to live in harmony with a changing world.

  13. @Gaz

    Thank you for sharing your thoughs, appreciate that very much.

    I can only write for myself, try to put out my personal view with my own words. Of course I need to continue to study and practice dharma to overcome karma, that’s why I study and practice dharma and I continue because of the healing effects that I experienced and experience.

    So I jut share because this might help someone out there. I really don’t want to bother or harm you. If I did so I am really sorry, please forgive me.

    As long we are on the path we all make and will make mistakes, the path is not possible without making mistakes and we all can and have to learn. To learn is dharma, what can we learn from anything that was and is going on in our life? To see ourself and others as Buddhas, also Dorje Shugden, is that fallacious? Is it fallacious to learn to see that all beings are Buddhas?

    In abrahamic religions they belief in duality like god and devil and that a beings can become a devil or deamon a being that fights against non-duality/wisdom and compassion and spreads eternalism and nihilism (harmful views) and is cheating/harming beings.

    In dharma all beings are buddhas and whatever good or bad actions they have done or do, they never can become a god or devil themself because they are and stay free of lastingness and non-existence/free of good and evil but they create karma within their conciousnesscontinuum and therefore it is just a state of mind but not the being itself.

    “Mind is free of mind the nature of mind is clear light.”

    In dharma there is no god and no devil but beings with or without form who are in a dualistic (good and evil) state of mind that can be purified to become free of this duality, problems, suffering and frustration (samsara) by dharma/wisdom and compassion.

    I don’t aggree that Dorje Shugden or someone/something is good or evil because from my point of view all the deities are just wisdom and compassion aspects of space- and conciousnesscontinuum that is within all beings all the time anyway and also all beings are and stay basicly buddhas due to reality is and stays free of lastingness and non-existence.

    So I don’t believe in God and Devil because there is no duality at all due to space. And that’s why I also don’t beleive in Dorje Dhugden is evil but I wonder whether HHDL had an dualistic influence and needs more protection/dharmapala practice to be more protected from Illusions.

    Elements are self arising wisdom and compassion, conciousness is rooted in space and it is wisdom and compassion. So all beings in these lifespaces are basicly wisdom and compassion. Elements and Nature is basicly life, regenerating and healing. And beings within all lifespaces are basicly within this regenerating and healing process of life, some ignore this non-duality and create ignorance and duality, problems, suffering and frustration and some become aware of non-duality, discover and go out of samsara/duality.

    Protection is also one aspect of wisdom and compassion, of elements and nature and the wisdom and compassion within other beings conciousness. Dharmapala practice is important to protect yourself from ignorance, duality, eternalism and nihilism or harmful (good and bad) views, harmful aspiration/motivation and harmful actions of mind, speech and body. Very important, especially in this degenerating age.

    Was calling Dorje Shugden evil and worshiping an spirit something like: “Lets create an Illusion/Duality and see who is beliving it and following it? or just making up that someone or something is good or evil and let’s see who is beliving it and performing harmful actions? Just a test or a dualistic game?

    What is fallacious? Illusions can be created but reality itself is and stays free of lastingness and non-existence. Karma can be created but beings are and stay buddhas. To pray to buddhas is worshiping an spirit (duality/illusions)? Ones own body is the mandala house of all buddhas, of all aspects of wisdom and compassion or non-duality not an effigy of god or devil. Is this Fallacious? To me abrahamic religions are fallacious because of it is dualism.

    Hey, I don’t want to test or play a dualistic game, that’s why I study and practice dharma – to finaly come out of duality and suffering!

    I am and I stay free of god and devil, because I am and I stay free lastingness and non-existence, because of space is and will be free of lastingness and non-existence. I am a buddha, you are a buddha, Dorje Shugden is a buddha, HHDL is a Buddha. Fallacious? Or are Illusions like god and devil, good and evil are fallacious? They can be created, but we don’t have/need to

    Do we have to live in a dualistic way to effect problems, suffering and frustration by following dualistic betray systems?

    Eternalism and Nihilism is dualism like good and evil, god and devil and so on, that is what is fallacious because there is no duality at all due to space or basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence (shunyata).

    That’s why practice texts and teachings have to be checked that they are free of eternalism and nihilism, because dharma is about to overcome duality by non-duality/wisdom and compassion. Is saying Dorje Dhugden is evil fallacious, a test, a dualistic game, a joke, an Illusion, an evil state of mind that sooner or later will dissappear into shunyata like a thunder?

    Dharma is not to create duality like this is good and that is evil and so on. Is this fallacious?

    I don’t look at all the lineages as something different but Rime, of course I have not read all texts that are available, because they are way too many to read in one lifetime, but all the teachings and practice texts that I have received from all the diffrent lineages show me that basicly it is all the same. Al lineages are precious and need to be protected.

    All lineages are similar, shunyata is expressed in a different way that helps so much. Like in Bön the aspects of wisdom and compassion (deities) have diffrent names but the wisdom and compassion or non-duality/shuynata that is expressed by is the same. It’s all the same basicly.

    I don’t follow someone else beside my own wisdom and compassion, I just decided to, and thereby I follow the advice of Shakyamuni who, before he passed away, gave the advice to his students that we all should only follow our own light.

    In Bön the refuge is straight to the light within yourself like in all tantric practice texts where you take refuge into the tikle of wisdom and compasson or pure and clear light/rigpa rangshar/non-dual awareness.

    So that’s why I like to share my view and to remember the advice to only follow the light within you and you will be surprised but maybe also shocked about the state of this world and mankind when you discover and see more clearly. It is not easy to accept what you are able to see then but it will happen on the path sooner or later anyway.

    It’s a mankind that is locked in duality and dualistic betray systems or the system of the devil. Too much duality in this mankind, that is degenerating by dualistic (good and bad) activities. The wise view and compassion motivation is most important because you need this to be able to perform healing actions of mind, speech and body to stop creating karma and effecting wisdom and merrit to purify karma.

    Shunyata is free of that fallacious duality, dharma is not an ism, dharma is not a religion and only dharma (wisdom and compassion) effects non-duality, freedom and wellbeing.

    Don’t go for Eternalism and Nihilism/Duality/God and Devil/Good and Evil, because it is fallacious. Good and Luck is fallacious. Don’t go for it.

    With God comes Devil or God and Devil is one thing like two sides of one coin like peace and war.

    Don’t go for god and peace because then also comes devil and war. Don’t go for good and luck because also bad and pain comes with it.

    Don’t go with this or that, just go for Shunyata/Non-Duality/wisdom and compassion/rigpa rangshar in yourself. Just let rigpa rangshar arise in yourself by calm abiding, based ond mindfullness.

    Don’t follow mankind, open to space and only follow the self arising “lineage” of clear light within yourself.

    Let go words, texts, duality and ignorance to the tikle of wisdom and compassion that arise by themself within yourself.

    Let go just everything.

    From outer Lineages, go to inner Lineages of your body as mandala house of all the wisdom and compassion Buddhas/Aspects of your rigpa rangshar/your true self and then go further to the self arising tikle of rigpa rangshar.

    Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhisattva you are and you become aware of it!

    So don’t follow others. Remember prajna paramita: beyond words, beyond thougths, beyond duality -> DHI

    Let go all teachings, all texts and words and thoughts to the wisdom and compassion within yourself. Sooner or later you have to anyway. Don’t get locked in duality because of ignoring non-duality.

    OM (YOU/Conciouseness) + AH (SPACE) or mindfullness/calm abiding/clear seeing/meditation= RAPA (Transformation/Tantra by dharma practice) TSANA (Illusion/Duality) = DHI (Non-Duality/Clear Seeing/Liberation) more self arising rigpa rangshar (Protection, Regeneration, Healing).

    Be your own Lama/Guru and you are RATSA!

  14. I rejoice for the Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who is bringing the Buddha dharma to the Chinese. I think spirituality and Buddhism has much to offer to the Chinese.

    The example from the article is so clear that the CTA only bullies and singles out Gelug practitioners. All the accusations of Chinese money proliferating Gelug people, if anyone has the cheek to accuse Dorje Shugden people, they can start pointing it at other Lamas of the Tibetan tradition.

  15. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Bengaluru
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.
    https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/india/tibetans-ready-to-be-part-of-china-dalai-lama/293109.html

    d

  16. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

  17. I enjoyed reading. It’s a pleasing pleasure to read this article.
    Thank you

  18. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER | AUGUST 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.”
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/03/trump-palestinians-israel-refugees-unrwaand-allies-seek-end-to-refugee-status-for-millions-of-palestinians-united-nations-relief-and-works-agency-unrwa-israel-palestine-peace-plan-jared-kushner-greenb/

    DS.com Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  19. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India
    https://theprint.in/opinion/time-has-come-to-acknowledge-that-tibet-has-vastly-improved-under-chinese-rule/97172/

  20. While the government of Nepal has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, they have welcomed 30 Chinese NGOs to enter the country. These NGOs will penetrate the country’s social sector at the grassroots level. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal at one time. Nepal is increasingly open to Chinese influence, a sign that ties between both countries are strengthening, while India’s influence is being reduced. The time has passed for India’s monopoly to remain uninterrupted in Nepal as opportunities to engage with China are being welcomed.

    30 Chinese NGOs all set to work in Nepal
    REWATI SAPKOTA
    Kathmandu, July 30
    At a time when the government has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, 30 Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal to penetrate the country’s social sector and the grassroots.
    The Social Welfare Council Nepal and China NGO Network for International Exchanges, an umbrella body of Chinese NGOs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. The agreement was signed yesterday between SWCN Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatt and CNIE General Secretary Zhu Rui in the presence of Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa and Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun.
    The agreement has paved the way for the first batch of 30 Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal for a period of three years. Their contract will be extended based on the consent of SWCN and CNIE. Representatives of these 30 Chinese NGOs were also present during yesterday’s signing ceremony. They have agreed to work in partnership with local NGOs to implement their programmes and projects.
    The Chinese NGOs are eyeing areas such as livelihood, healthcare, education, skill-based training, community development and disaster management. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs has entered Nepal at one time. The Chinese assistance so far in Nepal has largely been limited to development of infrastructure projects. But the entry of these NGOs indicates China is keen on making its presence felt in Nepal’s social sector and the grassroots, which, till date, have remained domains of the West and countries such as Japan and India.
    The MoU signed between SWCN and CNIE states that Chinese NGOs will be mobilised for ‘the benefit of needy Nepalis and to enhance ties between China and Nepal through people-to-people support programmes’.
    “The Chinese NGOs will abide by the law of Nepal in its entirety while carrying out development cooperation in Nepal,” says the MoU, adding, “Chinese NGOs will submit programmes to the SWCN to carry out development activities in partnership with Nepali NGOs and SWCN in line with plans and policies of the government of Nepal.”
    The MoU was signed at a time when the government has drafted the National Integrity Policy to limit activities of NGOs and INGOs, as some of them were found ‘trying to break communal harmony and proselytising Nepalis’. There were also concerns that high administrative cost of many NGOs and INGOs was preventing money from reaching the real beneficiaries. The policy clearly states that NGOs and INGOs cannot spend more than specified amount under administrative and consultant headings. They will also be barred from working against Nepal’s interests, culture and communal harmony and conducting activities to promote their religious, social or other agenda, adds the policy.
    Around 48,000 NGOs are currently registered in Nepal, of which only 1,600 have been receiving funds from INGOs, as per SWCN. The SWCN has directed INGOs and NGOs to spend 60 per cent of the budget to generate tangible results, while the remaining can be used to cover administrative costs and organise training, meetings and seminars.
    https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/30-chinese-ngos-all-set-to-work-in-nepal/

  21. The cracks in Tibetan society are starting to show, and it is now coming to the attention of local Indians who have all but identified the Tibetan leadership as the source of the divisions. According to this author, disunity amongst the Tibetans is now creating problems for Indian law enforcement agencies, and this disunity may culminate in young Tibetans holding silent grudges against their host country. It is incredible that after six decades of generosity from India, Indians are now facing the very real possibility Tibetans can be ungrateful towards India. The Tibetan leadership totally failed to impart positive values upon their exiled community, like gratitude for those kindest to them and the need to repay these kindnesses with real, tangible results. It’s also very unlikely that the Tibetan leadership will now start to do this, after six decades of failing to do so. Indians need to realise this, and see that there is no benefit for their nation to align themselves with the Tibetan leadership, and there never will be.
    Tibetan disunity not in India’s interest
    John S. Shilshi
    Updated: August 7, 2018, 11:00 AM
    India is home to the Dalai Lama and an estimated 120,000 Tibetan refugees. Though this humanitarian gesture on India’s part comes at the cost of risking New Delhi’s relations with China, India has never wavered in ensuring that Tibetans live with dignity and respect. Notified settlements across the country were made available so that they can live as independently as possible and practice Tibetan religion and culture. They are also allowed to establish centres of higher learning in Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, several reputed Buddhist institutes came up in Karnataka, and in the Indian Himalayan belt. In what may be termed as a gesture well reciprocated, and because of the respect and influence His Holiness the Dalai Lama commands, the Tibetan diaspora also lived as a peaceful community, rarely creating problems for India’s law enforcement agencies.
    The situation, however, changed from 2000 onwards when unity amongst Tibetans suffered some setback due to developments like the Karmapa succession controversy and the controversy over worshiping of Dorje Shugden. In a unique case of politics getting the better of religion, two senior monks of the Karma kargyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Tai Situ Rinpoche and late Shamar Rinpoche, developed serious differences after the demise of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, in 1981. This animosity ultimately led to emergence of two 17th Karmapa candidates in the early nineties. While Tai Situ Rinpoche identified and recognised UghyanThinley Dorje, late Shamar Rinpoche anointed Thinley Thaye Dorje as his Karmapa candidate. Enthronement of their respective protégés at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the supreme seat of the Karma Kargue linage, being their primary objective, both started indulging in activities monks normally are expected to, and bitterness spewed against each other.
    The bitter rivalry assumed a new dimension when UghyenThinley Dorje suddenly appeared in India in January 2000. The competition became fiercer and hectic political lobbying, never known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism on Indian soil, became common place. Apart from pulling strings at their disposal in Sikkim as well as in the power corridors of New Delhi, these senior monks spat against each other with allegations and counter allegations, widening the gaps between their supporters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, choosing to favour one of the candidates—a decision many Tibet watchers felt was ill-timed—had also limited possible scope of rapprochement. Hence, the Karma Kargyue followers are now vertically divided, while the camps are dragged into a long drawn legal battle.
    Another development that unfortunately split the Tibetans is the controversy over Shugden worshipping, which again is an internal matter of the Gelugpa sect, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It erupted as a result of the Dalai Lama urging Tibetans to refrain from worshiping Dorje Shugden, a deity believed to be a protector, according to Tibetan legend. Shugden practitioners, who felt offended by the call, describe it as an attack on freedom of religion, a right, which Dalai Lama himself tirelessly fought for. On the other hand, die hard Dalai Lama followers perceived the questioning of the decision as one challenging the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and mounted massive pressure on Dorje Shugden practitioners to relent, with some even demolishing the statues of the deity. The rivalry ultimately led to split in two Gelug monasteries in Karnataka, and Serpom and Shar Garden monasteries in Bylakupe and Mundgod respectively came under the control of Shugden followers. The bitterness associated with the split is exemplified by the fact that till today, members of these monasteries are treated as some sort of outcasts by the others. Thus, for the first time, the Tibetan diaspora in India gave birth to sections opposed to the Dalai Lama, with spillover effects in Tibet and elsewhere.
    For India, with a fragile internal security profile, a divided Tibetan population on its soil is not good news. It has several long-term implications. It is common knowledge that China considers Dalai Lama as a secessionist, one plotting to divide their country. The latter’s claim of “all that Tibetans were asking for, was a status of genuine autonomy within the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China”, had fallen into deaf ears. China also considers him as someone who plays to the Indian tune to tickle China. Therefore, at a time when China has successfully shrunk the Dalai Lama’s space internationally, India continuing to extend the usual space for him is viewed as complicity. Sharp reaction from China when he was allowed to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, is a recent example. Such being the delicate nature of India-China relations on matters and issues concerning Tibetans, India can hardly afford to ignore the division within the diaspora. Past experience of dubious elements from Tibet having succeeded in infiltrating the Central Tibetan Administration, including the security wing, should be a warning.
    It is also time India understands the reason behind Tibetans seeking Indian passports, despite an existing arrangement for issue of Identity Certificates, which is passport equivalent. Some had even successfully taken recourse to legal remedy on the issue, and left the government of India red-faced. These changing moods should not be viewed as desires by Tibetans to become Indian citizens. They are triggered by the pathetic state of affairs associated with issuing of Identity Certificates, where delays in most cases are anything between six months to one year. Early streamlining of the process will drastically reduce their desire to hold Indian passport. It will also remove the wrongly perceived notion among some educated Tibetan youth, that the cumbersome process was a ploy by India to confine them in this country. While India should not shy from requesting the Dalai Lama to use his good offices to end all differences within the community in the interest of India’s internal security, it will also be necessary to ensure that young Tibetans do not nurse a silent grudge against the very country they called their second home.
    https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/tibetan-disunity-not-indias-interest

  22. Although the Dalai Lama has offered an apology, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) still expressed their disappointment over his controversial comment on Nehru, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). Dalai Lama called Nehru self-centred.

    The Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

    Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting controversial information to students: Arunachal Congress
    Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation: APCC
    | DAMIEN LEPCHA | ITANAGAR | August 12, 2018 9:58 pm
    disappointment over the recent statement made by Tibetan Spiritual Leader the 14th Dalai Lama in which he called Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India as “self-centered” and the one responsible for parting India and Pakistan.
    “Although Dalai Lama expressed regret over his controversial comment, the APCC is extremely thwarted by it. A Tibetan spiritual leader calling names to an Indian leader who sweated most to keep him and his followers safe from Chinese aggression is simply not acceptable. Today, India is home to lakhs of Tibetan refugees who are living in 37 settlements and 70 scattered communities across different states of India,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement on Sunday.
    “Dalai Lama may have forgotten that India provided a beam of light and hope to Tibetans remaining in Chinese-dominated Tibet and in the neighbouring Chinese provinces politically cut off from the Tibetan heart land. All these happened only because India has great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who took the responsibility of social burden to shelter thousands of persecuted Tibetans then in 1959,” Lollen added.
    Minkir said Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation, hope and trust of millions on record and the same are watching his contribution towards the mankind.
    “In such circumstances, Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting partial and controversial information to the students who are the torch bearer of the nation,” the Congress said.
    Further stating that the statement of the spiritual leader could be a politically motivated one and made with an effort to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for survival of his continuation in the country, the Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.
    https://nenow.in/north-east-news/dalai-lama-should-abstain-from-imparting-controversial-information.html

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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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