Dharamsala abuses the Dalai Lama

The Tibetan leadership in exile has spent the last six decades abusing the 82-year-old the Dalai Lama’s name and power, with very little results and progress to show for it. How much longer can they keep up the charade of being the custodians of the Tibetan people’s interest and welfare?

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

 


 

By: Solaray Kusco

In the 60-odd years that has seen the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) milking the international community for every dollar they can, no other refugee community has been allowed to get away with shockingly low levels of financial transparency and accountability. The CTA, or the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala, exist on Indian soil but are never expected to show their accounts, pay taxes or otherwise contribute to the governance and welfare of India. Similarly, the multitude of Tibetan non-governmental organizations that raise funds for the so-called Tibetan cause are never asked to produce their accounts or show their expenditure, and this has led to accusations of financial mismanagement. It is clear for everyone to see that the only reason why such an exception has been made regarding the Tibetan leadership’s finances is because they have their secret weapon: the affable, compassionate, disarmingly charming Dalai Lama.

Despite the six decades of generosity that India has shown to the Tibetans, even allowing them to establish their own Parliament on Indian soil, the leadership in Dharamsala have done nothing but abuse His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s name and reputation for decades, to line their own pockets, eliminate their political opponents and otherwise bolster their own self-serving behaviors.

Globally, there is an unprecedented level of trust in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Political and religious leaders regularly cite him as an outstanding example of unquestionable honesty and integrity, as someone whose words can be trusted and believed. This reputation has, quite undeservingly, filtered down to the rest of the Tibetan leadership who have long been painted as an underdog fighting the might of the Chinese leadership.

But it is precisely this reputation that the CTA have been abusing for the last 60 years, to the detriment of their Tibetan people. Instead of developing political and thought leaders who are capable of driving the negotiating process with China, the Tibetan leadership have taught their people to become beggars lying in wait for a handout from the world. Thinkers and intellectuals like Jamyang Norbu have had their free speech brutally suppressed; potential leaders and politicians like Lukar Jam have had their chances of leadership violently discouraged.

Anyone else who dares think or believe differently from the Tibetan leadership, like Dorje Shugden practitioners, are turned into pariahs. Those who ever dare to express a different point-of-view from the Tibetan leadership are stigmatised as anti-Dalai Lama, and they have riots and mobs set against them. They are threatened with violence, beaten and stabbed, driven from their homes, have their properties vandalized and destroyed, watch their children get bullied in school, are refused medical treatment and even kicked out from their jobs.

The fact that the Dalai Lama’s name is used to turn a community against someone, is proof that the Dalai Lama’s name is the only one with power in the Tibetan community. How come no one is accused of being ‘anti-Lobsang Sangay’ or ‘anti-Samdhong Rinpoche’? The fact is that no other name bears as much influence and weight in the Tibetan community; everything is measured against the Dalai Lama’s opinions and decisions, and not the Tibetan leadership’s or Parliament’s.

The Tibetan leadership have, in effect, been abusing the Dalai Lama’s name to alienate many forward-thinking progressives capable of modernising the Tibetan community ready for the 21st Century. So even if people are passionate about Tibet and about improving the welfare of the exiled community, over time they are forced to set their passion aside and fall in line with the narrow thinking of the leadership.

In this way, the Tibetan leadership have also been abusing the Dalai Lama for the last 60 years, by forcing him over and over again to work hard for Tibet while the leadership and people sit idly by and do nothing. The leadership have taught their people that it is okay to push the entire burden of the so-called Tibetan cause, and the entire weight of the Tibetan people’s expectations onto the Dalai Lama’s shoulders.

The Tibetan leadership forces His Holiness the Dalai Lama to beg for assistance. Yet, despite millions of dollars received in financial aid, the Tibetan leadership have done very little to convert this assistance into actual, tangible results for their people. So it would seem that the Dalai Lama’s work for the last 60 years has been utterly in vain.

Is this how the Tibetan people profess their so-called love and devotion for the Dalai Lama, by relying on him to single-handedly achieve all Tibetan political goals? Give the 82-year-old monk a break. Where most people would be happily retired by this age, going off to do retreats and deeper meditational practices, the Tibetan leadership continue to cruelly parade the Dalai Lama around the world to drum up support for their ’cause’. In their laziness and selfishness, the Tibetan leadership have turned His Holiness the Dalai Lama into a punchline, forcing him to kowtow to Western powers for money and awareness of the so-called Tibetan cause.

So almost rather naively, the international community have forgotten that the Tibetan leadership is run by many hands who are not ordained, who are not monks, or who are not required or expected to be kind by virtue of their vows. But that was in the last 60 years and slowly, we are seeing signs of change. Countries are rejecting meetings with the Dalai Lama and refusing him entry, and even refusing entry to Tibetan would-be asylum seekers. Predictably, the Tibetan leadership are very unhappy about this. When countries start to value their own relationship with China over the CTA’s trouble-making schemes, the Tibetan leadership cries foul, claiming abuse and disrespect of human rights.

Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India) and Xi Jinping (President of China) greet one another. Why should the two countries have an antagonistic relationship just because the Tibetan leadership will not benefit from this? The average Indian citizen should not have to suffer from India-China hostilities which are consistently provoked by the Tibetan leadership’s protests against Beijing. India should not have to bend to the Tibetan leadership’s definition of human rights.

But why are these countries forced to bend to the Tibetan leadership’s definition of human rights? Why are they forced to respect the Dalai Lama? What about their own citizens’ human rights to have economic opportunities and financial stability, and a better standard of living, all of which can be gained with a positive relationship with China? It is a clear sign that instead of relying on their intellect, negotiating ability and political skill, the Tibetan leadership have lazily relied on the Dalai Lama’s status as an international symbol of compassion. And when this is no longer enough, they have little to fall back on apart from bleating about how countries have been bullied into submission by China.

This lack of options after 60 years embodies the laziness and complacency that defines the Tibetan leadership. No other refugee community in the world has received as much benefits and consistent financial support as the Tibetans, not the refugee community in the Darfur, not the Rohingyas in Burma, and not the Nepali community suffering statelessness in Bhutan. Europe consistently rejects Syrians, and Australia runs controversial detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru for asylum seekers. But Tibetans are always welcome; wherever they are in the world, the Tibetans are always warmly received with open arms and masses of sympathy and financial assistance. Shockingly however, no other refugee community has received so much aid and accomplished so little despite all of this help.

What is the difference between the suffering refugee communities elsewhere in the world, and suffering Tibetans if not the fact the Tibetans have the charismatic Dalai Lama? Darfur, Rohingyas, stateless ethnic Nepalis all lack this singular figurehead that the world can identify with their cause.

It is always the Dalai Lama meeting various world leaders that generates the headlines, and never Samdhong Rinpoche or Lobsang Sangay meeting with them as an equal. Seen here is His Holiness meeting with (top row) former US President George W. Bush and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, and (bottom row) Archibishop Desmond Tutu and former US President Bill Clinton.

And that is precisely what should frighten the CTA the most. They should contemplate on whose name fills the headlines and, as a result, their wallets. When the Dalai Lama travels and meets with foreign dignitaries, it is almost to be expected that these meetings with lead to some kind of headlines and news coverage, and (usually empty) promises of political assistance. After 60 years and a succession of leaders from Samdhong Rinpoche to, more recently, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, no other personality or office bearer in the Tibetan leadership generates as much headlines as the Dalai Lama. Even in India, the headquarters of the Tibetan diaspora, news headlines are focused on the Dalai Lama and not on the appointed leader of the Tibetan community, the Tibetan Prime Minister Sikyong Lobsang Sangay.

How many people outside of the Tibetan community would really know who these two gentlemen are? If the names and faces of these two leaders are not as universally familiar as the Dalai Lama’s, something has gone very wrong in the Tibetan leadership’s efforts to safeguard the future of their people.

This is a clear sign that globally, the international community is not interested in Samdhong Rinpoche, Lobsang Sangay or anyone else. Despite Lobsang Sangay’s extensive international tour schedule, these appointed leaders are seen merely as emissaries of the Dalai Lama and in fact, independently of the Dalai Lama, no government really cares or has a sustained, proactive interest in the Tibetan community or plight. This is something that the Tibetan leadership, and especially Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, need to seriously reflect on. Obviously they are lacking in something that causes the world to fall in love with the Dalai Lama and not with them, and when the Dalai Lama is no longer with us, there will be no one left to lead the charge for the Tibetan leadership to generate awareness of the so-called Tibetan cause.

The Tibetan leadership also needs to consider if world leaders actually interested in the Dalai Lama as a person, as a spiritual mentor or as a political chess piece to be manipulated in power games against China. By over-relying on His Holiness as the face of their movement and struggle, and by exploiting his godlike status to suppress their enemies, the Tibetan leadership have turned His Holiness into a parody of his real role as a spiritual guide for millions of Tibetans.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama walks out the back door of the White House in Washington, after meeting with former US President Barack Obama. Is the international community’s respect for the Dalai Lama actually based on his true role as a spiritual mentor, or as a political chess piece to be manipulated against China? Is this really how you show genuine respect to someone, by showing them out the back door? There are doubts that someone like Nelson Mandela would receive the same treatment.

No one is more acutely aware of this than those who are marginalized, suppressed and ostracized by the Tibetan leadership. Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners, for example, would love to be reunited with the Dalai Lama and receive teachings from him, and be assimilated back into the rest of the Tibetan community. Many of them would love to view the Dalai Lama as what he really is – the historical spiritual guide for their community – but they are forced to stay away by a leadership who has made it a point to actively discriminate against them for the last 20 years. And so Dorje Shugden devotees remain torn – continue to respect the Dalai Lama as they have done for centuries, or relate to him as the spiritual leader who has imposed this ban against their religion and faith. Meanwhile, the Tibetan leadership stands by and watches silently, content to exercise their prejudice by violently imposing the ban whilst simultaneously doing little to repatriate the Dalai Lama’s reputation in the eyes of those who hold him responsible for this discrimination against them. Hence, in all levels and in all aspects, the Tibetan leadership abuses the Dalai Lama, using him to raise money and using him to justify their abuse and agenda-driven discrimination of their enemies.

At a time when the Tibetan community is so deeply divided over so many issues, and the leadership continues to lumber on in their abuse of the Dalai Lama’s name, the so-called Tibetan dream and everything that the exiled community hopes for seems to be moving further and further away than ever.

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18 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. “For the love of Buddha!”
    “For the love of God!”

    Rallying cries of support
    While fires to burn the bodies of innocents
    Yet round are our leaders
    And fat are their wallets
    Dazed in the dollar stupor
    Of injis trekking through Dhasa

    Dhasa! For the perfect selfie for inner salvation?
    Hashtag blessed.

    The mountains call my name
    Tibet grieves for her children
    And China swallows us whole.

  2. It is really saddening to see the CTA use the Dalai Lama like this. Not even from the point of view of him being a learned and practiced spiritual master, but simply from the point of view of his age. Can you image, leading your people for most of your live, out of your country, re-establishing your community in India with all that entails, and have to do all the politicking because the rest of the government is inadequate?

    Even though people could see it as the government being inadequate, it’s quite obvious from their actions and the evidence piling up by the day that they are really using the Dalai Lama. The CTA really are abusers, they do everything to line their pockets, from using an elderly spiritual master to suppressing those who question what they do or that don’t think the same way as they do. Is this really a democracy or some sort of real-life circus act?

  3. Hey solary or whatever your real name is. You have used the story again and again. I don’t know what is your problem. But, the way you are writing all these long sentences proves one thing that your mind is confused and it’s out of box. You have learned nothing from your dharma. Do you think people who are reading your words here will believe it to 100%? The hatred, anger and dishonesty in your writing will cause no one but your own innocent ignorance mind and those who blindly believes it. Your writing has been potentially proving that how Dalai Lama and his works are inspiring and spreading stronger and stronger. How CTA who was not even known to world before 60 years works from ground zero to the perfection of height, who has now the capacity to inspire world leaders and challenge China’s government which no other nation even dare. So, the point is you are a follower of Dolgayl, spirit worshiper. And you are assigned to spread lies and criticize Dalai Lama and CTA through your writing. People know that although Dalai Lama advise to stop this worship, but he always mentioned that everyone is free to choose any thing. Yes, anything.
    But, dolgyal worshiper accepts money from china. It is now not a religious matter. You always have the right and freedom to worship but you choose to worship the money. You have used religion to create hatred and disunite among all the peoples even among worshipers. So, the thing is even if you keep writing these hatred story again and again, but deep inside you one day you will feel that you have gone very far from the truth.

  4. @tenzinsangay,

    You wrote such a long comment, but what are you talking about? No one knows what you are talking about.

  5. @tenzinsangay,

    I don’t believe in Dhogyal. But I am a young Tibetan living in Canada and many of us do not believe in Dalai Lama’s policy and we do not trust the CTA. We love our country and people but why am I in Canada? Because CTA failed. If we express why we don’t agree with Dalai Lama than all you fanatics will jump up and down and be angry. You should think about what you are talking about. TIBET IS NOT FREE AND WHOSE FAULT IS THAT?

  6. @tenzinsangay

    Not bad. Your government can lie to you, steal your money, have two passports (while ordinary people like you only got one), murder Tibetans, turn you into beggars, trick you into pretending they are a democracy, kick your children out from schools, make you rely on foreign governments for money, turn your politics into a one-party system, destroy the reputation of your big thinkers…but you STILL defend them. The article is DEFENDING the Dalai Lama and how he has been abused by the Parliament but people like you still defend these crooks. Soooo…are you saying it is OK for the Parliament to abuse the Dalai Lama? Wah lau what kind of student are you? Is this what YOU learned from YOUR Dharma, to protect the people who abuse your spiritual guru?

    Some more, the point about Dorje Shugden itself is very small but you cannot see past it. Immediatley have to jump onto Dolgyal. That’s why I said not bad, they did a great job of brainwashing you, gambate!

    By the way, Dalai Lama also accepts money from China. So is he a traitor now?

  7. I see parallels with Nelson Mandela’s South Africa which saw him being enthroned as a human rights champion fir decades. But his countrymen and specifically his politicians have let him down.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/the-anc-is-mandelas-legacy-now-his-granddaughter-has-renounced-south-africas-ruling-party/2017/04/29/17663916-23ae-11e7-928e-3624539060e8_story.html

  8. An Ode to Sangay

    Blind is the frog trapped in the well
    While the eagle takes to the skies
    Canada, England, France, Swiss, Ari
    He leaves from Dhasa, Buxa, Suja, Chautra
    But never Lhasa.

    Awake is the frog who leaves the well
    To taste waters at a different shore.
    Freedom is sweet.
    Harmony is sweeter.
    Truth is the ultimate nectar.

    Will I see you in Lhasa next New Year?

    *****

    Sangayla, open your eyes and be brave to face the truth. Our government is not perfect but if we always hide behind Dolgyal to make the excuses for them, it will never be. Don’t you think our people deserve better?

    Bhod gyalo!

  9. This is the only website existing today that actually exposes the corruption of the CTA and their human rights abuses. While they parade around in the west looking all like poor refugees and downtrodden, actually they abuse their own people within India. Any publications or media that criticizes them, they will intimidate and shut down like Jamyang Norbu’s works in Dharamsala. No one else dares to speak up for there will be repercussions to them or their families back in India. This is the dark side of CTA aka Tibetan leadership few know about. But we Tibetans who have immigrated out of India know this and therefore we have left. My parents speak about the corruption that is rife in Dharamsala and that is why they took us to UK when we were very young. We will never move back to Tibet and have no interest in living in Tibet because we are so disconnected to Tibet.

  10. @ kedrub

    You are a young man with troubled mind. At least i am glad that you have that Tibetan spirit. Ask your mom and dad how they manage to come in canada? And also ask why their parents have to fled from Tibet? You will then get your answers. It is not about what Dalai lama and CTA has done for you. It is all about what you have done for your country. Then the rage in your mind will rest in peace.

  11. @ celine

    Dear there, don’t ever ask me what His holiness and my government has done for me. I feel pity when you poke your nose in not well known indifferent subject or you don’t even care. Why you are so excited and at the same time cruel to us who already have no country to call ours. We have been facing challenges and we are doing what we can. We don’t need your extra advice which is of no use. Or you may have better idea or the ability to do something for us? Then you are welcome because we already had gone through a lot. Spare your time and energy for your own people and country.

  12. @ Ngawang Tsering

    We both know that we are not chatting in some fancy separate chat zone or any news channel. This website carries name of shugden but they always release fault news about dalai lama and CTA. Its like now they are addicted to it. Dolgyal religion itself was never a threat for Tibetan government. Even His holiness has been practicing it until 19s. It’s just the issue of whether you follow it or not. HH advises all not to worship him but at the same time given freedom of choices. But nowadays, You will never find a true shugden practitioner. Those who admit it have used it for their own interest. China has used it like they have been doing every possible means to damage Tibetan Buddhism and create disunity among Tibetans. So, let me ask all the shugden followers that did they ever wrote a single line on how china is destroying our religion and culture? Did you ever held Tibet flag for once to stand against china? No. That is why even some shugden practitioners are now disappointed and don’t know what they are doing. If you are Tibetan and if you are a genuine shugden follower, then you are also a part of Tibet and it cause to save Tibetan Buddhism. That means you have the same responsibility as every other Tibetan whether you follow buddhism, Bon, Islam or even Christianity. Dalai Lama has given a choices to shugden which is internal religious matter. But China and western narrow minded people have made it always controversial resulting in unexpected huge damage within itself. This clearly shows that the shugden follower has lose their vision of saving their own dharma..

  13. @tenzinsangay.

    We need a platform to speak out about all the problems within the Tibetan communities and about CTA.

    In any Tibetan ‘official’ media/paper in Dhasa, if you speak negative or negative about CTA or parliament, they will threaten you and close you down. That’s what happened to Jamyang Norbu. I don’t agree with Dorje Shugden and I don’t practice, but I think people should be allowed to practice-FULL STOP. This website speaks against the repression of Shugden people and defy Dhasa and that is democracy.

    There are many policies I don’t agree with in Dhasa for sure. We need a place to speak and talk without fear. Or even we speak anonymously, it will be published as the Tibetan medias will dare not publish for fear of CTA. I hope this website here http://www.dorjeshugden.com can provide a separate platform where many Tibetan youths around the world can connect and their foreign supporters can speak openly and without fear and without much moderation on various Tibetan issues plaguing the Tibetan communities.

  14. We need a platform to speak out about all the problems within the Tibetan communities and about CTA.

    In any Tibetan ‘official’ media/paper in Dhasa, if you speak negative or negative about CTA or parliament, they will threaten you and close you down. That’s what happened to Jamyang Norbu. I don’t agree with Dorje Shugden and I don’t practice, but I think people should be allowed to practice-FULL STOP. This website speaks against the repression of Shugden people and defy Dhasa and that is democracy.

    There are many policies I don’t agree with in Dhasa for sure. We need a place to speak and talk without fear. Or even we speak anonymously, it will be published as the Tibetan medias will dare not publish for fear of CTA. I hope this website here http://www.dorjeshugden.com can provide a separate platform where many Tibetan youths around the world can connect and their foreign supporters can speak openly and without fear and without much moderation on various Tibetan issues plaguing the Tibetan communities.

  15. @tenzinsangay

    I think what you say is important. As Tibetans we should be able to talk more about this and other issues more openly. That’s why i contacted dorjeshugden.com and asked them to give another section or platform where we can talk about any issue surrounding the Tibetan community, not just Dorje Shugden issue.

    They replied that they can do this but to give them some time to get it done. Then we will have a properly place to talk about any Tibetan issues. This way we have a proper place to talk and discuss about our community and be able to share what we really think.

  16. @Dawa Namdak @tenzinsangay

    Yes we should speak and speak the truth. It is TIME the world sees and hears the truth. I believe this is a good place to start. At least they will not censor your comments.

    Our so called government is not democratic… if they truly are, we will not be in this mess. We were all once one big family, but no they have tear us all apart and while we continue to suffer, they enjoy all the perks and all the western money coming in for their own pockets. where have you see lives of Tibetan in exile improve? What is the result, where are we at now? Shameful to use even the deities as excuse for their failure. Really sad and shameful.

  17. @tenzinsangay

    Is good to see your comment here on this article because there were not many other Tibetans who comment here. It’s because of you I am writing here for the first time. With the passport problem and many other including dolgyal, I hope there will be more Tibetan people speaking their mind so problems gets solved.

  18. @Tashi Pema @Dawa Namdak @tenzinsangay

    While I am not a Tibetan but an Indian, I do have very close connections to the Tibetan community here in India. What i find interesting is that even though living in a democratic country like India, Tibetans don’t really seem to have place to discuss various issues that they really want to talk about. If and when this platform is up it will be a good place for this to happen.

    While most of you will know that i don’t think very highly of the Tibetan government, because of how they have treated some of those most close to me, I don’t consider myself above discussing various issues. I get to share my views, so why can’t others? It is one of the benefits of living in a democratic country, and also of the Internet. There should definitely be a place where Tibetans can talk openly about the issues they consider important.

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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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