Tibetan Tailspin: Lobsang Sangay and Dalai Lama at odds

There is trouble in paradise as HH Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay argue over Tibetan succession, evidence of deep rifts within the Tibetan community

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By: Ashok Rao

An explosive article authored by Rajeev Sharma and published on SouthAsianMonitor.com has revealed a shocking and deep rift between the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) President Lobsang Sangay and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The two leaders, one secular and one religious respectively, are supposed to be leading the Tibetan people’s cause in a united front. But as Rajeev Sharma exposes, there is nothing but turbulence within the upper echelon of Tibetan politics.

The spat which has sparked huge debate as to the tattered state of Tibetan politics centers around Lobsang Sangay’s cancellation of the 13th Religious Conference of the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition, which was scheduled to take place between November 29 to December 1 this year. What is shocking however is that he did so when the Dalai Lama was flying back from Japan, knowing full well that the Dalai Lama could not have stopped the cancellation of such a momentous conference. But the intrigue does not stop there. The Dalai Lama is said to have responded to Lobsang Sangay with a heated telephone conversation, a tirade full of expletives towards the duplicitous President. Throw into the mix the issue of the Dalai Lama’s succession and his possible return to China (a point which Lobsang Sangay is trying to take credit for) and you have all the ingredients for a huge explosion which could very well tear the fabric of Tibetan society in half.

One may label Rajeev Sharma as a sensationalist, but his credentials as an investigative journalist are more than sound. The Delhi-based journalist and author is a writer for The Diplomat and has been writing on international relations, foreign policy, strategic affairs, security and terrorism for over two decades. For someone of his character to publish such an article belies the fact that something is very wrong. The whole situation raises a number of interesting thoughts surrounding the current state of affairs of Tibetan politics:

  1. The Dalai Lama was angry and shouted expletives at Lobsang Sangay. Everyone knows that the Dalai Lama is in full control. He claims that he is retired from politics but this is just what the West wants to hear. When the West hear this, they keep funding his activities. It looks good to the West that he voluntarily gave up political power because it makes him look progressive. But the truth is that the Dalai Lama controls everything behind the scenes and if you don’t agree with this decisions or go against his will, he will be furious. Every Tibetan knows this very well, and Lobsang Sangay even more so since he got an ear-full after he cancelled the conference.
  2. The article mentions that the Dalai Lama’s cancer is terminal. Since the secret is out, why is the Dalai Lama himself trying to cover up this point. Who knows? What is the problem if people know he has cancer? And why are the CTA trying to play it down?
  3. The Dalai Lama will not let anyone else dictate who his successor will be. The decision will be on his terms only. Lobsang Sangay tried, but Tibetan society is not real democracy in practice. All Tibetans know that the Dalai Lama is the Lama-King. He is the only one who has full power and control over Tibetan society and no one may contradict him. The face he shows to the West, one that is soft, friendly, diplomatic, easy-going and democratic is just a facade. The face the Dalai Lama shows his own people is completely different. It is fierce and angersome. He is in charge and must be obeyed. That is the reality of the situation. While the West may not realise it, Tibetans know all too well that the Dalai Lama controls everything, including politics. People are not happy with this situation but dare not speak up, since democracy within Tibetan society in-exile doesn’t actually exist.

The CTA have since tried to counter the startling allegations made in Rajeev Sharma’s piece by publishing a statement to clarify the series of events on their own website (Important Clarification from Central Tibetan Administration, https://tibet.net/2018/12/important-clarification-from-central-tibetan-administration/). However, the damage to Tibetan politics has already been done. They simply state that Rajeev Sharma is lying, but give no evidence or outline their own arguments to counter Sharma who has been writing for two decades and has established a name for himself as being trust-worthy and accurate. With such a background, it is hard to refute what he wrote about Lobsang Sangay’s deceptive actions and the CTA’s state of affairs as being false.

Dharamsala is a scenic hill-station in Himachal Pradesh, one of India’s northern states. It is also the de facto capital of the Tibetans in-Exile, since it is where both the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration reside. This satirical political cartoon sums up the situation well. There is always some sort of drama, problem, corruption or mismanagement among the Tibetan leadership. Click to enlarge. Credits: cartoon by Tendor. Source: http://www.tibetanreview.net/weekly-cartoon-4/

It is obvious that Sharma has exposed the CTA more than they cared to be and it hurts. He has embarrassed the CTA and Lobsang Sangay, so they respond in the only way they know how, by condemning and punishing him by calling him a liar. This punishment tactic is an all too common occurance within the Tibetan community, which people like Dorje Shugden practitioners are well aware of. This group of people are condemned, ostracized and punished like Sharma, only to a far greater degree.

Rajeev Sharma tells the situation like it really is, breaking that mirage the Dalai Lama likes to keep people under. Finally the truth is coming out. The CTA is a regime in every sense of the word that depends on the hundreds of millions of free dollars it has been leeching from the West, Japan, Australia and so on. It exists on free money. It is not a good government and has failed all negotiations with China due to the arrogance of its leaders. Why arrogance? Because they think the world will force China to do what the Tibetan leaders want. They really do have an over-inflated sense of self-entitlement.

The Tibetans are at the top of no one’s agenda and they are facing China, an economic and military super power. China will never kowtow to Tibetan demands. Why would they when they have the upper hand? It is the Tibetans who must beg China to be friends and grovel for concessions if at all possible. In recent years, no country has ever dared stand up to USA, but China has. Year by year, China’s power grows and that is why countries all over the world are scrambling to be friends with China, inevitably saying goodbye to their support for the Tibetan cause. The Tibetan cause is something of the past. There are no economic or major political benefits to support the cause anymore. It’s dying, so it’s time to move on.

These days every country elects in leaders that can better their country’s economy. People want leaders who can improve their lives and end the misery caused by the global recession. There is no choice, every country has to do business, trade and side with China to improve their economy. If you side with the Dalai Lama and CTA, what do you get? Nothing! Leaders of countries realize this now and will continue to make friends with China and say goodbye to the Dalai Lama. On a personal level, the Dalai Lama may be rich and famous, he may even sell a lot of books, but that will not get the Tibetan’s their country back. That will not win the support of leaders of the free and democratic world, nor the support of other nations. China no longer wants to play ball with the Tibetans since the Tibetans have nothing to offer. The odds are now in China’s favor, especially since, thanks to Lobsang Sangay and the Dalai Lama, Tibetan politics seem to be in a downward tailspin leading to disaster.


Differences between Dalai Lama and CTA President put Tibetan politics in a tailspin

Click to enlarge and read the whole article. Source: http://southasianmonitor.com/2018/11/27/differences-between-dalai-lama-and-cta-president-put-tibetan-politics-in-a-tailspin/

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14 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. According to the international current affairs magazine ‘The Diplomat’, Rajeev Sharma who is a New Delhi-based journalist-author has been writing on international relations, foreign policy, strategic affairs, security and terrorism for over two decades. He has published seven books so far, five of them non-fiction, two fiction. He is one of the writers of The Diplomat. He is established.

    If CTA really wants to refute Rajeev Sharma’s writing, they should at least gather more solid evidence and arguments to counter back someone who has been writing for two decades and established his name. One leader’s demise which is the Nyingma head can make a conference involving so many leaders from all the Tibetan Buddhism schools cancel? Sounds suspicious. More ridiculous is it was postponed indefinitely. The key is that it’s postponed indefinitely. If it was cancel to respect the dead Nyingma head, they should have immediatly reset the date. But they didn’t.

    This is not some international event or external big occurrence such as a war has broke out between India and China or any internal war taking place within India, or any natural disaster happening that makes the whole conference have to be cancelled without a proposed date to commence again be given.

    It could be that what the writer has exposed is actually what has happened. It hurts. It embarrassed CTA and Lobsang Sangay so much, and CTA is using their usual way to “punish” and condemn those who are not buying their lies, not listen to their orders, just like how they has targeted Shugden people. CTA has to immediately condems Rajeev Sharma’s article. How can such a senior and respected writer be so negligent. I don’t think he was negligent but told the truth. The dirty truth about CTA.

    Too bad for CTA.

  2. Lobsang Sangay is the worst ‘leader’ the Tibetan exiles have ever had. ☹️Since he was ‘voted’ into his position, he has done nothing for the Tibetans in and out of Tibet. People know this now. China is no close to bargaining with Lobsang Sangay or the Dalai Lama because China has all the power. Dalai Lama being the power from the throne in his small exile world of Tibetans will not tolerate Lobsang Sangay doing things behind his back as Lobsang Sangay did recently again. Dalai Lama expects to approve of all decisions in the exile government. If not, Dalai Lama will be furious and will show it privately also to his own people. There is no democracy.💔

  3. There are just alot of drama coming from our Sikyong Mr Lobsang Sangay. Did he really think that he is the head of CTA now? He is so naive to believe that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will let go of the power and go behind the scene? I guess now he learnt his lesson. I guess he had it coming when he decided to cancel the event without His Holiness’s agreement.

    From this incident, we can see that Mr Lobsang is now not in the same boat as His Holiness the Dalai Lama anymore. He is not supporting what His Holiness is working for Tibet which is Umaylam. He has been going around the world taking bad about China. His effort is not helping His Holiness and the fact he is delaying Tibetans’ return to Tibet.

    Why is Mr Lobsang Sangay is doing this? He does not wish for Tibetan’s return to Tibet? He must have a hidden agenda for doing so. Perhaps he is afraid to go back to Tibet under China because China will not allow CTA to be in China anyhow. That means no more free money from western countries anymore.

  4. This article is fake News.

    Lobsang Sangay and all the CTA members are just PUPPETS.
    Libsang Sangay’s money to study in US was provided by Dalai Lama
    to guarantee a seat at Harvard. He won’t dare to go against Dalai Lama.

    Secondly, Dalai Lama still uses ORACLE to control CTA.
    CTA is Dalai Lama. And run by his family members.

    THEOCRACY in disguise. Don’t think you can fool us. 😜

  5. Now Lobsang Sangay is showing his true colour, he openly goes against the Dalai Lama. He claims he is loyal to the Dalai Lama but he is not. The Middle Way approach is all over the CTA website, but Lobsang Sangay is still supporting the Free Tibet movement and activists, so what does he really want? It is very obvious he doesn’t agree with what the Dalai Lama wants.

    Lobsang Sangay as the president of the Tibetans in exile has not done anything good for the Tibetans. He is busy making use of his position to gain personal interest. He has got himself some properties in the US and a foreign, while the Tibetans in exile are still stateless and are still refugees.

    Lobsang Sangay and the CTA accuse Dorje Shugden followers are against the Dalai Lama. Lobsang Sangay himself is also against the Dalai Lama! He doesn’t want the Middle Way Approach otherwise he won’t be still supporting the free Tibet movement and activists. To Lobsang Sangay, money is more important than anything else.

  6. Tracy/Dolma C Kazoc
    Nice try. But CTA is Dalai Lama. Behind it is run by his families.
    LS and all the members are just puppets of Dalai Lama.
    LS’s education was provided by Dalai Lama fund.
    And guaranteed a seat at Harvard. If he was a student in US, he will
    Only get into State public college/ free tuition. So he won’t go against
    Dalai Lama. Because he is LS’s master.

    Anyway, Oracle is always there to get rid of anyone who against Dalai Lama. THEOCRACY in disguise. Fake democracy.

  7. Konchok sum.. Sangay is will lose . how can he win to Dalai Lama who is give to him the power .

  8. Hmm, it was mentioned that Lobsang Sangay wants the Karmapa to replace the Dalai Lama. So if the Dalai Lama were to go back to Tibet, then all the money follows the Dalai Lama. As we know, Lobsang Sangay is only all about the money and as such is targetting the Karmapa for his money?? Honestly speaking, what has Lobsang Sangay done for his people in all the years that he had been the President? Nothing much except to create more division in his people, wasting sponsored funds on propaganda instead of the welfare of his people, keeping his people in poverty for reasons to obtain donations, and always going against the Dalai Lama in his back, ie. the Rangzen movement vs. Middle Way approach, to negotiate with China but he instigate propaganda instead…. very Anti-Dalai Lama. Now we can see why. Lobsang Sangay is totally not into going back to Tibet. He is going to USA where he has his house and retirement fund secured. Definitely not one to be trusted at all.

  9. The truth is Lobsang Sangay cares about the money, he does not have respect for anyone, not even the people who voted him in. He tries to give people the impression that he is loyal to the Dalai Lama but he is not. He always does the opposite of what the Dalai Lama wants.

    The Dalai Lama wants the middle way approach but the CTA and Lobsang Sangay are not taking the initiative to establish a better relationship with China. They are still talking about free Tibet and how China is inflicting pain and suffering to the Tibetans. They fail to see how much progress China has brought to Tibet since 1959.

    There is no way the CTA or Lobsang Sangay will bow down to China, they are too arrogant. Besides, if China really accepts the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans, Lobsang Sangay and his gangs will lose their jobs! That is why Lobsang Sangay will make sure they don’t go back to Tibet.

  10. CTA rhetoric is ridiculous to blame an indian journalist as lying.

    When things get too hot to handle, CTA loves to do things like this, their lies and deceptios have no place no place who have gotten to know about the underbelly of CTA.

  11. Tsk..tsk.. whether it’s CTA or HH it’s still the same. Nothing is done properly to ensure the Tibetans in exile to have hope of returning to tibet. Angering and mocking China will never help their situation. LS is nothing but a sneaky conman and liar. Puppet or not ever since he took power nothing good ever came from him leading CTA. Hh keeps saying he left politics yet he still dabble in it. DS ban has been going on for so long but he refuse to lift it knowing fully that there is NOTHING wrong with it. If he is truly Buddha of compassion perhaps he should heal the pain, discrimination and hatred that he caused DS people by lifting the ban.

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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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