India Outmaneuvers Ungrateful Tibetans

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By: Tyr Beswick

Since they entered the country over 60 years ago, the Tibetans have had free reign to carry out their activities, whether religious, social or political. Led by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; the Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala, North India), they have taken full advantage of this kindness granted to them by the Indian government. However, instead of using this platform to benefit India, the CTA has exploited India as a platform to carry out their political agendas. Thus, the last 60 years have seen Tibetans using India as a base from which they can repeatedly provoke China on the issue of a Free Tibet.

The CTA has always shown a total absence of care for their host country’s political relations with other nation states although it is India who has been kindest to them. In 1959, when no other nation came to their aid, and no one else was open to hosting 95,000 exiled Tibetans, it was India who opened up her borders. However, the CTA has not shown India the gratitude she deserves.

Hence given the CTA’s behavior, it is unsurprising to learn that they have damaged their host country’s relationship with China on many occasions. But now India is pushing back against this Tibetan exploitation, and using the CTA and the Tibetans in-exile as a tool to improve ties with China instead. Most recently:

  1. Vijay Gokhale, India’s Foreign Secretary met with both the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Prime Minister, Lobsang Sangay to tell them to move the “Thank You India” events out of Delhi, as India gears up to appease China. The instruction was a surprising one, as the events were supposed to be a way for the Tibetans to show their gratitude to India. But it does not seem like the Indians were interested, preferring instead to find ways of reaching out to China. Perhaps this show of Tibetan gratitude was too little, too late. Regardless, the CTA went ahead with their event anyway but had to hold it on a much smaller scale at their local temple in Dharamsala.
  2. Gokhale went so far as to inform government officials not to attend any Tibetan events, even issuing a memo to this effect. The memo was leaked, an act which some think was intentional. This hints at two possibilities. First, it was a ploy to unofficially let China know that India is changing its stance towards the Tibetans, so India can get into China’s good books. Second, it was India’s way of letting ordinary Tibetans know she is serious about reaching out to China.
  3. Some have also speculated that the upper echelons of power in Delhi were displeased by the CTA’s insensitivity towards the current state of bilateral relations between India and China. Having lived in India for the past 60 years, the CTA is fully aware of the necessity of maintaining the delicate balance of Sino-Indian ties. Yet, they went ahead with their “Thank You India’ celebrations without coordinating with the relevant Indian ministries and without any due consideration of how it could impact India’s foreign policy.

So just why is India changing its stance after 60 years of supporting the Tibetans in every manner possible? A brief look at recent global events makes the reasons behind India’s turnabout very clear — this is not the first time that the CTA have pulled a stunt like this with potentially huge negative repercussions for India.

  1. It has been said that Samdhong Rinpoche’s secret visit to China last year contributed to India’s renewed sense of urgency in improving their relationship with China. Although no details have emerged about Samdhong Rinpoche’s visit, it is widely assumed he visited China to strike a deal about the Dalai Lama returning to Tibet. In the past, China has made it clear that any deal of this nature will only be approved if the CTA acknowledges that Tibet has always been a part of China. India sees this acknowledgement as problematic because it would call into question the legality of the McMahon Line. This is the border that Tibet and British India agreed upon during the 1914 Simla Conference; if the CTA admits Tibet was never independent, the Simla agreement becomes null and void, thus throwing into question the India-China border and opening up all kinds of territorial disputes. These are border territories that India is not willing to accede so building positive bilateral relations with China now, is a method for India to reduce the risk of potential territorial disputes in the future.
  2. Staving off potential border disputes with China is just one of many incentives for India to improve relations with their giant neighbor. At home, the Indian leadership are finding that the CTA themselves are creating incentives for India to rescind her support of the Tibetans. In the last 60 years, the CTA have done very little to assist India with her many domestic and foreign challenges. Oftentimes, the CTA has even added to them, especially in stirring up trouble between China and India during sensitive times. We saw this most recently during the 2017 Doklam standoff, when Bhutan and China were locked in a territorial dispute over the Doklam area. India, claiming to act on Bhutan’s behalf, sought to intervene since Doklam is in their northeastern border and any instability there could spill over into Indian territory. As a result, China became upset at India’s presumed interference and the two nations nearly came to blows.
  3. Despite the tense situation, the CTA President Lobsang Sangay decided to take a trip up to North India anyway. There, he unfurled the Tibetan flag at Pangong Lake, which is on India’s border with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). China saw this as a deliberate act of provocation since the flag symbolizes Tibetan independence and, by extension, the CTA’s dangerous ‘separatist’ activities to destabilize the TAR. And of course, they blamed India for allowing Lobsang Sangay to travel there, thus worsening India’s relationship with China.

With the relationship between India and China already so bad, any leader worth their salt would have been respectful and stayed away. Yet Lobsang Sangay deliberately sought to make matters worse, an indication that the Tibetans are definitely not innocent. Their need for one-upmanship over China has always overridden Indian welfare, and their actions reflect their ingratitude for India’s past kindnesses and disdain for her brighter future. It is this disdain that has caused India to react skillfully, outmaneuvering the Tibetans as they advance their aim of creating closer ties with China. The CTA thought it was safe, thought they could continue using India without apprise. However, the Indian government can only be taken advantage of so many times before this powerful, sophisticated democracy tires of their manipulation and games. The Tibetan leadership should realize one thing – while India may talk about a “sensitive time” with China, the same can be said of their relationship with the CTA, who should tread very, very carefully lest they lose Indian support altogether.

 

Is Trump Politics Inspiring Modi to Change His China Policy?

Click to enlarge. (Source: https://www.dailyo.in/politics/tibet-india-china-doklam-xi-jinping-dalai-lama-narendra-modi/story/1/23232.html)

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  1. 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

  2. It is bewildering that His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentioned that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s, yet nothing was done to reprimand these Buddhist teachers. After all, such abuses inflict substantial damage to the reputation of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole as compared to smaller issues like Dorje Shugden.

    The Central Tibetan Administration was fervent in executing the Dorje Shugden ban, launching a documentary film, books, expelling monks, splitting monasteries and denying access to hospitals, clinics, schools, retail shops and so forth down to even publishing a hit list of Shugden activists in order to encourage violence and lynch mob. Yet, the damage done to Tibetan Buddhism by these lamas seems to be ignored and hushed. Why is the Central Tibetan Administration not doing more to warn the public about these sex offenders like posting a warning list on their website?

    Dalai Lama knew sex abuse by Buddhist teachers; it’s ‘nothing new’
    Agence France-Presse
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations were “nothing new.”
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in northern India, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behavior”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”
    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1032920/dalai-lama-knew-sex-abuse-by-buddhist-teachers-its-nothing-new/amp

  3. His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan spiritual leader revered by millions of Buddhists around the world should ensure that the Tibetan spiritual leaders do more to denounce sexual misconduct and abuse of Buddhist teachers as there are far-reaching repercussions and negative impact on Tibetan Buddhism.

    While His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been consistent in reminding practitioners about not practising Dorje Shugden in lieu of the social and religious problems associated with it, despite the unsubstantiated claims or justifications, the indolence of the Central Tibetan Administration in taking action to pacify the public disgust against the misconduct of these Buddhist teachers is severely lacking and appalling. The bias in dealing with these issues related to religious matter has again proven the political nature and conspiracy behind the ban on Dorje Shugden.

    ‘Nothing new’: Dalai Lama says he knew about sex abuse by Buddhist teachers
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    Agence France-Presse
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in Himachal Pradesh, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”
    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/dalai-lama-i-knew-of-sex-abuse-by-buddhist-teachers-since-1990s/story-238DdgDwzQYU5rDfTSgl8M.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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