Man Jailed for Creating Division

Religious freedom is something that most of us around the world take for granted. But the ban on Dorje Shugden instigated by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) prevents practitioners from observing their religious practice in peace. Following the advice given by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan populace have taken matters into their own hands. Supported by the CTA, they promote intolerance, segregation and violence.

The Chinese government, seeing just how divisive this ban is, have outlawed the creation of division and intolerance. Any government that truly cares for its subjects would want harmony and unity within its society. That they are doing so is simply good governance, as compared to the CTA who continue in their efforts to divide and conquer.

The article below showcases just how much China values harmony and religious freedom among its people. It highlights the fact that an elderly gentleman was jailed for promoting this harmful division. Whereas we do not condone the actions, given the gentleman’s age, we do value China’s efforts to promote religious harmony.

The length to which the Tibetans take the Dalai Lama’s divisive advice to extremes is highlighted by the fact that a 28-year-old would stab himself to death following the destruction of a Dorje Shugden statue. The all-powerful dictates of the Tibetan god-king still linger in the minds of many Tibetans. This viewpoint does nothing but undermine the universal right to religious freedom and even the teachings of non-violence and acceptance taught by the Buddha himself. China at least seems to want harmony and promotes religious freedom.



Elderly Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of Controversial Deity


Jamyang Tsering, in an undated photo.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. EST on 2014-12-15

An elderly Tibetan man has been ordered jailed by Chinese authorities for advising a group of Tibetan students to abide by the Dalai Lama’s call not to participate in a controversial form of worship deemed “divisive” by the exiled spiritual leader, sources said.

Jamyang Tsering, 77, was handed a one-and-a-half year term in early December by a court in Dzogang (in Chinese, Zuogong) county in the Chamdo (Changdu) prefecture of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“He is currently being held in the Dzogang detention center pending transfer to a jail in Chamdo,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“His relatives are worried about his health, which is said to be not good,” the source said, adding that Tsering suffers from abdominal disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other ailments.

“He himself says he has done nothing wrong and has no regrets. His only concern is for his wife, who is 86 and was left behind in [the regional capital] Lhasa after he was detained,” he said.

Tsering, a native of Chamdo, was taken into custody in early June after encouraging a group of Chamdo-area students visiting Lhasa to follow the wishes and guidance of the Dalai Lama and to always “hold to their pride in being Tibetan,” the source said.

“He had also advised as many people as possible in local gatherings not to worship Shugden,” a Tibetan “protector” deity whose rituals have been denounced by the Dalai Lama as divisive and sectarian, he said.

Chinese police frequently investigate and arrest Tibetans deemed to have responded to the policy directives of the India-based Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers a dangerous separatist bent on “splitting” Tibet from Chinese control.


Religious Differences

Earlier this year, a young Tibetan stabbed himself to death when police attempted to detain him in Chamdo’s Markham (Mangkang) county over the destruction of a Shugden statue six years ago, sources told RFA in an earlier report.

Tashi Tsering, a 28-year-old layman, had joined together with at least eight monks of Chamdo’s Khenpaluk monastery in 2008 to destroy the statue of the deity after the Dalai Lama urged Tibetans to abandon its worship, one source said.

When the Dalai Lama in 2008 publicly criticized Shugden worship as damaging to harmony among Tibetans, Khenpaluk monastery was the first religious establishment in the area to ban the practice, the source said.

“Some monks of Khenpaluk then volunteered to dismantle the statue,” which had been installed by a private sponsor, he said.

Chamdo police in April issued a set of regulations including a ban on “anyone using the protector ‘Gyalchen Shugden’ to create differences among the believing masses” and using language that appeared to be “aimed primarily at opponents or critics of the Shugden practice,” Columbia University Tibet scholar Robbie Barnett told RFA in an e-mail on Friday.

“From the perspective of the Chinese, they have a responsibility to prevent violence and conflict over this, as with any other contentious issue among Tibetans,” Barnett said.

“However, the Chinese authorities have published numerous statements attacking the Dalai Lama on the Shugden issue both in Tibet and internationally,” he said.

“So they are widely perceived within Tibet as favoring the pro-Shugden side in this dispute.”

Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English with additional reporting by Richard Finney.


The article on Radio Free Asia’s website

Click on image to read the original report.


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  1. Any government that truly care for the welfare and unity of her people will be stern on those who create division and hatred using religion as a front. This is exactly what is being used by Dalai Lama’s follower who are fanatic and quick to fan discord among Tibetans in China to propagate their nationalistic agenda. The court in Zuogong county in the Changdu did the right thing by punishing the culprit.

  2. I personal hail China for implementing a policy of respect for all practicing religion, even Dorje Shugden practice. So in jailing the man who is creating divisiveness within the society, China is showing her stance. It may be unfortunate that the man is 77 years old but it is from his mouth that spout the advice of harm. Although Tibet is considered a strongly religious country but it is all very surface, where they have an altar, visit monasteries or holy sites to perform prayers, etc. It is the Dharma that they should be given and practise to dispel the ignorance. Without the Dharma, they will see something wrong as right. They do not look deep but delve on the surface accepting “advices” as right due to the popular status of person, which in this case is the Dalai Lama. If they had the Dharma, then they would understand how every reasons given by the Dalai Lama are baseless and not as Buddha had taught.

    How could the Dalai Lama, an emanation of Buddha Avalokiteshvara, with enlightened mind of no karma be harmed by Protector Dorje Shugden? And how in the world could Dorje Shugden be harmful to the Tibetan cause when it is he who helped the Dalai Lama escape to India? Also how does Dorje Shugden create sectarianism when everyone was practicing in peace before the Dalai Lama’s “advice” and ban? Instead it is the very advice from the Dalai Lama that had created sectarianism which lead to segregation of the practitioners in Pro or Anti Dorje Shugden which lead to creating of abuse, discrimination, threats and fear for the Shugden practitioners. It is the Dalai Lama’s advice that gave CTA the leverage to inflict harm on the Shugden practitioners whilst lining their own pockets with the millions of dollars in donation from mislead sponsors. It is the Dalai Lama’s advice that created many to doubt their own Gurus, to break their samaya and to harass & threaten the lineage Gurus who practised purely. All these wrongs the Dalai Lama and CTA themselves created to avert answering “why have they not fulfilled their promise to be back in Tibet?”. Then they link Dorje Shugden practitioners with China and make them out to be cohorts in “crime”. Stupid move I would say as although totally not true, this proclamation helped China accept and protect Shugden practitioners all the more. Back fired. And what more, now it seems CTA won’t even exist much longer with the agreement between India and China looming to take place after the Dalai Lama’s passing.

    May the Dalai Lama manifest his true wisdom and lift the ban Dorje Shugden to unite his people, all practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. On the other hand the Panchen Lama is gathering much momentum towards the powerhouse for Dharma and soon will gather the people under his umbrella. May the people in China/Tibet grow in Dharma wisdom and not be ignorantly mislead again. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  3. WELL WHAT IS THE CTA GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS NOW? They are the ones who keep on inciting hate and division amongst their own people by persecuting, condemning Dorje Shugden. If there was no BAN then there will not be such issues right, and the poor old man will not be in JAIL. SO who’s fault is it in the first blooming place?!

    Although I feel sorry for the old man, but I have to say I support China’s firm stance against anyone who tries to split their people… they do not need a divided Tibet as they need to make everyone work in harmony for China to grow is the right way as it promotes religious FREEDOM.

    So Dharamsala THANKS for creating more harm… because of your silly lies about Dorje Shugden, this old innocent man is now in Prison. You are the one TO BE BLAMED! REMEMBER before the BAN everyone was in peace and harmony… China would not have such strong rulings against those who say nasty things about Shugden… basically Shugden would not have been any issue at all… get it?!

  4. China, in recent years is beginning to look into the spiritual welfare of her citizens as she realizes now spiritual needs are important for psychological health and culture.

    But, as a growing nation and new economic power, China has to keep the peace as well. The Cultural Revolution is over. China is trying very hard to keep the country on an even keel and it bodes well for her citizens to work with the government instead of keep looking back and keep opening an old sore that needs to heal.

    Why complain about the old monk being jailed for divisive talk? Is it because CTA does not jail the Tibetans in exile for stoning monks who practice Dorje Shugden? Even in Buddhism, there is heavy karma associated with schism, the old monk being jailed for it, is only a mild ripening of negative karma.

    CTA better take a good, objective look at their own actions before they start accusing others. They should also look really hard at the actions of the followers of the Dalai Lama.

  5. It would be nice if for once the CTA actually gave a toss about their people and stopped inciting them to break the law. This mans in his 80s and they cant leave him alone and have to fill his head with all sorts of stupid ideas. So he gets jailed and then what? What does it prove? That hes got the bollox to break the law? Wow.

    Dharamsala is going about this all wrong. They keep antagonising the Chinese by encouraging Tibetans to break the law. Its not going to win any brownie points with the Chinese and really, it just adds to their accusation that the Dalai Lama is a splittist.

  6. All the violence, problems, suffering and frustration because of illusions, because of ignoring non-duality.

    Main problem of mankind is ignoring non-duality and creating duality, because mankind still want’s to practice dualistic betray systems that only keep up ignorance, violence, problems, suffering and frustration.

    I can’t change others, so I don’t need to try to change others but I can stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for myself.

    Others can’t change me, so they don’t need to try to change me but they can stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for themself.

    So why do I try to change others eventhough I can’t? So why do others try to change me eventhough they can’t?

    We can’t change deities into good or evil spirits, so why should we try to change deities into good or evil spirits? We can’t change wisdom and compassion itself but create illusions and destroy illusions. So why don’t we use the deitites to effect freedom and wellbeing instead of creating illusions and violence?

    Why don’t we all stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for ourself?

    We can stop ignoring non-duality and we can get rid of karma, we can effect freedom and wellbeing, we don’t need to create illusions, violence and try to change something into something else eventhough we can’t.

    We are all perfect and all deities are perfect but we create illusions, violence, problems, suffering and frustration.

    May the wisdom of non-duality, that is represented by all dharmapalas, protect you all from ignorance, duality, harmful views, harmful aspirations/motivations and harmful actions of mind, speech and body.

    Never ever give up dharma, love you all!

  7. The governments are instituted for the common benefit to secure the health, safety and protection, rights and freedoms of individual citizens. This is very important to have harmony and unity among men.
    Hence, in order to provide the safety and protection to the nations, the governments have to take action against the people those are trying or intentionally to instigate another to commit the acts of violence which is potentially to create the division and as a threat to national security. For instance in these 2 cases, an elderly Tibetan man advised a group of Tibetan students to abide by the Dalai Lama’s call and the destruction of Shugden statue by a young Tibetan.

  8. Why is it that Tibetan people have to fight against each other. Why do Dorje Shugden statues get destroyed? Instead of working together and improving the situation of Tibetans, the CTA is creating problems. The Tibetan people has to suffer and because of this ban all the Tibetans have to suffer in one way or another because the practice of Dorje Shugden was so widely spread. Please, HH Dalai Lama, give us all religious freedom. Religion is a personal choice – not a choice by the government!
    I agree that China has to take action so that not respecting someone else’s faith is wrong and should be punished to avoid such behaviour. So much pain has been inflicted on Dorje Shugden practitioners, their friends and families. It needs to stop!

  9. When I read this article, I somehow felt a bit of sympathy for Jamyang Tsering because such an old man has to go to jail to defend his skewed belief that worshiping Dorje Shugden is wrong. However, I applaud the Chinese authority that executed repercussion for faith based discrimination. I believe that this will be a deterrent for the rest of the Dalai Lama’s followers in China to discriminate or intimidate Shugden practitioners.

    May this event serves as a reminder that religious based discrimination is wrong and unethical and should not be condoned.

  10. It is very sad to read about this 77-year- old man to be jailed, however, it is equally important to maintain social stability and harmonious coexistence, especially in Tibet where there is so much political instability.

    Even more heartbreaking is the death of Tashi Tsering’s. These can all be prevented if the CTA did not continuously persecute and create divisions between the Shugden and non-Shugden people. These people live in China Tibet for god’s sake, please do not make them your puppet to split the Tibetans for your personal gain! Stop inciting Tibetans in China to break the law and get themselves and their families in trouble.

    It is time the CTA look into what they really are doing. The welfare of the Tibetans in exiles are not taken care of, so much shame brought by the recent unethical moves in the elections, and they are still going their old ways. So much unrest in China Tibet and CTA is not helping. If we wish to gain back Tibet, I have no confidence in a government like you, CTA to rule.

    On the 56th Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day, you vehemently condemned the fringe group of extremists who bear the name of Shugden who you claimed have been making concerted efforts to denigrate the work and accomplishments of His Holiness. It is you CTA who is denigrating the work and accomplishment of His Holiness. Even the Gods had to come down to scold you, shame!

  11. Heres an idea for Tibetans which will probably be completely revolutionary… how about for JUST ONCE you follow the laws of your country?

    How about you follow the laws in AMERICA and allow for freedom of worship?

    How about you follow the laws in INDIA and stop suppressing Shugden practitioners?

    How about you follow the laws in NEPAL and stop protesting and creating trouble at places like Boudhanath?

    How about you follow the laws in CHINA and stop self-immolating and dividing people?

    What is it with Tibetans being troublemakers wherever they go? Sorry, does this shatter your Shangrila view of them? Well its the truth and the truth hurts. SO how about you follow the law for JUST ONCE. What it is with Tibetans refusing to follow the law, I will never be able to figure out.

  12. It is baffling to see the RFA ‘celebrating’ that one of the Dalai Lama’s overzealous supporter discriminate and actively suppress other’s religious freedom. Why would anyone be proud for being divisive and creating social unrest. Is this what the Dalai Lama is trying to achieve? Creating unrest, intolerance and suppression of basic human rights for others to practice their belief, regardless it being controversial or not.

    I take this as a direct encouragement on the Tibetans in exile’s side of the game. While the general Tibetans are unaware of it, it is obvious to those following the scene, that the Tibetans are being used by external forces to create disharmony within China with the pretense that they are doing it out of ‘love’ for the Dalai Lama and Tibet.

    If Tibetans truly loved the Dalai Lama, then they would work to make peace and harmony with China to help Dalai Lama achieve his vision of the Middle Way, greater autonomy, and not try to create more distortion under his name. What a disgrace.

  13. It is not right for people to split others using religion as a factor. I do hope the Chinese people will look into the age of the man who committed this action.

    i do blame lack of knowledge and ignorance that led this man to follow blindly what others have told him, and what he thought he heard from the Dalai Lama. A lack of wisdom led to this man to jail, i do hope he can leave with wisdom as soon as possible.

  14. Anyone in the world promoting the division among citizens will always be seen as a threat to the government, what more this happened in the highly populated country, China, where unity is the top priority tovthe government. Buddhism is always seemed to promote non-discrimination and non-judgment on everything in the world. But bizarre enough that Dalai Lama’s advice on not practising Dorje Shugden, was obviously a condemn and judgment. But it’s glad to know that the ban on Dorje Shugden for the past 20 years will be lifted soon. The fear, discrimination and suffering faced by Shugden Buddhistcls eventually can come to an end. Hopefully the division created long ago will vanish and Tibetan Buddhist can unite as one.

  15. Citizen who disobey the law, causes disharmony among the people, taken actions that cause disruption that threaten the peace of the nation SHOULD be punished. Religious freedom and human rights should be uphold. There is no excuse or special treatment regardless of the age. Moreover, Jamyang Tsering’s action is a poor reflection of Dalai Lama.

  16. I really support what the China is doing. We should all promote peace and harmony and not segregation and division amongst the people. What the CTA is doing to the people is totally wrong and is not bringing peace at all. Everyone has their own rights of whatever practices they want to follow and nobody has the rights to stop them. I really pity the 77 year old elderly man for being put in the jail but why in the first place he want to create division? People who has been practising Dorje Shugden should they themselves check and contemplate whether the practise is doing them harm or not.

  17. No matter what country, religious freedom is a must. No one should be segregated nor harmed because of what they practice. The government must also ensure that no hate groups can incite hatred in any way. There must be strict laws against those haters.

    In this case, China was right to do so. No matter what age nor race, punishment is a must. As a government, they are there to ensure peace, harmony and unity. How do you think they manage the amount of people in China if they are not doing their job?Once one person start, others will follow and things will definitely be blown out of proportion so it was wise of the government to stop it before it did.

    The Dalai Lama should stop asking His own people to create disunity because of Dorje Shugden. Everyone should have the right to practice what they want. Looking at this and the cases of immolation, its really sad. What does He hope to achieve in doing this??

  18. It is not correct for an outsider to instigate and do harm in your household. In the same context, obeying the “orders” and “decrees” of the Dalai Lama in Tibet, China is a form of treason. Especially when there is already a rift between the Dalai Lama and China.

    In the compassion of Buddhism as always taught by the Dalai Lama, it is important that in interfering with the Tibetans in China, the Dalai Lama is inflicting harm on them as what the Dalai Lama believes in is the complete opposite of what the Chinese government’s ideology.

    For sure the Chinese Government does not believe in disunity and disharmony among the Tibetans in China and truly believes in religious freedom. Of this I cannot say for the community of the Tibetans in exile, lead and controlled by CTA.

    Although it looks like the Chinese government is pro Dorje Shugden but are they making laws that will discriminate those who does not worship Dorje Shugden? It seems a bit strict to jail a frail 77 year old man, but to preserve peace, governments must find the best solution.

  19. Nechung is ZUMA 👎 before I m think he is one of d best when I m watch dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we r not back to Tibet yt Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

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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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