Very good news! The International Shugden Committee (ISC) rallied their members for a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C. on March 7, 2014. During their previous demonstration in California, we saw how a peaceful nun was chastised by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama when she asked for religious freedom. Since that time, although there have not been any other close encounters with the Dalai Lama like this one, support for the ISC protests is growing. DorjeShugden.com has received encouraging news that within the Tibetan communities in America, support for the Dalai Lama’s ban has weakened after this video was published.
More than 700 ISC members participated in this demonstration in Washington, triple the number compared to the previous week’s demonstrations in California. Amongst them were some 60 Tibetans supporting the ISC’s call for religious freedom. Preparations for the protest began weeks in advance, when ISC members went online to raise funds for their Dharma brothers and sisters who wanted to join in the protests but could not afford the travelling costs. As a result of such support, they were able to bring in members from as far away as England and Mexico to join them.
The protestors arrived at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. at 5:30am. If they were tired, their exhaustion did not show on their faces because they were happy to exercise their right to freedom of speech which has been granted to them by the US Constitution, and guaranteed by their government. From 5:30am to 11:30am, they stood across the road from the Dalai Lama peacefully protesting for religious freedoms to be given to their fellow Shugden practitioners in Tibet and Nepal.
Because more than 700 people showed up, the police had to block off the road so that they could safely protest in peace. This meant that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s motorcade had to be rerouted and he had to be escorted in to the Cathedral via a different entrance. The protestors however, did not lose their opportunity to make themselves heard. A number of ISC members were able to get to the new entrance in time, to ensure His Holiness saw and heard them protesting as he entered the building.
Later in the day, as the Dalai Lama spoke inside the Cathedral, two members of the ISC was able to ask the Dalai Lama questions about Dorje Shugden. First, they asked the Dalai Lama why there is a ban. The Dalai Lama replied saying that the 5th Dalai Lama had instituted it and actually, Dorje Shugden monasteries are good but it is the lamas who have made a mistake.
Then the two ISC members asked the Dalai Lama if Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche were wrong about Dorje Shugden. The Dalai Lama could not answer their second question. The two members were quickly silenced and escorted out by security personnel. This incident is totally reflective of the Tibetan leadership’s unwillingness to entertain any opinions other than their own, and does not represent the true spirit of democracy which involves a respect for other people’s opinions (no matter how unpleasant they may be).
We at DorjeShugden.com and Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world were encouraged by the number of media outlets who covered the protests, both in California and in Washington, D.C. With such media coverage, news of the Tibetan leadership’s unjust ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden has gone all over the world. While the Tibetan leadership can try to whitewash the issue amongst the Tibetan community by claiming that there is no such ban, the media knows better than that…hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns cannot all be wrong enough to protest against a non-existent ban! As the saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. To prove this point, there has been much press coverage regarding the ban to the just embarrassment of the Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala. The Tibetan leadership needs to realize in a genuine democracy, religious freedom is allowed.
We at DorjeShugden.com and Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world are very inspired by the ISC’s faith and dedication in representing Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world. Other Buddhist practitioners put them down, calling them names and attacking the validity of their practice. However, they never waver in their guru devotion and despite the obstacles, continue to defend their lineage and practice for all Shugden practitioners around the world. They have promised to upkeep the protests so that wherever His Holiness goes throughout the world, he is reminded of this most illogical and unfair act of religious suppression currently being upheld by the Tibetan leadership.
We hope that more people will join us in contributing to the ISC and their works. May our joint effort and hard work bring down the ban on Dorje Shugden as soon as possible. The ban must come down and the truth must come out. Until the ban has been removed, we will continue to peacefully call for dialogue with His Holiness.
Click on the images below to enlarge them and read the text
News Coverage of the Washington DC ISC Demonstration, 7 March 2014
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Close to 700 people demonstrated outside the National Cathedral Friday morning. The man at the center of the protest – the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness The Dalai Lama scheduled to speak about religion and ethics at the National Cathedral.
A Buddhist community divided in spiritually and physically: Students of the Dalai Lama on one side of Wisconsin Avenue, NW; followers of a centuries old and what His Holiness calls a sectarian form of Buddhism on the other. Rebecca Foley represents the Shugden community, which is 4 million strong around the world.
“Dorje Shugden is a prayer and it’s ludicrous to say this prayer hurts him, the Tibetan people, or the cause in any way,” said Foley.
The Dalai Lama himself practiced Shugden for 40 years until further research when he denounced the following calling it divisive and a cult.
Protestors, chanting “Dalai Lama – stop lying” and banging on drums, say their fight is for religious freedom. They claim the Dalai Lama has banned their practice and exiled them from the community.
“A mother goes out to buy food for her children and are turned away from the store because she practices Dorje Shugden. People are thrown out of hospitals,” said Foley.
“The Dalai Lama hasn’t banned their practice. He doesn’t have the power to ban,” countered Bhuchung Tsering, “Unfortunately, they are not dealing with reality or facts. If you want to talk about the real denial of religious freedom it is by the Chinese Government.”
WTOP – Group protests Dalai Lama during his D.C. visit
THE WASHINGTON POST
THE WASHINGTON POST TV
ONE NEWS PAGE USA
ONE NEWS PAGE UK
THE NEWS DAILY
PICTURE DOT NEWS
Videos of the Washington DC ISC Demonstration, 7 March 2014
or watch on our server:
Hundreds protest Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington DC
From WUSA 9
or watch on our server:
Buddhist faction protests Dalai Lama as he visits Washington
From Washington Post
Hundreds turn out for Dalai Lama’s visit to National Cathedral
From ABC 7
Dalai Lama Draws Protesters at National Cathedral
or watch on our server:
Interview with Adar Tsering and Gen Gyatso @ ISC Protest at Washington March 7th
From Radio Free Asia
Tibetan Public Talk, Demonstration in Washington DC, March 7
From Tibetan Public Talk
or watch on our server:
ISC Washington DC demonstrations at National Cathedral
From the public
Photos of the Washington DC ISC Demonstration, 7 March 2014
From Dalai Lama Truth Fan Page and ISC Members