CTA’s man in Australia, drinking with Tibetan buddies, starts bar fight

Phurbu Khonnyi-Tsang with the Dalai Lama. Khonnyi-Tsang was recently arrested for assaulting security personnel. In his defense, his attorney cited his relationship with the Dalai Lama, as though an association with the Dalai Lama absolves someone from obeying the law, even in Australia.

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

 


 

By: Tyr Beswick

It has become common for those connected to the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala) to be embroiled in scandals, named in salacious news and getting caught for various acts of misconduct.

Phurbu Khonnyi-Tsang campaigned to be elected as a chithue for Australia. His main claim to fame however, was hosting the Dalai Lama on one of his visits to Australia. Click to enlarge.

The latest to bring disrepute to the Tibetan people is community leader Phurbu Khonnyi-Tsang, who once represented the Tibetan leadership as the President of the Tibetan Community of Australia. Khonnyi-Tsang also ran in elections to be a member of the Tibetan Parliament (chithue) but his main claim to fame was hosting the Dalai Lama on one of the Dalai Lama’s visits to Australia. In Sydney, when the Dalai Lama was met with protestors who decried his unlawful religious ban and endorsement of a witch-hunt against Dorje Shugden practitioners, Khonnyi-Tsang was quick to deflect media and public attention away from the main issue by accusing the protestors of being funded by the Chinese government. By readily agreeing to toe the Dalai Lama’s policies, he gained favor with the Tibetan leadership. Unfortunately, like many Tibetans who have carved out lucrative careers for themselves by being Dalai Lama cronies, Khonnyi-Tsang is now in the spotlight for causing trouble in Australia and arrested for starting a brawl in a car.

In a Saturday night drinking binge with his Tibetan buddies, Khonnyi-Tsang was spotted to be in a quarrelsome mood with other patrons of the bar. When security personnel moved in to eject him for being a public nuisance, the Tibetan community leader started swinging at them and at one time trapped a security guard in a headlock whilst violently throwing punches. Whilst this behavior is unbecoming of someone who is supposed to represent a ‘Buddhist government’ by the definition of the CTA President Lobsang Sangay, it has become commonplace for those empowered by the Dalai Lama and CTA to behave badly.

In a recent court hearing regarding this brawl, Magistrate Michelle Goodwin told Khonnyi-Tsang that the Australian community was fed up with people blaming alcohol for bad behavior and gave him a Conditional Release Order to be of good behaviour for 18 months. Police prosecutor Sgt. Adrian Walsh had earlier urged the court not to issue the Conditional Release Order due to the serious nature of the charges.

The case has been widely reported in Australian media. Ironically, people like Khonnyi-Tsang who flaunt their relationship with the Dalai Lama in order to abuse others, end up tarnishing the Dalai Lama’s reputation because he associates with such individuals. Click to enlarge.

In mitigation, Khonnyi-Tsang’s attorney said, “My client is a man of good character who has hosted the Dalai Lama”, as if the Dalai Lama’s name itself has the authority to absolve all kinds of bad behavior by those who ride his coattails. As irrelevant as it is, Khonnyi-Tsang’s attorney’s words refer to an unspoken rule – that is, the Dalai Lama and all those who invoke his name, are deemed to be above the law. This is how the Tibetan leadership has run its affairs in exile, with unfettered power because they are not held accountable by anyone, and those who disagree are quickly deemed anti-Dalai Lama, anti-Tibetan cause, anti-Buddhism or otherwise pro-China, pro-Communism and pro-human rights abuse.

This defence is however typical of Tibetan mentality – a picture with the Dalai Lama becomes a holier-than-thou passport to do whatever they like in his name. It becomes a free-for-all licence of authority to abuse and this is where the root of the sorry state of Tibetan affairs lie.

For certain, Khonnyi-Tsang is not the only one guilty of this abuse. Take, for example, the Tibetan member of Parliament Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar, who engaged in fisticuffs on the streets of Dharamsala with a Chinese tourist who had just left a teaching with the Dalai Lama. The fight was filmed and widely circulated, thus recording and promoting the unbecoming behavior of an elected representative of the Tibetan people who believes they can act however they want, against whomever they want, simply because they have the Dalai Lama’s backing.

Khonnyi-Tsang’s lawyer spoke of his client’s association with the Dalai Lama, as though a relationship with the Dalai Lama is a reflection of someone’s character and absolves them from criminal responsibility. If being associated with the Dalai Lama is a testament of a person’s character, and therefore adequate legal defence, then by that definition Shoko Asahara should be absolved of his horrific crimes simply because he too was associated with the Dalai Lama.

There are many more examples of Tibetan representatives justifying their arrogance and abuse of others through their relationship with the Dalai Lama:

  1. Tenzin Dhonden, who was the Dalai Lama’s “peace emissary” of many years in America. Dhonden was pictured cavorting with women, whom he is alleged to have had sexual relationships with, in clear violation of his monk vows regarding celibacy. He has also been accused of extorting money from sponsors of the Dalai Lama whom he ingratiated himself with by offering them opportunities to have the Dalai Lama grace their events or to have audience with the Tibetan leader. Thanks to Dhonden, the Dalai Lama is now associated with a number of unsavory characters, including cult leaders who have been indicted for sex trafficking. He has since been removed from his role but other than that, no further action has been taken against him; instead of sanctioning and reprimanding him, the CTA allowed him to escape responsibility by slipping into obscurity.

Tenzin Dhonden, the Dalai Lama’s peace emissary to the US, getting cozy with actress Allison Mack who was arrested by the FBI on April 20, 2018, on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.

  1. In 2012, the then-Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Penpa Tsering, was exposed as having links to a visa-brokering and human trafficking ring. This followed an incident during a session of Parliament itself, when other members of the Tibetan Parliament raised Penpa Tsering’s involvement in embezzlement, adultery and the murder of a Tibetan lama. Nothing happened, of course, and Penpa Tsering was not punished because of his relationship with the Dalai Lama.
  2. Also accused of misappropriating funds is the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy, Lodi Gyari, who in 2016 was named in a money laundering scandal. Both he and his son-in-law were alleged to have used the tragedy of the Nepali earthquake to raise funds for the victims. According to the authorities, the funds never made it to their recipients and yet again, no action was taken against him by the Tibetan leadership although he had exploited his relationship with the Dalai Lama to mislead and extort from the public.
  3. In a clear case of nepotism, Dhardon Sharling, the CTA’s former Department of Information and International Relation’s Secretary, was given a strategic role in the CTA amidst strong protests from other members of Parliament. They protested on the basis that she had not been elected to the role; rather, she had been selected by CTA President Lobsang Sangay who vocally championed her assignation after she had been rejected as a member of his Cabinet. There is evidence to suggest that she was having an affair with the married CTA President Lobsang Sangay and it was this association that compelled him to place her in positions of prominence.
  4. Sogyal Rinpoche, who was again in 2017 accused of sexual assault which he allegedly inflicted on his female students. Sogyal Rinpoche is the author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying in which the Dalai Lama wrote a foreword, and head of the international Rigpa Buddhist organization which the Dalai Lama has visited many times. This latest 2017 accusation followed a $10 million lawsuit alleging sexual improprieties which was filed against him in 1994 by a “Janice Doe”. After the 1994 lawsuit, the Dalai Lama’s relationship with Sogyal Rinpoche was widely promoted to whitewash Sogyal Rinpoche, duping many into thinking the Dalai Lama endorsed his behavior, thereby allowing Sogyal to continue abusing more women. Despite the fact his association essentially empowered Sogyal’s behavior, the Dalai Lama has unfortunately stayed silent on the latest abuse allegations, refusing to comment directly on it and thereby silently giving his “licence”. Are the victims and their pain not a worthwhile enough reason to publicly dissociate from Sogyal?
  5. The CTA President Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, whose Sikyong candidacy was approved by the Dalai Lama, has also been accused of covering up financial impropriety in Washington, D.C. involving the Office of Tibet (OOT). When the embezzlement was uncovered by Sangay’s political rival Penpa Tsering, Sangay was reported to have asked his Auditor General to remove any mention of the “loan” in a report. The central figure surrounding the “loan scandal” is none other than friend and former political advisor to Lobsang Sangay, Kaydor Aukatsang. He was the previous OOT Representative in North America during which the “loan” was made.

So Khonnyi-Tsang is not alone and he joins a long list of people seeking to abuse and exploit their association with the Dalai Lama, either to absolve them of responsibility for their actions or as a licence to do whatever they want. All this brings us to the question of what good have all the Dalai Lama’s men done? What has been achieved by all these men and monks who are funded by kind donors to the Dalai Lama’s causes?

Phurbu Khonnyi-Tsang (far right) with CTA President Lobsang Sangay. These Tibetan representatives show the wrong example to everyone, telling Tibetans that it is okay to be adulterous, violent, arrogant and rude as long as you are close with the Dalai Lama. Click to enlarge.

Have they furthered any of their political goals? Have all these representatives in positions of power brought the CTA any closer to dialogue with China, let alone a return to Tibet? Have they improved the welfare of Tibetan refugees in exile? Have they increased their number of global allies who are willing to provide tangible support for their political goals? The answer to all of this is resounding ‘no’, odd when you consider that these questions address the CTA’s raison d’être. What else have people been donating to, if not to the very topics that these questions address? This being their primary goal and focus, the CTA should have achieved some progress in the last six decades so it only goes to show you that for the past 60 years, their attention has been elsewhere.

In the same vein, observers and donors should consider what Tibetan refugees done to repay the kindness of their host countries such as India, Taiwan and Australia. The Tibetan leadership’s big campaign of 2018 was to thank these nations but it is safe to say the campaign was an abject failure. What was meant to start off with a bang saw the CTA downgrade the venue for their flagship event from Delhi to Dharamsala, after the Indian government warned against their officials attending the events.

So is a court case and a brawl how Khonnyi-Tsang plans to “thank Australia” in 2018 and 2019? If history is any indicator, Australians should not bother waiting for any plans because one thing is clear – when it comes to the CTA and their representatives, the only plan is how to line their own pockets and further their own careers. For as long as they have the Dalai Lama on their side, just like Khonnyi-Tsang shows, there will always be another CTA representative waiting in the wings, poised and ready to create violence again.

 

Community leader who once hosted
Dalai Lama involved in drunken scuffle

Cropped for brevity. Click to enlarge and read the full post (https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/community-leader-who-once-hosted-dalai-lama-involved-in-drunken-scuffle/news-story/52710c3a2c504a8ca6941508321e0f4a)

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4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Tibetan or no Tibetan his bad behaviour must be punished. 😠

  2. Shame! Why bring down Tibetan’s reputation and image oversea. Since this man, Phurbu Khonnyi-Tsang is close H.H. Dalai Lama, he should be wary about his actions and speech. Save the Thank You campaign all over the world, instead saying thank you by being a good and responsible citizen of the host countries like Australia, India and more.

    My question is: why all these who appear around His Holiness are those corrupted people? Please go away and don’t bring down Tibetans’s name and status.

  3. Karmapa Thaye Dorje Ignores the Dalai Lama

    (1) Decades ago, the Shamarpa asked the Dalai Lama to endorse Thaye Dorje as the Karmapa. Shamarpa proved to the Dalai Lama that Thaye Dorje was the Karmapa. The Dalai Lama still refused as it will make the Dalai Lama look bad for endorsing Ogyen Trinley. ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJJXYAz3Bz0

    It is known that Tai Situ Rinpoche recognized Ogyen Trinley by stealth. Tai Situ Rinpoche used the Dalai Lama’s fame to promote his Ogyen Trinley candidate in order to secure the Karmapa wealth of many generations.

    (2) Even though the Dalai Lama endorsed Ogyen Trinley as Karmapa, Thaye Dorje could not be restrained and continues to grow immensely in popularity all over the world. Even without the Dalai Lama’s endorsement, the Karmapa Thaye Dorje is growing in importance. Tai Situ Rinpoche thought that without the Dalai Lama’s endorsement, the Karmapa Thaye Dorje would fall and become nothing. He was wrong.

    (3) Shamarpa Rinpoche had asked the Dalai Lama to at least ordain Thaye Dorje as a monk when he was very young and the Dalai Lama refused. This refusal hurt Shamarpa and the Karmapa Thaye Dorje very much. The Dalai Lama sidelined Shamarpa Rinpoche and Thaye Dorje. It was a grievous insult and detrimental interference. In the Karma Kagyu tradition it is the Shamarpa who is the first and foremost to recognize the Karmapas and only in his absence do other regents recognize the Karmapas. Not only did the Dalai Lama interfere in Karma Kagyu affairs but the Dalai Lama took sides. That caused so much fighting and disharmony within the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism. Tai Situ Rinpoche was wrong not to consult with Shamarpa Rinpoche in all of this.

    (4) The Dalai Lama had no business interfering in Karma Kagyu traditions by recognizing a Karmapa. In the history of the Karma Kagyu school, there has not been one Karmapa recognized by a Dalai Lama nor did they ever need the Dalai Lama’s endorsement. This interference by the Dalai Lama has caused the Karma Kagyu school to take two sides and broke them up and created much disharmony. The disharmony, fighting and mud-slinging as to which one is the real Karmapa has continued to this day in 2019.

    (5) Shamarpa Rinpoche passed away in 2014 and it is up to the Karmapa to recognize his incarnation without the endorsement or interference of the Dalai Lama.

    (6) Now the Karmapa Thaye Dorje recognizes his son born in 2018 as Shamarpa Rinpoche’s incarnation and he does not ask the Dalai Lama to endorse this incarnation. He does not need it. The Dalai Lama has done enough damage. This will shift the dynamics of the Karma Kagyu school again in favor of the Shamarpa Rinpoche’s side. Unfortunately, it will make Ogyen Trinley look strange and left out in the cold. Within the Kagyu school, the Shamarpa is the next highest incarnation after the Karmapa. The Karmapas always recognized Shamarpas and vice versa. It shows that the Karmapa Thaye Dorje has the full authority to recognize the next highest incarnation within their school on his own. This Shamarpa will be spiritually trained by the Karmapa Thaye Dorje himself without the influence of the aged Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile which most Karma Kagyus consider a regime.

    (7) During the Kagyu Monlam prayers in Bodhgaya on January 2019, Thaye Dorje was there leading the Monlam (New Year’s prayers) and so was the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya, giving teachings in another location nearby. The Dalai Lama, while in Bodhgaya, wanted to meet Thaye Dorje but Thaye Dorje refused. Thaye Dorje avoided the Dalai Lama. It was an insult to the Dalai Lama that he had to accept for all the damage he had done in their Karmapa affair and Karma Kagyu school.

    The Dalai Lama had sidelined Shamarpa and Thaye Dorje when asked to endorse Thaye Dorje decades ago. Now that the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley has run away to the USA, the Dalai Lama wants to be friendly with Thaye Dorje so that he can get on the Karma Kagyu school’s good side. Without the Dalai Lama’s permission, the two Karmapas met in France and decided to mend the rift. This will make the Dalai Lama look bad. Even the Dalai Lama did not think in such a big way or a middle way to help mend the rift. Too bad and too late for the Dalai Lama to make friends with the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism.

    So much damage has been done. But the Karmapa Thaye Dorje is on the way to mending all this.

    Karma Tsogyal

    thayedorjeson1

  4. I never heard anything good about CTA. They did nothing substancial to help the Tibetan community in exile, not only that, they even created schism and splitted up the already small community into separate groups so than none of the group is big and strong enough to question and go against them, one of such example is Dorje Shugden ban. To separate own people instead of uniting them is the last thing a leadership should do. Therefore, CTA is not leading the Tibetan community, they look more like a bunch of greedy and corrupted people who use their title to grab as much money, fame, power and sex for their own sake.

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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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