Dorje Shugden Lamas attend the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) 10th government committee’s first conference

By: Harry Nephew was very happy to receive news that over 30 Lamas and 10 monks attended the Tibet Autonomous Region 10th government committee’s first conference on January 22-27, 2013 in Lhasa. This included Dorje Shugden high lamas, such as Lama Jampa Ngodrup Rinpoche, who was the first Tibetan lama to have been sent abroad by China to give Buddhist teachings in Switzerland in December 2012.

The Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee is an arm of the Central Government in Beijing, which is better well known as Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). It serves as an important administrative arm for the CPPCC to execute instructions and governs the entire Tibet Autonomous Region.

The conference focused on how to improve the current situation in Tibet. Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee, explained that there was a need to expose the people of Tibet towards science to help Tibetans move beyond their present status, which is a legacy of centuries of servitude under a theocracy, and be more prepared for a modern world. The Chinese Government promised to provide the Tibetan people with more education facilities and social infrastructure to achieve the above.

In concluding his speech, Pagbalha said that the Chinese government is employing various means to ensure a more progressive, affluent, and informed people, which are prerequisites for a happy, harmonious, law-upholding community of Tibetans.

Lama Jampa Ngodrup Rinpoche, who was also present at the conference

The presence of the 30 Tibetan Lamas at this conference shows openness on the part of the Chinese to the participation of Tibetan lamas in matters pertaining to the improvement of the Tibetan people in the TAR and the advancement of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

The willingness of the lamas to cooperate with the Chinese Government indicates a maturity and acceptance of the political situation from the Tibetan point of view. It also shows that the Tibetan lamas hold the welfare of Tibetans and the growth of Buddhism as priorities which override political considerations. For far too long, the good of the Tibetan people and their spiritual progress have been sacrificed at the altar of Sino-Tibetan political maneuverings.

Clearly it is only via mutual cooperation that there can be progress both for the Tibetans as well as Sino-Tibetan relations, and this is precisely what has advocated in its article, Operation Make Friends.

We are extremely happy to receive this piece of news and totally rejoice in the compassionate Sangha who have taken the initiative to lead in preserving the teachings of Lord Buddha and to uphold peace inside Tibet. This provides a bridge for China to mend relations with Tibetans. All these can only improve the chances of the Tibetan people returning to their homeland as has been their wish since going into exile in 1959. In fact, it seems that it is these lamas who are more proactive in helping the Tibetans rather than the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), who should be the ones representing the Tibetans yet are unable to even organize a dialogue with the Chinese government.

Indeed, this event proves that Dorje Shugden lamas are affirming their roles as peacemakers rather than the warmongers which they are being continuously wrongly accused of. The CTA should appreciate what the Dorje Shugden lamas are doing and rather than ostracize them, they should work with them in order to further the welfare of Tibetans.

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6 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. While I rejoice that the Chinese officials have the good fortune to imprint on the lamas’ robes and that the government allows a modicum of religion, I am praying for both Tibetans and the mainland Chinese to have actual freedom of religion. The current regime is still to restrictive to make freedom and endowments meaningful; the government really just needs to relax so that people can direct their lives toward meaningful goals like enlightenment without having to get government clearance to travel; while I am not a follower of the Dalai Lama, of course people should be allowed to have his picture on their shrines, or any religious artifacts of their choice. Buddha images are very helpful for imprinting, and it is of great benefit to the Chinese that they see Buddhist lamas in robes. I sincerely hope the Tibetans in exile will not try to go back to China but remain in exile where they have much more freedom to actually practice. It would also be really helpful if Buddhist lamas would not try to run the government in exile; one of the problems when moving from a dictatorship to another form of government is that if democracy is not fully embraced, along with protection of human rights, that communism, with its totalitarian regime will be happy to step in.

  2. Dear BlueUpali,

    While I agree with what you have said, it is also clear that the trend of Chinese government is to allow religious practice to be more pervasive in China and the Tibetan Autonomous Region. If they have banned anyone from keeping or displaying the picture of the Dalai Lama, it is because the Tibetan people have taken the Dalai Lama to be a symbol of resistance towards Chinese sovereignty, and therefore the significance of His Holiness is political in nature.

    The Tibetan government in exile however, seems to be trending the opposite direction and have banned the Shugden practice for some years now. I cannot think of any democracy that actually persecutes a segment of its population based on religion! So much for freedom of religion and democratic principles being exercised by the CTA.

  3. Dear Vajratruth,
    I believe I understand that what you are saying is that because the picture of the Dalai Lama is both political and religious, the Chinese are concerned about Dalai Lama pictures being a symbol of Tibetan freedom? Well, I have to say, while I applaude the Chinese for allowing some religion, it is so tightly controlled by the state that I am not sure that pure Buddhadharma would be possible in Tibet or Mainland China just now. I am fearing rebirth in that region of the world for myself and all other living beings. I feel that if I were a Tibetan in exile, that I would not voluntarily return to Tibet, even if there is some religion there, or even if the Dalai Lama were to return. I would think it would be a good idea to ask for political asylum in a democratic nation; that said, I have noticed for a long time that the Tibetans government in exile appeared confused about democracy and basic human rights, including freedom of praying whichever prayers one wishes to pray. It seems to me if the Dalai Lama or his “Karmapa” return to Tibet to help rule an ‘autonomous region’ that whatever ‘rights’ people have would be subject to first the Communist ideology of the Chinese government and then the puppet dictator of the Tibetan government; even if they elect a leader and a Parliament, without assuring basic human rights such as freedom of speech and religion, then there is simply a combination of the two worst forms of government available; communism and feudal theocractic dictatorship. I sincerely pray that the Tibetans in exile will adopt a better human rights policy in exile, and not willingly return to China as their puppets.

  4. P.S. To Vajratruth,
    In summary, the oppressor of my oppressor is still an oppressor; that the Chinese government will not allow people to keep pictures of the Dalai Lama would be a free speech issue regardless of the government’s motive; the government of China may allow Dorje Shugden prayers among other Buddhist prayers while the Dalai Lama has banned Dorje Shugden prayers; however, what would be helpful would be basic human rights under a democracy, like freedom of expression and freedom of religion; China is totally political and would control people’s access to religious thought by oppression any time they feel like it. This is similar to the discretion of the Dalai Lamas, current and past, in doing the same.

  5. The mixing of politics and Buddhism is not to my taste at all!I abhor that any sincere religious practice is used as a means of political expediency whether in the exiled community or within Chinese ruled Tibet.It’s the old ‘Divide and Rule’ in action and causes disharmony and even more suffering.
    I pray for harmony and benign political and economic systems for all human beings to be free to live their lives in peace and prosperity with religious freedom without any political interference from powerful elites or cliques.

  6. It’s really encouraging to know that China supports the growth of its mother religion to flourish once again in the high plateaus of the motherland. There’s definitely a need for a system to ensure that all religious activities and direction is managed well because there’s a system for everything including enlightenment to make sure that everything is in order.

    there’s always been a debate that politics should not be mixed with religion and the results are always endless. But what has worked for sure is that the reign of the Lamas throughout the centuries have shown that there’s a possibility that these two can come together to help people and at this point, it takes a change for the better.

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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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