Newspapers Say The Ban is Down?

By Saavie Acker

Losar is the most important holiday for Tibetans and also widely celebrated by Tibetan Buddhists worldwide. Marking the turn of a new year, it is a day for Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhists alike to make offerings to the Gurus, Enlightened Beings and Dharma Protectors in appreciation for the year that has passed and for an auspicious year ahead.

Mr. Tsering Wangchuk

Mr Tsering Wangchuk, press officer for the Tibetan government in-exile, extended a new year greeting to the public on behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA):

Today is the first day of Tibetan New Year. As usual we invoke all the protecting deities particularly Dorje Shugden who is the official protecting deity of the Tibetan government earlier, now central Tibetan administration. So I wish everybody a happy new year,
~ Mr. Tsering Wangchuk, 2 March 2014

It is customary to invoke and consult the official Dharma Protector of the Tibetan government during this auspicious day. In 1998, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama made a statement that Nechung should be consulted during the Losar celebrations. This year however, the CTA has seemingly decided to return to their roots by acknowledging Dorje Shugden as the official protector of the Tibetan government. Can this be true?

The auspiciousness of invoking and making offerings to Dharma Protectors during Losar is not only tradition for lay Tibetans, but a practice that even great Lamas participate in. A famous prayer to Dorje Shugden – Nyirtoe – was composed by none other than the great Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche during Losar in 1959, a prayer for abundance in the year ahead.

Dorje Shugden’s practice was mainstream particularly in the Gelug tradition and his oracular consultations were renowned for their accuracy until the 1970′s, when negative rumors began circulating at the behest of the CTA. What followed was decades of suppression and religious discrimination that has continued until today. Therefore, Mr. Tsering Wangchuk’s statement, although very welcome if true, comes as a surprise. The global citizens of today’s world know that separation of church and state is essential for any modern democracy to succeed, as proven in any number of historical examples, but are the Tibetans truly realizing this?

The golden question now is: What will be the CTA’s response to this unexpected turn of events? Looking back at the decades of suppression and ostracism against Shugden practitioners, one wonders if Mr. Wangchuk is a lone champion of truth, if he represents the CTA’s new found stance towards Dorje Shugden, if it was a karmic slip of the tongue, or something else altogether? What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

Happy Losar 2014!

Extracted from Yahoo! News

Tibetans-in-exile mark New Year by offering prayers in Dharamsala

Dharamsala, Mar 2 (ANI): Tibetans in-exile in Dharamsala celebrated ‘Losar’, the Tibetan New Year on Sunday, and pledged to uphold the cultural ethos and traditional values of humility, integrity and resilience.

Tibetan monks were seen playing musical instruments and praying to mark the New Year.

Press officer of Tibetan government in-exile, Tsering Wangchuk, extended best wishes to everyone on the occasion.

Today is the first day of Tibetan New Year. As usual we invoke all the protecting deities particularly Dorje Shugden who is the official protecting deity of the Tibetan government earlier, now central Tibetan administration. So I wish everybody a happy new year,” said Wangchuk.

‘Losar’ is marked with ancient ceremonies that represent the struggle between good and evil. The occasion is marked by chanting hymns and passing fire torches through the crowds.

A foreign tourist, Maya, offered prayers and said they were ushering in the year of wood horse.
“Today is the prayer for Losar, so it’s the Tibetan New Year. They are ushering in the year of wood horse and the year of the snake has been ushered out,” said Maya.

People enjoy levity provided by events such as dance of the deer and amusing battles between the King and his various ministers. (ANI)


Screenshots of other newspapers and articles with the same news

Yahoo! News

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ANI News

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Times Today

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Business Standard

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Web India 123

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New Kerala

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News Track India

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Truth Drive

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Tsering Wangchuk on other topics

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And the confusion continues…

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23 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Sound very fishy. what is cta up to? i will believe it when i see on dalai lama or cta website saying ban is over.

  2. @TJ Agree 100% with you the cynic in me has to question? We have seen so much flip flopping about what is said or not said? Huh…Can only think if this is another poke to get a rise out of everyone.

    1) I think this is from one individual (Mr Tsering Wangchuk) making this statement and not so much from CTA themselves? Which is kudos for him to make such a statement.

    2) Exactly where is the confirmation from everyone up and down the hierarchy of players who can make a difference if this indeed true?

    In any case wishing everyone holy blessings from DS for the year ahead…

    _/I\_ JK

  3. I think it’s a kind of “say one thing and do another”: if anyone is blaming them for persecuting Dorje Shugden pratictioners…:”Oh no, look!! we are even worshipping Him on the New Year..!!!”

  4. Dalai Lama should do something already:
    The protests will not stop and this issue will not die off till it’s handled correctly. His HOliness the Dalai Lama or the Tibetan leadership MUST have dialogue with Shugden groups in a peaceful and logical manner to resolve this issue in a democratic manner. These protests which are all over the media will embarrass the the Tibetan leadership and unfortunately tarnish the Dalai Lama’s international reputation. Something must be done immediately. I do not worship Dorje Shugden but I live in USA and freedom of religion is honored. We Tibetans have religious freedom here in the USA. All Tibetans and people of the world deserve it also. It is outdated for CTA leadership to ban any religions, spiritual worship or practices in this day and age with Tibetans and Tibetan communities.

    Tibetans and Tibetan leadership still rely on Western support of their causes. So it would be better to portray to Westerners and their governments that we Tibetans (CTA) are not having witch hunts. You may have theological differences, but that should not equate to having actual laws banning Shugden Tibetans from Tibetan hospitals, monasteries, schools and equal opportunity. The CTA should stop printing flyers/information/distributions, remove all anti-Shugden write ups from their official website. All Shugden Tibetans should be welcomed into mainstream Tibetan life and join the protest for a Free or autonomous (Depending on Dalai Lama) Tibet against the Chinese just like our Muslim and Bonpo Tibetans. CTA should stop dividing Tibetans. His Holiness (with respect) should stop calling Shugden people spirit worshippers. He is insulting someone’s faith and inevitably inciting ignorant Tibetans to act (sometimes violently: )against Shugden people. That should stop. It does not look good for H.H. Dalai Lama to be seen in this light where he encourages religious discrimination. He should not call anyone a spirit worshipper. This really looks bad: Dalai Lama angrily replies to peaceful nun
    I don’t agree with the nun’s approach but I don’t agree with Dalai Lama’s answer. His Holiness invited this upon himself I respectfully say.
    I love my Tibet, I love the Dalai Lama and proud to be a Tibetan, but there are issues within our society and religion that need to be addressed immediately such as the Shugden issue. The Dalai Lama and Tibetan lamas all get their support/finances from foreigners. Foreigners and their democratic views must be respected.

    Jampa Tsering

    US press clearly talking about protests against Dalai Lama. This is not good:

  5. @Jampa, I agree with you. CTA should not discriminate their own citizen based on religious belief.

    I have seen a lot of practitioners especially monks suffer because of this ban. It is cruel and unnecessary. I sincerely pray this is the start of lifting of the ban!

    Thank you all who work to lift the ban!

  6. Whether it was a slip of the tongue or a deliberate statement from Tsering Wangchuk, it is drawing a mixture of surprise, bewilderment, shock, joy, anger etc from sides of pro and anti Dorje Shugden. It is publicity good for pro Shugden followers. It gives a lot of pressure on Dalai Lama and the anti Shugden camp with this press statement from more people and government globally. I’m waiting to see what the Dalai Lama and CTA have to say about this.

  7. This is really a spectacular Losar present. I don’t know who Tsering Wangchuk really is. When I first read this article, I thought that someone was impersonating Tsering Wangchuk and sending out a press release under his name. However, after talking to a few friends, they said that apparently Tsering Wangchuk DID send this out.. was it a mistake? I doubt that any CTA member can make such a mistake. I am sure all CTA members would know what is the Dalai Lama’s stance on Dorje Shugden. So what is this about? I look forward to hearing more news!

  8. Jampa Tsering – i agree with you absolutely. in the end, this is not a matter of the enlightened nature or not of Dorje Shugden – that is something which, once the ban is lifted, may be respectfully debated by those who like to debate such things! the point is, this is a matter of religious freedom. Dalai Lama and CTA do themselves and the cause of Tibet a huge disservice by behaving in this way. this ban is absurd, in reality, and hugely destructive. we who rely on Dorje Shugden and you who do not can live together perfectly happily in mutual respect: we are united in our desire for everyone everywhere to enjoy the freedom to believe whatever they choose. thank you for your post.

  9. The US has a long history of changing bad laws to facilitate freedom. Changing the laws is very different from changing people’s discriminatory behavior and hateful bias.

    Economic, human rights, and social impacts can last for generations after laws are changed. For good reason, people may need generations before feeling safe after a law is changed.

    DL’s site does remove the ban: he gives freedom to practice Shugden. Then he proceeds to disparage Shugden and Shugden worshipers for several sentences; thereby still encouraging discrimination, bias and hate. This sends a confusing message: is the ban lifted or not? Lifting the ban as technicality is not enough. The ban needs to be removed in practice as well.

    Dalai Lama, Good start. But it’s time for the next step, which is really hard work. So I hope you are sincere.

  10. Please contemplate this Dalai Lama and Tibetans:

    Tibetans and Dalai Lama need the help of our Democratic USA. Therefore you have to accept the protests and media coverage against your wrong policies. American govt and the public’s money built up your refugee camps and gave you the opportunity to fight for your country. Your policy against Dorje Shugden is wrong and if there is backlash you should accept it and do something about it. Do not complain and try to divert attention Shugden practitioners want to harm the Dalai Lama. Why? It would be worth their while to actually have Dalai Lama alive and well to remove the ban. Think. If you don’t like protests, media, internet backlash on your policies, stay in India! Or go home to Tibet already.

  11. The statement might be a slip of the tongue, or perhaps it is an individual representation of Mr Tsering Wangchuk. It looks very conflicting when the ban is still enforce, causing so many fear and worries and even harm to the peaceful Dorje Shugden practitioner, yet in this Statement yet portray otherwise.

    I hope Mr Tsering Wangchuk is sincere in his wishes, and also he will be a champion in CTA for the ban to be uplifted.

  12. Some how or rather i think it is a speculation although i really hope that and believed that the ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden will be lifted. I meant looking at the recent video in Washington whne H.H was asked why there is such a ban and shouldn’t people have the right to have religious freedom, H.H. i would say surprises a lot of people including myself with his reaction seems very disturbed and harsh in answering the question.

    Not sure why the practice of Dorje Shugden was imposed in the first place, but if Dorje Shugden is an “evil spirit” and whoever is practising it will be born in hell realm shouldn’t be all the previous High Lamas like Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche will not be reincarnated and continue to turn the wheel of the Dharma at this very moment in Human realm?

    Please stop this ban already i strong urged whatever reason behind this and is already created so much suffering amongst the community.

  13. The statement by Tsering Wangchuk made me hopeful. I do not think it is a mistake as the Dorje Shugden issue is a big one and the subject of conversation for the CTA. I guess, what else can they really talk about these days?

    I hope that this would mean that there is a split in view among members of the CTA. Often, we believe in something and stand by it because of our faith in the leader who inspired us into the vision. However, with time and result, the truth will come forth and people cannot deny if something is seriously wrong with the ban of Dorje Shugden.

    Even a person who is not familiar with the Dalai Lama – Dorje Shugden controversy can see that the inconsistency and lack of solid supporting facts is mostly displayed by the CTA and H.H throughout the years. It is undeniable that Dorje Shugden practitioners has, in general, showed more virtuous practice of Dharma in the past decades despite the odds against them where they are denied services, entry into shops and even Dharma education.

    If we see the problem with our “camp” that is not acknowledged or addressed, any logical person would not continue to follow blindly and against his or her own principal.

    If a split within the CTA is manifesting, I hope more and more will have to courage to skillfully expose the truth and lift the ban.

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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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