Tibetans threaten Shugden people again

Recently an opinion piece, titled “Protests making the Dalai Lama more popular,” appeared in the Tibet Sun. It was written by Lobsang Wangyal who also edits for the Tibet Sun’s website. Like any article that attends to the Dalai Lama’s religious ban on Dorje Shugden, Wangyal’s piece sparked off quite a bit of debate and verbal sparring between Dorje Shugden believers joined by those who value a person’s right to practice his or her religion on the one hand, and die-hard Dalai Lama fans on the other.On the face of it, there is nothing extraordinary about heated online debates but what ought to be highlighted is how to the Dalai Lama proponents ultimately resort to threats, abuse and the ‘might is right’ mentality. One particular comment by a ‘Tingmo’, whose stance is clearly anti-Dorje Shugden, warned that should the Shugden community continue to protest the religious ban, then Shar Ganden and Serpom Monastery will be punished. Shar and Serpom were established after 2008 when the Dalai Lama expelled Shugden practicing monks from the traditional monastic universities.

Tingmo’s opinion reflect the often mistaken official propaganda that the Dalai Lama’s Office allowed Shar Ganden and Serpom Monastery to come about and demonstrates the Dalai Lama and CTA’s tolerance. As a matter of fact, that is untrue. Shar and Serpom are both legally registered societies under Indian Law and therefore are protected by India. They do not exist by the grace of the Dalai Lama or CTA but in spite of the intolerance.

Tingmo’s comment may seem careless but benign, and again that is not the case. The reality is, the Tibetan leadership have always used violence as a key control mechanism of the Tibetan people beginning with feudal Tibet. In exile and without an army or law enforcement forces, the Dalai Lama and CTA have routinely incited violence via disinformation campaigns, whipped the people into a mob frenzy and directed their hatred against the people they want punished.

This method has become more and more regular in the recent past as the Dalai Lama and CTA begin to face questions by the international community and global media. Recently we saw how the Dalai Lama himself personally instigated an attack on an elderly monk in Trijang Ladrang, and we see the same poisonous instrument being used to goad the Tibetan people into storming and the forcible takeover of Gaden Choling in West Bengal, a Shugden monastery that rightfully belongs to Domo Geshe Rinpoche. http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/an-appeal-against-violence/

Lobsang Wangyal himself acknowledged that such viciousness exists in the Tibetan community when he wrote, “It’s true, I have heard of some Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and Regional Tibetan Women’s Association chapters policing the settlements, checking in people’s homes to see if there were any signs of worshipping the spirit. Such acts are to be condemned…” The Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Associations and some others are sponsored by the CTA and operate with the blessings of the Dalai Lama. Imagine living in a community where unauthorized groups can enter your home by force and unilaterally decide if your religious practice is agreeable to them. Does this not confirm that the Dalai Lama and CTA have either lost control of their own people (which questions their ability to govern over 6 million people should China return Tibet to them) or more likely, that these groups act as the CTA’s secret militia and on the leadership’s instructions.

Lobsang Wangyal is right, and such acts should be condemned but he utterly failed to ask why in the entire history of the Dorje Shugden ban that took form in the late 1970’s, the Dalai Lama and CTA have never once spoken against such acts but instead, continued to spur Tibetans against fellow Tibetans, creating more ‘Tingmos’ and releasing them into the global society. This itself should tell you that there are sound reasons and substance behind the protests against the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama can end this easily by stating all prejudice, bias and ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners are over with immediate effect. He can put this into writing. If there is truly no ban, then there is no harm stating this in writing publicly. The Dalai Lama can also instruct all Tibetans to not attack, threaten or intimidate Shugden practitioners. He can repeat this at every public talk to diffuse the situation if he really wanted to. It will not hurt him or anyone to do so. So why doesn’t he? The man of peace and Nobel Laureate should be vocal to stop all the threats and violence against Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners. Heal the divide and unite all Tibetans peacefully. Wouldn’t any just leader especially if he is a Buddhist monk would want peace among the people regardless of their religious beliefs? I would think so.


[Picture taken from Diane Cadman's Facebook, with thanks]


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  1. I am actually not surprised to read this threatening letter. People on the other side are very capable of doing this, when they cannot win, they become abusive and violent. Just look at how they swear at the DS protestors, it shows how educated and capable these people are. Putting the hope of Free Tibet on these people? Chances are you only get disappointment.

  2. To threaten individuals and families are not enough, now the CTA are threatening to close monasteries. How far will they go with this illogical and illegal ban, without realising the rights of both the monastic institutions and individual’s freedom of religion.

    Sad that Tibetans have such leaders.

  3. I agree to the said that the man of peace and Nobel Laureate should be vocal to stop all the threats and violence against Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners or Dalai Lama and CTA have lost control over their own people. If that is the case, it will be a real issue that how they going to govern Tibetan community if China return Tibet to them. Obviously Dalai Lama and CTA do not have the ability or ready to govern the country by their own. I sincerely hope the people involved can see the point. The only way out is lift the ban and make all Tibetan community united and no more controversy among their own.

  4. Kalon Trisur Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche – Talk on the clarification of the current issue of Dolgyal at TCV Suja on 26th July, 2014

    Here a summery of the video in English: The reason for the discussion is related to the questions that were put to the officials during the last discussion on Shugden in the Dharamsala TCV school. He mentioned that there were seeds of doubt regarding this issue that he wished to clarify the issues to clarify these doubts.
    He also mentioned that he was happy that the students of the TCV school raised those doubts rather than hiding them, as this allows for an open discussion and gives people like himself to clarify the situation and provide further information. It is important to have questions in the context of a proper discussion, and without that the opportunity to explain and clarify is not available.
    Therefore it is excellent that the students asked questions. He liked that the students asked questions and asked them to take advantage in the future of opportunities to ask them rather than remaining silent about doubts. He realized that only 6 students asked the questions in Dharamsala, but understands other students may share their questions and not be so confident to stand up in a crowd and share them. So some of what he shares in the talk will be based on these questions.
    The allegations from the Shugden side that HH Dalai Lama is harming their religious freedom and their human rights are incorrect. An example of the incorrect allegations is the explanation of HHDL’s advice regarding this matter as a “ban”, this English word “ban” features in their materials. If we were to render this English word into Tibetan it would mean something like “not allowed, not permitted”. The Dalai Lama gave advice regarding this issue, critiqued it , but never said that Shugden practice was “not allowed”. (Tibetan for not allowed: mi chog). Therefore we can clearly state there is not a “ban”.
    It is on this incorrect basis of HHDL issuing a “ban”, that the Shugden groups are loudly protesting, organizing against HHDL whenever they have the opportunity.
    But we can clearly state that HHDL has never said Shugden practice is “not allowed”. He has said that it is good if one does not rely (on Shugden). It is clear, if one continues to rely (on Shugden), this becomes a case of disharmony with the advice of the Lama, and for this reason the Dalai Lama asked these people not to attend his religious discourses. It is stated clearly though that whether people listen to the advice or not, is their choice. Since there is extensive written evidence of this, there is no need for further clarification.
    The policy of HHDL remains the same, for example during the Kalachakra initiation he requested those who rely (upon Shugden) to not come to the initiation, but whether one relies on Shugden or not is in one’s own hands (one’s own choice).
    Therefore we see HHDL did not say “you are absolutely not allowed to rely on Shugden”. He said that it is “good if you do not rely on it, but whether you listen to this advice or not is up to you.” Therefore we understand that within the Tibetan community HHDL has not and cannot issue a “ban”, this is clear.
    So we can see this is not an issue of freedom as people were clearly told it was up to them whether they acted according to the Dalai Lama’s advice or not. However, the Shugden side is explaining that due to the advice of the Dalai Lama, the result has been that this harms their religious freedom or their human rights. So some people may have a doubt that even to advise against the practice may have a result of harming the (Shugden side’s) religious freedom. To really understand this situation properly, one needs to do one’s own research.
    If we examine the way of working of these (Shugden) organizations in the West, we can see that they fit in with the word “cult”. It would be difficult to come up with reasons to refute that they are a cult. For example, in the dharma centres of Geshe Kelsang, there were questions brought forth in the British government about their cult-like aspects. They managed somehow to prevent those questions from ripening into bigger problems. Bob Thurman has said that if the New Kadampa organization is not a cult, it is very clearly going in the direction of a cult.
    In terms of the Refugee Welcome Centres and Schools, every Tibetan has been provided with the same facilities and conditions, including those who have said they rely on Dolgyal-the administration has not discriminated in this regard. They have been given the same access to health facilities and schools.
    The previous Ganden Throneholder, Lungrik Namgyal Rinpoche (now resident in France) deceived HH Dalai Lama and promised to avoid Shugden in order to secure enough supporters to take the Ganden throneholder position. There should be a something in writing to this effect. As soon as this ended his tenure as Ganden Throneholder, he revealed he was still practicing Shugden.
    The CTA has requested documentation of specific incidents, individuals and evidence of Shugden believers being turned away from essential services such as medical help and education, and has received none.
    Samdhong Rinpoche urged the students not to believe what he said because of which “side” he was on. He also urged them not to believe Shugden claims simply because they identified with that “side”, but to do the reading and checking necessary to form their own opinions.
    He mentioned that prominent Shugden people, of whom the CTA is well aware, were recently issued travel documents through the assistance of the CTA and the Indian government just like any other Tibetan. He noted the significant number of known Shugden people travelling on these documents. Therefore there are no human rights violation on freedom to movement, Shugden people are regularly leaving for foreign countries and returning to India.
    Mentioned that Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and Gangchen Rinpoche have an incorrect understanding (extreme?) with regards to the teachings on “How to Rely on the Virtuous Friend (Teacher)”.
    Even though the above people have caused problems, still according to Buddhism actually we should have compassion for them. Especially compassion considering the future karmic consequences of their actions.
    Has reiterated that in the case of Kelsang Gyatso and Gangchen, they have been safe for many years. That the CTA NEVER issued orders to kill or harm these people. At the same time, compassion does not mean that their incorrect views, and mistakes, should not be pointed out and corrected.
    He mentioned that Shugden people being refused from certain shops was not a campaign of the government. This was a decision of the individual shopholders-that they had a right to privacy. This is a boycott, rather than human rights abuse, that began due to negative actions of Shugden party. That this is a personal decision. Explained it as an individual grassroots political action, like boycotting Chinese products as a way of effecting change in policy. It could be looked at as the shop or restaurant owners following a policy of what Gandhiji calls “non co-operation” with the Shugden side as a way of boycotting to affect change. So it is not social discrimination, but a social boycott. This manifests as a choice not to engage in material exchanges with the Shugden side.
    Such a boycott is not necessarily negative. If the students harm others, this is negative. We can understand the current boycott as being a temporary and direct response to the lies and protest actions currently being done against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We understand that whether one relies on Dolgyal or not is a decision within one’s mind. The current boycott that we see in some cases is a response to the misleading protests of the Shugden group, as this harms Tibetan society. Therefore we cannot say the decision to remain at a distance from those participating in such Dolgyal organizations is a bad thing.
    At the school for example, if the students are criticizing or harming them, this is not proper. But it should not be required to maintain close relationships with those of Dolgyal organizations. Choosing not to do so is not necessarily harmful for either party, from the point of view of damtsik (samaya) it could be beneficial, in my personal opinion.
    Mentioned that Shugdens took their case to both Amnesty International and the National Human Rights Campaign, and neither organization felt what was presented to them required a mandate to action.
    Sees this issue through the lens of democracy like this: Democracy is open society that takes decisions for the well being of the people. Hence, considering harm of Shugden practice, for the well being of the people it should be spoken out against.

  5. Tibetans wake up call :- With Lama Zopa ‘s 100 centers as gifts given to H.H.Dalai Lama and million dollars donation given to Lama Zopa’ s foundation for many many years to build the largest Maitreya Statue in the world, will never ever be successful, no doubt part of the donation are mere insiders squandering and embezzlement and most of their projects are going to the Neverland. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso ‘s guru devotion on H.H. Trijang Rinpoche are leading to the success of NKT worldwide-1200 centers with the blessing power of the powerful Dorje Shugden. Blame NKT for accepting money from China is a mere sign of declaring H.H. Dalai Lama ‘s failure to manage Tibetan people, let alone to dream that Tibet will be given back to H.H.Dalai Lama. By the way, I suggest Shar Gaden & Serpom’s representatives please lodge police reports on the threats.

  6. i do agree with what the editor said we should have our right to practice whatever religious we feel comfortable everyone of us do like to live our life will freedom without any restriction what more this is a religion i think the CTA is not right to split the tibetan into two group the should unite all the tibetan during this difficult time, very inhuman for the CTA to do this.

  7. Its wonderful we have a place like this website to let people like Tingmo know all their actions is being documented and watched. Whatever they try to o to Dorje Shugden people will be watched and detailed out.

    Tingmo should ask HH the Dalai lama to engage in dialogue with Gelug lamas and not spew hatred and threats.

  8. It is just great that now the haters and cyber bullies know that people are watching them. Whatever they say are being recorded.

    How can threats like that be passed around when there is Religious Freedom? How would the Dalai Lama feel when he sees these threats?

    Does the Dalai Lama not care at all? Does he not care to believe that all these that is being done by the anti-Shugden community is doing all these harm to the Shugden practitioners?

    It would not make sense if the Dalai Lama really does not care. He is the emanation of Avalokitesvara, he should have compassion towards all. Even if that is not the case, but he is the winner of the Noble Peace Laureate, should he not be caring for the Tibetans that are suffering because of his talks?

    The CTA should stop harming people. There is no use when violence is being used. There is no gain, people would get hurt, then more would know that they are using their powers to suppress others. Why should this be the case when it is being said that there is no ban, no discrimination?

  9. It matters not whether the Dalai Lama and CTA lost control of their supporters or not as all the abusive actions stemmed from the direct information by the Dalai Lama and CTA. There is something I wonder about though….the Dalai Lama being the emanation of Buddha of Compassion, Avalokitesvara, an enlightened being and teacher, why are the qualities of his students as such that they don’t practise outside of the Dalai Lama’s teaching halls? Was his teachings just going in one ear and out the other? It has often been said that the students are a reflection of their teacher and so why are the students of the Dalai Lama not practising? I find it very conflicting and not what we learnt from Buddha’s teachings. People like “Tingmo” should really investigate and compare notes with Buddha’s teachings of helping others find happiness (elimination of the self) before they jump in with the crowd mentality or hoping to show his loyalty to the Dalai Lama. I think true loyalty would be being a true practitioner of his teachings of compassion and love, not causing sufferings to others.

  10. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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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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