Will Dalai Lama Visit Sri Lanka?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama presenting the delegation of senior Sri Lankan monks with a Buddha statue after their meeting in New Delhi, India on March 19, 2015

In the Tibetan effort to regain their independence from China, the exiled and stateless Tibetan “government” (the Central Tibetan Administration or CTA) had, since the beginning, depended on a single factor, the Dalai Lama’s popularity. It is upon this dynamic that the CTA developed a series of friendships with the free nations of the world and depended on foreign friends to exert sufficient force on the Chinese government to win the Tibetans their freedom. While this strategy gained the Tibetan people considerable airtime on the international stage over their struggle, it failed in its main objective.

Over the decades, the currency of the Dalai Lama’s celebrity status waned against the fast-rising economic influence of China, and the CTA’s strategy began to lose traction. One by one, traditional friends began to distance themselves from the Dalai Lama whom Beijing regard as a ‘separatist’. Recently, even old friends like Sri Lanka acknowledged that a good relationship with China is the paramount consideration and they cannot risk provoking the ire of the rising Asian giant.

In light of this, the CTA must now realize that it cannot any longer depend on foreign allies as ballast against China’s rising power and should cease all divisive activities and seek peaceful dialogue with Beijing. But first, the CTA has to reunite its people that it has carelessly divided over many issues (including the ban on Dorje Shugden’s practice) and present themselves to China as one strong voice.



Sri Lanka government unlikely to allow Dalai Lama visit-official


The Dalai Lama gestures during a public talk and teaching event at St. Jakobshalle, in Basel February 7, 2015.

(Reuters) – Sri Lankan Buddhist monks have invited exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to make his first visit to the island, after a strongly pro-China government was voted out in January, but an official said Colombo was unlikely to allow it.

Sri Lanka’s new President Maithripala Sirisena has loosened ties with Beijing and moved closer to India, which has hosted the Dalai Lama since he fled Tibet in 1959.

But the majority Buddhist island, which is home to some of the religion’s most sacred sites, still depends on China for major development investment and loans.

“They can invite, but the government may not grant a visa,” a top foreign minister official told Reuters, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The Dalai Lama is very important. But the close relationship with China is more important and we have not changed our stance on ‘One China’ policy.

As China has grown more economically powerful it has used its influence to dissuade world leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama, whom it denounces as a dangerous separatist, but only a handful of countries outright prohibit him from visiting.

China offered Sri Lanka over $1 billion in grants during a four-day official visit to Beijing by Sirisena last week, underscoring how lucrative the relationship remains for the island that is rebuilding after a long civil war.


The invitation to the Dalai Lama was extended by a group of high-ranking Theravada monks from Sri Lanka’s Mahabodhi Society when they attended a theological discussion in late March with Indian monks in New Delhi, senior monk Banagala Upatissa said.

Upatissa said the Dalai Lama told him he had wanted since childhood to visit a Sri Lankan temple housing a relic of Buddha’s tooth, and Mahabodhi, which contains a descendant of the tree under which Buddhists believe he attained enlightenment.

“He told us that all others in the world – Christians, Hindus and Muslims – treat him well. But his own Buddhist brotherhood does not treat him well,” Upatissa told Reuters.

“We felt saddened and disturbed and invited him to visit Sri Lanka. I hope to discuss with the government to find a solution for this. Without antagonizing China, we are trying to get him a visa as an ordinary monk and not as a state official.”

The Dalai Lama would be happy to visit but does not want to cause any inconvenience to the Sri Lankan government, Chimme Rinzin Choekyapa, one of his senior aides, told Reuters.

The meeting in New Delhi came shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a Buddhist site in Sri Lanka, where he was hosted by Upatissa.

India, where Buddhism was founded, and China, with the world’s largest Buddhist population, both portray themselves as protectors of the religion.

Upatissa rejected suggestions in Sri Lankan and Indian media that the invitation was mooted by India as a move to signal a new independence from Chinese influence.

“We will be very happy if we can fulfil the Dalai Lama’s desire,” he said. “He is a Buddhist brother of ours who follows the teachings of the same Lord Buddha.”

(Additional reporting by Abhishek Madhukar in Dharamsala and Frank Jack Daniel in New Delhi; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Alex Richardson)

[Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/02/us-sri-lanka-china-dalailama-idUSKBN0MT1K920150402]


From Reuters (Click to enlarge)

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  1. I think CTA is the only government without a country and yet instead of being humble and grateful for the kindness of the countries that they are dependent on, they create so much trouble and tension for their sponsors. If they had maintained a peaceful dialog with China, then the countries won’t have to be forced to choose between the Dalai Lama or China. With amicable dialog, the Chinese government could have even considered fulfilling the Dalai Lama’s wish of autonomy for Tibet. How CTA had err in their mishandling of their governance. On top of creating a powerful enemy out of China, they created segregation and schism within their own community with the ban on enlightened Protector Dorje Shugden. They are destroy the very foundation that holds them together, the Dharma as taught by Buddha Shakyamuni and Lama Tsongkapa through all the attained lineage Gurus.

    To me, it really doesn’t hold much importance as to whether the countries will grant visa for the Dalai Lama to visit because even if they did, how long will the Dalai Lama live to bear the responsibility of the existence of CTA? I just feel sorry for the Dalai Lama that his followers are there receiving his teachings of love and compassion but are blind to internalise such precious teachings to actually practice it. Instead they ride on the back of his fame to create havoc without impunity. Well the law of karma is never discerning so they will get their day. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha. May Lord Dorje Shugden show his compassion in giving them Dharma when their karma strikes.

  2. 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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