Samdhong Rinpoche Caught Lying Again

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By: Shashi Kei

There is now confirmation that the Dalai Lama’s personal envoy and ex-Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) lied about his visit to China. Professor Samdhong Rinpoche’s trip, which was reported by no less than five news platforms and verified by the current head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, was flatly denied by Samdhong Rinpoche two weeks after news of his secret travels broke.

However, just over three weeks later, Samdhong Rinpoche’s denial was exposed to be false by Jayadeva Ranade, a former officer of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the primary foreign intelligence agency of India set up to closely monitor foreign threats to the country, including any from China. The former RAW officer revealed that Samdhong Rinpoche would certainly have met with senior Chinese officials including Xi Jinping’s appointee to The United Front Work Department, which is the very department set up by the Chinese Communist Party to manage Tibetan affairs. Therefore, given the reliability of the source of information, it is safe to say that Samdhong Rinpoche’s denial was disingenuous.

On its own, Samdhong Rinpoche’s purposeful misrepresentation of a fact is disturbing, not least because as a senior ordained monk who is looked up to for inspiration and guidance, his conduct can either inspire or dishearten younger monastic aspirants and pursers of the Dharma. Add to that the fact that Samdhong Rinpoche represents the Dalai Lama, supposedly a living symbol of truth and virtue who commands a vital position in the Tibetan leadership that draws support based on moral grounds, and Samdhong Rinpoche’s dishonesty is jarring. As a result, a number of very important questions should be raised:

(i) To begin with, any news about the Dalai Lama’s envoy having dialogue with Chinese officials, presumably about the possible return of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people to their homeland, should be welcome news. After all, about 150,000 Tibetans in exile and 6 million Tibetan people in the homeland deserve to know. They have waited over 50 years for signs that this dream that has defined the Tibetan diaspora might be possible; a dream for which 150 desperate Tibetans have set themselves on fire, as recently as May 2017. Sharing such news would serve to lift the spirits of the Tibetan people and many others around the world who have prayed, supported and campaigned for the Tibetan people’s return to their homeland. So why would Samdhong Rinpoche deny that he had talks with Chinese officials at all?

The CTA has recently been caught with their pants down on a number of corruption charges both abroad and in Dharamsala. The present leadership under Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has proven to be ineffective except for when it comes to disposing of rivals such as Lukar Jam and Penpa Tsering. Domestically the CTA has made it taboo for Tibetan refugees to accept Indian passports which would no doubt improve their chances of securing a better future as citizens of India, whilst CTA officials themselves have secured citizenships and permanent residencies abroad.

In short, the CTA is caught in its own entanglements that have arisen out of the self-serving agendas of CTA officials and their cronies. Much of the efforts the CTA has made in recent years has been to split the Tibetan community with myriad divisive issues so that the people are too busy fighting amongst themselves to ask what the CTA has been doing. Samdhong Rinpoche’s latest duplicity is very much characteristic of the Tibetan leadership and it is only a matter of time before we learn what Samdhong Rinpoche is hiding.

(ii) Or could Samdhong Rinpoche be hiding the fact that in order to secure favorable terms for the Dalai Lama and selected mandarins in Samdhong Rinpoche’s coterie, the Tibetan leadership would ultimately be willing to betray India who have provided for them for over half a century and at great costs to themselves?

As Jayadeva Ranade observed in his article, Samdhong Rinpoche’s visit takes place at a time when Sino-Indian relations are testy. And it was a shock that Samdhong Rinpoche would so insensitively attempt to reconcile with India’s adversary at a time when India needs support. Either Samdhong Rinpoche is completely inept at basic diplomacy, which is crucial for his role as personal envoy of the Dalai Lama, or he does not care about the wellbeing of the Tibetan people’s generous host. This is something the Indian people have begun to observe of late and consequently, more are voicing their unhappiness over how the Tibetans do not contribute back to India. They pay no rental, no taxes, and the CTA does not raise any funds to support Indian community projects. In fact, the Tibetan ‘refugees’ do far better and are far wealthier than the majority of the Indian people who continue to languish in sheer poverty.

Sino-Indian relations have deteriorated over time and there are multiple flashpoints along the Chinese-Indian border. The Tibet and Dalai Lama issues have not helped. At times like this, soft but effective pressure such as the Dalai Lama’s spiritual influence comes in handy in swaying sentiments in contested regions and other Sino-Indian cross-border issues. The Dalai Lama’s power should never be discounted, especially looking at how the Dalai Lama has managed to mesmerise the world with his charms longer than any statesman in living history, and enrolled a significant portion of the global populace into various manifestations of the ‘Tibetan cause’ even though no one really knows what the cause is.

Is Samdhong Rinpoche’s lie about his visit to China an indication that a deal is being negotiated with China that, in consummation, would hang India out to dry?

(iii) Perhaps the most disturbing element of Samdhong Rinpoche’s deception is how brazenly he conducts it. What most people see is an elderly person in monk’s robes who, as a two-term kalon tripa (Prime Minister of the CTA), held the fragmented Tibetan refugee community together. What fewer people know is the grotesque suppression of human rights that the exiled Tibetan people suffered under a government with Samdhong Rinpoche at the helm, and the damage Samdhong Rinpoche’s CTA inflicted with its schismatic policies and machinations.

It was under Samdhong Rinpoche’s leadership that the religious ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden was imposed in 1996. Samdhong Rinpoche directed the Tibetan Cabinet and Parliament to pass laws which in effect legalized the witch-hunt and persecution of Shugden Buddhists whose loyalty to the purity of their spiritual practice stood in the way of the CTA’s political ambitions. In 2008, with Samdhong Rinpoche still as the head, the Tibetan leadership inflicted the most damaging blow to the Tibetan monastic community by directing that Shugden-worshipping monks be forced to deny their own faith or be expelled. That directive ruptured the integrity of Tibetan Buddhism in a way Mao’s efforts to destroy Buddhism could not.

To justify his brutal policies, Samdhong Rinpoche had declared in an interview with Al Jazeera in 2009 that

… A lot of Shugden practitioners are becoming terrorists, and that they are willing to kill anybody. They are willing to beat up anybody.

Samdhong Rinpoche added that “It is very clear now people who are practicing Dorje Shugden are very close to the PRC leadership

By falsely accusing Shugden Buddhists to be colluding with the Tibetan people’s enemy and by tagging them as “terrorists”, Samdhong Rinpoche struck a very sore chord with the people and unleashed a powerful source of pent-up anger against China. This anger was directed at innocent Shugden monks and lay practitioners who were already stricken because they had left their homes to follow the Dalai Lama into exile. In short, Samdhong Rinpoche succeeded in turning the Tibetan people against their own. However, there was never any truth in Samdhong Rinpoche’s false charges against Dorje Shugden practitioners and the fact remains that, throughout the entirety of the Dorje Shugden religious ban, Samdhong Rinpoche has never provided evidence to support his allegations or explain how Tibetan and non-Tibetan Buddhists instantly became allies with the CCP merely by worshipping an ancient Tibetan deity. Unfortunately, that false accusation took traction and the unity of the largest Tibetan Buddhist sect fell apart.

As it turns out, now we see that instead of Shugden Buddhists having alliances with the Chinese government as Samdhong Rinpoche has alleged, it is he who has been keeping friends in the CCP all this time. Samdhong Rinpoche’s recent visit to China could not have happened if he did not have very close ties with high officials in the Chinese Communist Central Committee. He is after all the personal envoy of the Dalai Lama whom the Chinese government regards with great caution. Before that, he was a two-term CTA prime minister who had attacked China’s reputation at each opportunity he could find. And yet, Samdhong Rinpoche managed to enter China quietly and hold secret talks with high Chinese officials. None of this could have happened if Samdhong Rinpoche did not have strings in the right places – strings that he has maintained throughout the years. The Chinese government must have some trust in Samdhong Rinpoche to let him in so easily.

In what is clearly an obscene twist of facts, Dorje Shugden Buddhists have been wrongly accused for years for being friendly with China and have been persecuted by the Tibetan people as a result. In the meantime, it is the accuser himself who has harboured secret Chinese networks and yet the Tibetan people blindly continue to place their trust in him. So we can clearly see that Samdhong Rinpoche, who began the unholy political crusade against Dorje Shugden worshippers, is someone who is not impartial to lying and deception.

Today the Tibetan community in exile is completely fragmented courtesy of a number of CTA policies that Samdhong Rinpoche initiated and Lobsang Sangay continued. To achieve the fading Tibetan dream, the people need to close ranks and set aside differences that their leadership introduced and perpetuated. They need to unite under a strong, committed and competent leadership that focuses on the welfare of the Tibetan people. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen as long as the old robber-barons such as Samdhong Rinpoche are in power and the people are regarded as nothing more than chattels at the disposal of feudal lords, regardless of how many ‘democracy days’ the Tibetan people celebrate.


Tibet Developments May Put Pressure on India

Source: Click to read the full report.


Former Indian Intelligence Claims Samdhong Rinpoche Visited China

Source: Click to read the full report.

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  1. The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Dharamsala refusing to accept Tibetan RCs (Registration Certificates) is yet another example of interference by the Central Tibetan Administration. Tibetans need this document to apply for an Indian passport. The CTA does not want to lose its grip on Tibetan refugees, as fewer refugees under their control means less foreign aid. That translates to less money that they can line their own pockets with.

    This is not the first time that the CTA has created problems for Tibetans who wish to apply for Indian citizenship. Last July, the CTA ordered all its departments to stop issuing NOC (No Objection Certificates) to Tibetans applying for Indian passports, effectively sabotaging India’s goodwill of offering citizenship to eligible Tibetans. Perhaps that is a reason why many Tibetans are leaving their settlements in India, some of them even returning to Tibet! The CTA’s days as a ‘government’ are numbered, as more and more Tibetans apply for Indian citizenship or leave the CTA’s influence in India altogether.
    No obstruction surrendering RC in Dehra Dun: Police
    Tibet Sun Newsroom
    McLEOD GANJ, India, 27 April 2018
    Tibetans living in Dehra Dun can surrender their Registration Certificates (RC) to apply for their passport, according to a communication from the Office of the Superintendent of Police Dehra Dun.
    Tibet Sun had learned about Tibetan complaints that the authorities were refusing to accept requests by Tibetans to surrender their RCs, required in order to apply for a passport. Seeking information about the matter, Tibet Sun filed a Right to Information (RTI) application, to which Dehra Dun Superintendent of Police Sarita Dobhal replied refuting the complaints.
    The SP said in her reply that they have not refused RC surrender by those Tibetans seeking Indian passport, and they have accepted RCs from seven Tibetans so far.
    Tibetans who spoke to Tibet Sun said that the authorities who actually handle the RC surrender at the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) within the SP Office had told them to bring court orders to be able to surrender their RC.
    Following a High Court of Delhi judgment asking the Government of India to issue passport to Tibetans, the Ministry of External Affairs in March 2017 has ordered all passport-issuing authorities to issue passport to those Tibetans who fulfil the requirements as in the Citizenship Act of India.
    The RC surrender process has been suspended at the FRO Dharamshala. An official confirmed the same, saying the halt has been in place since two weeks, but didn’t give details as to why they have stopped the process.
    He said that it is a temporary matter and that the surrender process will resume soon.

    No obstruction surrendering RC in Dehra Dun

  2. The Dalai Lama Fears that He Might be Expelled from India!

    The situation in India is not getting better for the Tibetan government in-exile or the Dalai Lama. Since India is getting closer to China, this trend will not slow down. Whether it is the current Prime Minister Modi, or the next Prime Minister of India making efforts to get close to China, it does not matter because the momentum has started. It benefits both India and China tremendously to be friendly and on good terms with each other. The parasite-like Tibetans leeching off India brings no benefit whatsoever to India and India realizes this sad fact finally. The Dalai Lama and his team in the Tibetan government in-exile have created so many problems externally for India and internally within the Tibetan communities, enough is enough. Tibetans like to use India to irk China. They have done that for decades and now it’s over. The Tibetans have been put in their place. The Indian government has been snubbing the Dalai Lama this year. The Dalai Lama and his cohorts have created tremendous problems, segregation, hatred, and violence towards thousands of Dorje Shugden practitioners, now that karma is coming back. Too bad. The Tibetan leadership is losing support from India, in fact, Modi purposely humiliated the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama and cohorts have less power to create so much schism and trouble now. If you read this article carefully, the Dalai Lama himself has expressed concerns he might be kicked out of India. It has reached this level that the Dalai Lama is unsure of his footing in India now. Too bad.

    Aditya Sinha: Paying For Our Bull In A China Shop
    May 14, 2018, 07:40 IST | Aditya Sinha
    The Dalai Lama’s humiliation, our encircling neighbours and, most crucially, the lack of Modi’s signature bear hug, signify altered relations
    In the two days of staged photographs, there is not one photo of Modi hugging Xi, his trademark personalised diplomacy of forcibly embracing other leaders.
    One of the better things during the Karnataka Assembly election, no matter who emerges the single largest party tomorrow, was Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s press conference in Bangalore. You may not have seen it on TV. It is on YouTube, however. Rahul again comes across in a light different to the whispers about him during the past two decades, proving how it was all the doing of a well-oiled BJP machine. My favourite part was Rahul’s take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Wuhan in central China for an “informal” summit with President Xi Jinping.
    Here’s what he said:
    “I expected the PM to go to China as the leader of our country [and] speak to them about Doklam… He didn’t say a word. [He] had a conversation with the Chinese President with no agenda. Are you telling me there’s no agenda? There is an agenda, it’s called Doklam; there is an agenda, it’s called the Maldives; there is an agenda, it’s called Nepal… The agenda is that we’re surrounded on all sides; it’s pretty clear. But you guys don’t like to raise that, I don’t know why.
    “Our foreign policy has been completely decimated. And it’s because the PM views foreign policy as an individual exercise. He’s of the impression that he can go have a conversation with the president of China, or he can go have a conversation with the president of Nepal, and everything will magically happen.
    “The PM needs to carry his own people with him. Are there any conversations going on with the finance minister, with the defence minister about this type of strategy? No. It’s a one-man show.”
    Briefly: China tried to seize the Doklam plateau in Bhutan last year but after a 73-day standoff against our troops, it backed down. It has reportedly since built an infrastructure leading to Doklam. In the Maldives, China is displacing India: President Abdulla Gameen last year welcomed three Chinese warships, and last month hosted the Pakistan army chief. In Nepal, despite Modi’s visit this weekend to promote Janakpur, Sita’s birthplace, as a religious tourism spot, the Nepalese have drifted from us after India’s five-month blockade in 2015 – we were pushing for greater political inclusion of the Madhesis. Modi is a villain for the Nepalese, as evident on social media.
    China has seized advantage of India’s pathetic neighbourhood behaviour, and, as Rahul said, has India surrounded. No wonder many think Modi went to beg Xi to keep relations calm in the run-up to the 2019 parliamentary election. That Modi’s governance is election-oriented is no secret. Will the Chinese will play ball? When the two-day “informal” summit ended, the Indian side issued a statement and reportedly urged the Chinese to issue their own. Compare the two and you see a difference: while India mentioned a strategic direction to our respective armies to avoid tension on the Line of Actual Control, China only said the armies would follow past protocols. Joint statements are never easy, but individual statements are a piece of cake.
    Modi had to supplicate himself because he cannot afford to go into the 2019 election after a showdown with China. Even a short skirmish will humiliate India. Unlike tension on the Line of Control with Pakistan, which benefits Modi since it can be dovetailed into communal rhetoric, tension with China gives Modi no benefit. Modi cannot help but humour China.
    The Chinese were amenable to being humoured since they have now what they wanted in Doklam. China nowadays also wants to be seen as a responsible global power: hence it has nudged North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un into meeting his South Korean counterpart and, next month, with Donald Trump. China has also reached out to Japan, with whom relations are more complicated than with India.
    Mainly, it was because Modi agreed to humiliate the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader who has lived in India since 1959. India prohibited its ministers from attending a Dalai Lama function (ironically, to thank India) and asked him to shift it from Delhi to his base in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. It was an insult; worse, he privately expressed the fear that he might be expelled.
    The Chinese gave us time but they did not give Modi a hug. In the two days of staged photographs, there is not one photo of Modi hugging Xi, his trademark personalised diplomacy of forcibly embracing other leaders. Rahul Gandhi is right: Modi has decimated India’s foreign policy. It’s too bad that this and other aspects of his press conference were ignored by the TV media. But then, after Gujarat, Karnataka has been good practice for him. Modi’s obsession with the 2019 election means that governance will suffer, so Rahul will get more occasions to show the public his mettle.

    Aditya Sinha Paying For Our Bull In A China Shop

  3. More and more Tibetans are expressing their dissatisfaction with the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). This even extends to accusing them of ruling without legal precedence. This is a serious matter as their management of funds, administrative procedures, and even their governing constitution are all flawed. From the simple of choice of words used for the translation of a title, the CTA have exposed the way in which they run their “nationless government” in an egotistical and self-serving manner. The CTA simply do things based on their personal agendas and needs, using the title of democracy as a cover.

    Clearly, there is no system of governance for what the CTA do and how they spend the money they gain from people sympathetic to the Tibetan plight, aid from their host and donors from around the world. Since law is at the core of any administration, their underhanded tactic of finding loopholes and bending the rules to suit their individual needs has failed the Tibetan people. As an ex-Senior Fellow of Harvard Law School and a self-proclaimed expert in international human rights law, Sangay deters people’s faith in the integrity of a leader and the legal system, instead of upholding the cause of justice. After the public apology during his swearing in ceremony in 2016 and his firm pledge not to repeat his misconduct, it looks like Sangay is at it again.

    The title “President” for Sikyong is not legal
    By Sharchok Khukta
    McLEOD GANJ, India, 14 May 2018
    Since there have been many who have put forth questions regarding the usage of the title “President” in English for “Sikyong”, I will answer in one presentation for all.
    It would become a long talk to give answer as regards this. Nonetheless, because, to keep the public in the dark is objected to in a democratic system, I will try to present insight that is complete and not mistaken.
    Initially, the exile Tibetan Parliament had established through general consensus that the title “Sikyong” is to be used instead of “Kalon Tripa”. In connection with that a resolution was passed by the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile during the fourth sitting of the second session on 21 September 2012, that “Sikyong” solely is to be used in writing, as phonetically, without the need for using the translation “Political Leader”.
    The first stage of this process took place with the publication in 2015 of a compilation of rules and regulations of the exile Tibetan administration by the office of the Parliamentary Secretary of the Tibetan people’s deputies, where it appears on page 181 in Appendix 8 [Zur-hzar nya], of sub-section 3 of article 66 of the electoral rules of the exile Tibetans.
    Then, on 26 April 2016, the exile Tibetan administration made the announcement on its official website that “when the term ‘sikyong’ is to be translated into English it should be written as “president”, and that has been used up to the present day.
    It is the honourable Kashag which says that “it was established [formally decided] that ‘president’ is to be the term to be used,” and the honourable Kashag claim that they had decided thus on the advice of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The Kashag had cited many other reasons, but I will not refer to them at this time. Everyone knows that at that time there was much expression of displeasure regarding this from the public.
    In the second stage, as regards the usage “President” there was guidance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the reception ceremony accorded to the high-level Representatives’ Committee of the United States, at Tsuklagkhang Temple on 10 May 2017.
    The third stage is that the Kashag have, both orally and in writing, said insistently that such guidance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama was as per the provision of Article 1 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile. I am not able to know whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama has advised thus as the intent of Article 1 of the Charter. I do not consider that to be case, because if there had been the guidance advising “President” to be appropriate for the title of Sikyong, as per Article 1, then even after 25 famous amendments to the Charter such a guidance would have a procedure of discussion in the Parliament, as in the past, a procedure that has been clearly laid out.
    It has been laid out in the sub-section 1 and 2 of Article 17 of clause 6 of the rules for procedure of meeting and carrying out of works by the the deputies of the Tibetan Parliament. For example, to cite the sub-section 1: “As per the sub-section 2 of Article 1 of the charter, the Speaker, in discussion with Sikyong, is to set aside time for discussion on the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” But, without going through any recommendation from the Parliament or legal process, the Kashag said that the title in English as “President” has been decided on and designated as such, and they continue to use this title. As such that title has not became legal title. That is stage three.
    Then, the fourth stage is that it may be assumed that the Sikyong and the Kashag continue to do so as it is known clearly only by most government service personnel, former and present, and People’s Deputies, former and present. Yet since the public do not know the details, when we put forth questions on the this issue in the Parliament it may be conjectured that it is an electoral grudge. Besides, when the honourable Sikyong also talks of it to the public by attaching it to electoral grudge, we are not able to have at the matter a valid rule by law. Instead everything is stirred here and there into dirty politics, so that eventually when there is too much dwelling on personal name and prestige, the common administration incurs losses.
    If things go on like this there is the danger of the collapse of rule by law. From that point of view, for this issue to be clearly sorted out, the Secretaries of Gadhen Phodang must make it clear whether or not that guidance — as per Article 1 of the Charter — was given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. If it was, since it would be related with the rules, the messages, advice, notice and so on be bestowed to the Parliament, and then whatever is to be established (passed as resolution) by the Parliament when implemented by all the central and regional branches of the administration, it would become concordant with the law.
    So that is the issue if explained clearly.
    In the end, nowadays at Gangchen Kyishong the administration relies upon one person and makes changes to the Rules; while there are able staff members in all sorts of appointments, through equal qualifications and pledges, and so on; such instances are taking place many times, not just once. In such a situation it appears that there is not sufficient supervision and watching, by the public and writers, of whether or not this Administration — set up with such effort by His Holiness the Dalai Lama — is being administered by rule of law.
    I request all to put more effort and power as regarding this issue.

    The title President for Sikyong is not legal

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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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