The Bhutan Affair

The opinion piece below was sent to for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].



By Tobi Lee

For better or for worse, the fastest way of spreading news today is via social media and like any other inanimate object, the results of social media use are dependent on the motivation of its users. Whether it is to shock and horrify, or to educate and raise awareness, social media has become many people’s preferred method of getting their news and spreading it. The downside however, is that oftentimes unsubstantiated rumors take a life of their own on social media, thanks to people’s propensity to spread news before checking facts.

One such unsubstantiated Facebook posting that has recently left users stunned was apparently made by a monk in Bhutan. The monk, Sonam Dorje of a Nyingma monastery in Pardo, Bhutan, claimed that his monastery’s sponsor, Benchen Khenpo, had brought some foreign pilgrims to visit. The group included Dechen Tulku, a Tibetan lama who is a well-known and outspoken Dorje Shugden practitioner.

The posting, which was accompanied by a letter, was full of contradictions. On the one hand, Sonam Dorje claimed that he did not know who Dechen Tulku was at the time of his visit. At the same time, he also stated in his posting that Dechen Tulku has a history of visiting other Bhutanese states and monasteries. Regardless, after learning about Dechen Tulku’s background, Sonam Dorje went on to post that,

Actually, Dorje Shugden’s practice was banned many years ago by our spiritual leaders. According to this, I am the holder of the pure Nyingma lineage and when I see Shugden practitioners, I really hate them. I believe that they are evil beings.

Dechen Tulku during his recent visit to Bhutan

Taking the visit as a negative sign, his monastery then requested their lamas for divination. The results said that Dechen Tulku’s visit had brought negative obstacles to the monastery and in order to purify and prevent these obstacles from manifesting, the monastery would have to and is now performing Damtsig Lu Lo Dang, Gekte, and Drolo gyi Tordak pujas.

Sonam Dorje ended his posting by calling upon all Bhutanese people to be careful of people who are Shugden practitioners.

What observers have found puzzling about this post is that even at first glance, there are strong reasons to believe that the letter and Facebook post are fake. This is because:

  1. The letter is not written on a monastery’s official letterhead, especially when it is supposed to be an official notice. This is against convention and in some cases, regulations.
  2. There is no mention of which monastery the letter is from and the pictures posted do not show any buildings. This is left as a mystery, making the accusations flimsy.
  3. The letter is written following the rules of Tibetan grammar. If it was written by a Bhutanese, the style of grammar would be Bhutanese and not Tibetan. Hence there is a very strong likelihood that the author of the letter is Tibetan.
  4. The notice is a picture, not a scan of the original document which would have provided for greater authenticity.
  5. There is no signature, only a name. If the issue was so important, how come the monastery refused to endorse it with their letterhead, or even the abbot’s signature and seal? This again does not lend any authenticity to the post’s claims.

Hence the letter could have been written by anyone but the question is, what was this person’s motivation to do so?


A Contentious Past

Gyalo Dhondup, the Dalai Lama’s brother, was involved in a plot to assassinate the Bhutanese king.

The Tibetans have a history of creating problems in peace-loving Bhutan. In 1974, Tibetan refugees were expelled from the country after the Bhutanese government uncovered a plot to assassinate the nation’s beloved king, just months before his coronation. 28 Tibetans were involved in this plot, including Gyalo Dhondup, the Dalai Lama’s brother who wanted to overthrow the Bhutanese government and install his brother as the ruler. Having just lost their own country, Tibet, Gyalo Dhondup must have been hankering after a return to any form of power.

As a result of his actions, Tibetans in Bhutan were given an ultimatum – become Bhutanese citizens, assimilate into the country and pledge loyalty to the government, or leave. Thousands of Tibetans chose to become Bhutanese citizens while others left to start new lives in India or in the West.

The assassination plot is not the first time that Tibetans have attempted to depose Bhutanese rulers in order to install a Tibetan one. These plots arise from Tibetan jealousy and covetousness for Bhutan’s stable governance and economy, a situation compounded by the world’s comparison of these two Buddhist governments; that is, people cannot help but wonder why Bhutan is able to remain democratic and independent, while Tibet was so swiftly taken over by China. What is lacking in the Tibetan leadership’s method of governance?

And so, this letter with its Tibetan syntax and grammatical rules has all of the hallmarks of a Tibetan leadership-led plot:

  1. Someone wishes to unsettle relations between the Bhutanese people and Dorje Shugden practitioners, by creating misunderstandings between the two groups. The open-minded Bhutanese have generally abstained from criticizing Dorje Shugden practitioners because, exposed to the workings of the modern world, theirs is a society that respects individual rights and freedoms.
  2. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala, North India) wants to find another way to further vilify Dorje Shugden practitioners. Because their own reputation is in tatters and their name has lost credibility thanks to numerous ongoing scandals ranging from sexual harassment to embezzlement to money laundering, they are now making use of Bhutan’s good reputation to do so. That is, if Bhutan, who are good and democratic, hate Dorje Shugden practitioners, everyone should follow in their example and hate Shugden practitioners too.
  3. By intentionally pointing out that a Nyingma monastery issued this letter, the Tibetan author is driving a wedge between the Gelugs and Nyingmas, encouraging hostility between the two schools of practitioners.
  4. By dredging up the Dorje Shugden issue once again and reminding Nyingmas that they should exhibit animosity towards Gelugpas, perhaps it will distract the Tibetans and Bhutanese from the Tibetan leadership’s own failures and ongoing scandals

Of course, suspicious in all of this is the fact Sonam Dorje is a common name, and no monastery, abbot or monastic administration has come forward to take responsibility for the anonymous letter. After all, why would anyone wish to be identified with such a divisive letter, designed to encourage hatred? No real spiritual practitioner would ever pen such a letter which is clearly not in the spirit of Buddhism.


Nyingmas Do Not Hate

Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, a prominent master of the Nyingma tradition.

There are four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Gelug, Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya. All four are equally valid paths to Enlightenment, and the relationship between the four schools may be likened to four different cars offering various routes to the same destination.

Nevertheless, in recent history, the CTA has made it their business to repeatedly remind Nyingma practitioners that they should hate Gelugpas and this latest Facebook posting is no different, with its ironic statement that “…I am the holder of the pure Nyingma lineage and when I see Shugden practitioners, I really hate them.

Incredibly, the letter’s narrow-minded author does not realize what a contradiction it is to call himself a pure Nyingma practitioner yet project such extreme hatred towards millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners. The fact is that the Gelug, Nyingma, Kagyu and Sakya schools are all valid traditions of Buddhism, and real practitioners of any one of these schools will practice the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and wisdom. None of these schools espouse hate or schism, so why would a so-called “pure” Nyingma practitioner proudly declare how they “really hate” someone? No real Nyingma practitioner will hate anyone and similarly, no real Gelug practitioner will ever believe that a real Nyingma practitioner can hate anyone. How can the sun hate the moon, when both occupy the same sky?


Bhutan Guarantees Religious Freedom

Serious doubts have been cast over the authenticity of the letter but if it had indeed been written by someone in Bhutan, the fact it could even be published is a reflection of Bhutan’s democratic laws.

Bhutan’s Constitution, adopted in 2008, transformed the country from an absolute monarchy to a democratic constitutional monarchy. Article 7 of the Constitution establishes numerous rights, including “many of the basic human rights enshrined in international conventions”. This includes the freedom of thought and religion; and the freedom from discrimination on grounds of race, sex, language, religion, politics, or other status.

Hence, the divisive letter takes full advantage of Bhutan’s laws which protect freedom of speech and religion. Yet, it simultaneously infringes on the same laws which give Benchen Khenpo the right to invite and host whomever he wants.

Based on the law, how can any religious leader ban any religious practice? How can the so-called Nyingma author of the letter criticize Benchen Khenpo for his friendship with a Dorje Shugden practitioner? Regardless of whether Dechen Tulku practices Dorje Shugden or not, that is his faith and his personal choice is protected under Bhutanese law. His choice should not prevent two friends from meeting; is the author implying that Dechen Tulku must give up his Dorje Shugden practice just to visit beautiful Bhutan and his friend Benchen Khenpo? If that is the case, then the letter might as well ridiculously call for all tourists to renounce their religious practices which do not align to the author’s sensibilities.


Guilty by Association

Dechen Tulku in Bhutan

According to the letter, the author’s monastery was so easily affected by a simple visit from Dechen Tulku that pujas had to be performed to destroy the obstacles created by his visit. If a mere visit from a single Dorje Shugden practitioner can bring about such calamity, as the letter’s author falsely claims, then the situation can be read in a number of ways:

  1. The members of the author’s monastery are poor practitioners, and their refuge vows are so broken that they no longer enjoy the protection of the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).
  2. Benchen Khenpo is a much more powerful practitioner as he is not affected or tainted by his association and friendship with Dechen Tulku.
  3. Dorje Shugden practitioners are so powerful that a mere association or connection with them will taint everything that they touch. That is why Sonam Dorje took pains to mention that they destroyed the monetary contributions that Dechen Tulku made, because they came from a stalwart Dorje Shugden practitioner.

But if it is the case that any connection with a Dorje Shugden practitioner is a tainted one, why doesn’t the monastery – if it at all exists – return their patron Benchen Khenpo’s contributions as well? After all, according to the logic presented by Sonam Dorje, surely Benchen Khenpo and everything he owns would have also been tainted too, thanks to his being friends with Dechen Tulku?

It would have been easy to include the items offered by Benchen Khenpo in the three pujas that were performed to purify and prevent the obstacles that were supposedly brought about by the visit of Dechen Tulku. As a matter of fact, if these pujas are powerful enough to remove the supposed obstacles, why didn’t the monastery just direct them towards Dorje Shugden in order to subdue him? Why has no Nyingma lama conducted any of their powerful rituals, of which they have many, to successfully subdue Dorje Shugden so there is no longer a deity for anyone to make a connection with?


The Karmapa said Shugden should not be subdued

H.H. the 16th Karmapa

Aside from the fact Dorje Shugden is a Buddha with no karma to be harmed, it is possible that no Nyingma lama has ever attempted such a subjugation ritual because of the words of the previous 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who counselled Nyingma practitioners to respect Dorje Shugden.

While on pilgrimage in Nepal, the 16th Karmapa graced the opening of Urgyen Rinpoche’s new Nyingma monastery. After being greeted by the Nepalese King and Queen, he entered the monastery and saw a statue of the Nyingma Protector Dorje Drolo stepping on Dorje Shugden. The original iconography of Dorje Drolo does not include Dorje Shugden at all, but the statue in the monastery had been modified to depict Dorje Shugden being pressed down under the statue’s feet.

After gazing at the statue for a while, the 16th Karmapa then pointed his finger towards the statue and asked,

Who made this? Where did this lineage come from? Who is the person who built this statue?

In a room full of abbots and monks, no one stepped forward. The 16th Karmapa then became visibly angry and demanded that the statue be removed. He then gave the following prediction to the Nyingmas at the monastery:

You will have no choice in the future but to practice this Protector; there will come a time when you need him.

There were many lamas present at that time who witnessed this event and this incident has also been recorded in Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche’s sungbum (collected works and writings).


Will the Real Author Please Stand Up?

If readers pause to consider the content of the letter and its context, they will quickly realize that there are many reasons to doubt its authenticity and question its authorship. It does not make sense that after six decades, Bhutanese Nyingma practitioners are suddenly wading into the Dorje Shugden controversy by issuing such a provocative letter. What would the Nyingma monastery – if it at all exists – gain from publishing such a letter?

To ascertain the real author of the letter, one should look to who stands to gain the most from its publication. The democratic Bhutanese leadership have no reason to publish the letter; their country is stable, their economy is growing, and they enjoy an immense amount of global publicity for their unique culture and traditions, as well as their environmental preservation efforts. Publishing such a letter only harms their image.

Similarly, the Nyingmas have no reason to publish such a letter especially when it paints them as intolerant, narrow-minded and superstitious. Likewise, the Gelugs will not benefit from a letter that encourages Nyingma hostility towards them.

The only people who stand to gain from the letter is the Tibetan leadership, who will benefit from a Bhutanese nation distracted and weakened by a perceived enemy to fight against. In fact, it seems extremely likely, given the Tibetan syntax of its composition, that the letter’s source lies within the Tibetan community. And for anyone to be so daring as to falsely pinpoint the letter to a Nyingma source, it can only be done with the approval of the very top i.e. the Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala.

Until today, even with so much turmoil within their ranks, the Central Tibetan Administration still cannot resist creating trouble for Bhutan. The CTA is like a jealous, petty child in a playground, caught in an argument he cannot win and resorting to “If I can’t have it, you can’t have it either” tactics. Sadly but clearly, the Tibetan leadership’s mentality is that if Tibetans cannot enjoy peaceful independence, they will be damned if Bhutan is allowed to.

At the end of the day, the real victims here are the people – the Tibetan people who have once again been painted in a bad light by the actions of their inept, troublemaking leadership, and the Bhutanese people who have nothing to do with Tibetan politics but are now being exploited to direct anger and hostility at unsuspecting Dorje Shugden practitioners who just want to be left alone to practice in peace.

CTA, it is time to grow up and stop meddling in other people’s affairs. Your playground days are over.

English translation: We Bhutanese who are very peaceful… have spoken about important news. Please look carefully.

English translation: Recently, the Dorje Shugden practitioner Dechen Tulku visited Bhutan. We realised that this was a negative sign and we performed pujas. This is the notice that we performed the pujas.

The supposed official notice from the monastery. Click to enlarge


Translation of the notice:

Recently my friend and the monastery’s sponsor, Benchen Khenpo, brought foreigners to Bhutan for a pilgrimage. When they arrived at Pardo, Benchen Khenpo asked if he could visit my monasteries and that he had a friend who was a Gelug Tulku that would like to come along. We are grateful to Benchen Khenpo and so whoever comes along with him is welcomed and served tea. We did not know anything about this Gelug Tulku [Dechen Tulku] and did not ask about who he was. According to Bhutanese culture, he offered tea and 500 [Bhutanese Ngultrum] cash to each monk. He [Dechen Tulku] has a history of visiting other Bhutanese states and monasteries.

A few days later, after he went back, we realised his photos were all over social media. Then we understood he was a Dorje Shugden practitioner. Actually, Dorje Shugden’s practice was banned many years ago by our spiritual leaders. According to this, I am the holder of the pure Nyingma lineage and when I see Shugden practitioners, I really hate them. I believe that they are evil beings.

When such a situation happens in our Nyingma monastery [Dechen Tulku making offerings] this is a very negative sign. We requested our lamas for divination. His visit brought negative obstacles to the monastery. In order to purify and prevent the obstacles, we are now performing the Damtsig Lu Lo Dang, Gekte, and Drolo gyi Tordak pujas. We are doing these kinds of pujas now. The monetary offerings that Dechen Tulku made were put together with the “lu” torma, which was taken outside and thrown away as part of the ritual.

I want to apologize for not looking into this person [Dechen Tulku] and it is my mistake for not asking before he visited the monastery. I request that from today onwards, all Bhutanese people should be careful about people who are Shugden practitioners.

From the monastery’s lama, Sonam Dorje.

Sources of information on Benchen Khenpo:



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  1. It is very impressive to read the information in this website and the treachery that CTA will follow to bring further disunity and disharmony among Tibetans over the issue of Dorje Shugden.

    In this post we read of a Nyingma, Sonam Dorje writing adversely about a Dorje Shugden Lama, Dechen Tulku. Of which there is no basis to believe what Sonam Dorje had written about Dechen Tulku’s visit to Bhutan. Reasons for Sonam Dorje’s negative motivations are well spelt out in this article.

    It is also good to read another article in this website:

    Here Tai Situ Rinpoche of Kagyu tradition is also speaking on the adverse view of Dorje Shugden.

    Has the power of CTA waned so badly that they now need to enrol mouths of other traditions to speak against Dorje Shugden?

    Why do Buddhist lamas resort to such tactics when Buddhism is about love and compassion and acceptance? Are power and money the rewards offered by CTA? Food for thoughts.

  2. 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

  3. This article makes me so sad. We are all like the sun and moon occupying the same sky and we should learn to appreciate how vast the sky is. There is so much more we can occupy our minds with, but so many people choose to fill the sky with voluminous black clouds of hate. This is so very sad.

  4. I am sure the divination was not done by an Enlightened being !! Enlightened beings would definitely not discriminate ! Enlightened beings will not say that a visit by a Dorje Shugden practitioner to a monastery creates negative obstacles !!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Go to hell Dorjeshugden.
    Mind your language and don’t try to create unnecessary problems or disharmony in their peaceful nation. BHUTAN is only GNH on this Earth.
    Learn to respect the others and at least create happiness among yourselves..
    very sad!!!!!

  8. I would say Dorji Shugdhen is trying to create religious disharmony. If we look carefully, in one of the movie clips on the social media, the lama supposedly a Dorji Shugden follower is prostrating to the temple’s window away from any other objects of veneration clearly showing its discriminatory habit. Doji Shugdhen should avoid its discriminatory nature to rationalize its accusation of other’s being discriminatory. How would Dorji Shugdhen justify its followers and students not being allowed to receive teaching from another religious school, read and study other religious texts and philosophies? If Dorji Shugdhen is discriminatory even to other Buddhist schools, how much would it tolerate other religions? I am just wondering how other religious schools are discriminatory and Dorji Shudhen is not if it cannot even tolerate prostrating to the altar of a monastery which received him in a grand procession as a guest?😀

  9. ttt

  10. Bhutan is a very culturally, spiritually, politically strong INDEPENDENT Country. We do respect and help each other internally. We don’t need you to tell any history of our Country. We know very well. We don’t criticize other religions even if they do ours. And we defend our own as the best because that’s is ARROGANCE.

  11. Yes.Social media disadvantage is when spread rumors by people who plan to confuse people who don’t think.People who read & believe everything.I believe this letter intention is to cause hatred & misunderstanding coz it look fake with no letterhead & sign.I also believe what writer write is true.No good CTA plan this & make disharmony for bhutan ppl.CTA always use cheap tactics.Paying ppl to write nonsense.I don’t understand how come monks do divination & cause discrimination.Sangha suppose to practice wisdom & compassion but I don’t see it is what they are doing.Then hold vows for what?To be afraid of a Buddha like DS.Then why practice when 3 jewels cannot protect.How come till today nobody can defeat DS if they say DS is evil.

  12. This is just another story which has been invented to create schism. When does the CTA stop creating problems for themselves and everyone around them.

    No name of any monastery and official letter, no picture of the location, no Bhutanese language, … so much trouble has been created by the CTA and this is just another episode. Wait, karma is waiting just around the corner…

    Opposite to the CTA, Bhutan is a real democracy .. so just be ashamed of yourself CTA!

  13. No true Buddhist practitioner would condemn any Buddhist lineage or other religions. Why would this so called ‘monk Sonam Dorje’ who claims he is a Nyingmapa hates Dorje Shugden so much? He did not give valid reasons and proof for his hatred, just his written words. Surely, this is to undermine the good works of Dorje Shugden practitioners especially those high lamas who work tirelessly to spread dharma as taught by Lama Tsongkhapa. Why would Sonam Dorje do this? Because he was paid – and the trail leads to the Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala, India.

  14. This is getting more and more ridiculous. Seriously, the CTA is behaving very childish and selfish to ruin Bhutan. By using dirty tactics to harm people, they will have to face the music themselves later on.

  15. Another way how CTA trying their best create hatred and schism. This time CTA is using Bhutanese and Ningma. At this crucial time CTA already lost their creditability and trust not only from other countrie’s but also their own people the Tibetans, instead doing their best to gain back the confident CTA would rather spend more money and effort to create such problem to divert their failure.

  16. The hypocrite behind all this is none other than CTA. I truly don’t understand this group of uncivilized people! Why kept creating havoc misunderstanding, confusion among others countries affair? The very truth was, CTA aren’t FIT IN into Spiritual at all! Religion is spiritual affair among everybody. Religion teaches us to be kind, compassion, love, TOLERENCE and FORGIVENESS.
    Why CTA go other way round? Why CTA endlessly create disharmony, hatred with others? Jealousy, hatred and anger are the most deadly poison in our mind. So, CTA is killing themselves faster than others. Keep it up CTA!!

  17. no surprise, more and more fake news will be out. This time is using Bhutanese, next may be Africa, haha… They just wanted to create schism and hatred for their own personal gain -”money”. No proof given, so all these just FAKE.

  18. See through flaws. All one sided and no real proof to back it up. Wonder how will this even will earn trust from netizens. It takes quite a lot for people to really believe this. It must be CTA up on their sleeves again. CTA’s creditibility is down into the drain that whatever their leaders say will carry no weight hence they have to rely on some so called monk to utter lie and condemn another sect (which is so unBuddhist)

  19. Whoa….. did I see someone is playing dirty from the article? CTA is on its dirty work again. I thought monks are not suppose to involve in politics and not suppose to talk bad about religious? And, we are not suppose to critic a monk also even he’s doing wrong. We leave that aside, but I think whatever this monk did or wrote, there must be someone behind him instructed him to do so, or he was “paid” to do so. Who else is the one who created this? Non other than CTA that I can think of. Other than karma, it’s still karma. Because we are living in samsara which is caused by karma. Maybe CTA doesn’t believe in karma, which is strange. But it is very clear that karma is there, and it will do its work.

  20. The few points should be notice within this letter:

    1. An official letter from a monastery, there is no letterhead from the monastery which made this letter unofficial

    2. the letter was signed off by just a name, no official position or identity from which monastery, means anyone can just use a fake name to write a letter to spread rumours

    3. a Sangha member does not and should not practice hatred, as in the Buddha’s teaching, hatred is one of our 3 poisons that bound us samsara and keep taking rebirth back to this sea of suffering again and again endlessly. since being ordained as a monk, motivation should be liberation hence, how can a monk hate someone? Even Buddha showed love to Devadatta who is so evil, who wanted to kill the Buddha and yet, over here we are learning Buddha’s teaching but we practice hate?

    4. a monastery is a holy place, no one evil spirit can pollute the monastery, so how on earth a puja needed to be done after the visit of a Dorje Shugden practitioner?

    5. Since Dalai Lama already said practicing Dorje Shugden is a personal choice, he does not stop people from practicing Dorje Shugden, then why is this ‘monk’ going against Dalai Lama’s instruction to spread hatred towards Dorje Shugden practitioners?

    Basically, this letter is so wrong on so many levels, I really doubt what is the purpose of the person who wrote this letter… CTA again? how much harm has he created and still want to spilled it over to another country? CTA is getting really ridiculous. I would say CTA must go, or else, more people will suffer wherever CTA goes to.

  21. Don’t bring this fake news to destroy harmony of religion of Bhutan. If tibetan try to play politic to cause dishorny in Bhutan, we are not part of your plan.Please respect our country and democracy.

  22. I wish everyone PEACE & Happiness. The Righteousness reigns

  23. I dont deem to disrespect you need to learn about bhutan…if you arent from here…dont pretend to be from here and create disharmony…we didn’t take away Tibet from you either…Respect….Namo Amitabha😍

  24. H.H Dalai Lama said so


  25. I would rather see the articles of religions and the benefits of practicing Buddhism and even on the goodness of Dorji Shugdhen than frequently or mostly targeting CTA. It is more of finger pointing to CTA than teaching Buddhism. It paints a picture that there are internal turmoils within Tibetan communities, disharmony among the schools of Buddhism and politics than what a simple Buddhist would accept from such articles.

  26. I am all for the preference to read articles of religions and the benefits of practising Buddhism and even on the goodness of Dorje Shugden.

    However, given that people are tainting and attempting to stamp off the Dorje Shugden practice with lies and politics, if the practitioners only keep quiet and allow those untruths to convolute the lineage, pretty soon there will be no pure lineage to speak about as the idea of Dorje Shugden being bad would be too entrenched.

    How can any self-respecting Dorje Shugden practitioner ignore the derogatory unsubstantiated attacks on Dorje Shugden and allow for creation and snow-balling of the karmic cause for the “disappearance” of the lineage? Especially if one is supposed to be practising compassion.

    On that note, consider that even with samsaric objects, if people already have a bad impression, it is usually extremely difficult to dissuade such bad impression by just repeating the goodness or benefits. A more effective way to deal with this would be to expose the credibility of the source information as well. In this case, it becomes necessary to present the true facts to the masses, which entails talking about the politics and dirty tricks employed by unscrupulous people against Dorje Shugden.

    With respect, at the end of the day, it boils down to a choice between (i) stepping out of comfort zone to address uncomfortable topics to ensure the continuity of pure lineage of Dorje Shugden so that many can benefit now and in future or (ii) indulging in either own dualistic preferences or the prioritisation of self-interest over others.

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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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