The Bhutan Affair

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com 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:

  • http://articles.latimes.com/1987-01-10/news/vw-3361_1_shangri-la
  • http://articles.latimes.com/1999/dec/31/news/cl-49176

 

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  1. While the government of Nepal has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, they have welcomed 30 Chinese NGOs to enter the country. These NGOs will penetrate the country’s social sector at the grassroots level. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal at one time. Nepal is increasingly open to Chinese influence, a sign that ties between both countries are strengthening, while India’s influence is being reduced. The time has passed for India’s monopoly to remain uninterrupted in Nepal as opportunities to engage with China are being welcomed.

    30 Chinese NGOs all set to work in Nepal
    REWATI SAPKOTA
    Kathmandu, July 30
    At a time when the government has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, 30 Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal to penetrate the country’s social sector and the grassroots.
    The Social Welfare Council Nepal and China NGO Network for International Exchanges, an umbrella body of Chinese NGOs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. The agreement was signed yesterday between SWCN Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatt and CNIE General Secretary Zhu Rui in the presence of Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa and Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun.
    The agreement has paved the way for the first batch of 30 Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal for a period of three years. Their contract will be extended based on the consent of SWCN and CNIE. Representatives of these 30 Chinese NGOs were also present during yesterday’s signing ceremony. They have agreed to work in partnership with local NGOs to implement their programmes and projects.
    The Chinese NGOs are eyeing areas such as livelihood, healthcare, education, skill-based training, community development and disaster management. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs has entered Nepal at one time. The Chinese assistance so far in Nepal has largely been limited to development of infrastructure projects. But the entry of these NGOs indicates China is keen on making its presence felt in Nepal’s social sector and the grassroots, which, till date, have remained domains of the West and countries such as Japan and India.
    The MoU signed between SWCN and CNIE states that Chinese NGOs will be mobilised for ‘the benefit of needy Nepalis and to enhance ties between China and Nepal through people-to-people support programmes’.
    “The Chinese NGOs will abide by the law of Nepal in its entirety while carrying out development cooperation in Nepal,” says the MoU, adding, “Chinese NGOs will submit programmes to the SWCN to carry out development activities in partnership with Nepali NGOs and SWCN in line with plans and policies of the government of Nepal.”
    The MoU was signed at a time when the government has drafted the National Integrity Policy to limit activities of NGOs and INGOs, as some of them were found ‘trying to break communal harmony and proselytising Nepalis’. There were also concerns that high administrative cost of many NGOs and INGOs was preventing money from reaching the real beneficiaries. The policy clearly states that NGOs and INGOs cannot spend more than specified amount under administrative and consultant headings. They will also be barred from working against Nepal’s interests, culture and communal harmony and conducting activities to promote their religious, social or other agenda, adds the policy.
    Around 48,000 NGOs are currently registered in Nepal, of which only 1,600 have been receiving funds from INGOs, as per SWCN. The SWCN has directed INGOs and NGOs to spend 60 per cent of the budget to generate tangible results, while the remaining can be used to cover administrative costs and organise training, meetings and seminars.
    https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/30-chinese-ngos-all-set-to-work-in-nepal/

    DS.com China NGOs enter Nepal

  2. The Nikkei Asian Review is a highly reputable news platform. They are not tabloid in any sense of the word. What they publish is reputable and thoroughly reliable. They mention clearly in an article published August 7, 2018 that the Dalai Lama has a terminal illness. The Prime Minister of India knowing this is now conciliatory towards China. He understands that the Dalai Lama cannot be used as a pawn in irritating China any further. Negotiations are progressing that after the passing of Dalai Lama, his government in-exile will close. The end.

    India uses rumor of Dalai Lama’s ill health to mend China ties
    If Tibetan exile flow is stemmed, Beijing might compromise on territorial claim
    YUJI KURONUMA, Nikkei staff writer
    August 07, 2018 17:02 JST
    DHARAMSALA — Rumors are flying around in this northern Indian city, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile, that the 14th Dalai Lama is suffering from terminal cancer.
    With Tibetan exiles deeply worried about the 83-year-old religious leader, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been using the situation to take a more conciliatory approach to China. Modi also seems to be lowering the standing of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
    Word that the Dalai Lama may be in serious condition has quietly spread. “I have heard that His Holiness is not well,” said Migmar Chodon, a 49-year-old housewife in Dharamsala. “Though I don’t know well about it, I am worried.”
    A 27-year-old restaurant employee in the city said, “I have read somewhere that His Holiness is unwell.”
    In 1959, Tibetan people rose in revolt in Lhasa, Tibet, which had been occupied by China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, and the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. At least 130,000 Tibetans later left their homeland. At present, 85,000 Tibetans live in India, about 8,000 of them in Dharamsala, which hosts the Tibetan government-in-exile and a temple where the 14th Dalai Lama lives.
    Rumors about the Dalai Lama suffering from poor health come frequently. The latest one arose in June, when an Indian media company reported that the Dalai Lama was in the “last stage of prostate cancer.” The Dalai Lama’s doctor and the government-in-exile immediately denied the news, and people have tried to remain calm. “I want to believe the words of the doctor,” the restaurant worker said.
    The Indian government thinks the terminal cancer report is credible. A government source said “the prostate cancer has spread to his lymph nodes” and that “his life would not be so long” now.
    In the past two years, the Dalai Lama has received treatment at a hospital in the U.S. People close to the Dalai Lama worry that word of this was leaked by U.S. authorities. Now the Dalai Lama “will be going to Switzerland for radiotherapy in the month of August,” the source said.
    India is using rumors that the Dalai Lama is in poor health to build a more conciliatory relationship with China. In April, during an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, China, Modi tried to portray the India-China relationship as improved.
    During the meeting, “Modi apprised President Xi of the Dalai Lama’s health and the Indian position on Tibet after his death,” a government source said. “This information from Modi took Xi by surprise, and the two discussed the issue for a long time at the Wuhan summit.”
    When the leaders met in 2015 and 2016, they informally discussed a proposal for India to stop accepting new Tibetan exiles after the death of the Dalai Lama in return for China withdrawing its territorial claim on some parts of northern India.
    For humanitarian, strategic and other reasons, India has been accepting Tibetan exiles for nearly 60 years. Tibet has been something of a buffer zone between the world’s two most populous countries since shortly after India’s independence in 1947. However, China has strengthened its grip on the Tibet Autonomous Region, and in 2017 new exiles numbered 57, a sharp drop from over 2,000 a decade earlier.
    With Tibet’s strategic value waning, India has moderated its stance.
    At the behest of the Indian government, the Tibetan government-in-exile last year changed the English name for its sikyong from “prime minister” to “president.” Geshe Lhakdor, director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and for years an interpreter for the 14th Dalai Lama, said the new term denotes the leader of an organization, rather than the leader of a country.
    The Indian government is also encouraging Tibetan exiles to acquire Indian citizenship.
    A successor to the 14th Dalai Lama will be installed when a person believed to be his reincarnation is found, or will be appointed under a new system, like nomination.
    The 15th Dalai Lama will then lead the Tibetan Buddhist world. However, it will be difficult for the successor to take the place of the 14th Dalai Lama, who has international influence as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and is the protector of Tibetan exiles.
    The buildings that house the government-in-exile and the temple which is home to the 14th Dalai Lama sit atop a mountain. At the foot of this mountain is the Tibetan Reception Center that Tibetan exiles first visit for registration. It is quiet these days, and very much unoccupied.
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-Relations/India-uses-rumor-of-Dalai-Lama-s-ill-health-to-mend-China-ties

    India-uses-rumor-of-Dalai-Lama's-ill-health

  3. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER | AUGUST 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.”
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/03/trump-palestinians-israel-refugees-unrwaand-allies-seek-end-to-refugee-status-for-millions-of-palestinians-united-nations-relief-and-works-agency-unrwa-israel-palestine-peace-plan-jared-kushner-greenb/

    DS.com Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians

  4. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Bengaluru
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.
    https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/india/tibetans-ready-to-be-part-of-china-dalai-lama/293109.html

    d

  5. 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.

  6. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India
    https://theprint.in/opinion/time-has-come-to-acknowledge-that-tibet-has-vastly-improved-under-chinese-rule/97172/

  7. The cracks in Tibetan society are starting to show, and it is now coming to the attention of local Indians who have all but identified the Tibetan leadership as the source of the divisions. According to this author, disunity amongst the Tibetans is now creating problems for Indian law enforcement agencies, and this disunity may culminate in young Tibetans holding silent grudges against their host country. It is incredible that after six decades of generosity from India, Indians are now facing the very real possibility Tibetans can be ungrateful towards India. The Tibetan leadership totally failed to impart positive values upon their exiled community, like gratitude for those kindest to them and the need to repay these kindnesses with real, tangible results. It’s also very unlikely that the Tibetan leadership will now start to do this, after six decades of failing to do so. Indians need to realise this, and see that there is no benefit for their nation to align themselves with the Tibetan leadership, and there never will be.
    Tibetan disunity not in India’s interest
    John S. Shilshi
    Updated: August 7, 2018, 11:00 AM
    India is home to the Dalai Lama and an estimated 120,000 Tibetan refugees. Though this humanitarian gesture on India’s part comes at the cost of risking New Delhi’s relations with China, India has never wavered in ensuring that Tibetans live with dignity and respect. Notified settlements across the country were made available so that they can live as independently as possible and practice Tibetan religion and culture. They are also allowed to establish centres of higher learning in Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, several reputed Buddhist institutes came up in Karnataka, and in the Indian Himalayan belt. In what may be termed as a gesture well reciprocated, and because of the respect and influence His Holiness the Dalai Lama commands, the Tibetan diaspora also lived as a peaceful community, rarely creating problems for India’s law enforcement agencies.
    The situation, however, changed from 2000 onwards when unity amongst Tibetans suffered some setback due to developments like the Karmapa succession controversy and the controversy over worshiping of Dorje Shugden. In a unique case of politics getting the better of religion, two senior monks of the Karma kargyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Tai Situ Rinpoche and late Shamar Rinpoche, developed serious differences after the demise of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, in 1981. This animosity ultimately led to emergence of two 17th Karmapa candidates in the early nineties. While Tai Situ Rinpoche identified and recognised UghyanThinley Dorje, late Shamar Rinpoche anointed Thinley Thaye Dorje as his Karmapa candidate. Enthronement of their respective protégés at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the supreme seat of the Karma Kargue linage, being their primary objective, both started indulging in activities monks normally are expected to, and bitterness spewed against each other.
    The bitter rivalry assumed a new dimension when UghyenThinley Dorje suddenly appeared in India in January 2000. The competition became fiercer and hectic political lobbying, never known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism on Indian soil, became common place. Apart from pulling strings at their disposal in Sikkim as well as in the power corridors of New Delhi, these senior monks spat against each other with allegations and counter allegations, widening the gaps between their supporters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, choosing to favour one of the candidates—a decision many Tibet watchers felt was ill-timed—had also limited possible scope of rapprochement. Hence, the Karma Kargyue followers are now vertically divided, while the camps are dragged into a long drawn legal battle.
    Another development that unfortunately split the Tibetans is the controversy over Shugden worshipping, which again is an internal matter of the Gelugpa sect, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It erupted as a result of the Dalai Lama urging Tibetans to refrain from worshiping Dorje Shugden, a deity believed to be a protector, according to Tibetan legend. Shugden practitioners, who felt offended by the call, describe it as an attack on freedom of religion, a right, which Dalai Lama himself tirelessly fought for. On the other hand, die hard Dalai Lama followers perceived the questioning of the decision as one challenging the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and mounted massive pressure on Dorje Shugden practitioners to relent, with some even demolishing the statues of the deity. The rivalry ultimately led to split in two Gelug monasteries in Karnataka, and Serpom and Shar Garden monasteries in Bylakupe and Mundgod respectively came under the control of Shugden followers. The bitterness associated with the split is exemplified by the fact that till today, members of these monasteries are treated as some sort of outcasts by the others. Thus, for the first time, the Tibetan diaspora in India gave birth to sections opposed to the Dalai Lama, with spillover effects in Tibet and elsewhere.
    For India, with a fragile internal security profile, a divided Tibetan population on its soil is not good news. It has several long-term implications. It is common knowledge that China considers Dalai Lama as a secessionist, one plotting to divide their country. The latter’s claim of “all that Tibetans were asking for, was a status of genuine autonomy within the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China”, had fallen into deaf ears. China also considers him as someone who plays to the Indian tune to tickle China. Therefore, at a time when China has successfully shrunk the Dalai Lama’s space internationally, India continuing to extend the usual space for him is viewed as complicity. Sharp reaction from China when he was allowed to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, is a recent example. Such being the delicate nature of India-China relations on matters and issues concerning Tibetans, India can hardly afford to ignore the division within the diaspora. Past experience of dubious elements from Tibet having succeeded in infiltrating the Central Tibetan Administration, including the security wing, should be a warning.
    It is also time India understands the reason behind Tibetans seeking Indian passports, despite an existing arrangement for issue of Identity Certificates, which is passport equivalent. Some had even successfully taken recourse to legal remedy on the issue, and left the government of India red-faced. These changing moods should not be viewed as desires by Tibetans to become Indian citizens. They are triggered by the pathetic state of affairs associated with issuing of Identity Certificates, where delays in most cases are anything between six months to one year. Early streamlining of the process will drastically reduce their desire to hold Indian passport. It will also remove the wrongly perceived notion among some educated Tibetan youth, that the cumbersome process was a ploy by India to confine them in this country. While India should not shy from requesting the Dalai Lama to use his good offices to end all differences within the community in the interest of India’s internal security, it will also be necessary to ensure that young Tibetans do not nurse a silent grudge against the very country they called their second home.
    https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/tibetan-disunity-not-indias-interest

  8. Although the Dalai Lama has offered an apology, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) still expressed their disappointment over his controversial comment on Nehru, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). Dalai Lama called Nehru self-centred.

    The Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

    Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting controversial information to students: Arunachal Congress
    Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation: APCC
    | DAMIEN LEPCHA | ITANAGAR | August 12, 2018 9:58 pm
    disappointment over the recent statement made by Tibetan Spiritual Leader the 14th Dalai Lama in which he called Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India as “self-centered” and the one responsible for parting India and Pakistan.
    “Although Dalai Lama expressed regret over his controversial comment, the APCC is extremely thwarted by it. A Tibetan spiritual leader calling names to an Indian leader who sweated most to keep him and his followers safe from Chinese aggression is simply not acceptable. Today, India is home to lakhs of Tibetan refugees who are living in 37 settlements and 70 scattered communities across different states of India,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement on Sunday.
    “Dalai Lama may have forgotten that India provided a beam of light and hope to Tibetans remaining in Chinese-dominated Tibet and in the neighbouring Chinese provinces politically cut off from the Tibetan heart land. All these happened only because India has great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who took the responsibility of social burden to shelter thousands of persecuted Tibetans then in 1959,” Lollen added.
    Minkir said Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation, hope and trust of millions on record and the same are watching his contribution towards the mankind.
    “In such circumstances, Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting partial and controversial information to the students who are the torch bearer of the nation,” the Congress said.
    Further stating that the statement of the spiritual leader could be a politically motivated one and made with an effort to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for survival of his continuation in the country, the Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.
    https://nenow.in/north-east-news/dalai-lama-should-abstain-from-imparting-controversial-information.html

  9. It is bewildering that His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentioned that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s, yet nothing was done to reprimand these Buddhist teachers. After all, such abuses inflict substantial damage to the reputation of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole as compared to smaller issues like Dorje Shugden.

    The Central Tibetan Administration was fervent in executing the Dorje Shugden ban, launching a documentary film, books, expelling monks, splitting monasteries and denying access to hospitals, clinics, schools, retail shops and so forth down to even publishing a hit list of Shugden activists in order to encourage violence and lynch mob. Yet, the damage done to Tibetan Buddhism by these lamas seems to be ignored and hushed. Why is the Central Tibetan Administration not doing more to warn the public about these sex offenders like posting a warning list on their website?

    Dalai Lama knew sex abuse by Buddhist teachers; it’s ‘nothing new’
    Agence France-Presse
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations were “nothing new.”
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in northern India, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behavior”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”
    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1032920/dalai-lama-knew-sex-abuse-by-buddhist-teachers-its-nothing-new/amp

  10. His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan spiritual leader revered by millions of Buddhists around the world should ensure that the Tibetan spiritual leaders do more to denounce sexual misconduct and abuse of Buddhist teachers as there are far-reaching repercussions and negative impact on Tibetan Buddhism.

    While His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been consistent in reminding practitioners about not practising Dorje Shugden in lieu of the social and religious problems associated with it, despite the unsubstantiated claims or justifications, the indolence of the Central Tibetan Administration in taking action to pacify the public disgust against the misconduct of these Buddhist teachers is severely lacking and appalling. The bias in dealing with these issues related to religious matter has again proven the political nature and conspiracy behind the ban on Dorje Shugden.

    ‘Nothing new’: Dalai Lama says he knew about sex abuse by Buddhist teachers
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    Agence France-Presse
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in Himachal Pradesh, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”
    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/dalai-lama-i-knew-of-sex-abuse-by-buddhist-teachers-since-1990s/story-238DdgDwzQYU5rDfTSgl8M.html

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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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