CTA, no wonder you are downgraded

By: Mana

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGiE) has been forced by the Indian government to rename themselves to the lesser-sounding Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). It makes perfect sense for the Indian government to do this.

(1) It is totally illogical for two governments to operate in one country. Nowhere else in the world does a group of people exist within a larger majority, and yet are granted the same degree of self-autonomy that the exiled Tibetans have received. India has been extremely kind thus far to turn a blind eye to the now-renamed CTA’s activities – no other refugee community in the world has so many liberties to self-govern, to hold elections, and to levy taxes on their own community without having to contribute taxes to the larger majority.

For example, Syrian refugees are expected to assimilate into their host nations and to pay taxes to the host nation. When they qualify, they are expected to engage in the political processes of their host nation, and not create their own set of rules and systems. In refugee camps, Syrian refugees do not have elections, do not levy taxes on one another, do not form a parliament and cabinet, nor appoint a President or Prime Minister to represent them.

This is very unlike the Tibetan leadership which discourages the Tibetans from assimilating, pays no taxes to India, and operates elections to appoint a parliament and their own Prime Minister to represent them around the world. How can two Prime Ministers and two Parliaments exist in one India? It is not possible.

Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche

Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche

(2) In downgrading the CTA’s status, the Indian leadership also downgraded the significance and importance of their elected representatives. Now, not only is Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche a Prime Minister without a country, but he is now also a Prime Minister without a government!

(3) India clearly has other plans for the Tibetan leadership that they are not privy to, and they have no choice but to follow India’s lead. So if India decides, on their own, that the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGiE) must rename themselves, the TGiE must follow.

This shows that the CTA doesn’t have any control, not even over their own people’s fate. India can, at any point, decide to repatriate all Tibetans back to Tibet and they would have no choice but to leave. The Indian leadership could even enforce a law stating all Tibetans must become Indian citizens, just like what Bhutan implemented on Tibetan refugees living in their country back in the 1970s. The Indian leadership are not even obligated to consult the CTA on any of this; they can just wake up one day and decide the Tibetans must go, and the Tibetans will have to go.

(4) It shows clearly who holds the position of power in this relationship, and that India is not afraid to assert her dominance when necessary. In India, it is the elected Indian officials who have the power, and not the Tibetan leadership, and it will always be the Indian officials’ decisions which take precedence. Bearing this in mind, it would serve the Tibetans very well to always remember that their very existence is based purely on India’s kindness, generosity and help. The fact they survived for over 50 years and had access to resources to preserve their culture and religion is because the Indian government gave them a home in 1959 and then did not insist on any degree of cultural or societal assimilation for the next 50 years.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a meeting with the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru

(5) The CTA has no inherent power of its own that exists independently of any larger or more powerful body. They rely on their association with India for any modicum of legitimacy. Actually, the men and women of the CTA are just playing dress-up, pretending to do a job that does not really exist.

Was the downgrade of status a result of the Indian leadership observing the CTA’s abuse of power? Perhaps the Indian government saw how the Tibetan leadership have been sending letters to monasteries, institutions and organizations probing if certain monks/personnel are practicing Dorje Shugden. Such behavior is a direct contravention of Indian law and the Indian constitution, but the Indian government cannot be seen to be taking sides. So in an effort to stop the CTA’s abuse of the Tibetan people, the Indian government attempted to delegitimize them by forcing them to change their name.

Regardless of the reasons why the ‘Tibetan Government in Exile’ have been downgraded to the ‘Central Tibetan Administration’, we find their behavior towards Dorje Shugden practitioners to be appalling and extremely despicable. No civilized government in the world would write letters to their religious institutions/organizations interrogating if certain people practice certain deities. Only a medieval witch-hunting government would abuse its power in this manner to intimidate its people.

One of the things that Tibet is world-famous for is its religion — Tibetan Buddhism — but instead of supporting the monks who dedicate their lives to monastic study and preservation of knowledge, the CTA goes the opposite way to suppress and persecute the very Sangha that made Tibet famous in the world. Instead of writing letters to encourage, congratulate and support monks who have done great work, excelled in their studies, and made the Dharma grow… the CTA writes letters to interrogate, instill fear, suppress and ostracize the good Sangha/Dharma practitioners who have done nothing but practice Dharma sincerely and only have good thoughts always in their mind.

These monks sweat and toil to teach Dharma, conduct pujas, seek sponsorship and gather support to bring huge benefits to the monasteries: building new monasteries, renovating chapels, erecting new statues, feeding monks, building hostels and helping the lay community. So, if the CTA wants to nullify all these contributions by ostracizing monks whom they deem “bad”, then the CTA should also return all the contributions, all the money, the roofs, the tiles, the floors, the bricks, the food, the furniture, the fixtures, the statues, the offerings, the thangkas…to the monks who brought all these to the monasteries. Then it is a fair game.

The generous sponsor of Ganden, Sera and Drepung, the great Mongolian lama Guru Deva Rinpoche. Because of his Dorje Shugden practice, Guru Deva Rinpoche was shunned by the Tibetan community. Yet, the CTA and monasteries kept everything he sponsored. The fact Guru Deva Rinpoche was shunned because of his religious practices, contravenes the Indian constitution and law, but the now-renamed CTA were not too concerned nor respectful of it.

If the monks ostracized by the CTA are really bad, then their contributions and everything else that they have given in the past must also be bad/stained/impure. So, shouldn’t the money and items be returned as well? Why remove the impure person but keep the impure things he offered?

Of course, the CTA will never return all of those things, but they will expel the people who sponsored, donated and built them. This reflects that:

(1) The enforcement of the Dorje Shugden ban was haphazard. Those who enforced the ban failed to realize the extent to which Dorje Shugden practitioners are involved in Tibetan society and religion.

It was only after they kicked out the Dorje Shugden practitioners that they realized how much Shugden practitioners have sponsored and contributed to Tibetan society. But by then it was too late — the CTA could no longer ask Dorje Shugden practitioners to come back into the fold as it would have made them look money-minded and fearful of losing so many cash cows.

(2) It is all about the money. The Tibetan leadership will sacrifice and abuse their people, but come up with all sorts of excuses to retain the assets the people are forced to leave behind. This is done for the sake of adding to their coffers. That’s why the CTA will never relinquish or return all the things offered and paid for by Dorje Shugden people, because it would be too great a financial loss for them to bear.

(3) At the end of the day, the CTA are hypocritical and have double standards. For the CTA, having the Dharma does not mean living by the values and truths of the Dharma. For the CTA, Dharma is just like everything else – another commodity to be bought, sold, bent, twisted and manipulated so they can accomplish what they want.

Since the CTA treats Tibet’s most precious resource – the Dharma – in such a callous and demeaning manner, and since they are unable to face painfully obvious truths, perhaps it is just as well that the CTA is not an actual government nor is it known as a government anymore, but simply an administration. If this is how they treat the 100,000-over Tibetan refugees whom they have some measure of control over, how would they behave if they were to receive power over the 6 million Tibetans in Tibet?

The now-renamed CTA have had a good 50-year run being referred to as a government, with India turning a blind eye to the fact they have no country to preside over, yet still giving them this pseudo-recognition and legitimacy. With a new name, perhaps the CTA will finally start expending some energy into the welfare of their Tibetan people, and put an end to decades of hypocrisy and abuse of their community, including (but not limited to) Dorje Shugden practitioners. With a new name, there is no better time for a fresh start, and no better time to turn over a new leaf.

Adapted from the original post here: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=1565.0

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3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The CTA as a government body is an embarrassment. How is it even humanly thinkable that suppression and infliction of fear is the way to gain any respect. I would imagine if I was the CTA I would use more skillful means to get the monks to “obey” or “comply”. After all, all the CTA wants is for all DS practitioners to give it up and pledge allegiance to the Ban, right?

    If the Dalai Lama moved the first DS statue to another house from Gaden, ten years before the Ban became full blown, only to safeguard the statue and have a safe place for the practice, why cannot the CTA adopt such skillful means?

    The methods used by CTA is completely unacceptable and does not harness any respect from anyone except probably their own ignorant kind.

  2. It is very disturbing that CTA is inflicting harm onto fellow sangha members who had decided to follow their practice, without intending to disturb others.

    Why can’t these monks be left alone, in peace, to do what they like? After all, CTA will not be responsible to the ‘negative karma’ created by these DS monks for disobeying the order of HHDL.

    In time, CTA will loose respect from the Buddhist community for what they have been doing.

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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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