Is the Dalai Lama a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Manjushri Buddhist Centre

From Más Allá de la Ciencia

Number 103/9/1997, by J.C. Deus
(Translated from Spanish; scroll down to see scans from the original Spanish magazine)

For the first time in history, the Dalai Lama is having to confront serious accusations made against him publicly for infringing the religious freedom and human rights of his own people. His attempt to eliminate a deity which he describes as ‘suspicious’ and ‘defiled’ is causing him, the highest Tibetan authority, endless problems. Even though the feared ‘demon’ is in fact harmless, the internal demons of Tibetan Buddhism seem to have woken up from their sleep.

Readers of MAS ALLA DE LA CIENCIA will remember that I have written two articles about the religious persecution which the Dalai Lama has implemented against one of the most revered of the countless number of deities within Tibetan Buddhism, a deity known as Dorje Shugden (see numbers 94 and 100). These articles were also recently published on the Internet. In these articles we can read about the ban of the worship of this deity, who has officially been declared as evil, about the persecution of his devotees, and public demonstrations by a number of dissidents who, for the first time in the history of the Tibetans in exile, accuse the Dalai Lama of being a dictator and an oppressor. Finally, there were three murders at the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, the court of Dharamsala, for which the dissidents were blamed. This was an obvious sign that ‘the blood had reached the river’ and that this quarrel, which at first just seemed like another of the countless quarrels that have characterised the history of this theocracy (which has not yet lasted a millennium), is becoming a story that has heavy consequences for the future of these people.

For this reason, it was not surprising that one day I received a message through the Internet from someone who complained about my bias in favour of the Dalai Lama, and who offered to tell me the other side of the story. This person was a Basque-born Buddhist nun called Kelsang Dewang, who has been studying with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso – known as Geshe-la by his followers. This Lama has been brave enough to contradict the orders of the Dalai Lama, to protest publicly against them, and to lead a movement of disobedience. The organisation that Geshe leads – the New Kadampa Tradition – not only regards the deity Dorje as a ‘divine emanation’ and one of their main spiritual practices, but is also an important group within Western Buddhism, since it is the one that is growing the most at present.

In this way, we started exchanging messages, with much discussion, not only about the decision of the Dalai Lama, but also about a little-known story of alleged abuse, persecution and despotism by the man who the media has enthroned as a symbol of tolerance and the embodiment of human rights. However, the new image presented by his critics is that of a man hungry for power, cruel to those who oppose him, and ruling the Tibetan government-in-exile with an iron hand while preaching compassion around the world.

The Demons of the Dalai Lama

But let’s do a bit of history. The Dalai Lama himself previously revered the deity Dorje Shugden, as had his tutors and teachers, until inexplicably in 1978 he changed his view and adopted a hostility [towards the deity]. Initially this hostility was expressed only within the complex labyrinth of his feudal court and in the puzzling organisation of the Tibetan religious apparatus in exile.

But in 1996 this repudiation of Dorje Shugden was made public and what until then had been only exhortations, often ignored, became prohibitions implemented with violent persecution of the followers of this [deity], now a so-called ‘demon’. The Dalai Lama presented his attack as a matter of life or death for the Tibetan cause. Dorje was portrayed as an evil being responsible for the failure to attain Tibetan independence and for many other problems. If he were not completely abolished forever, he would sink the Tibetan people into the greatest of catastrophes. He was even harmful to the life of the Dalai Lama, the highest leader in Tibetan Buddhism.

His assertions stunned the devotees of this deity, to the extent that the lama Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, director of the New Kadampa Tradition, ignored his orders, and his followers organised public demonstrations in England and Switzerland protesting against the Dalai Lama’s decision. Officials of Tibetan Offices, representing the Dalai Lama in the West, promptly relayed to the media accusations against the New Kadampa Tradition, describing it as a dangerous sect, worshippers of the devil, and people who had sold their soul to a Satanic cult in exchange for Mephistophelian favours of money and power. Dorje was portrayed as a demon, hungry for blood and responsible for a cult that brainwashed and financially exploited innocents who fell into its hands.

For this reason, doubts assailed me when Dewang, the Basque-born Tibetan Buddhist nun and member of the New Kadampa Tradition, invited me to see for myself that these accusations were completely false, to visit their main centre and interview their leader Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and to know about Dorje Shugden directly. Thoughts such as ‘Am I going into the very mouth of the wolf by going to the headquarters of a fanatic group? What if the Dalai Lama was right and Dorje Shugden really bites?’ arose.

In the House of the ‘Demon’

The Manjushri Buddhist Centre is located in the north of England, five hours by train from London, next to a bay in the midst of idyllic green fields. It is a huge mansion, whose property includes a large wood, a beach and several secondary smaller buildings. It is certainly impressive, especially since the purchasing price twenty years ago was only £75,000, as Dewang hurried to tell me in order to counter rumours.

The problem of owning such a mansion, said Dewang, is not so much buying it but maintaining and repairing it. Religious communities are free from this problem as their members work diligently in exchange for room and accommodation, work being considered as ennobling. Dewang took me to see the new temple that was to be inaugurated in two weeks’ time, when more than 1600 followers of the New Kadampa Tradition from all around the world would be gathering for their annual festival. In stone, wood and glass, it is a magnificent place with capacity for about 700; a great work of art made exclusively by the members of the community. I saw impressive bronze statues ready to be placed in the shrine, monks sand-papering the wood and painting walls.

I was guided by Dewang around the whole property, going up and down a labyrinth of staircases, visiting large and beautifully-maintained meditation rooms, and listening to detailed explanations about the statues, mandalas, pictures and shrines of the vast pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism. I was introduced to some of the monks and nuns who had arrived from many of the 200 centres of the New Kadampa Tradition around the world. The fact that it was a mixed monastery, with [some people keeping] vows of chastity, gave the place a charming hippie touch. The nuns with their short hair had a good appearance; they looked at you smilingly, and you forgot that they were nuns. Their faces were beatific, and I couldn’t find anything that was weird or suspicious.

Finally I saw Dorje, as he appeared in Newsweek, holding a blazing sword and riding a wrathful white lion that steps over a human body. A Dorje of wrathful fangs and bulging eyes, including the third eye. Dewang explained that in Tibetan Buddhism there are thousands of beneficial deities with wrathful aspects, and that they only subdue evil and show their wrath against obstacles that prevent spiritual realisations.

I looked and looked at it, but I didn’t feel any fear. It reminded me of the silly things shown to children during the Valencian fallas [typical Spanish fiestas of Valencia]. It was placed in a huge glass cabinet surrounded by four other representations mounted on different animals. If the one mounted on a dragon was quite repulsive, the ones riding a horse and an elephant had kind faces. Perhaps to compensate for his wrathful representation, the most well-known, Dewang insisted on me looking at another of his manifestations, a handsome peaceful youth that seemed to have come out of a poster from the Chinese cultural revolution. Undoubtedly, I could see nothing that was strange, or which you would not see in any one of the hundreds of religious movements that presently exist around the world.

A New Portrait

Then the time came for me to meet with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the thin and enigmatic person who from his photos seems difficult to reach (see the interview that follows). With his English and mine, we struggled to understand each other. He would continually put his hand at his heart to express that his objectives were pure. He looked happy and very little affected by the controversy. When we finished the interview, he surprised me with a hug and gifts of a bottle of non-alcoholic wine and a pen.

Then I had supper with James Belither, the Secretary of the New Kadampa Tradition, who lives in one of the little houses that surround the main building, and where the Buddhist families live. He is not a monk but a lay person, a gentle English man. That day he was a little taciturn as he told me of the difficulty of knowing the exact number of people affiliated to the New Kadampa Tradition, estimating that there are between two and four thousand. He explained that he could not understand why the Dalai Lama had launched such an absurd witch hunt, and expressed his concern about the possible future harmful effects of ill-intentioned rumours spread by some people against them.

From what I gathered in my conversations with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the nun Dewang and James Belither, there emerged a surprising portrait of the Dalai Lama from which we can conclude that although he is considered a world hero, he is in reality a superstitious dictator who relies heavily on oracles and divinations. It also gave a dark description that tore through the idyllic veil of his propaganda; a scenario filled with intrigues more suited to a medieval court in which cruel feudal men fight to the death, while court favourites and sorcerers manipulate the sovereign. Demons and deities fighting to control people’s minds; spells and curses…

It was said, for example, that the new favourite medium or oracle of the Dalai Lama is a young girl who has recently arrived from Lhasa, expert in fanning the inquisitorial fire against the deity Dorje. Recently, in the middle of a public religious ceremony, this young girl, who invokes a favourite spirit of the Dalai Lama called Nechung, entered a trance and accused an old and respected lama of being a secret servant of the demonic deity [Dorje Shugden]. The old lama slapped her. Later, it was agreed to keep quiet about the incident.


An oracle of the protector Nechung

At midnight I switched off the light, mindful that my door had no lock. I slept very well and woke up early in the morning. I had a walk in the woods, went down to the beach, looked at the various buildings and took some pictures. I spoke with a young monk from Barcelona who insisted that the way Geshe Kelsang Gyatso presents Tibetan Buddhism is much more accessible to Westerners than the way shown by other lamas and traditions. Later on, Dewang showed me the local prehistoric stone circle, and we also had time to visit the New Kadampa Tradition’s office. There was nothing else to see, nothing else to discuss, my stay had come to an end.

On the train back to London, I reflected on the conflict. It is a repeat of one that occurred three and a half centuries ago between the then-Dalai Lama and Ngatrul Dragpa. That conflict finished with the Dalai’s assumption of military-political power, the assassination of Ngatrul by [suffocation with] a katag (the traditional white silk scarf), the blaming of problems on the vengeance of Dorje, and the Dalai’s repentance. Would the story repeat itself again?

Intrigues at the Palace

For many years, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, guru of the New Kadampa Tradition, was not allowed to work independently until his followers threatened to expose publicly the dirty linen of a drug trafficking operation organised by certain organisations in order to finance Tibetan centres. The truth is that the growth of the New Kadampa Tradition in the West is causing fear to some, and is the envy of many. Its rapid development over the last six years provides Geshe Kelsang Gyatso with a growing leadership which is a threat to the Dalai Lama. Because of this, the followers of the Dalai Lama are trying to destroy Dorje Shugden, his protector and emblem. However, he has shown himself to be an independent figure and it will be difficult to silence him.

According to one of the personal translators of the Dalai Lama, there is a secret society, the self-styled Secret Organisation of External and Internal Enemy Eliminators [of Tibet] that has threatened to kill anybody who continues to practise Dorje Shugden. The translator, who has offered to prove and expand on his assertions, says that the accusations against the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi of having planned the three recent assassinations at the court of the Dalai Lama are totally unfounded.

“The Lama who was killed in February 1997″, says the translator, “was known for his strong attacks on Dorje Shugden and those who worship him. It was said that he had returned from Taiwan just a few days before, carrying a lot of cash. Among the hypotheses that circulated at the palace-in-exile in Dharamsala about the motive of the crimes were: there was disagreement about the distribution of the money; Mr Gyalo, a brother of the Dalai Lama, was involved in the crimes, and that he was in contact with other secret organisations; the murders were committed by the Khampa guerrilla organisation that led the fight in 1959 and who are also in disagreement with the Dalai’s government; or by a desperate individual follower of Dorje Shugden; or by Chinese or Taiwanese secret agents; or even done purposely to incriminate the Dorje Shugden Society.”

The accusations that the Dalai Lama and his court are obsessed with eliminating internal dissents are also confirmed by this translator and Western monk: “While the Tibetan government-in-exile has shown itself powerless against the Chinese occupation, they have concentrated on repressing Tibetan opposition to the point of eliminating it, as is shown by the suspension in 1996 of the only independent newspaper in the Tibetan exile community, the recent amendment of the Tibetan Constitution so that a Supreme Judge cannot possibly be a devotee of Dorje Shugden, and by rejecting attempted mediation by abbots of the great monasteries.”

While the followers of the Dalai Lama say that the practitioners of Dorje Shugden are the Talibans of Tibetan Buddhism, they themselves did not show a very good example or good sense when, in July 1997, Lobsang Thubten, one of the leaders of the Dorje Shugden Society in New Delhi was furiously attacked by 200 followers of the Dalai Lama. On the other hand, the Shugdens deny allegations that they use their deity to obtain material and personal favours. They say that they rely on him only for help in their spiritual progress and in their praying for the happiness of all beings. The followers of the New Kadampa Tradition admit that pictures of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, their spiritual director, take pre-eminent place in their meditation rooms and that they also have special prayers for his long life but as they explain, this is a common practice in Tibetan Buddhism, in which the figure of the guru, or spiritual guide, is crucial.

In summary, all this indicates that the Dalai Lama will not stop until he manages to stop Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. And if the latter has the powerful deity and protector Dorje Shugden on his side, the Dalai Lama tries to counteract this power with his own protector, the spirit Nechung. Lama against lama and deity against deity, it is possible that behind this bloody religious battle, which is not short of threats, intrigues and assassinations, there hides manipulation, which is not spiritual, by a feudal monarchipope trying to eliminate a dangerous rival. On his side he has world public opinion, headed by Hollywood. But in matters of gods and demons one never knows….

Deus writes here that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche practiced Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

The Friends of the ‘Evil One’

Among famous Lamas who have already passed away, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, the tutors of the Dalai Lama, were probably the most renowned figures who worshipped the controversial deity and protector Dorje Shugden. But there are also many famous living Lamas and teachers whose responsibility has been to keep this tradition alive. Despite their cautious silence, they have all become direct opponents of the official line promulgated by the Dalai Lama, and many continue their practice in secret due to fear of reprisals.

Geshe Kelsang Gyato: The Dalai Lama is Infringing Human Rights


Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

The difficult responsibility of leading the opposition to the Dalai Lama has fallen into the hands of the highest authority in the New Kadampa Tradition, the independent and intellectual lama Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. But his disagreement goes further than the question of the intrinsic virtue or otherwise of a figure within the Buddhist pantheon. Behind his words, well measured and respectful, throb doubts and accusations of greater depth.

His private residence is on the second floor of Manjushri Buddhist Centre, on top of the visitors’ rooms and next to a meditation room where there is a big statue of Vajrayogini, a female Buddha with naked, swollen breasts who does not seem to take such prominence in orthodox monasteries.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s house is similar to an upper middle class apartment in any Western city. In the kitchen, next to a machine for making organic bread, I was served tea, and then in the sitting-room I finally met him, a gentle man of indefinite age – actually he is over sixty – who has published sixteen books over the last ten years, after completing a three-year retreat in which he alone knows what happened.

J.C. Deus: Is there a solution to the serious conflict that divides Tibetan Buddhism in relation to the ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden, the deity you regard as an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: If the Dalai Lama decided to give freedom and allow the practice of Dorje Shugden, the problem would finish automatically.

J.C. Deus: What steps should be taken to resolve the situation?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: The Dalai Lama has to understand that his ban and the methods his government-in-exile is using to implement it are illegal, cruel and inhumane. The Dalai Lama is infringing the human rights of many people.

J.C. Deus: Are there other important figures in Tibetan Buddhism who are disappointed with the Dalai Lama? If so, why don’t they make their criticism public?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: There are very many indeed who do not agree with him, but they cannot express their critical point of view for fear of reprisal. In Tibetan society, no one is allowed to express ideas that oppose those of the Dalai Lama. If you do, they will destroy you. They will discredit you to the point of making you a pariah, if they don’t resort to violence.

J.C. Deus: Is it possible that the Dalai Lama is just a moderniser of Tibetan Buddhism who is clashing with more traditional sectors? Or are you amongst those who think that he is hungry for power and wishes to monopolise all Tibetan religious and political power?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: The second description seems closer to reality.

J.C. Deus: What, in your opinion, is the real reason why on 14th July 1978 the Dalai Lama publicly went against the deity and protector Dorje Shugden?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: I think that there are many reasons. One of them was the influence of the spirit Nechung, the protector of the Dalai Lama. The oracle (medium) of Nechung with the consent of the Dalai Lama wants to have all the power. Many people think that jealousy was an important factor because the practice of Dorje Shugden was, and still is, very popular among many Lamas, including the tutors and root gurus of the Dalai Lama, as well as many scholars and thousands of other practitioners. But there is also a factor of ignorance and superstition, because the Dalai Lama based all his decisions to implement this ban on divinations, oracles and dreams. He himself says so in the discourse he gave in July 1978.

J.C. Deus: Do you think this is an attempt to stop the preponderance of the Gelug tradition in Tibetan Buddhism?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Yes, this is clear.

J.C. Deus: Who is responsible for this problem, the Dalai Lama or the human oracle through whom the spirit Nechung manifests? Who is this oracle, how was he elected and whose interests does he represent?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: The Dalai Lama chooses everything. He also chose Nechung. I don’t know much about him but they themselves say he is a spirit.

J.C. Deus: It is said that the Dalai Lama has more oracles (mediums) than ministers, that he is surrounded by oracles and that he does not take a step without consulting them. What do you think about such reliance? Do you think that there is a hidden power at the palace in Dharamsala?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: This reliance is inappropriate. These methods of divination are often the source of many problems, conflicts and quarrels, and give rise to superstition. The person who gets into the habit of relying upon these methods ends up losing self-confidence, and there comes a time when he becomes incapable of taking a single decision by himself based on logical reasoning and using his own wisdom, or relying on the wisdom of other experts who could advise him. Buddha did not teach these methods; they are not Buddhist practices. About the second part of the question, whether or not there may be a hidden power in Dharamsala, all the power is in the hands of the Dalai Lama. If tomorrow he were to say that all Tibetans have to worship Dorje Shugden, they would put photos and images of this deity on their shrines. If the next day he said the opposite, they would remove all these images. This is his power.

J.C. Deus: Has the Tibetan government-in-exile failed? Do you think that the fight for independence should be abandoned and instead accept dependency on China?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: It is obvious that the Tibetan government-in-exile has failed in its principal task: to gain independence for Tibet. But I prefer not to comment about political matters, so I will abstain from replying to the second question.

J.C. Deus: How do you see the Dalai Lama’s role as a political Tibetan leader? Do you think that he may have become a puppet of the United States in its disputes with China?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: I think that it is a serious error to have a political leader who is at the same time a spiritual leader. Politics and religion are two different things, and to mix them gives rise to many political and religious problems. Often they use religious methods, such as devotion to the spiritual guide, to attain political objectives. It is very problematic. To me it is unacceptable that the government-in-exile forces all of us to take the Dalai Lama as our spiritual guide or guru. In Buddhism there is complete freedom; no one can force you to choose someone as your spiritual master, this is something that each of us has to choose with complete freedom.

J.C. Deus: Would you say that the Dalai Lama runs a dictatorship over the Tibetan exile community?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Yes, in many aspects it is a dictatorship. There are no elections and an opposition is impossible in present Tibetan society, and these are two of the main characteristics of a dictatorship.

J.C. Deus: Finally, do you think that it was a serious mistake to have chosen the present Dalai Lama? Is it possible that he may not be the actual reincarnation of his predecessor?
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: I think that political leaders should be elected democratically, and it is a mistake that the same person embodies and administers both the political and religious power of a country.

Interview with Kelsang Dewang, Buddhist Nun

The Dalai Lama makes decisions based on oracles, and dreams, and throwing little balls of dough into the air.

Despite her name, Kelsang Dewang is a Spanish nun who converted to Buddhism twenty years ago. She is the translator and personal assistant of the leader of the New Kadampa Tradition. As a practitioner of the deity Dorje Shugden, her voice has been listened to in this controversy, and presents a serious and critical point-of-view about the historical roots of Tibetan Buddhism and the present role of the Dalai Lama.

J.C. Deus: You are a practitioner of Dorje Shugden, a deity that is accused of being a demon and of taking the souls of those who worship him.
Kelsang Dewang: No, he is not a demon. He is a protector of Dharma and these protectors, by definition, are emanations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas (realised and liberated beings), and the practitioner relies on them seeking help to attain spiritual realisations. Shugden is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom and one of the main protectors of the Gelugpa tradition.

J.C. Deus: Are we in fact facing a political conflict and a battle for power which is obscured by an apparent religious confrontation?
Kelsang Dewang: It could be, religion and politics are very much mixed in Tibetan society. The truth is that the Gelugpa Tradition is the most widespread and the most successful, and this always gives rise to jealousy and envy. It is a conflict that has its roots in the XVII century, but it is dreadful to bring these resentments into the present. It does not matter that some people think that Dorje Shugden is a spirit and others think that he is a Buddha. In democratic countries we have freedom, and we should also respect those who have different views to us. Besides this, they cannot prove that Dorje is an evil spirit. When they try to, they only tell superstitious stories. If someone has a bad dream, if someone gets sick, if the crops are not good, or if a Lama falls off a bicycle and dies, all these are blamed on Dorje Shugden. Just recently a young girl in Dharamsala was raped, and they immediately said that the perpetrator was a follower of Dorje Shugden. Tibetan culture is very superstitious, but this has nothing to do with Buddhism. Buddhism and Tibetan culture are two different things, and we have to learn carefully to unwrap the precious treasure of Dharma from the dirty wrappings in which we have received it.

J.C. Deus: It seems that the attack is not limited to Lama Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and to the New Kadampa Tradition, but that they are also trying to discredit the whole Gelugpa tradition by forbidding the essential practices of this tradition. News has been heard that some of the Lamas of this lineage have been discredited. Are there any details of this situation?
Kelsang Dewang: It has been said that they have started to suppress the practice of Lama Chöpa, and that the Dalai Lama has also publicly criticised the famous Jamyang Shaypa. But the principal objects of the attack are the lamas that have brought the Gelugpa tradition into the present day, Pabongkha Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. This criticism implies that they were not realised beings, but were ordinary beings with delusions, so it would follow that their teachings lack blessings and are not valid. From this it would follow that the Gelugpa Tradition is a degenerate path. But the paradox is that the Dalai Lama himself was educated as a Gelugpa, and received all his instructions from Trijang Rinpoche, his root guru, whom he now criticises. In reality, in Tibetan society there has never been any democracy. In the VIIth century in Tibet they threw criminals over a cliff, and in the XXth century the way of punishing those who oppose the Government has not changed so much, even in exile.

Before the present Dalai Lama escaped to India, members of his government assassinated the great Gelugpa Lama Reting Rinpoche. He was poisoned in 1947, after it was decided that to throw him over a cliff was not an appropriate way to kill a lama of such rank. And this lama was killed just because he did not agree with the government’s activities. Because of these reprisals, Tibetans are forced to wear two masks: with one they smile to the Dalai Lama, and with the other they criticise him. All the power is held by the Private Office of the Dalai Lama and its orders have to be followed at all costs. No one has the opportunity to express a different view. This institution [the Private Office] is in charge of passing on information to the people. When it criticises someone for holding different views, and that person does not retract his views or keep silent, he will start receiving threats. Many people feel unhappy for other reasons also. For example, the Dalai Lama and his government have spent the last twenty six years fund-raising for the purpose of Tibetan independence, but now the Dalai Lama says that he is not interested in the independence of Tibet, so for this reason many people feel that they have been cheated.

J.C. Deus: What is the relationship between the Dalai Lama and other schools and traditions?
Kelsang Dewang: The Dalai Lama has a very bad relationship with the other main Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Kagyupas. Recently they underwent a lot of suffering due to the interference of the Dalai Lama in the choice of the reincarnation of the new Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupas. The Dalai Lama forced the recognition of a boy that the Chinese authorities had recognised as the new Karmapa, but the Kagyupas had already found a boy they believed to be the true incarnation. Besides, the Dalai Lama has no power to recognise officially this reincarnation and in doing so, he has divided the Kagyupas into two main factions: those who follow the Dalai Lama and those who follow Shamar Rinpoche, the lama in charge of recognising the Karmapas. Consequently, the Tibetan Government has done everything possible to make this lama another pariah. In Gelugpa society, the problems created by the ban of the practice of Dorje Shugden has forced many lamas and monks, who cannot accept abandoning their religious practice, to escape to Nepal or Mongolia. Many monks demonstrated, and several of them were expelled from their monasteries.

J.C. Deus: Nechung is the spirit protector of the Dalai Lama. How does he manifest?
Kelsang Dewang: Nechung is a worldly spirit, they say so themselves. Tibetans like spirits and divinations very much. In the New Kadampa Tradition, we do not follow these methods because we do not consider them to be truly Buddhist. In my opinion, often the medium or oracle is just a good actor. When the spirit has entered the body of the oracle, people ask questions and he replies. I find this way of answering questions incorrect and open to criticism, because often a medium will reply according to his personal interests. Also, I cannot understand why the Dalai Lama, if he is an enlightened being as some say, needs to consult a worldly spirit. The Dalai Lama decided that he had to ban the worship of Dorje Shugden following the advice he received from the spirit Nechung transmitted via a medium. The writings of the Dalai Lama confirm that he makes his decisions based on divination through oracles, dream interpretation and throwing little balls of dough into the air. Considering that his internal and external political activities are based on these methods of discrimination, we should not be surprised that in all these years in exile he has [only] managed mainly to become one of the idols of Hollywood stars. Besides, the spirit Nechung is notorious for making many mistakes. The 13th Dalal Lama died because Nechung gave him poison by mistake.

J.C. Deus: Do you think that the Dalai Lama has degenerated?
Kelsang Dewang: A being of high realisations cannot degenerate. There is a point on the spiritual path when it is impossible to go backwards. It is not possible for the Dalai Lama to be a Buddha and then to degenerate; therefore, the only possibility is that he is an ordinary being and his actions are showing it. A real Buddhist does not need to be afraid of spirits, so why should he be?

J.C. Deus



Spanish author José Catalán Deus is renowned for having worked with the likes of CNN, and other big name newspapers and magazines. He has even published book after book of historical reporting, giving factual accounts of events and issues. His article in a 1997 issue of the Mas Alla magazine is no different. Aiming to fulfil the magazine’s aim to report on events and matters regarding religion, spiritual affairs, and metaphysics, he has provided a balanced, unbiased overview of a somewhat tricky situation – the conflict surrounding the practice of Dorje Shugden, as orchestrated by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala). Published well before the height of this coordinated ban, the article is free from the CTA’s machinations to hide the truth.

The CTA have long spewed the false claim that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche did not practice Dorje Shugden but as Deus reports, this is not even close to the truth of the matter. He clearly interviewed the right people and as an independent commentator, discovered that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche did in fact practice Dorje Shugden and has even composed prayers to the deity. In fact, it was not only Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, the senior tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama who practised the deity, but Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the junior tutor to the Dalai Lama as well. The CTA often claim that these two primary teachers of the Dalai Lama were not involved with the practice, but as Deus’s objective reporting clearly indicates, they both in fact did practice. And Deus has no recourse to lie or take sides on the matter, as such a blunder would have ruined his reporting career – neither he himself nor the magazine he was writing for were linked to Tibetan Buddhism in any way, and therefore have no reason to report either in support for or against the Dorje Shugden ban.

The very fact that an unbiased author, in a matter-of-fact reporting manner, reaffirmed the truth that both tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama practised Dorje Shugden, undermined the CTA and exposed them for what they are – liars. What they propagate is nothing near the truth, and here it has been exposed for all to see.

You can scroll down to page 33 of the magazine to see where José Catalán Deus specifically mentions that Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche both practised Dorje Shugden.

The cover of the September 1997 issue of Mas Alla magazine in which the article by José Catalán Deus was published. Click to enlarge.

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José Catalán Deus highlights the fact that both Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche were practitioners of Dorje Shugden here on page 33 of the magazine. The sentence in English reads “Among famous Lamas who have already passed away, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche, the tutors of the Dalai Lama, were probably the most renowned figures who worshipped the controversial deity and protector Dorje Shugden.” Click to enlarge.

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  1. Yes! He is a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing or an Emperor with No Robe to cover his misdeeds!

  2. How troubling that such a childlike and self-justifying man should hold indefinite sway over the hearts and minds of Tibet.

    Here in my native Manhattan, Tibetan followers of the Dalai Lama violently attacked mostly Western Dorje practitioners who were protesting for religious freedom. Ultimately, the protesters had to be evacuated for their own safety. If that’s how the Dalai Lama’s followers act HERE, how can we imagine the violent persecution that dissidents face in India?

  3. There were may accusations thrown at NKT saying Dorje Shugden is a Demon and Setanic Cult. Until a nun from NKT Kelsang Dewang requested J.C. Deus of Manjushri Buddhist Centre to stay over in the Mansion a few hours from London. Wow! the NKT centre is huge. If NKT have not have such strong supporters there won’t be such a huge Mansion as a centre. Upkeeping will also have to be done by the members. J.C. Deus stayed over in the centre and met Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and nun Kelsang Dewang. He asks a lot of questions and experience whether the centre is a Demon house. J.C. Deus then concluded that the accusations against the practice of Dorje Shugden is false and the Deity is actually harmless but helps a lot of people.

  4. Mr. Mila Rangzen says the head of the Tibetan exiled govt is a sexual predator

    Since 2011, Lobsang Sangay’s tenure as the President of the Central Tibetan Administration has been mired with various scandals and failures, such as the election scandal and the US$1.5 million loan scandal. The 17% unemployment rate among the Tibetans in exile has also forced some Tibetans to become spies, betraying their host country India. Now, in more shocking news from Mila Rangzen, who has been proven to have access to a lot of insider news, Lobsang Sangay has been revealed to be a sexual predator who does not hesitate to risk the Dalai Lama’s reputation to satisfy his lust. More women and people are speaking up about this. This is really breaking news. These women deserve a platform to express the pain and humiliation and be open to heal.

    Mila Rangzen has, on numerous occasions, shared extremely accurate and reliable news for the benefit of the Tibetan community. He has never failed us with the accuracy of the news and they have all proven to be true. Mila seems to not be afraid to tell the truth.

    All the victims of the sexual predator Lobsang Sangay should not keep quiet anymore and must expose him once and for all. He should be punished for his actions and asked to step down from his position now! The victims should be empowered by this and speak up and point the finger at Lobsang Sangay if this is true. Do not stay in the dark and hide your shame because Lobsang Sangay is destroying the reputation of the Dalai Lama.

    President Sangay and the sexual assault on Ms Leslie Butterfield
    February 21, 2018
    Just as you, the reader, I am also very concerned about the direction that LS is taking the Tibetan community towards.  Just as Trump he is catering to his base of fanatic Khampa sanjor ex-monk supporters leading to disharmony and divisiveness. Let me start in 2011 during the Kalachakra in Washington DC. – During the Kalachakra from July 6-16th, LS also visited as is normal for him to bask in the glory of His Holiness.  An intern, Leslie Butterfield, at the ICT was assigned to him to assist him in his meetings and moving around DC.  Ms. Butterfield was in her early 20s then and a very attractive young woman who supported His Holiness and the Tibetan cause with her whole heart and being.  She is known to have been a very active participant in numerous activities to further the cause of Tibet and spread the work of compassion of His Holiness.
    It was the night of July 11th that LS physically assaulted her in his hotel room.  The next day she reported this to Mary Beth Markey, the then President of ICT.  There were others in the office who were also made aware of the incident of the previous night. Ms. Butterfield was convinced by Marybeth and others in the ICT not to file charges against LS using the name of HH as an emotional blackmail.  That she would be sullying the name of His Holiness if she was to file a complaint.  She was pressured into not filing a complaint which makes people at ICT complicit in a cover-up.  With so many women coming out with sexual abuse charges it may be time for Ms. Butterfield to come out too.
    She is now married with a child.  Maura Mohinyan comes to mind as someone capable of convincing her to come forward.  Maura as I know her has in-depth knowledge of LS dealings.
    During his last visit to NY and DC along with Kaydor, he had a meeting with the Tibet Fund regarding the $1.5 mil loan.  He is pressurizing TF to write off the loan before the parliament session begins in March so as to prove his point that it was a grant and not a loan even though existing documents show the money as a loan which I have written in depth.  During the meeting, he emotionally blackmailed the TF saying that he was going to ask HH for the money so that it is paid back to the TF just to prove that it was not a loan even though paying it back means it was a loan.  He explicitly asked the TF “if they were comfortable taking money from HH”.  There are ongoing talks between TF and OoT, DC on his behalf about this money.
    His exact words are in the minutes of the meeting at the TF which shall be released here in the next article as it pertains to the interest of the Tibetan people and political corruption.  It is common knowledge in India that HH is very disappointed, to say the least, with LS and the way he is using his office for personal glorification.  The only audience he got was in Gaya after months of trying to see HH.  He has no shame and had the audacity to ask HH to mediate and solve the loan issue.  HH’s response is one of pin-drop silence.
    There are numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power in Dharamshala but all will not come out openly for fear of retribution as you and I know how the law works in India.  A spark/catalyst is much needed if these women are to get justice and it is where my role begins.


  5. President Sangay launches attacks on Mila Rangzen
    February 28, 2018
    Like a true citizen of Tibet, I have been critical of powers that be including LS as the president of CTA on policy, conduct, nepotism, regionalism, transparency, and accountability and the price I am paying is his personal attacks on me using his stooges today. What triggered the attacks is this informative piece I wasn’t surprised because I was expecting it from a touchy vindictive man like him.
    However, it’s encouraging to be noticed and I will continue to speak up for our people and for our cause stronger than ever. Rights and responsibilities are not properties that belong only to the President, ministers and the parliamentarians. It also belongs to us –the people. Anyone who implies otherwise is either a fool or a threat to democracy and freedom around the world.
    The details of the attacks will be released in the next article.
    Till then stay strong and be determined to pay any price and when necessary make them pay a heavy price too for treading on a king cobra taking care of rats that are destroying our crops.
    This too shall pass!


  6. Tibetan govt in exile is corrupt, liars, segregationalists, greedy, bigots and this is what they do when Dalai Lama is alive. After Dalai Lama is no more, the whole Tibetan govt in exile will just collapse overnight.

    They lost their country in 1959 because they are too corrupt to keep it. For the last 60 years they cannot get their country back. Tibetan govt is a failure whether in Tibet or in exile.👎


  7. Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist.


  8. Lhatse Lobsang, the President of Utsang Yargay Tsokpa, warns the elected leaders including the Sikyong Lobsang Sangye/Tibetan leaders and members of the parliament of his self-immolation in protest if they don’t resolve the termination issue in the coming March parliamentary sessions. Tibetans in India are so unhappy with their Tibetan government in exile in North India, they wish to self-immolate in protest. This would spell big disaster for the corrupt Tibetan government in exile in India.

    Utsang monk warrior warns President Sangay of self-immolation
    March 4, 2018 | Mila Rangzen
    It is no secret His Holiness the Dalai Lama was disappointed with the 2016 Sikyong election that was marked by Khampa negative regionalism that caused disharmony and division in our small community that is surviving on handouts from Indian and foreign individuals, NGOs, and governments for the past six decades.
    Actually, it was the 18,000 Utsang people who voted for Khampa Lobsang Sangay that made him win but in return Khampa fanatics, to say thank you,  gifted gang intimidation, criminal threats, insults, death threats and violence to the Utsang people.
    As if this was not bad enough, President Sangay poured gasoline on the house on fire by terminating former speaker Penpa Tsering whose mother is Utsang from the post of Representative at Washington DC on November 6, 2017, without any valid reasons.
    Lhatse Lobsang, the President of Utsang Yargay Tsokpa, warns the elected leaders including the Sikyong and members of the parliament of his self-immolation in protest if they don’t resolve the termination issue in the coming March parliamentary sessions.


  9. What impresses me is that J.C. Deus, a renowned Spanish author and newscaster is interested to find out about rumours that are negative about Dorje Shugden.

    J.C.Deus’ realisation that Dorje Shugden is not a demon as claimed by the Dalai Lama and his government, is great credit to an author who seeks the truth.

    Truth is what authors with integrity seek and always find to write with honesty and integrity.

  10. The Nepalese officials have again turned down permission for Tibetan refugees to commemorate the Tibetan uprising day in order to protect its alliance with the Chinese Communist Party, which has proven to be more beneficial to Nepal as compared to supporting the Tibetan refugees.

    The Nepal Chief District Officer issued a written notice in 2005 to the Representative of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Refugees Welfare Office (TRWO) in Kathmandu to suspend both offices, ending a 45 years partnership to care for some 2,500 Tibetan refugees who would transit in Nepal from Tibet. This move was a lesson to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) for not addressing the tensions between the Tibetans and Nepalese, as well as not contributing back to Nepal for as long as they have been there. The fact that the Tibetan refugees continue to protest on March 10 is a perfect example in which they will jeopardise the relationship between Nepal and China, who is now the top assistance providers to Nepal. The Tibetan refugees are forever taking, and never reciprocating the favour has proven to be an ineffective way of dealing with the Nepalese as they feel they are taken for granted always.

    Nepal to ban March 10 Tibetan uprising day events
    Thursday, March 08, 2018 19:49 | By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 8: The Tibetan refugee community in Nepal will not be allowed to commemorate the anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising day due this Saturday, after Nepalese officials turned down the permission to hold any “protests” or “public gathering” by Tibetans on the day.
    An official notice sent out by the Central Tibetan Administration’s ‘Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office’ in Kathmandu on Wednesday, appealed to Tibetans in Nepal to refrain from organizing protests or public gatherings on the day and instead pray from their homes.
    The notice stated that the Nepalese officials have turned down permission to commemorate the Tibetan uprising day this year as well like the previous years in the near past and that refugee Tibetans should abide by the laws of the land.
    The official appeal is most likely, in anticipation to avoid any violent interruption by Nepalese police towards Tibetan refugees, as were seen after 2008 when the tension was at its height following alliance between Beijing and Kathmandu. Over 200 peaceful Tibetan protesters were arrested on 10th March 2008 and over 1,100 Tibetans arrested prior to the Beijing Olympics for holding demonstrations the same year. 
    Tibetan refugees have been subjected to clampdown by Nepalese police over the years on this day, which marks the uprising of the Tibetan people in Tibet in 1959 against the colonial Chinese rule.
    Nepal, a tiny Himalayan nation wedged between occupied Tibet and India was once a sanctuary for Tibetan refugees. Until the late eighties, the Nepalese government issued RC (Registration certificate) to Tibetans who came from Tibet as well as their children. A “gentlemen’s agreement” to continue allowing Tibetan refugees to cross over into India was struck between the government of Nepal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1989 following the Kathmandu government refusal to give refugee status to Tibetans.
    However, that agreement has since been pushed aside after Nepal started receiving a lucrative patronage from China. The influx of Tibetan refugees has been severely restricted with the once average of 2000 immigrants a year dropping to a lowly 200 since 2008 Uprising in Tibet. In an extreme case of heavy handedness, 18 Tibetans including some children in 2003, and 3 Tibetans in 2010 were detained by Nepalese police and handed over to Chinese authorities in Tibet.
    Nepal which is home to more than 20,000 Tibetans who either came across the border or were born to settlers, are finding it hard to sustain a free and normal existence. The Nepalese government’s treatment of the Tibetan refugees has taken a turn for the worse in the last few years with China pumping in cheap interest loans and relaxed FDR (Foreign Direct Investment) schemes in exchange for its will to be imposed. China’s FDR in Nepal has shot to $128 million in 2015 up from $24 million in 2014 besides perks such as a fleet of Mercedes SUVs.

    Nepal to ban March 10 Tibetan Uprising Day Event

  11. Indian and Chinese foreign ministries have both made statements thawing relations between the two Asian giants. Determined to improve ties between the countries, the Indian government is taking steps to ensure nothing jeopardizes their efforts. First, they told their officials to distance themselves from the Tibetans, and then the planned #ThankyouIndia2018 events were moved from New Delhi (India’s political capital) to the out of the way Dharamsala.

    Now, even Chinese ministers are hoping for improved relations, bringing stability to the volatile region. The Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant need to dance in order to become stronger said the Chinese Foreign Minister.

    Will this be the end of India’s support of the Tibetans? What will they do next?

    China’s foreign minister suggests ‘Chinese dragon’ and ‘Indian elephant’ should dance, not fight

    NEW DELHI — A pair of statements from the Chinese and Indian foreign ministries this week appeared to show an opening in relations between Asia’s most powerful rivals, long competitors on trade and territory.

    “The Chinese ‘dragon’ and the Indian ‘elephant’ must not fight each other, but dance with each other,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on Thursday. If the two countries joined hands, he said, “one plus one will equal not only two, but also eleven,” referring to how powerful they would be together.

    On Friday, India foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed that stronger ties “are a factor of stability amid today’s global uncertainties” at a meeting at Xiamen in September 2017.

    “We are willing to work with the Chinese side to develop our relations based on commonalities, while dealing with differences on the basis of mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations,” Kumar said at a news conference in New Delhi.

    Relations between the two countries have been fraught in recent months, as tensions escalated over border issues and Tibet, a semiautonomous region of China. But the statements could suggest willingness to cooperate.

    “I don’t think it’s a fundamental shift in the relationship,” said Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow of the Royal United Services Institute.

    “We are still looking at broad strategic competition between China and India, which stretches over the Himalayas and into the Indian Ocean. The statement doesn’t mean India is any less concerned on the Belt and Road initiative or the China-Pakistan economic corridor, but India does not want those disagreements to undermine relations,” he said, referring to China’s flagship program to increase connectivity in central, west and south Asia. New Delhi has refused to back the initiative, raising concerns it could directly link its two bordering strategic foes — China and Pakistan.

    Earlier this week, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharam said in parliament that both countries had redeployed troops at Doklam, the contested site of an intense standoff between the two countries last year.

    “The strength of both sides have been reduced,” she said, adding that the Chinese army had started the construction of sentry posts, helipads and trenches in the area.

    The statements came after unconfirmed reports in Indian media this week that senior government officials were asked not to attend events to mark the Dalai Lama’s 60th year in exile from China. Events for the Buddhist leader — whom China considers a dangerous separatist — were moved from New Delhi to the Himalayan city of Dharamsala, headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

    “India and China recognize that they can’t afford to let these disagreements erupt into open conflict,” Joshi said. “Diffusing Tibet issue for now is one for India to signal that’s what it wants to do.”

    China’s foreign minister suggests ‘Chinese dragon’ and ‘Indian elephant’ should dance

  12. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) should really learn from Nepal. Aligning with Chinese policy is necessary if you wish for growth and economic stability. The Dalai Lama was recently quoted to say, “We want to stay with China. We want more development.”

    Nepal has developed so much since collaborating with China, with China now contributing to around 58 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) commitments received by Nepal. China has promised that areas of mutual cooperation with Nepal would be expanded in the days to come.

    ‘Nepal committed to One-China Policy’
    Published: March 08, 2018 1:01 pm | RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI
    Kathmandu, March 7
    Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel said Nepal was committed to One-China Policy.
    Minister Pokhrel said this during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong at the former’s office in Singha Durbar. He also said the relations between the armies of the two countries could also be expanded.
    Minister Pokhrel assured the Chinese ambassador that all agreements between the governments of the two countries would be implemented. He also hoped that the Chinese government would continue to provide support for infrastructure development in the country.
    According to spokesperson for the defence ministry Rishiraj Rajbhandari, Ambassador Hong congratulated the minister and expressed belief that China’s friendly relations with Nepal would be further enhanced during the government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
    Areas of mutual cooperation would be expanded in the days to come, said the Chinese ambassador. The meeting was also attended by Defence Secretary Binod KC, senior Nepali Army officials and officials from the foreign ministry.

    Nepal committed to One-China Policy

  13. Not only was the thankyouindia2018 forced to move back to McLeodganj, the Tibetans are warned to keep the event low key! BJP leadership, including L K Advani and Shanta Kumar, and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had been invited for the event in Delhi but none of them replied to the invitation. Apart from the change of venue now, new invitation list has to be prepared. It is clear that the Indian government is distancing itself from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and they will do what is necessary to mend their ties with China.

    Post-venue shift from Delhi, Tibetans to keep event low key in McLeodganj

    Shri Puri| TNN | Updated: Mar 7, 2018, 11:08 IST
    DHARAMSHALA: The event cancellation in Delhi has forced a change of plans in the Tibetan administration and the shifting of venue to McLeodganj. The ‘Thank You India’ event, which was aimed to mark 60 years in-exile of the Dalai Lama, will now be organized in the hill town on March 31.
    The venue was shifted to Dharamshala after the foreign secretary wrote a note to the cabinet secretary on February 22, asking government functionaries and senior leaders to skip the Tibetan event in view of “sensitive time” for India and China relations.
    On Tuesday, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) president Lobsang Sangay reached here from Delhi via early morning flight but avoided the media. ‘Thank You India’ programme was the brain child of CTA. Beginning March 31 at Rajghat in New Delhi with an inter-faith meeting, this year-long event was to end on December 10, 2018.
    Confirming that the event has been shifted to Dharamshala, Tibetan department of information and international relations secretary Dhardon Sharling told TOI, “We do not know the reason, but we have received information that the event has been shifted to Dharamshala from Delhi. This is a minor change, but is being interpreted wrongly. There are no differences between the Indian government and the Tibetan leadership.”
    The Tibetan administration is now in talks with the HPCA to organise its event at the cricket stadium, confirmed HPCA spokesman Sanjay Sharma.
    The Dalai Lama’s office, too, maintained a distance on this issue, with the Tibetan leader’s private secretary Tenzin Takla saying the CTA was managing the event. “We have not received any invitation yet. The Tibetan administration is dealing with all this, not the Dalai Lama’s office,” he said.
    Sources revealed that top BJP leadership, including L K Advani and Shanta Kumar, had been invited for the event in Delhi. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was also among those invited. However, confirmation had not come in from anyone. Now, after the change in venue, the Tibetan government is preparing a new list of invitees for the event, they added.
    Asked about China’s pressure on India on this issue, CTA official spokesperson Sonam Dagpo said relations between the two neighbouring countries were important for the world, particularly for South Asian countries. “We don’t feel that the Indian government was under pressure from China,” he said. “We don’t feel this would have any kind of impact the Tibetan movement,” Dagpo added.

    Post-venue shift from Delhi

  14. It is very clear by now that the Indian Government does not want the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)’s thank you. No matter how the CTA orchestrates the propaganda campaign to please India, it is very clear that the Indian Government had enough of the Tibetans and are making effort to distance itself from the CTA. Although India will continue to support His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his spiritual works, the distinctions between His Holiness and the CTA is made very clear. Looking at the trend, we may be able to speculate that the Indian Government’s plan for the next few years is to end decades of support to the CTA and its people, eventually clearing all Tibetan refugees from India.

    Why Tibetans Shouldn’t Be Offended by India’s Snub to Dalai Lama
    When you thank a person for his or her hospitality or a favour done or courtesy shown to you, that person’s usual and expected response is “You are most welcome.”
    In the lead-up to a major year-long Thank You India event to commemorate 60 years in exile and to take place across India and organised by the Central Tibetan Administration, the government of India’s response seems to be “We don’t want your thank you.”
    As reported, the cabinet secretary of the union government issued a circular advising central and state leaders and officials not to attend any ‘Thank You, India’ event. The Central Tibetan Administration was advised to move the highlight of the event from New Delhi to Dharamsala.
    India’s Diplomatic Tip-Toeing Should Not Distract the Tibetan Refugees
    This is the trending topic among Tibetans on social media. Tibetans have expressed their disappointment, suspecting a shift in the attitude of the government of India to the Tibetan cause.
    But they shouldn’t be disappointed, and there is no shift in the Indian government’s policy to the issue of Tibet.
    In fact, India’s diplomatic tip-toeing around the issue of Tibet should not distract the Tibetan refugees from the Indian government’s massive, consistent and unstinting support to them. With India’s support and under the Dalai Lama’s guidance, the Tibetan refugees have been able to establish a productive and cohesive community serviced by schools, settlements, hospitals, clinics, old people’s homes, monasteries and higher learning centres, all centrally or autonomously supervised by the Central Tibetan Administration.
    More importantly, India’s tolerance and hospitality has given space to Tibetan refugees to re-energise and revitalise the institutions, values and disciplines of Tibet’s Buddhist heritage. This ability to re-establish Tibet’s cultural and spiritual heritage in India has attracted students and scholars from areas which once came within the ambit of Tibet’s Buddhist civilisation. The Dalai Lama’s tireless travel and his message of peace and compassion have drawn new students and scholars to India from across the world.
    Some scholars call the ability of Tibetan refugees to plant the roots of cultural Tibet in India “one of the miracles of the twentieth century.”
    What the next generation of Tibetans does with this gift given to them by the Dalai Lama and India will test the mettle on which depends the continued survival of Tibet outside of the plateau.
    As for the government of India’s policy to Tibet is concerned, that was settled in 1954. That year, India and China signed the Panchsheel agreement in which India recognised Tibet as an autonomous part of the People’s Republic of China.
    Against this historical background, how the government of India will continue to view the exile community will depend on the Tibetan refugees themselves. How they conduct themselves, how they use the enormous freedom granted to them, and how they use the same energy to strengthen their cultural and community cohesion will shape the central government’s view.
    As for the Indian public, there is a groundswell of sympathy and support generated by the Dalai Lama. This support and sympathy should never be squandered.
    (Thubten Samphel is the director of the Tibet Policy Institute, a research centre of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala. The opinions expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

    Why Tibetans Shouldn’t Be Offended by Indian Snub

  15. Although both China and India are seen as giants, India has been seen submitting to China more and more. The relocation of “Thank You India” event from Delhi to Dharamsala and Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha’s note to Indian officials to not attend the event because it is a “very sensitive time” for bilateral relations with China both clearly show that India is bending backwards to please China. And they are definitely not going to entertain Lobsang Sangay anymore because the Tibet issue is no longer a trump card for India. 

    Lobsang Sangay said not long ago that an official usually wants to do something big in their last term of office so that people will remember them. In this case, he will forever be remembered for his incapability and his focus on building closer ties with young women, such as Dhardon Sharling, instead of significant diplomatic ties. He has done a lot of big things in his last term as the President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) but none of these shows any leadership characteristics whatsoever. These include:

    1) The sacking of Penpa Tsering to evade the Tibet Fund loan scandal of US$1.5 million. He even tried to push the loan on to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to settle on his behalf. 

    2) Allowing a downsized, low-key #thankyouindia2018 event to celebrate 60 years of exile, something which Dhardon Sharling, the Secretary of Department of Information and International Relations, claimed to have no idea as to why the events were shifted. 

    3) Allowing fake monk Tenzin Dhonden to use His Holiness’ fame to conduct dubious activities including being involved in a cult and sex scandals.

    4) Losing India’s half-century worth of support towards the CTA and its people for his ungrateful attitude. Instead, he focused on filling up his own pockets instead of thinking of the welfare of the Tibetans in exile. 

    Lobsang Sangay’s intention to take on the role as the President of the CTA is clear and his best ‘achievements’ definitely outshine his predecessors as inept failures.

    No need to thank India — just grow up a little
    By Lobsang Wangyal | MCLEOD GANJ, India, 13 March 2018
    While the Doklam issue was heating up in June 2017, the Indian media was kept busy, and that in turn kept the public busy. I also had many discussions over this issue. I remember one with two young Indian men who were saying that India is not the same 1962 India, that it has changed and become powerful. They boasted that in case of a war India could take on China easily. So I followed that thought to its logical conclusion, saying “sure, there should be a war between India and China, then we will know for sure who is more powerful.” When it came to walking the talk, the two retreated from their strong position and changed their tone, now making it seem that I was promoting war, and was against India.
    The Doklam stand-off resulted from an attempt by China to extend a road into an area claimed by both China and Bhutan. I was expecting that India would stand up for itself and launch a “surgical strike”, putting an end to the confrontation. But after a military face-off and many diplomatic engagements, going on for close to three months, it all fizzled out without coming to a military conflict, as India and China agreed to withdraw their armies. (In the meantime, Indians learned what Doklam means in Tibetan — Path of the Nomads.)
    China contains India
    China’s road extension is a cause of concern for India because it would shorten the distance for the Chinese army to reach India’s strategically vulnerable ‘Chicken’s Neck’ area — the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow stretch of land located in the Indian state of West Bengal that connects India’s northeastern states to the rest of India.
    After the situation cooled off, reports started to emerge that China had built military facilities in the very same area. But the Government of India said that the status quo at the site of last year’s face-off still held. It dismissed reports of any Chinese activities in the area.
    In the competition for global player China has succeeded in containing India through diplomacy, economically, strategically, as well as outright bullying. China takes a contrary position to India wherever possible, and blocks India’s rightful places in UN councils. It is well known that China has invested heavily in the neighbouring countries of India. India’s neighbouring countries have more Chinese influence than Indian. China flexes its muscles without resistance in places such as the South China Sea, Doklam, and Aksai Chin. It complains whenever possible about anything perceived to be “anti-China”. It goes even to the extreme that due to China’s influence, Pakistan politicians have suggested that Mandarin be taught in the schools.
    So China has always created problems for India, yet somehow India seems to feel that China is its friend, and that China will benefit and support India — will give business, recognition, and support. So far nothing of this has happened — in fact, the opposite.
    India submits to China
    Tibet is India’s best card against China, and India plays it but in a very confusing way. By volunteering the statement that Tibet is part of China, without even any pressure from China to do so, India has wasted this trump card, and received nothing in return. Yet the boundary issues have not been solved, and China doesn’t allow India to take its position on the global stage. China has made sure that all India’s neighbours are closer to it than to India.
    India seems to be submitting to China more all the time. What is India trying to achieve by this? The latest sign of submission is India’s objection to the “Thank You India” event planned in Delhi by the Central Tibetan Administration. A series of events were to follow throughout the year. First the Government of India asked its officials not to attend it, and then apparently India objected to holding the opening event in Delhi at all.
    Perhaps Sangay received a dressing-down from officials of MEA, when he interrupted his schedule to hurry to Delhi after India’s objection to the event. It is unclear if he was summoned by MEA or he went voluntarily to do some damage control.
    This whole incident only shows a weak India, losing the contest of superiority with China, and lowering India’s image on the global stage. And on the flip side of the coin, it showed that the Government of India is not in favour of Sangay’s moves.
    Why “Thank You India” now?
    In 2009, Tibetans had their “Thank You India”, a sort of “Golden Jubilee”, when Tibetans marked 50 years of life in exile. The Dalai Lama, then as both the political and spiritual leader, in his “Thank You India” address said, “Overall India has given us the greatest moral and material support. Looking back over the past 50 years, we feel confident that we made the right choice when we sought refuge in India.”
    Was that “Thank you” not enough? Did India ask for more? I am lost why are we doing it again. 50 years is a milestone — to do it again 10 years later seems gratuitous.
    Also there is the expense. The Tibetan administration is asking for funds for their museum project. All the money that would go for (well, be wasted on) these “Thank you” events could be used for the museum project. Although, the effectiveness of this project is debatable: Whether a museum on the premises of CTA, at some distance from McLeod Ganj where most of the tourists are, would get near as many visitors as the current conveniently-located site. This is altogether another matter for discussion.
    Grow up a little
    One domino effect of Sangay’s superfluous actions is that now the CTA had to indefinitely postpone the World Parliamentarian’s Convention on Tibet, which had been planned to be held at the end of April in Delhi.
    The Government of India has clearly signalled that they are not in favour of Sangay’s moves. The exile Cabinet led by Sangay needs to do a retrospection and learn from this experience — that some press coverage and flowery Facebook posts for a little hype don’t help anything. CTA is the hope and heart of six million Tibetans. We need to see some maturity in it.
    Didn’t Sangay himself say not long ago, that an official always wants to do something big in their last term of office that people will remember him by? No-need-to-thank-india-just-grow-up-a-little-bit-2018-03-13

  16. India has lost significant support from Nepal, especially since Nepal’s devastating earthquake in 2015 when China gave the country funds for aid and rebuilding infrastructure. It is now losing its grip more and more, such as in its internet monopoly, now threatened by alternatives from China. China is making inroads into Nepal aggressively. India, which originally thought of China as a friend, can only sit by and watch China exert its influence and power further, such as improving telecommunications and building railway extensions from the border with Nepal and Yadong across Sikkim, to Kathmandu and Lumbini. 

    Nepal and India have historically enjoyed good ties and strong trade relations and if India does not take advantage of this fast-closing window of opportunity, China will be successful in wooing Nepal. Kathmandu already signed trade and transit agreements with Beijing in March 2016. This gave Nepal an alternative route for its trade and supplies. As China builds a stronghold in Nepal, it will continue achieving its strategic objective of eliminating Indian influence and curbing the Tibetan refugee population.

    China rises in Nepal, eyes Lumbini
    By JAYADEVA RANADE | NEW DELHI | 11 March, 2018
    Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli
    China’s strategic objectives include eliminating Indian influence and curbing the Tibetan refugee population.

    Consequent to the expansion of Chinese influence, the delicate balance in India’s relations are now under strain and at a crucial juncture. With a new government in Kathmandu, the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India will meet to exchange views and review relations. After Prachanda broke tradition and travelled to Beijing, instead of India, on his first visit abroad as Prime Minister, the symbolism of this gesture has diminished and it is possible that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may ignore precedence to emphasise the importance of India-Nepal ties and travel to Kathmandu first. Nevertheless, it is imperative that India makes a candid, clear-eyed assessment of the extent of Chinese influence there and state of India-Nepal ties.
    Shaping the background is China’s unmistakable imprimatur. Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli’s critical reference to India came in the midst of the political crisis in the Maldives and coincided with China’s unprovoked warnings to India against acting unilaterally in the Maldives. Just a few days ago the Pakistan Prime Minister paid a two-day visit to Kathmandu, becoming the first high level foreign leader to meet Prime Minister Oli. The visit was covered in the Chinese media. There is now no room for missteps. India should avoid accepting the sanguine argument that India and Nepal are tied by geography. Modern construction technology has unshackled the constraints of geography as amply evidenced by the transport infrastructure built by China in the inhospitable, high altitude Himalayan region.
    China’s interest in Nepal is long term. It has designated Nepal a “friend”, induced it to join Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship “Belt and Road Initiative” and offered it financial and other assistance in addition to holding out the prospect of a security arrangement. China’s strategic objectives include eliminating Indian influence and curbing the Tibetan refugee population. Mao Zedong’s well known observation, that Tibet is the palm of the hand, while Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh are its fingers, remains relevant with attendant implications for India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 
    Following Nepal’s distinct pro-Beijing tilt ever since Prachanda’s appointment as Prime Minister, China has cultivated the full spectrum of political parties and spread its influence among Nepal’s politicians, army, academia, media and businessmen. During the visit of Chinese PLA General Chen Bingde in March 2011, a section of Nepal’s media suggested that he be conferred the rank of honorary general of the Nepal Army—an honour thus far reserved for the Indian Army chief. Echoes of this were evident in Oli’s remarks on 22 February 2018, which pointedly excluded reference to the recruitment of Gorkhas by the British Army and ignored that over 125,000 Nepalis have direct links to the Indian Army. 
    China has meanwhile acquired long-term leverage in Nepal through ZTE and Huawei, both Chinese telecom companies intimately associated with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Huawei set up mobile telephone networks in Kathmandu and other cities, while ZTE upgraded Nepal Telecom’s nationwide mobile phone capacity. Earlier this month, Nepal agreed to enable use of China’s internet. 
    The network of 35 China Study Centres (CSC) strategically sited in southern Nepal along India’s border, ostensibly to popularise the Chinese language, also disseminate anti-India propaganda and reinforce traditional Chinese diplomacy. China’s propaganda offensive includes the China Radio International’s local FM radio station in Kathmandu and Nepal-China Mutual Cooperation Society (NCMCS), funded by the Chinese embassy in Nepal. 
    The game changer is, however, the Qinghai-Lhasa railway capable of carrying an estimated 7 million tonnes of cargo a year, augmented by an all-weather road network. Discussions to extend the railway, which has reached Zhangmu on the border with Nepal and Yadong across Sikkim, to Kathmandu and thence to Lumbini—barely 30 kilometres across the border from India—are fairly advanced. China’s new dual-use transportation network provides alternate routes to landlocked Nepal. 
    To create a belt of Chinese influence along Nepal’s border with Tibet, China agreed last year to provide annual subsidies totalling US$1.6 million for education, health, basic amenities and roads to residents of 15 border districts in northern Nepal. Twelve of these districts are densely populated by Himali people of Tibetan origin. Early this month the Nepal government instructed all government officials to learn Mandarin!
    China’s specific strategic focus has also been on establishing a presence in Buddha’s birthplace of Lumbini. Chinese government-sponsored NGOs have unveiled plans estimated variously at between US$1 billion and US$3 billion for the redevelopment of Lumbini, including an airport and seminary-cum-monastery. Prominent Nepal politicians have been appointed office-bearers of Chinese NGOs. The international airport and railway in Lumbini will mean the long-term presence of Chinese military personnel, who will construct, operate and maintain them. The seminary has the potential to destabilise India’s vulnerable Indo-Tibetan Himalayan Border Belt. China’s plans to make Lumbini a China-dominated hub for the “Buddhist tourism circuit” of Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath etc., will marginalise Indian businessmen and tour operators. It could lead to the “illegal” settlement of Chinese who will inevitably migrate to the Northeast. 
    India needs to quickly and effectively counter this expansion of Chinese influence and power and especially prevent Chinese dominance of Lumbini. Options are available, but the window of opportunity is fast closing. 
    Jayadeva Ranade is a former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India and is presently President of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy.


  17. Dalai rejects invite
    PTI and Our Special Correspondent Mar 13, 2018 00:00 IST
    New Delhi: The Dalai Lama will not attend the Indian Science Congress, which opens in Manipur later this week, a conference organiser said on Monday.
    The monk was one of several Nobel laureates invited as chief guests, and the organisers had earlier told The Telegraph the monk had confirmed his participation. His latest decision comes after the cancellation of an event here where he was expected.
    The event, planned at Rajghat, was meant to mark his 60th year in exile in India, but was moved to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh following a government communiqué distancing officialdom from the commemoration.
    Tibetan expatriates scaled down or cancelled several other events that had been planned to mark the occasion.
    Achyuta Samanta, general president of the Indian Science Congress Association, said the monk had expressed inability to attend the event. “We were also told that he had visited Manipur two months ago.”
    The government has side-stepped questions on its directive to officials about shunning the Tibetan celebrations. It has officially maintained that there’s been no change in India’s position on the Dalai Lama.


  18. By hosting the Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi when India-Pakistan ties are at an all-time low, Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli is telling the world that he is not afraid of India, especially after landmark trade and transit agreements were signed with China. This seems to go well with the general sentiments of the Nepali people, as Oli’s pro-China stance is wildly popular among his core constituencies.

    As mentioned in the article, New Delhi must learn to accept China’s presence in the region and to work with it. As China works on building trilateral cooperation with Nepal and India, the Tibetans will have no standing. Recently, the report that the Indian government had asked senior leaders and officials not to attend events that would mark the Tibetans’ 60 years in exile, as well as the cancellation of 2 events in Delhi, are clear signs that everyone is trying to please China. The Tibetans have no more sympathizers who will continue to support them as it risks jeopardising relations with China.

    Is This the End of India’s Influence Over Nepal?
    As India loses its clout, the Nepali prime minister asserts his country’s independent identity.
    By Biswas Baral | March 14, 2018
    KATHMANDU — There is now little doubt that India has lost strategic space to China in Nepal. Some reckon the era of “special relations” between India and Nepal is nearly over as China makes steady inroads. There has been a truly breathtaking rise in Chinese influence and a corresponding fall in Indian sway in this country of nearly 30 million. The main catalyst for the sea change? The 2015-16 India-inspired blockade of the India-Nepal border, imposed, in part, owing to India’s displeasure over the new constitution Nepal had just promulgated.
    As if to rub salt into India’s wounds Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli last week hosted Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who in the process became the first foreign head of government to visit Nepal after Oli assumed office for the second time on February 15. In the words of one geopolitical commentator, Abbasi’s visit was ill-timed. With India-Pakistan ties at an all-time low, asks this commentator, “What other purpose will it [the Pakistan prime minister’s Nepal visit] serve save for antagonizing India?”
    But that is not how most Nepalis see it. Oli knows that the more he tries to assert Nepal’s independent identity by distancing himself from India, the greater his popularity will be. Following the 2015-16 blockade. which brought great hardship to common people, the public pressure for closer ties with China has been steadily building, along with the demand that Nepal diversify its relations away from India, heretofore its predominant business partner. This is where Pakistan enters the picture.
    By hosting his Pakistani counterpart, Oli — who crested the popularity wave as a valiant blockade-time prime minister — wanted to give a clear message that he doesn’t care what the Indians think of him. After all, his China tilt is wildly popular among his core constituencies. Moreover, the common perception is that Nepal is these days not as reliant on India as it has historically been, especially after the landmark trade and transit agreements signed with China in the wake of the blockade.
    Too Little Too Late
    It is true that Oli has also sought to mend his frayed ties with New Delhi following his election as prime minister. Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj visited Kathmandu on February 1 after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a clear signal from Oli that he was ready to forget past bitterness and start anew. Earlier, when Modi called Oli to congratulate him on his re-election and invited him to visit India, Oli not only accepted the invite; he replied that he was as keen to welcome Modi to Janakpur and Muktinath, the two holy sites in Nepal Modi has long wanted to visit. The inclusion of Madhesi parties in the Oli government is expected to further ease bilateral ties. Concerns over Madhesi representation were at the core of India’s concerns over the 2015 Nepali Constitution.
    There has, moreover, been progress in negotiations on the revision of old Nepal-India treaties that many Nepalis consider unequal. According to recent news reports, India is now ready to discuss regulating the open border, and even considering allowing Nepal to import arms from third countries. India had otherwise treated these issues as non-negotiable. These negotiations may again come to a naught. Nonetheless, Nepali interlocutors in these dialogues sense a definite shift in India’s stand.
    But current efforts to revive India-Nepal relations may be a case of too little, too late. Oli knows that for his political longevity he cannot afford an openly hostile India. But at this late stage in his political career, those close to him say, all he cares about is leaving behind a strong legacy as a statesman. With his health failing, Oli knows time is not on his side.
    He seems determined to be remembered as the Nepali leader who dared to dream of a future for Nepal independently of India. But not just that. Above all, he wants to be remembered as someone who took concrete steps to turn that old Nepali dream intoa reality. This is why even before assuming office after winning recent elections, he had vowed to expedite connectivity projects with China. To show he is serious he has newly empowered the Prime Minster’s Office to personally oversee their progress.
    SAARC Attack
    There are other ways Oli can help China’s cause. During Abbasi’s Nepal visit, the two prime ministers agreed on reviving the moribund South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). India has in recent times made a concerted effort to isolate Pakistan, which is why the SAARC summit planned for 2016 in Islamabad had to be postponed indefinably. Abbasi came to Kathmandu to ask for Oli’s support for a prompt holding of the summit — and on Pakistani soil. Abbasi also in a roundabout way suggested that Nepal could mediate talks between India and Pakistan.
    India will not be pleased. The last time Nepal and Pakistan were seriously talking was on the eve of the 2014 SAARC summit in Kathmandu. Back then, the two countries had agreed to make China a full SAARC member, which had earned them the great ire of India. India has traditionally not taken kindly to any suggestion for third-party mediation on Kashmir, for example, or for China to play a greater role in SAARC.
    India nonetheless may have no option but to accept the writing on the wall. Rather than browbeat its neighbors into following its diktat, as it tried to do with the blockade — or so most Nepalis felt — New Delhi must learn to accept China’s presence in the region and to work with it. China has always supported the idea of trilateral cooperation with Nepal and India, for example with a connecting rail link via Nepal. But India has resisted the suggestion tooth and nail.
    This is not to imply that closer relations with China are unquestionably in Nepal’s interest. The political systems of the two countries are polar opposites. There is also little people-to-people engagement, even though cross-border tourism and business exchanges are growing apace. Geography too makes India Nepal’s natural development partner. It would thus be unwise to write the obituary of Indian primacy in Nepal, as some have done of late.
    But the Modi government would do well to learn from its mistakes. These days in Nepal, there is no shortage of advice for India on how it can mend its errant ways, or forever lose even its reduced clout. The consensus is that only through open and unconditional engagement with small countries in the region like Nepal and Bhutan can India have a peaceful neighborhood that is conducive to its continued economic rise.
    Biswas Baral is the editor of The Annapurna Express, published from Kathmandu. Follow him on Twitter: @biswasktm

    Is This the End of India's Influence Over Nepal?

  19. Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet!Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet!Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet! Tibetans in India go home!! Go back to Tibet!

  20. Look at these real tweets, Indians are not happy with Tibetans, questioning why India must support the Dalai Lama.




  21. More tweets of Indians talking about the Dalai Lama.




  22. More tweets of Indians not happy with the Tibetans. One even asks the Tibetans to go back to China.




  23. Indians saying Dalai Lama is anti-India and pro-China.




  24. Clearly the Indians are of the opinion that Dalai Lama’s pro-China stance is hurting Indians.




  25. See this tweet by Savita, this may be what many Indians are thinking right now.


  26. For years the Tibetan government in-exile has been suppressing Dorje Shugden practitioners and punishing them for practising by barring them from Tibetan hospitals, schools and communal gatherings. They have been severely segregated and pressed down and made into pariahs of society. They did this to scapegoat Shugden as the cause for them to fail in their job in getting Tibet back from China after 60 years in exile. Now the tables have turned. India is starting to change its stance toward the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leadership. The Indian government is starting to make friends with China and that means distancing themselves from the useless Tibetans. Too bad.

    Now the Tibetan leadership will know what it feels like to be abandoned, abused and segregated like they did for years to Dorje Shugden practitioners. Without Indian support the Tibetan government will have less power to abuse Shugden practitioners within their communities. Finally the tables have turned against the Tibetan leadership. Now it’s time for them to humble down and shut up! They better not make further trouble. They could have had hundreds of thousands of Dorje Shugden practitioners supporting the Tibetan leadership but you alienated them with your segregation and inhumane policies of segregation and now you have less and less support. Too bad. Dorje Shugden people could have supported you all but you lost it. Too bad.


  27. More and more Indians are speaking their mind, look at this tweet below. It is true that the Tibetan leadership does not get involve or support India when India faces problems, such as during the Gorkhaland and even Doklam crisis. Instead of helping, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) incite more tension by saying that what happened to Tibet could happen to India as well and that India should be worried about China’s continued military build-up in Doklam. RoyHirakesh

  28. Indians are speaking up against Tibetans now. See what t j prasad said. Tibetans live for free for decades in India while amassing massive funds from foreign aid, claiming they are refugees. talisettyprasad

  29. You cannot deny what the Indians have observed. After all, they put up with these fake refugees in their country for decades. What vikram chandra said is true, Tibetans are enjoying their good life everywhere and taking advantage of their host countries. vikramchandra26

  30. What the Tibetan leadership said is clearly seen as disrespectful and ungrateful towards the kindness shown by India for hosting the Tibetans for almost six decades now. See how upset the Indians are and what they are saying now. Partha P. Ghosh Shree Panicker Sid

  31. Policy dive: India believes it’s time to normalise ties with China
    A school of thought believes India cannot afford a conflict; its power gap with China is too large; it is neither militarily equipped nor economically positioned to take on Beijing.
    Updated: Mar 15, 2018 08:13 IST
    Over the past month, India has made a conscious effort to recalibrate ties with China. After a year of stress in the relationship, Delhi appears to feel that it is time to get ties back on track.
    Last Friday, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters India was “willing to work with the Chinese side to develop our relations based on commonalities while dealing with differences on the basis of mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations.” He also emphasised that ties between the two were important bilaterally, but also had regional and global significance.
    On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that China had noted “positive remarks by the Indian side”. He had, last week, also said, “Chinese dragon and Indian elephant must not fight each other, but dance with each other. If China and India are united, one plus one will not include two, but also 11.”
    In diplomacy, statements matter – and so does context. There is definitely a degree of positive signalling on between the two countries. The statements follow foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s visit to China last month. A note by the FS to the cabinet secretary, and his subsequent directive, that senior political leaders and government functionaries should stay away from events to commemorate Dalai Lama’s 60th anniversary in exile became public. It was widely interpreted as a move to assuage Chinese sensitivities, since Beijing views Dalai Lama with suspicion and Tibetan activities in India as political.
    A series of high-level visits are lined up between the two countries, including visits by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is buzz about a ‘high level visit’ from China.
    The debate
    There are two broad schools of thought within the Indian foreign policy establishment, and the wider strategic community, about the reset.
    The first is those who believe this is essential. The argument goes something like this. India and China have had a turbulent time over the past few years. China’s decision to block India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG); its position on black-listing Masood Azhar in UN; India’s opposition to China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative; and its deepening strategic engagement with Washington and positions on South China Sea have all contributed to trust deficit. The standoff in Doklam was a big blow to ties. And while an accident —in terms of a larger conflict — was averted, it showed the dangers inherent in the relationship.
    India cannot afford a conflict; its power gap with China is too large; it is neither militarily equipped nor economically positioned to take on Beijing; the US — under President Trump — is not a reliable partner. And thus, while protecting core interests like in Doklam, there must be an effort to normalise ties and build trust. It does not help to make China insecure.
    The second school of thought does not want confrontation either. But it believes that any effort to reset actually smells of weakness and could well reduce India’s leverage further. They hold that recent tensions are due to Chinese assertiveness – a result of its growing power and a reflection of President Xi Jinping’s personality. China’s deepening political engagement with India’s South Asian periphery; its expansion in Pakistan; its aggression on the land borders and Doklam are all instances of this new Chinese mood, which hurt India.
    In this backdrop, any ‘appeasement’ of China will embolden it further. India thus has no choice but to hold strong to any ‘cards’ it may have, including Tibet. It must bet on deepening strategic partnership with US as well as other countries with the ability to take on China. It must qualitatively step up the Quad (an initiative of India, Japan, US, Australia). And it must not worry about Chinese reactions. If anyone, it is India which has reason to be insecure – not China. When India is seen as strong, with options, Chinese behaviour will change. At the moment, the first school is dominant. Over the year, the equations in the India China relationship will be a key foreign policy story to watch.


  32. Apart from two big Tibetan events planned in Delhi being scrapped, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) can add another disgrace to the list, this time thanks to its own people, the Tibetans.

    On Saturday 17th March, a large number of international protestors gathered near the Tibetan parliament, seeking the impeachment of Tibetan President Sangay, saying his actions are akin to those of a dictator. The protestors are from India, Nepal, Europe, and the US and the protest will go on until the session ends on March 24. Lobsang Sangay definitely made a mark in Tibetan history as he is the first President that Tibetans protested to impeach.
    Tibetan govt faces protest from Tibetans amid strained relations with India
    S Gopal Puri| TNN | Mar 17, 2018, 11:04 IST
    DHARAMSHALA: Amid worsening relations of Tibetan government in exile and India government, the former was facing protest from Tibetans itself.
    Indian government’s recent move of asking its senior leaders and dignitaries had already scrapped various Tibetan events planned in Delhi.
    On Saturday, number of protestors gathered near the Tibetan parliament protesting against Lobsang Sangay, the president of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
    These were the members of the group Truth-Seeking Volunteers holding protest against Lobsang Sangay, leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile- Sikyong, following a rift between him and former speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile Penpa Tsering.
    The protesters seek the impeachment of Tibetan President Sangay for actions which, they say, are akin to those of a dictator.
    They are also seeking a reply from Sangay and his cabinet for terminating the services of Penpa Tsering, former representative of the office of Tibet in Washington from the office.
    Tsering was sacked from the office on November 7, 2017, 15 months after his appointment. It is believed that the cause of Tsering’s ouster was that he raised the issue of a $ 1.5-million loan taken from the Tibet Fund in New York to purchase a new office in Washington.
    Sangay had clarified in the parliament that $ 1.5 million was not a loan but a grant.
    Thinley Kelsang, a protester, called for Sangay’s impeachment and said he had taken many decisions without the approval of the Tibetan parliament. There were enough reasons for his impeachment, he said.
    A petition for his impeachment was submitted to members of parliament, which is holding its 10-day budget session.
    The protesters from India, Nepal, Europe, and the US gathered at the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) premises. The protest will go on until the session ends on March 24.

    Tibetan govt faces protest from Tibetans04

  33. It is understandable that national ministers refrained from attending events organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) following the leaked classified directive from the Indian Cabinet Secretary. But to have a State Minister of Himachal Pradesh (that Dharamsala falls under) skipping such an important event for the Tibetans in-exile is a clear message – India is now making ties with China, and the ‘Tibetan cause’ (Tibetan independence) is no longer useful to India. 

    Over the past few months, the Dalai Lama has made numerous statements that Tibet should remain part of China. He has been reaffirming his stance that he is not seeking independence for Tibet. Meanwhile, India is exercising a whole new approach – to make friends with China. After all, India’s national interest comes first.
    Himachal minister skips Dharamsala Tibetan function
    Shri Puri| TNN | Mar 10, 2018, 21:57 IST
    DHARAMSALA: In a major shock to the Tibetan administration in Dharamsala, state minister Kishan Kapoor, who was invited as the chief guest at the official function to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, skipped the event.
    The minister and Tibetan minister evaded the queries in this regard.
    The event was organized at Tsuglagkhang (the main temple of the Dalai Lama at Mcleodganj) on Saturday.
    It remained a low-key affair owning to the controversy due to which the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) had to cancel its ‘Thank You India’ event scheduled at Delhi on March 31 and April 1.
    The event was cancelled after the an advisory was issued from the ministry of foreign affairs asking the dignitaries to stay away from the programme
    Following the advisory, the CTA was forced to shift the event from Delhi to Dharamsala.
    It was presumed that the had its bearing on the Tibetan National Uprising day function.
    CTA had announced that the Kapoor, minister for food and civil supplies and an MLA from Dharamsala seat, would be the chief guest at the function. However, Kishan Kapoor failed to turn up. Only BJP MP George Baker was present at the event.

    Himachal minister skips Dharamsala Tibetan function

  34. In response to the cancellation of the recent ‘Thank You India’ event in Delhi, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) released a video message by His Holiness the Dalai Lama saying that the Tibetans have not been seeking independence for Tibet from China since 1974. In addition, His Holiness further reiterate the mutual benefits of reconciliation between Tibetans in exile and China.

    This statement was very offensive to Indians who were very kind enough to host the Tibetan refugees for the last 60 years. Not only did the Tibetan community contribute nothing to India, they have also been using India in order to further their own cause. Now that India is changing their stance towards China, Tibetans are quick to turn around in favor of China and India is quickly abandoned. What is apparent in this speech is that India remains an undesired place to be called home.
    We’ve not sought independence for Tibet from China since 1974: Dalai Lama
    TNN | Updated: Mar 17, 2018, 11:03 IST
    DHARAMSHALA: Days after a Tibetan event in Delhi was cancelled and shifted to Dharamshala following the Union government note to its senior leaders and government functionaries to stay away from them, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) on Friday came out with a video message of the Dalai Lama, saying they have not been seeking independence for Tibet from China since 1974.
    In his video message to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), based in Washington DC, the Dalai Lama has pointed out that China and Tibet can have mutual benefits if reconciled. He’s heard saying: “Living within the People’s Republic of China, we can serve, we can help them and we can share our (ancient) knowledge. They, in turn, provide us means of dollars.”
    The occasion for the Tibetan leader’s message is the organization’s 30th founding day anniversary. The department of international relation and information, CTA, released an eight-minute clip of this video message here, wherein the Dalai Lama has spoken briefly on Tibetan’s middle-way approach and the support it has garnered. “Since 1974, we decided not to seek independence. So, now the middle-way approach…. Common interest is more important than one’s own national interest. With that kind of concept, I am very much willing to remain within the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese word ‘gongheguo’ (Republic), shows some kind of union is there,” the Dalai Lama is heard saying in the message.
    Seeking ICT’s help, the Tibetan spiritual leader goes on to say, “Your organization has been, for 30 years, showing genuine support for the Tibetan cause. I always claim that the supporter of Tibetan cause is not pro-Tibetan, but rather pro-justice.”

    We’ve not sought independence for Tibet 01

  35. I see many Indians expressing their displeasure with Tibetans on Twitter daily. Look at what they are saying now.




  36. Modi’s government’s direction is clear regarding the Tibetans – India wants the Tibetan government in exile to avoid indulging in any political activity against Beijing, and on the Indian side, it is stepping up its engagements with China to deepen economic and political cooperation before the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in June, of which Prime Minister Modi is attending the multilateral event.

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval are scheduled to meet their Chinese counterparts before the SCO summit and ministerial engagements with China is expected to translate into a bilateral informal summit between Modi and Xi.

    Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha’s recent note asking all politicians and bureaucrats to refrain from participating in events organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is a huge contrast to when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May 2014, this was when the then Prime Minister (now President) of the Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay was invited for his swearing-in. As India denounce their strong support towards the Tibetans in exile, we know that the CTA’s power is dwindling down, especially when the Dalai Lama said that he wants to “voluntarily” put an end to the process of Dalai Lama succession.

    SCO ministerial summit: Swaraj, Sitharaman to meet their Chinese counterparts in Beijing
    The SCO summit will be in June in Qingdao with Prime Minister Modi attending the multilateral event.
    Updated: Mar 21, 2018 09:07 IST
    Shishir Gupta Hindustan Times, New Delhi
    The government’s engagement with the newly appointed Cabinet of Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin later this month with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman expected to meet their counterparts, state councillor Wang Yi and defence minister General Wei Fenghe, on the sidelines of SCO ministerial summit in Beijing from April 24-26.
    The meeting between Swaraj and Wang has been scheduled while the ministry of defence is expected to seek time from General Wei in a bid to build bilateral trust and cooperation. The SCO summit will be in June in Qingdao with Prime Minister Modi attending the multilateral event.
    South Block officials indicated that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is also expected to fly to Beijing after returning from Washington this weekend to meet his counterpart Wang, who is also the special representative for the India-China boundary dialogue. Wang was appointed state councillor by President Xi on Monday after his predecessor Yang Jiechi was elevated to the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party.
    Top diplomats and China experts told HT that the ongoing engagement with Beijing is designed to deepen economic and political cooperation as Delhi has neither the intention of provoking its neighbour nor the desire to embark on a full-fledged confrontation. This was made clear when cabinet secretary PK Sinha wrote a letter on February 26, asking all politicians and bureaucrats to refrain from participating in events organised by the Tibetan government in exile to celebrate the 60th year of exile of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
    While the Modi government wants the Tibetan government in exile to avoid indulging in any political activity perceived to be against Beijing, it is clear that it wants its core interests from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to the Indian Ocean to be fully protected. Just as Chinese core interests of Tibet and Taiwan are non-negotiable for Beijing, Delhi is opposed to any unilateral changing of the LAC or Chinese activity in the Indian Ocean. Indian opposition to China Pakistan Economic Corridor, passing through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, is now a matter of record. As reported earlier in HT, the ministerial engagement with China this month is expected to translate into a bilateral informal summit between Modi and Xi.

    Swaraj-Sitharaman-to-meet-their-Chinese-counterparts01 (1)

  37. There were some speculations that India’s objectives in slighting the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) could be because of a prior agreement with China.

    Coincidentally, Foreign Secretary Gokhale’s note leaked a day before the foreign secretary visited Beijing, and now we hear news that Indian ministers have scheduled to meet their Chinese counterparts to prepare for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in June.

    We may never know the real reason is for India’s sudden turn around to appease China. But one thing’s for sure, India will not allow the Tibetans to engage in anti-China activities from now onwards. Like what the article said, “…for India, the Tibetan story was over.”

    Letting Go Of The Dalai Lama And Tibet
    by Bharat Bhushan
    Updated on 21 March 2018, 6:57 PM
    Published on 21 March 2018, 6:57 PM
    The Tibetans in exile must be dismayed after India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale wrote to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha on Feb. 22 that Indian government officials be advised to skip events organised by the Tibetan Administration in exile. It is not at all certain that the payback from China for alienating the Dalai Lama is going to be commensurate with India’s act.
    India’s objectives in slighting the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), as the Tibetan government in exile is known, and indirectly the Dalai Lama, remain unclear. No one knows what understanding, if any, has been reached with China prompting such action. However, its negative consequences are already at play.
    The Dalai Lama effectively un-invited himself from the plenary session of the Indian Science Congress in Manipur. Reluctant to embarrass the Indian government, the Tibetan leader turned down the invitation to be present at the plenary session with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To allow a face-saver, his office claimed that the invitation, which the organisers said had been extended two months ago, was never received by him.
    The Dalai Lama is also bound to have been deeply embarrassed, as Gokhale’s directive was leaked in the midst of his thirty-third ‘Mind & Life’ dialogue – an annual debate between science and religion. At that time, he was hosting 200 eminent scientists from all over the world at Dharamshala.
    The charitable interpretation of what Gokhale, an experienced China hand, did would be that his advisory related to only one particular event. The Central Tibetan Administration had planned a massive ‘Thank You India’ event in Delhi to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet and to acknowledge Indian support for the exiled Tibetan community in the country. The mega-event would have seen an inter-faith meeting at Rajghat and a gathering of nearly 7,000 people at Thyagaraja Stadium in the Capital in the presence of several Indian political leaders. There were plans to invite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, LK Advani, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju, the Vice President of India and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
    Such a high profile Tibetan event would have irritated China to no end.
    It was cancelled hastily after the foreign secretary’s note, shifted to Dharamshala, and downscaled.
    If Foreign Secretary Gokhale was sending a message only to the CTA then the entire episode could have been handled differently. Gokhale has been Indian Ambassador to China as well Joint Secretary (East), the point person in the Ministry of External Affairs for dealing not only with China but also with the Dalai Lama and the CTA. He could have advised the current Joint Secretary (East) to have a quiet word with the ‘Prime Minister’ of the CTA, Lobsang Sangay, who would have complied with the Indian request, and that would have settled the matter.
    That the letter was leaked a day before the foreign secretary was visiting Beijing suggests that a message was also being sent to China – that India would not allow the Dalai Lama to agitate the Tibet issue in India publicly.
    In this scenario, putting curbs on the activities of the Dalai Lama and the CTA in effect would mean that for India, the Tibetan story was over.
    India may also have been upset with the Dalai Lama trying to negotiate with the Chinese keeping it out of the loop. It is an open secret that the Dalai Lama has been in contact with the Chinese for a settlement. Since 1974, his position has been to seek a settlement within China instead of pushing for Tibetan independence. The secretive visit of his emissary and former prime minister of the CTA, Samdong Rinpoche to China in mid-November, where he is believed to have met Chinese officials, might have upset South Block.
    If the Dalai Lama is seen playing ducks and drakes with India, then there is every reason for India to keep off and not be used by the Tibetans in exile.
    The Indian fear may be that in a deal with Beijing, the Dalai Lama concedes that Tibet was always a part of China, then that would undermine Indian position on the McMahon Line, which India considers as the legal boundary between Tibet and its north-eastern region. China rejects the McMahon Line, which is based on the Simla Accord of 1914 signed between Tibet, China, and Great Britain (as the ruler of British India). China claims that Tibet was not a sovereign state and therefore was not qualified to sign any treaties.
    As of now, there is no indication that the Dalai Lama has conceded the Chinese demand that Tibet was always a part of China.
    Nor has he accepted the ‘One China’ policy, i.e. that Taiwan and Tibet are integral parts of China.
    What might be the quid pro quo for India by curbing the activities of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiles? India ratcheted up tensions with China in 2017 through a series of events culminating in the Doklam stand-off on the Bhutan-China border. Its questionable resolution which was widely projected as Indian ‘victory’, it now turns out, only helped entrench the Chinese forces on the plateau. The Chinese presence there has increased manifold. And the Indian Army, in its proxy role for the Bhutanese, is no longer able to patrol the disputed area it used to earlier.
    Why would those given to rolling up their sleeves to take on China’s might, suddenly take a U-turn?
    Perhaps the new foreign secretary wants to change the atmospherics of Sino-Indian ties before the upcoming preparatory ministerial meetings for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The visits of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj can facilitate a successful visit by Prime Minister Modi to the SCO summit at Qingdao in June.
    There may also have been a more immediate reason for appeasing the Chinese — to secure Chinese support for putting Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ of countries funding terrorism in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international money laundering watch-dog. This would subject Pakistan to intense monitoring and scrutiny by the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) on terror financing. However, the reciprocity at FATF is already in the open – India supported China’s candidature for Vice President of the FATF and in turn, China withdrew its objections to Pakistan being put on the ‘grey list’.
    Could it be that by distancing itself from the Dalai Lama, India hopes that China would become more amenable to its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG)? The prospects for that are bleak as China has linked India’s candidature for the NSG with Pakistan being given entry as a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    Perhaps India expects that China now stands with it and not Pakistan on designating Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Maulana Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the United Nations. That too does not seem reasonable and is too small a gesture. In any case, knowing Pakistan, Masood Azhar’s designation as an international terrorist is likely to be as ineffective on the ground as that of Hafiz Saeed’s.
    There may be no immediate or substantial gains from curbing the activities of the Dalai Lama and the CTA in India.
    However, what is clear is that a ‘muscular’ government which had invited Lobsang Sangay to the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014 along with heads of states from South Asia has taken a step back. In doing so it has lost leverage in dealing with China.
    It may, therefore, no longer be possible for the South Block mandarins to parade the Dalai Lama at will in Arunachal Pradesh to rile the Chinese as they did in April 2017. Nor would it possible to fly the ‘Prime Minister’ of the CTA, Lobsang Sangay to unfurl the Tibetan flag “metres from Tibet” at Pangong Lake in Ladakh to snub Beijing; or ‘allow’ Tibetan protests outside the Chinese Embassy whenever a dignitary from that country visited India.
    There is also a possibility that some Tibetans youngsters – frustrated with the ineffectiveness of the Dalai Lama’s ‘middle path’ and the Indian government’s stance – may choose a different, less peaceful approach to struggle for Tibetan independence.
    Bharat Bhushan is a journalist based in Delhi.
    The views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Bloomberg Quint or its editorial team.


  38. India banning Tibetans from hosting a rally with the Dalai Lama this month for the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule is a clear sign that India wants to improve ties with China.

    China said that it is “willing to keep up the good momentum of two-way cooperation with India,” while the Indian side mentioned that India and China agreed to consult each other on regional and international issues.

    You can’t really fault India for doing so. After all, it was His Holiness the Dalai Lama who batted for the recognition of the “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” (India and China are brothers) spirit to take Sino-Indian relations forward.

    India’s Modi, China’s Xi ready to improve bilateral ties
    Published: March 21, 2018 8:26 am On: World
    BEIJING/ NEW DELHI: India and China agreed to consult each other on regional and international issues, the Indian side said after a phone call on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    Relations between the two countries have been tense since last year after their troops faced off on a disputed part of their border. On Tuesday Modi called Xi to congratulate him on his re-election.“The two leaders agreed that as two major powers growing rapidly, bilateral relations between India and China are vital for the realisation of 21st Century as ‘Asian Century’,” Modi’s office said in a statement.
    Hundreds of troops were deployed in 2017 on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan, and China after New Delhi objected to Chinese construction of a road through the mountainous area in their most serious standoff in years.
    China is willing to keep up the good momentum of two-way cooperation with India, Xi told Modi, China’s state news agency Xinhua said.
    China is ready to enhance communication with Modi on long-term, strategic bilateral issues to promote political mutual trust, Xi added.
    China was also angered by Modi’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a state in northeast India claimed by China.
    In a bid to improve ties with China, India banned Tibetans from hosting a rally with the Dalai Lama this month to mark the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule. Beijing regards the Tibetan spiritual leader as a splittist.


  39. The Tibetan government in exile has been dumped by the Indian government for a bigger prize: China. For years, the Tibetan government in exile would accuse Dorje Shugden people of taking money from the Chinese but everyone knows that this is not true. Now even their host, India, will be friends with China. Everyone will be friends with China sooner or later, and the Tibetan leadership beg to be as well. The Tibetan leadership shouldn’t have messed with Dorje Shugden people. Too bad for you! And when the Tibetan leadership is friends with China, what will they accuse the Dorje Shugden people of then???

    Is India abruptly dumping Dalai Lama to be in China’s good books?
    By S. N. M. Abdi
    Special to Al Arabiya English
    Wednesday, 21 March 2018
    New Delhi has suddenly ditched the Dalai Lama – the Nobel Prize winning Tibetan spiritual leader who runs a government-in-exile from India – apparently to mend fences with an increasingly assertive China.
    The Dalai Lama has been a revered guest in India for 60 long years after he crossed the Himalayan border to escape the wrath of communist China.
    Since 1959, successive governments in New Delhi generously hosted him and his Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) headquartered in Dharamsala along with 95,000 Tibetan refugees, even as Beijing accused India of sheltering China’s Enemy Number 1 and threatened reprisals.
    New Delhi’s brave and principled stand was lauded globally and the Dalai Lama – one of the world’s most recognized faces and a human rights icon – emotionally described himself last year as a “son” of India. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seems to have just dropped the Dalai Lama like a hot potato inviting charges of capitulation and kowtowing to China.
    The volte-face is evident from India’s new Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s top secret note to Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha to ensure that “senior leaders” and “government functionaries” boycott CTA’s events from March 31 to mark the 60th year of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in the country.
    Gokhale’s confidential memo published verbatim by the Indian Express newspaper said: “The proposed period (March 31 onwards) will be a very sensitive time in the context of India’s relations with China. Participation by senior leaders or government functionaries, either from the central government or state governments, is not desirable, and should be discouraged.”
    Sinha, in turn, issued strict instructions to central and state governments to steer clear of CTA functions.
    Sacrificial lamb
    “It’s as clear as daylight that India wants to appease and please China”, a top diplomatic source told Al Arabiya. “And the Dalai Lama is the sacrificial lamb at the altar of Indian interests. Modi won’t have to pay a price domestically for dumping the Dalai Lama.”
    The diplomat, who declined to be named, said that “India’s climb-down is spurred by hard realities like China’s GDP which is nearly five times that of India; China’s defence spending which is three times larger than India’s, not to speak of the $52 billion trade deficit which underline China’s huge military and economic edge over India.”
The abrupt and complete reversal after the bluster and muscle-flexing in 2017, especially during the Doklam stand-off, has angered many in India.
    Sushant Singh, one of India’s top defense analysts, tweeted: “The story is not what India does to Dalai Lama. It is how India is unable to deal with China effectively. As we know, China never withdrew fully from Doklam and we have had to accept the new status quo. We have been made to believe that India is standing up to China and not going to “appease” it. This is a clear departure from what people have been told so far, especially after Doklam ‘disengagement’. This is what happens when we adopt an ostrich-like attitude towards China …then lie & obfuscate to our citizens.”
    Chickening out?
    Another observer, Anuradha Dighe, wrote: “Modiji first chickened out of Dokalam unconditionally and without a signed treaty & lost Bhutan’s trust. Now afraid of interacting with Tibetans in his own country India. Next Modi will give Arunachal Pradesh to China in fear.”
    Sources told Al Arabiya that New Delhi – which has traditionally used the Dalai Lama as a bargaining chip with China – decided to pacify Beijing by dumping the Tibetan spiritual leader to ensure that Modi gets a good reception in Qingdao during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in June.
    But low-key, warm up celebrations in Dharamsala last week had an unexpected representative from India: George Baker. The nominated BJP MP from West Bengal defied the government’s directive and spent three days in Dharamsala with his Tibetan hosts.
    The former actor told Al Arabiya: “As a lawmaker, I can travel to any part of India. Moreover, Tibetans are victims of Chinese oppression and as a rabidly anti-Chinese Indian, it’s my national duty to join Tibetan celebrations.”
    Last Update: Wednesday, 21 March 2018 KSA 15:00 – GMT 12:00

    Is India abruptly dumping Dalai Lama

  40. India has switched its policy on Tibet in order to align itself with China and gain economic benefits. With high unemployment rate and serious poverty issues in the countryside resulted in the Kisan Long March, as well as the uncertainties of the General Elections coming up in 2019, Modi’s government need to prioritise the interest of 1.3 billion people over 95,000 Tibetan refugees.

    As the largest recipient of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) under the “Belt & Road” initiative, India needs to maintain good relations with China, especially after the Doklam tension. The reality is the fact that India cannot afford to go to war with China as its army is not as well equipped and the cost of war would be astronomical. So India is now opting a conciliatory as opposed to a hardline approach in order to keep China at bay, and for PM Modi to possibly have a higher chance to succeed in the coming election.

    Modi and Xi are expected to meet this year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in June this year at the Chinese city of Qingdao, and Modi’s congratulatory note to Xi for getting re-elected as the President on Chinese social media platform Weibo is a confirmation that further development of Sino-Indian bilateral relations is definitely under way.

    Tibet and India’s China Policy
    Is India sacrificing Tibet to improve a frosty relationship with China?
    By K.S. Venkatachalam
    March 20, 2018
    China’s foreign policy with India has oscillated between a ballistic approach and studied indifference. India’s approach, meanwhile, has recently flipped from a hardline to a conciliatory approach, confusing observers.
    At the heart of India-China tensions is the dispute over territory in the Aksai Chin area, and Tawang in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as a part of southern Tibet. Both countries have so far held 20 rounds of talks to settle the disputes, but, unfortunately, an acceptable solution has eluded them. To the credit of both sides, they have not allowed the situation to go out of control.
    However, the situation took a turn for the worse after the Doklam standoff in summer 2017. In spite of a propaganda blitzkrieg and other intimidating tactics adopted by China, India stood its ground. Although India is not a party to the Doklam dispute — that dispute is between China and the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan — China’s forcible occupation of the area may threaten India’s security. Doklam is critical, as it would allow the Chinese troops to enter India through the Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern states to the rest of India. China’s decision to enter Doklam was interpreted as a premeditated move to alter the status quo that had prevailed for decades.
    China was surprised by India’s tough posture. Eventually, after tense negotiations, both sides withdrew from the sensitive area, thus diffusing what could have led to an ugly conflict.
    India realizes that any war with China would not be in its interests, as the Chinese military is far stronger. On the other hand, China also recognizes that a conflict with India would adversely affect its humongous investment made in India’s neighborhood and that the best way forward would be to maintain peace along the border.
    Apart from the border disputes, another major irritant for China has been over the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, who in 1959 (along with tens of thousands of his disciples) was granted refuge in India, where he enjoys a special status. China considers Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist, who even today has great influence over Tibetans. It must be mentioned that Dalai Lama gave up his support for Tibetan independence in 1974, and only wants China to stop repression against the community.
    China did not take kindly to the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed area of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh last year. The Chinese termed his visit, particularly to Tawang, a “provocation” by India. India responded that “The government has clearly stated on several occasions that HHDL [His Holiness the Dalai Lama] is a revered religious leader, who is deeply respected as such by the Indian people. No additional color should be ascribed to his religious and spiritual activities and visits to various states of India.”
    Since then, however, tensions have cooled. There have been several recent developments that were viewed with interest in India. China recently did not oppose the move of the United States to put Pakistan on the “grey list’” of the Financial Action Task Force for funding terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. China’s decision, especially when it has invested billions of dollars in Pakistan under its Belt and Road Initiative, came as a welcome surprise.
    Then, in a significant departure from its stated position on the Dalai Lama, New Delhi refused permission to the Central Tibetan Administration to hold the interfaith prayer and “Thank you India” functions in Delhi, which were scheduled to be held on March 31 and April 1. India’s foreign secretary, in a note to the cabinet secretary, advised the senior leaders and government functionaries not to participate in the events organized by Tibetan organizations as such a step would further deteriorate India’s relations with China.
    The note comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit China in June to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. Modi is expected to hold talks with the Chinese president on the sidelines of the summit. India does not want any incident that could derail the talks. According to China watchers, this prompted the cancellation of Tibetan events in Delhi.
    India’s decision has sent confusing signals to the Tibetans, as they have always looked upon India to support their cause. Many experts interpret India’s stand as weakness in light of the growing military power of China. According to defense experts, China is continuing to build up its military strength at Doklam and that India is unable to prevent the Chinese from building roads in the sensitive region. It is therefore important that the Indian prime minister takes up the issue with President Xi Jinping and impress on him that if China forcibly builds road in Doklam, it could have serious ramification on India-China relations. To achieve that goal, foreign policy experts worry that Modi may sacrifice the cause of Tibet at the altar of better relations with China.
    The ability of India and China to be global powers hinges on forming close economic ties and continuing efforts to engage with one another. This is sine qua non for ushering in peace and stability in the region. It is hoped that the Chinese government will take note of the significant shift in India’s policy on the Dalai Lama, and make every effort to improve bilateral ties. China’s positive response could persuade India to join the multibillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative. This will go a long way in strengthening relations, especially at a time when both the countries are embarking on their journey to become global powers.
    K.S. Venkatachalam is an independent columnist and political commentator.


  41. Looks like India is taking serious measures to ensure that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala does not engage in any political activity perceived to be against Beijing.

    An event to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s stay in India, originally planned in Delhi, was moved back to Dharamsala in order not to create issues for India as Sino-Indian ties are very tense at the moment. As a result, organisers were forced to hold the programme in the temple complex where the Dalai Lama and his followers have been living for decades.

    Many are speculating whether these cancellations and the new Indian government policy are permanent or just temporary. Looking at the series of engagements lined up between Delhi and Beijing, such as the upcoming visits to China by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, India is determine to mind Sino-Indian relations post-Doklam, which means the Tibetans should get ready for more bad news in the coming months.

    Dalai Lama event: Not Delhi or Dharamsala stadium, but temple zone
    By Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, ET Bureau | Updated: Mar 16, 2018, 08.59 AM IST
    NEW DELHI: Tibetans in exile have moved the venue of an event to mark 60 years of Dalai Lama’s stay in India from the cricket stadium in Dharamsala to a temple complex in the region.
    The event was to be held in New Delhi initially but was shifted to Dharamsala shortly after a government note asked senior leaders and officials to refrain from attending it.
    The Tibetan government in exile had approached the administration for permission to use the cricket stadium but the organise the celebrations there.
    Government insiders denied any pressure was exerted on the organisers to give up the request for the Dharamsala stadium. “We have very cordial and warm relations with the Dalai Lama and are willing to do whatever we can to help his followers,” an official said.
    Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had sent out a note last month to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, following which the latter issued a directive that it was not ‘desirable’ for senior leaders and government functionaries of the Centre or states to participate in programmes of the Tibetan government in exile. This was ostensibly done to avoid rubbing China the wrong way as Sino-Indian ties were delicately poised at the moment.
    China has described the Dalai Lama as a ‘dangerous separatist’.
    External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman are set to make separate visits to China next month.

    Dalai Lama Event Not Delhi or Dharamsala

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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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