Today we would like to bring to the attention of all those who believe in peaceful co-existence of all faiths and beliefs in this world, and particularly the attention of the people who believe in freedom of religion and human rights.
2nd September is The Tibetan Democracy Day, but the irony is that the Tibetan people do not have true democracy due to the policies of the Tibetan government in exile, under the powerful guidance of the Dalai Lama, that undermines Religious Freedom as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other international conclaves. Hence, we, the proponents of equal human rights, are commemorating 2nd September in order to create a global awareness of the plight of Dorje Shugden believers as they continue to struggle against the religious persecution and segregation that has been imposed in the Tibetan community throughout the world by the Dalai Lama.
The video by Al-jazeera, which accounts the atrocities committed by Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile is at http://english.aljazeera.net
On 9 January 2008, the Dalai Lama declared that “Dorje Shugden devotees are supported by the Chinese and therefore, there is no need for them to be in exile, they can go back to Tibet (under Chinese rule)”. On the same day, he also called for “holding an open referendum, to decide if the majority of the Tibetans want to coexist with the devotees of the deity”. This is an invitation for open segregation of Tibetan society, under the disguise of practicing democracy. Furthermore, because of Dalai Lama’s position and influence, his statements become government policies, and therefore have great consequences. These statements from Dalai Lama’s position, undermine the fundamental rights: the right to exercise freedom of religion, right to peaceful living, and right to equal opportunity for the people. These statements have great potential to cause communal violence and mislead Tibetan people into believing that Dorjee Shugden practitioners are the enemy. As a result, the followers of this deity and their family members have been victims of ostracism and violence.
In 2008, we gave a deadline to a Tibetan Government in Exile and Dalai Lama to stop the religious persecution and segregation of the Shugden practitioners and their families, including children at schools. However, the situation is worsening every day, and now in 2011, the situation have not improved. The Dalai Lama has declared war against the Shugden people, demonizing and segregating Shugden worshippers since 1996. This “war” has been fueled by outrageous rumors that the Dalai Lama and his supporters allegedly promoted a view that if a non-Dorje Shugden follower kill a believer, it is not considered a sin! Furthermore, the killing would provide cumulative merit towards the Dalai Lama’s long life! Other such non-sins include destroying Shugden Monastaries, Stupas and Religious documents.
The following are a few of the recent incidents of violence inflicted upon Shugden devotees (more details of the atrocities are attached at the back):
The most recent developments occurred this Summer (July 2011) when the Dalai Lama was in Washington DC performing the Kalachara Initiation, which he barred Dorje Shugden followers from attending. However his tone seemed edited for the Western audience.
Following this meeting on August 23rd 2011, the Abbot of the Namgyal Monastery (the Dalai Lama’s private monastery) in Dharmasala who travelled with him to the USA and called an emergency meeting with the Lithang Organization of NY, as a result of this meeting, anyone who is caught associating with a Shugden follower is automatically expelled from the organization and subject to persecution. This is religious persecution happening right here in the USA and right now in 2011!
Also in January of this year, the Dalai Lama speaking at a Tibetan Monastery in South India angrily said that “Dorje Shudgen harms the Tibetan Government of Tibet” and expeled several High Lamas including the ex-Abbot of Gyume Monastery, who wrote to the Dalai Lama and the Prime minister Samdong Rinpoche saying it is illegal as well as morally wrong to segregate and inflict religious persecution although he is not a practitioner of Shugden. It is because he spoke against the segregation and ostracizing of the Tibetan people, he was immediately expelled.
On March 10th, the Dalai Lama dissolved the “Tibetan Government in Exile” and created the Tibetan Organization while maintaining himself as the head. While the rest of the world thinks that he is retiring from political power but he is still making decisions and ruling behind the facade of the Tibetan Organization.
Another example occurred when the Chushi Gangdruk Organisation (which is a political association) met with the Dalai Lama on May 2010, and informed him that they had removed the members who believed in Dorje Shugden and vowed to disassociate and remove any Shugden believers in the future for the happiness of His Holiness’.
In 26th February 2010, Central Chushi Gangdruk Organisation’s head quarter in New Delhi gave a letter to Dalai Lama which stated that they hadn’t associated with the Shugden believers since 1996 and vowed to continue disassociating with Shugden people in the future too.
On February 20, 2010, when 68 of the 100 invited guests as well as performers left the wedding party in New York City because a few Dorje Shugden devotees were invited. Those who left apologized and explained that they did not want to break the oath that they had taken to segregate from the followers of Dorje Shugden.
In July 29 2009, the Tibetan section of Radio Free Asia, with intention to turn the general Tibetan people against the Shugden devotees, demonized the Shugden devotees of being responsible for the abductions of Tenzing Thakpa, Woeser rinpoche’s father and a 13-year-old boy along with few goats and sheep in Markham, Tibet. In reality, Woeser rinpoche’s father and the boy were victims of flood and Tenzing Thakpa was seen alive and well, traveling in Lhasa and India.
In 2008, the oath and signature campaign of breaking off religious and material relationship with Shugden devotees were introduced in the monasteries and Tibetan settlements.
Another example of persecution was the shutting down of Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts, in US on October of 2008 because it had some Shugden believers as its members.
In July 2008, wanted posters of several monks involved in the Western Shugden Society protests appeared in Queens, New York. Al-Jazeera reported about the wanted posters saying, “No Shugden worshipper has ever been charged or investigated for terrorism and yet the monks that continue to worship Shugden remain victims of name and shame.”
On 2006, the burning of thousands of autobiography written by Lamrim Rinpoche (from Drepung Monastery, Tibet).
In 1997, a nun in Tibet was beaten up and left naked in the street to die. Fortunately, she survived.
On April 5, 1996, after Dalai Lama’s teaching, Gaden Choeling nunnery in Dharamsala dragged the Dorje Shugden statue out, trod on, and flung it into a garbage pit.
Throughout India and Nepal, tens of thousands of Dorjee Shugden statues, literature and scriptures were desecrated. Threatening the lives of the people who believed in Shugden and ostracizing them from the Tibetan community throughout the world. An attack on Gaden Shartse monastery in South India by over three thousand Tibetans settlers resulted in 40 people wounded and damaged property. In Clement town, there was also an arson attempt on a Shugden devotees family’s house.
These are just a few cases from countless incidents of atrocities involving violence and discrimination towards Shugden followers. Some Westerners are beginning to understand the issues and the plight of the Tibetans people and editorials such as this one – “Darkness behind the Guru-bubble” by Mike Carlton for the Sydney Morning Herald are gaining more and more coverage in the international media but these articles that highlight truth is still few and far in between.
“Silliness is one thing. Nastiness is another. The so-called apostle of kindness has been ruthless in crushing a rival Tibetan Buddhist sect known as Dorje Shugden, expelling its monks from monasteries and ostracising or exiling its adherents.” You can read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/darkness-behind-the-gurububble-20110617-1g7si.html#ixzz1WiMO9qzN
In reference to the letter to the prime minister of the Tibetan Government in exile, Samdong Rinpoche and The Dalai Lama, dated April 25, 2008, we had appealed to the Tibetan government to enforce our demands within the deadline of September 2, 2008.
Our Demands were:
- To entitle us to the fundamental rights of freedom to speech, beliefs, and the rights to live peacefully as guaranteed in the Constitution of Tibetan Government-in-Exile and Democratic countries.
- To lift the ban on Shugden practice and the religious persecution of its practitioners.
- To stop the systematic process of segregation in the Tibetan communities in exile, that has led to the social, psychological and physical torture of Shugden practitioners.
As our demands were repeatedly and blatantly ignored, the Tibetan government in exile continues to ostracize and segregate the Shugden practitioners from the rest of the Tibetan society. Hundreds of monks, who worshipped Dorjee Shugden, were ostracized and expelled from the monasteries. As a result, a new wall at Ganden monastery in Southern India was built in March 2008 to segregate the Shugden worshippers.
Monks who worshipped Shugden were denied medical services from the health clinics in the Tibetan communities in exile.
Students, whose parents practiced in Dorje Shugden, were ostracized in schools. Until the Dalai Lama stops religious segregation and admit his horrific mistakes, We will continue to fight for the peaceful coexistence of all faiths and beliefs in this world, and particularly the attention of the people who believe in freedom of religion and human rights.
Shugden Society USA