What is Wrong with Tibetan society?

Violence and Sangha are not a good mix

48-Hour Curfew at Tibetan Settlement. 24-Hour Curfew at Another Tibetan Settlement in South India.

INDIA – Deccan Herald,
Monday, September 11, 2000:

Representatives of Dorje Shugden devotees from Ooty, Shillong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikh, Nepal, Delhi and Bylakuppe gathered at the settlement (Pop. 13,000) in Mundgod in the southern Indian state of Karnataka to participate in a one-day prayer convention organised by the local Shugden Society. The gathering was violently attacked by a mob of more than 2000 Tibetan Dalai Lama “supporters”. An eye-witness report from these incidents:

Sep. 8:
Anticipating objection and violence, Mr Nudup Dorje, Chairman of the settlement, requests all the house masters of Gaden Monastery to calm down their monks on the 10th, as ‘there will be only a peaceful protest march of about 200 Tibetans against the Dorje Shugden convention’. Ven. Geleg Thogmed, the house master of Dokhang Khangtsen calls a special gathering of all the monks of Dokhang Khangtsen, and asks each and every one of them to remain calm during the peaceful protest. The monks believe their house master, and return perplexed and thoughtfully to their quarters.

Sep. 9:
Representatives of Dorje Shugden devotees arrive from Ooty, Shillong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikh, Nepal, Delhi and Bylakuppe arrive at the settlement (Pop. 13,000) in Mundgod in the southern Indian state of Karnataka to participate in a one-day prayer convention organised by the local Shugden Society, for the purpose of:

  1. sorting out legal and other details about constructing a new prayer hall for the worship of Lord Shugden as the existing one can accommodate only half the number of devotees at every prayer session and
  2. discussing how to respond to the continuing religious prosecution within Tibetan society at the hands of those claiming to be ‘supporters of the Dalai Lama’ against anyone who reveres the Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden. The delegates, assembled in Delhi, leave in two groups for south India.

MUNDGOD:

The area in front of the new Dokhang Khangtsen (House), located beside the entry gate to the Tibetan settlement, is quiet except for a police bus and a few policemen on patrol. This was sent by the local police.

Morning, Karnatak countryroad:

Representatives for the convention who came together by train are stopped halfway to Mundgod by a detachment of police, and searched thoroughly for weapons, at the behest of the local Tibetan Women’s Association and the Tibetan Youth Congress who had baselessly alleged that Shugden devotees are ‘anti-Dalai Lama’.

Mid Afternoon, Goa-Karnatak border:

Geshe Cheme, General Secretary of the Shugden Society, and two advocates of the Supreme Court of India, Mr Thakur and Mr Arvind Singh, were on their way to the convention from the airport when they were stopped by another detachment of police at the Goa-Karnatak border. They are escorted to the district police headquarters at the seaside city of Karwar to meet the police commissioner. The PC briefs the Supreme Court lawyers about allegations he has received from the Tibetan Women’s Association, the Tibetan Youth Congress, and the settlement Chairman to the effect that the Shugden devotees in the settlement are all ‘anti-Dalai Lama’, ‘paid by China’ and other baseless charges. He asks the lawyers to live in separate accommodations outside of the Tibetan settlement, as he was apprehensive that ‘the other side’ may attack the convention participants. They reach the convention venue after another five hours by car.

Late evening, Mundgod Tibetan settlement:

News is received that, as their final pitch to prevent the convention from taking place, officers of the local Tibetan Women’s Association asked the camp leaders to announce that every Tibetan in the settlement above the age of 15 should join their protest the next day. Anyone refusing will be fined Rs. 500, or will be asked to give an explanation. The TWA approaches Drepung Loseling Monastery, requesting it to send Drepung monks to participate in the protest. The monastery keeps silent. Besides monasteries, the TWA visited the local Tibetan infirmary with the same message. They visited Jangchub Choeling (The Abode of Dharma), the peaceful local Tibetan nunnery, a second time to urge the nuns to join in the next morning’s procession.

Sep. 10: 9 A.M.
Soon after their simple breakfast, local Tibetans began to leave their home in twos and threes. From the side of Camp 3, several hundred Tibetans descended towards Gaden Monastery as though they were on their normal life visits in the settlement. However, after passing the big blue police van strategically placed near the Camp 3 bridge, they came together, forming a 3000-strong procession and briskly proceeded towards Gaden Monastery. But we did not know any of this at the time…

Except for some passersby, there was almost no one within the gates of the convention precinct. It was open. From the vantage point of the new prayer hall, I could see groups of police and some passersby outside the gate. Most of the monks had gone to attend the morning debate at the monastery courtyard.

Geshe Jangchub Dorje, President of the local Shugden society, opens the prayer convention. There are about 70 delegates. Mr Jampal Yeshe, President of the Shugden Society from Delhi, took the podium next. We were hardly a few minutes into his speech when political reality thrust aside peaceful intentions of mortals…

From our venue, we started hearing chants. The chanting got louder and louder. It became more and more difficult to concentrate on the speaker. About 50 steps away from the prayer hall, outsiders began to converge at the gate to watch the advancing procession. Monks helping with the prayer convention from within the compound became curious and went to see. The policemen began to form a barrier outside the gate. They had helmets and cane batons. None of them had shields.

Expecting to see leaders of the TWA and TYC leading the march, the onlookers saw widows, old women and old men from the local Tibetan infirmary placed at the head of the procession. The Chairman of the settlement was seen pretending to stop the advancing procession. As the protesters reached the gates of Dokhang House (the prayer venue), they became ugly. They began to shout abuses against Dorje Shugden. “Any Tibetan who worships Shugden against the wishes of the Dalai Lama”, they shouted, “are traitors.” Soon the protesters began to throw dust and small stones at the direction of the convention. These fell on monks who were watching from inside the gate. Soon larger stones and bricks followed. Flower pots and glass panes of the Dokhang students’ hostel facing the road were smashed without pity. All the windows of the nearby residence of Geshe Tenzin Chophel, one of the main disciples of the late Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, were hit and smashed. The attack increased in intensity. The local police inspector was hit on the face and started bleeding. Other police officers were similarly attacked. It was becoming impossible to restrain the monks watching from inside. They became restless. They shouted at the police for holding them in check while not being able to control the abuse and attack from the protesters. The abuses and attacks continued. Some of the monks within the gate rushed out and charged at the protesting mob.

Soon there was hand-to-hand fighting between the protesters and the monks. It was an uneven match: about 40 monks, young and old, trying to combat about 3000 screaming protesters. Many on both sides received bad beatings. Many on both the sides started bleeding from injuries. Some protesters begged for mercy, saying they had no choice but to join the procession or face penalty from the TWA. Nuns in the procession from the local Tibetan nunnery fled to the nearby Lhopa Khangtsen. Amidst sobs they cried that the TWA came to their nunnery twice to ask them to join to this protest march, be fined, or ‘face a Tibetan inquiry commission’. The fight was continuing. Sticks, stones and bricks were landing everywhere. The protesters fled screaming. But again they regrouped and advanced towards the monks. The in-fighting became bitter and tragic. Some of the protesters, while fleeing, fell into ditches and nearly suffocated to death. Others, while fleeing, smashed the window panes of the Shartse Monastery student canteen and the library above it.

Some old Tibetans were seen weeping at the steps of the Shartse student canteen, sobbing that that this attack on the monks was a replay of the cultural revolution in Tibet. The violent confrontation and fighting, however, grew in strength and continued for about two hours. In desperation, the police fired several times into the air. This proved effective.

Many Tibetans on both sides suffered injuries. Among the protesters some fell unconscious; others had to be lifted and carried away. Some of the monks had to be immediately taken to Indian hospitals in Mundgod. About 40 protesters were treated for various injuries at the local Tibetan hospital near Camp 3. About seven of them were said to be admitted. We also heard that one monk and a nun had fatal injuries, and were rushed to Hubli hospital for intensive treatment.

The prayer convention was resumed. The Supreme Court lawyers, who had witnessed the confrontation from their car throughout the duration, were shocked beyond belief. They addressed the convention. They observed that according to the constitution of India, every Tibetan living in India has complete freedom to adopt any religion and worship any god.

About lunch time the police commissioner arrived at the Tibetan settlement from his headquarters in Karwar (three-hour bus ride) to evaluate the situation for himself and to inspect the attack on his officers by the protesters. For the local police chief whose uniform was splattered with blood from injuries on his face, the commissioner asked for a change of his officer’s uniform.

Meanwhile, at the settlement office, the Tibetan Women’s Association, the Tibetan Youth Congress and other Tibetans were planning a second protest march in the evening. Apprised of this development the local Indian administration decided to ask the delegates to leave by nightfall. At the same time, they imposed a 24-hour curfew throughout the Tibetan settlement. Sensing that even the leaving of delegates was not enough for the protesters and the organisers, fearing an even more serious civil unrest, the police commissioner imposed another 24-hour curfew at 6PM on Tuesday, September 11 over the entire settlement.

What happened at Sera after the Mundgod incident:

On Sep. 12 the next day, there was another clash among the Tibetans. This took place at the Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement, the largest Tibetan enclave outside of Tibet. Delegates from various Tibetan monasteries and camps had objected to the presence of the United Cholsum Organisation (UCL) who had arrived from Dharamsala to pitch for elections. Though both the police and the settlement Chairmen ordered them to be out of the settlement by 8AM, they evaded the order and stayed on. The entire delegation of the Dorje Shugden devotees from all over India and Nepal, who had a brief reception at the local Pomra Khangtsen monastery on their return from Mundgod, left the place as asked by the police.

About 600 Tibetans awaited them at Camp 1. They missed the delegates’ car, which left by another route. However, about 20 monks of Pomra Khangtsen, who saw off the delegates up to Priyapatna, were not so fortunate. When they returned towards their monastery after seeing off the delegation, they fell right into the waiting arms of a 600-strong Tibetan mob. In complete defiance of the police intervention, they attacked the monks. There was no compassion. None of the monks were spared. They were beaten without mercy by their fellow Tibetans. All of them received massive injuries. The police imposed a 24-hour curfew in the settlement.

Although the 20 monks were beaten without mercy by the Tibetans, the police took them into judicial custody. The UCO leaders, who responsible for the clash, and were contravening their expulsion order from the police, were left untouched.

Source: www.schettini.com

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4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Well I got into the present news lettter after about 10 years today on the web. I still recall the incident of arson incited and entered into by the people opposed to the worship of Lord Dorje Shugden. I amd my colleague Mr Thakur had anarrow escape from the hnds of the rioters. The incident only reflects how the ruling government had failed to live up to the Constitution of India. Though I am not much aware of the present situation but I feel that the situation is no better as I have not gone through any news wherein the Dalai Lama has either expressed regret or has himself taken up the issue of Lord Dorje Shugden in a positive manner. I still convey my moral and professsional support not only for the cause of the Tibetan Society worshiping Lord Dorjee Shugden but also for the reason that the issue manifests a blatant vilation of Human rights as welll as the established tenets of the Constitution Of India.

    Arvind Singh, Advocate Supreme Court of India.

  2. Well I got into the present news lettter after about 10 years today on the web. I still recall the incident of arson incited and entered into by the people opposed to the worship of Lord Dorje Shugden. I and my colleague Mr Thakur had a narrow escape from the hnds of the rioters. The incident only reflects how the ruling government had failed to live up to the Constitution of India. Though I am not much aware of the present situation but I feel that the situation is no better as I have not gone through any news wherein the Dalai Lama has either expressed regret or has himself taken up the issue of Lord Dorje Shugden in a positive manner. I still convey my moral and professsional support not only for the cause of the Tibetan Society worshiping Lord Dorjee Shugden but also for the reason that the issue manifests a blatant vilation of Human rights as welll as the established tenets of the Constitution Of India.

    Arvind Singh, Advocate Supreme Court of India.

  3. photo is faked propaganda, look at the full picture here..

    http://www.sajaforum.org/images/2008/03/18/tibetiansktn_2.jpg

    which just happens to be a supporter of HHDL for a free Tibet.

    The injury was from a protest Between the Nepali government and a crackdown on Tibetan refugees

  4. i do

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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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