The real reason the Tibetan leadership does not condemn self-immolations

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By: Steve Lee

A comment from an ex-CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) insider on a article reveals a rather insidious agenda brewing right in the heart of the Tibetan leadership. To date, the CTA has failed to make statements that discourage or denounce the growing trend of self-immolations occurring in India and Tibet, within the Tibetan community. Since the Tibetan leadership has failed to denounce the self-immolations, it is clear through their silence that they condone this practice. Hence they are allowing and encouraging Tibetans to kill themselves in the name of the Tibetan cause. They even glorify Tibetans who self-immolate by holding memorial services, lighting candles, calling them martyrs of the Tibetan cause and erecting statues to commemorate past self-immolations. And beyond this, the Tibetan leaders have even used self-immolation stories and statistics as garnishing for their fundraising campaigns in the West. There is blood smeared all over the donations that they have received into their fat pockets.

Comment left on the ‘Is Indian citizenship for Tibetans a threat to the Tibetan cause?’ article on Click on image to read the comment.

How can the Tibetan leaders allow their own people to kill themselves for the Tibetan cause when the leaders are not doing nearly enough to make a breakthrough for the Tibetan cause? All negotiations with the Chinese have reached a stalemate and there are no fresh attempts or even a change of strategy in dealing with the Chinese. In other words, the Tibetan leadership have been ineffective with their policies and dealings with the Chinese leaders and the self-immolations, a manifestation of the people’s frustrations, are actually proof of this.

Tibetan activist Jamphel Yeshi, 27, runs through the Delhi streets on fire in protest of Chinese policies in Tibet.

At the end of the day, the Tibetan leaders could do much more to engage with the Chinese leaders. What government or leadership in the world celebrates the self-immolation of its own citizens instead of taking steps to prevent it? It is not as though the Tibetan leadership lacks the mechanisms to discourage people from self-immolations. For example, the Tibetan leaders have proven themselves to be extremely adept at browbeating and segregating Dorje Shugden practitioners into giving up the practice. The same methods could be applied in a positive manner towards families and friends of those who self-immolate because that would help to prevent other cases of self-immolation from occurring in the future.

In the case of Dorje Shugden practitioners, they are denied basic services such as medical care in Tibetan hospitals, access to shops and facilities, and they are ostracized by the general Tibetan populace. These behaviors by ordinary Tibetans are instigated and perpetrated by the CTA who repeatedly talk about the so-called harmful nature of Shugden practitioners. But while these actions obviously have a negative impact on the lives of Shugden practitioners, the CTA could also use the very same methods for more positive impact on their community.

By warning Tibetans that these restrictions will be imposed on the families of those who self-immolate, the CTA could potentially end self-immolations in their community altogether. Families and friends of those considering taking their own life would have a greater impetus to pressure them out of this deadly act, thereby saving everyone from the pain, suffering, and death caused by such an action. And the self-immolators might think twice about engaging in an act that brings difficulties and limitations on their loved ones. After all, since the CTA are already known for imposing such restrictions on their people, why not use the methods for something positive and worthwhile instead of negative? This way they would be protecting their people for once, instead of harming them.

A memorial for Thupten Ngodrup was erected by the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) on the circumambulation path around the residence of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. He was the first man in modern times who self-immolated for the Tibetan cause in 1998.

Furthermore, self-immolations in Buddhism is considered an act of killing. The act of killing is widely considered to be grave negative karma for the individual committing the act. Unless the individual has a bodhisattva motivation like that of the Buddha in a previous life who offered himself up to a hungry tigress, the act of killing has the very serious repercussion of taking rebirth in the hell realms. Now, since the Tibetan leadership consider themselves to be Buddhist (or at least led by Buddhist principles), should they not abide by this very fundamental aspect of the teachings? Why would they condone and encourage others to take their own lives? Therefore, even though they call themselves Buddhist, ultimately this is merely an attractive label used to encourage foreigners to donate to the cause. In fact, after every case of self-immolation, the CTA are said to benefit financially through donations given by foreign countries and organizations who take pity on them, as expressed in Chokyi’s comment. This is not something to be taken lightly since Chokyi claims to have worked for the CTA for over 15 years, experiencing the blatant greed of the leadership as a firsthand witness.

A list of those who have self-immolated for the Tibetan cause since 1998. The CTA could have stopped this loss of life, but instead use their deaths to line their own pockets. Click to enlarge.

At the end of the day, the Tibetan leadership should apply the necessary means to end all self-immolations and that is to make headway with their negotiations with China. So far, the Tibetan leaders have only issued statements to put down China’s actions and this has got to stop. Just like a salesperson trying to sell its products to a potential customer, a sensible salesperson would not say things to criticize or insult the customer. They would instead praise or say things to make the customer feel happy in order to make a sale. Likewise, the Tibetan leadership should stop highlighting self-immolations and instead find common ground to talk about and encourage China to reopen negotiations. After all, China’s powerful influence is growing day by day, while the effectiveness and appeal of the CTA and the Tibetan leadership is waning fast.

And so the Tibetan leadership really have to do much more and quickly before it becomes too late. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama is no longer around, the Chinese leadership at that time will no longer need or want to negotiate because they will no longer find the Tibetan leadership to be a threat. As it is, the Chinese leadership already refuse dialogue with the Tibetans despite the Dalai Lama’s international standing, so what chance will the Tibetan leadership have to reopen dialogue once they no longer have the Dalai Lama’s reputation to rely on? So rather than using self-immolation as fodder against China, if the CTA had the real motive of benefiting their people, they would actually take measures to curb self-immolations within their own community rather than using them to line their own pockets with blood-stained money. But until that day comes, on the topic of self-immolations, sadly it is not a question of if the next one will happen but when, and this constant loss of life is certainly a most tragic situation for the already-dwindling community.

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  1. I m think Nechung is 1 of d best when I m watch to dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we are not back to Tibet yet Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

    ZUMA 👎

  2. Watch when Geshe Dorje interprets Nechung’s prophecies! What happened?

    After the Nechung oracle takes trance, his answers are interpreted and explained by Geshe Dorje, a Buddhist master from Nechung Monastery.

    The video from 2009 proves that Nechung is wrong again! Why rely on Nechung when all his prophecies are wrong?? Someone with a hidden agenda maybe?!!

  3. Only the CTA relies on the Nechung and made the spirit who gave so many false advice so much privileges

  4. MP Tenpa Yarphel is very brave to questioned the validity and accuracy of the spirit Nechung who the Dalai Lama always consulted, apparently Nechung has been giving highly inaccurate prophecies, but people still keep using him because Dalai Lama keeps using him and nobody dare to say otherwise, although Nechung is full of mistake, no wonder Tibetans did not get back their country even after 60 years:

    Look at this guy’s way of protest against MP Tenpa Yarphel and you know why the Tibetans will never get back their country:

  5. Bravo to MP Tenpa Yarphel for speaking up bravely! CTA has a lot of dodgy business going on even it’s own MP cannot keep quiet anymore. Watch what is being said here

    Yet, those in denial continue to support the corruptions within the CTA by shaving off his hair in protest against MP Tenpa Yarphel

    He is also supported by Geshe Dorje himself who is riding on the Nechung issue giving no concrete proof as usual

  6. I would like to share with you about this courageous Tibetan parliament MP who is speaking up against Nechung. He received a lot of backlash due to his bravery, but I hope it won’t deter him to speak up in the future. There are many people who actually agree with him

    1. Tibetan Parliament member representing Kagyu School, speak up about Nechung

    2. Tibetan shaves off his hair in protest against MP Tenpa Yarphel 2017 Sept

  7. If President Trump prefers China

    The CTA only has themselves to blame


  8. Announcement with Dharamsala!!!


  9. Well, if CTA really cared about Tibetans and did what they were elected to do in the first place, there will not be Tibetans who would be driven to take such drastic action. One can only imagine the desperation, frustration and hopelessness felt by them resulting in them feeling that they can only use their life to be heard.

    Sadly, such self-immolation does nothing for the Tibetan cause. The only one benefitting is CTA and hence they will not actively bring a stop to it. After all, more deaths translate to more sympathy prompting more donations for CTA to pocket.

    When will Tibetans realise the futility of not only self-immolations but also trusting/supporting CTA?

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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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