Tibetans reject Tibetan leadership

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By: Ashok Rao

Celebrated in Dharamsala, the heart of the Tibetan exiled community, Tibetan Democracy day or ‘mangtso duechen’ is supposed to be a grand event. In the past, Tibetans have used this opportunity to declare to the world that its decentralization of power and creation of a supposedly democratic people was a conscious choice, without violence or conflict. But this year’s celebration makes it quite clear the Tibetan people no longer have faith in the Tibetan leadership (CTA; Central Tibetan Administration). The courtyard of the Tsuglakhang temple complex, instead of being packed full of Tibetans celebrating their leadership, was mostly deserted with only less than 200 attendees. And most of them were the elderly or school children, who likely only attended since they were made to by their guardians. This ridiculously low turnout speaks volumes about how the Tibetans reject their own leadership.

The courtyard of the Tsuglakhang temple complex, where Tibetan Democracy day was celebrated. Waning support for the Tibetan leadership led to an embarrassingly low turnout.

  1. Tibetans did not attend their own leadership’s celebration because they realize that their leadership is corrupt, inadequate and selfish. From allegations of murder, violence, and financial mismanagement, the CTA is plagued by despicable revelation after revelation, unmasking their façade of a benevolent leadership. In fact out of the 130,000 Tibetans in exile, only 60,000 voted in the 2016 general elections. That is less than half the population. This decline in support therefore is not sudden, but a long time coming.
  2. The CTA use their people’s suffering to line their own pockets. They use the tragic cases of self-immolations to pander for funding from all over the world. The CTA take no firm measures to stop the practice. And the fact remains, the Tibetan people are getting so desperate for a solution that cases of such loss of life are on the increase. While the CTA continue to ‘venerate’ the poor souls, Tibetans themselves are sick and tired of the leadership making them into martyrs. They do nothing but glorify the dead for their own ends.
  3. While the CTA continue to get rich off the plight of the Tibetans, their people languish in the day-to-day fight to survive. Members of the Kashag and even Sikyong Lobsang Sangay himself have numerous cars or properties all over the world. Ordinary Tibetans on the other hand struggle selling sweaters from Ludhiana on the streets with no hopes of a better future, despite the promise of a beneficial leadership.
  4. The CTA dress up a political system that continues a backward theocracy as a democratic system. The CTA uses illegal means to solidify their own standing, such as gaining foreign nationality, but at the same time takes measures to prevent their own people from doing the same according to Indian or international law and being free of their refugee status.
  5. The CTA promote a community based on division and segregation rather than a unified Tibetan people. They use religion to divide and conquer. The CTA recognizes a Panchen Lama different to the one accepted in Tibet, they suppress the practice of Dorje Shugden, and they even stay quiet over forced religious conversion.
  6. The CTA cannot even decide which overall path to follow in regards to their own country. His Holiness the Dalai Lama advocates the middle-way approach (umaylam) in the hopes of realistically regaining some form of control over Tibet by the Tibetans. However, whole sections of the Tibetan parliament hold conferences to progress the full independence (rangzen) agenda in direct defiance of their own government’s policy.

The signs and their causes are clear to see. The CTA is dying a slow and painful death. Not only is the world turning their backs on the CTA, even their own people reject them now. The turn out to the celebration was shameful and foreign dignitaries who attended caught a first-hand glimpse of just how low an opinion the Tibetan people have towards their own leadership these days. Tibetans are not happy and this is publically embarrassing for the CTA. The Tibetans are tired of the CTA. They are tired of policies that divide people, destroy unity, are fraught with double standards and do nothing for the Tibetan people. The CTA is losing control and it will not be long before they are completely obsolete.

Left: Sikyong Lobsang Sangay hoisting the Tibetan flag in 2011. Right: Kalon for Department of Religion and Culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, hoisting the flag in 2017. There was a marked lack of attendance during the event. Even Sikyong Lobsang Sangay was off gallivanting in another country, he did not even make the effort to attend such an important event which he would normally officiate.


Official commemoration of 57th Tibetan Democracy day marred by low public turnout

Click to read the full report. Source: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=39490

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27 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Good to see Tibetans in exile begun to take baby steps towards making their dissatisfaction known to their leadership. More drastic and keen actions should be taken by the people to demand for better welfare and basic human rights, in a peaceful manner. Withdrawing support to the leadership is a good way. Creating international awareness of the poor conditions due to the lack of leadership is another way. It is important to bring this awareness to the world because some western or rich donor still generously give but the fund ended up in the CTA’s personal pocket.

  2. Glad to learn that finally Tibetans In Exile are showing their disapproval of the present governing body CTA by their non-attendance of Tibetan Democracy day or ‘mangtso duechen’. I don’t think that people should approve of a Government that could so blatantly live off the pains and sufferings of their citizens. Keeping their citizens in “refugee” status, playing up the self-immolation victims or pawning the Dalai Lama off to gain sympathy but basically to stretch out their capabilities of getting more gullible sponsors to donate. The “poor me” syndrome that CTA adopts are no longer attractive to their past supporters and sponsorship amount had been cut down drastically. After all, CTA’s arch enemy….China is surpassing in trade and political clout internationally. Who dares to insult by being friendly with CTA or the Dalai Lama when it means loss of millions/billions of trade agreements??

    Seeing the change of winds in the political scene had probably worried the Tibetans in exile, especially those who are still in “refugee’ or “stateless” status. What will their future be when CTA keeps preventing them from progressing? In sharp contrast, members of CTA, including Sikyong Lobsang Sangay lives in luxury and should CTA fall apart, need not worry where their next meal will be or meals for years to come as well. Their families are all well taken care off using funds meant for the welfare of their citizens. This would be the main reason why they oppose the Dalai Lama’s middle way approach towards return to Tibet. The middle way would have meant dissolution of CTA and all the easy monies from sponsors. Buddha Shakyamuni had lead the way to beg as practice of lessening our ego but CTA as professional beggars pride themselves in the different ways they are able to beg…… Time for the people to think deeper to make the right move and choice in a more caring Government body.

  3. Thank you, Ashok Rao for for clearly pointing out how the Tibetan in exile had been taken advantage of by inept governance.

    The Tibetans remain stateless and for now unaccepted by many countries to be being neutralised. It is truly a sad state of affairs.

    With the stale story of being victim of China and the cause which CTA stands for being less and less creditable, CTA is not only diminishing the status of its people but also that of the Dalai Lama. It is saddening to see that the world’s most respected Monk not being given due accord.

    In a bitter sweet manner, it is good that Tibetans boycotted the celebration of Tibetan Democracy Day (mangtso duechen). Is the sikyong, Lobsang Sangya also doing same. Is he also of the opinion that whatever he means to the Tibetans is no longer of importance.

    It is good that the Tibetans demonstrate their disappointment in CTA in such a peaceful manner.

  4. It is time Tibetans establish a domicile of their own be it India, China or other countries. It is obviously apparent CTA is not going to lead the way nor look after them as CTA is self serving. It is a matter of time where no one or nation will entertain their selfish ways. Neither Tibetans will support CTA due to obvious reasons.

    Bye bye CTA, your time is running out.

  5. The poor turnout of Tibetan people for the celebration of Tibetan Democracy Day is a clear sign to the world that the Tibetan people no longer have faith in their Leadership, who have played them out again and again. Attendees number less than 200 and were mostly the elderly and young children. The Tibetan people are now realising that the corrupt and selfish Tibetan Leadership have never really been interested in the Tibetan cause and in their future.

    Instead of using all the money in donations from foreign sponsors all these years for promoting the Tibetan cause and for the welfare and improvement of the economic level of the Tibetans in exile, the Leadership has been lining their pockets and securing their own futures, with foreign citizenships! On top of that , the poor Tibetans in exile have not secured citizenship of their host country India, being thwarted from this by the Tibetan leadership themselves for their own selfish reasons. They remain stateless and this will be to their detriment, when India decides to take back the land given to these Tibetan on humane grounds, when they first landed there as refugees.How can the Tibetan Leadership allow these poor Tibetans to remain as refugees?

    The worst cut of all, is that of silently encouraging the self-immolations for the cause of Tibetan’s independence, while doing nothing to negotiate for this to happen and also not telling the Tibetans that Tibet is now an unalienable part of China, as recognized by most major foreign powers. On top of it, they are leveraging on the sympathy of potential donors for these self-immolations, and collecting donations from them for their own self-serving ends.

    So Tibetan who are still stateless must now take firm steps to secure their citizenship to legitimise their continued stay in their host country, India. Other countries are turning them away because they no longer recognise them as Tibetans as Tibet is not recognised as an independent entity. Since foreign nations have mostly officially pronounced Tibet as part of China, they no longer recognise Tibet as an independent nation.

    Hence, Tibetans in exile in India should become Indian citizens, if they wish to continue staying there (permanently), as they had been doing for the past 60 years.

  6. Lessons are usually hard, and not easy to accept. Yet this feels like an Arab Spring all over, the people of Tibet in exile are no longer sheep to be fooled and misled by the CTA.

    I echo the words said by Dondrup Shugden it is high time the Tibetans look for a better state and existence, stay in India or head back to China. China seems like a much better option, many Tibetan in China have benefitted from China’s economic policies and business opportunities not everything is doom and gloom.

    I also do not hear that the Americans are giving budget to CTA, with all the Hurricanes hitting stateside. What next for CTA?

  7. Surprise ! Surprise! All the while I only read how obedient that the Tibetan was when come to obey their leadership. This news of purposely boycott their leaders was a surprise to me.

    Seem the Tibetans are really disappointed with their leader who are trying to destroy their culture more than China. Why did I say so, by having Dorje Shugden’s ban, the CTA not only divide and rule, they are actually destroying the Buddhism, corrupt the lineages which is in the culture of Tibetan . Not only that, the CTA wanted their people to stay as refugees status so that their pockets could be full all the time.

    I hope CTA will stop being so cruel to their own people.

  8. CTA took 60 years to do everything for themselves, the citizen took 6 years to abandon their leader who does not support them at all.

    Honestly, if I have money, I would leave this leadership long ago, if Im capable, I would also have abandon this leadership, even if Im not able to do much, I would also turn my back around CTA, why? How can a support system be one sided? How can we only spent our whole life sacrificing ourselves just to feed their greed and desire? Tibetans trusted their leaders 100%, some even 120%, but look at what has CTA done? Beside using their sacrificing to cheat more money, they even took the citizen’s life to get more and more and more and more money, their mind has nothing else but only money and money. For a country leader, instead of giving to their citizen, they took everything from them, their money, their possession, their lives, etc… They will never stop taking until the citizen wake up and stop giving.

    Hoping CTA to stop all these act is already a fantasy, it will never happened, because all these years, their greed has grown so much that they can no longer stop it already, so the only way to stop all these now is for the CTA to step down totally or they become just obsolete.

  9. We Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism never criticize Dorje Shugden. There are two Karmapa candidate and both do not criticize Dorje Shugden. The previous Karmapa 16th also never criticize Dorje Shugden. Karma Kagyu and Gelug can have harmony between each other. Spirituality is about harmony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K-yh7Jrnis


  10. Freedom to all and all deities should be allowed to practice. Freedom of religion is a necessity for harmony in society!


  11. Through how Tibetan were being brought up in a Buddhist culture, they have this faithful and joyful personality. To matter how hard the life was when they were escaped from Tibet, and those left behind and stayed, they continue to trust their leadership although they have nothing. Also because they have nothing, they were united, happy and having strong faith in their spiritual HHDL.

    Although Tibetan was poor, but everybody was harmony until the Dorje Shugden ban started 20 years ago. The ban broke the bond among all Tibetans. Many chose to believe CTA about the ban not that they understand why there’s a ban but their trust and faithfulness to follow what their leadership said. Tibetan sacrifice so much and putting so much hope on their leadership.

    Now, Tibetan realised how unreliable the CTA is. How much support given to CTA but nothing happen. They also found out that they have been cheated and used for the CTA benefits. Tibetan will have to stay poor in order to get sympathy from western country to get money.

    Tibetan should wake up by now and fight for their own right.

  12. I wonder why Lobsang Sangay did not attend the event. Supposedly such a good day to celebrate but he is not even there. And the best part is that he is not even in the country. The head of the supposedly government does not even encourage nor motivate his own people. Whatever it is, he could have planned his outing after or before the event.

    The other question is, what happened to the younger generation of Tibetans who did not turn up for the event? Well, thank goodness for the internet. Perhaps, they are catching up and learning about what their government is doing. After many years of empty promises, of course people will get impatient. And there are so many things happening and talks about CTA keeping the ‘donations’ for themselves.
    Why don’t they request for a change for the whole governing system? A new change, new faces, new ‘promises’ and new hopes. The current people in CTA are definitely not doing much for their own people. I believe some of the reasons why CTA people are always out of the country, is to perhaps secure more ‘donations’, make better connections for themselves to leave, definitely not to help Free Tibet.

  13. This Tibetan Democracy Day celebration is a very good example to show to the CTA that the Tibetans are giving up hope on them because they have not done much for the welfare of the Tibetans. The CTA can also do nothing to stop the self-immolations from recurring. Why in the world would the Tibetans still want such lousy and useless self-claimed government? Better if they make their own decisions on what they want to do with their lives and future rather than being the puppet to CTA.

  14. What democracy? Tibetans living in exile in Dharamsala know they have been hoodwinked into believing so but out of fear for their own safety have remained silent over the years. Just look at how badly and unfairly those Tibetans were badly treated when they refused to stop Dorje Shugden practice. But not anymore, thanks to more educated Tibetan children and adults speaking out. These people are disgusted with the CTA and the result was this dismal turnout for the Tibetan Democracy day.

    Next action: vote out all the lazy, useless, corrupted ministers in the CTA who are milking so much money given from kind benefactors that were meant for the betterment of the Tibetan people.

  15. 2017, The Tibetans are getting smarter, and not trusted their ” Bad Government = CTA ” who’s kept cheating them. And even Tibetan people’s are not attend their own leadership’s celebration.

    What’s Lobsang Sangay ( CTA ) wanted to do in future? Keep cheating theirs own peoples? Continue their corruption? Still keep the ban of Dorje Shugden practice?

  16. It’s also surprise that Sikyong Lobsang Sangay not attedning this important event. In such event aren’t Lobsang Sangay which is the President of the Central Tibetan Administration should motivate their people? It’s a democracy day where CTA should take this opportunity to encourage their people through this difficult time?

    The poor turnout during this Tibetan Democracy day really speaks a lot. Seems like Tibetan already realised that what is not right and giving sign to the Tibetan leadership. There is no way CTA can always take advantage of their people especially the educated one because the reality of what their people experienced is the fact. How long more the Tibetan in exile have to live in such condition? Why discrimination of difference belief being the reason for Tibetan leadership failure to keep their promises to the Tibetan? Why CTA not addressing the real issue and work it out to protect their people?

    At one hand it’s sad to see this situation but at the other hand it’s a wake up call to CTA to stop using their people, stop discriminating their people and start truthfully to take care of their people but after 60 years I’m not sure if this could really make any different to CTA.

  17. Maybe the Tibetans in Exile no longer see it a point of attending this Democracy Day as it brings no point for one to attend. Simply because there are basically no democracy in existence in Tibetan Exile world anymore. Just look how they treat people who deemed to be going against them? Dorje Shugden saga is one good example. What surprises me the most is that even Lobsang Sangay did not bother to turn up for this important event that he is supposed to be “selling” to the financial backers and sponsoring countries. If he himself didn’t bother to turn up and by the way I googled and found out that the crowd wasn’t really encouraging too previous times. Is this the end of CTA or this is just one clear sign indicating CTA’s time is up or at least Lobsang Sangays time is up.

  18. This is obviously tells the failing of leadership. Too much evidence of CTA act of ignorance and taking much granted from Tibetan people even on sacrificing their lives. The cause of CTA craze power maniac, shuts down humanity, mankind and freedom of the whole Tibetan. Moreover, the exploring of new revolution that people is educated, understand and RESPECT code of conduct especially in their spiritual path. It’s too bad CTA is neither in this. If not, there won’t be “Tibetan in exile”.

  19. At last! Tibetans in Dharamsala finally wake up! Democracy? What Democracy is CTA practicing by banning Dorje Shugden without logic and reasons, by segregating Lukar Jam because of saying his friend should live 103 years, by supporting self immolation just because want to use it as a sympathy card to get money from the west??? What democracy are they practicing that the Sikyong and other Parliament member can get property and PR in other countries, while the people are suffering as a refugees here? What democracy are they practicing that’s no human rights, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech??? HUH?? So, what democracy day to celebrate when there’s no democracy at all???
    The funniest part is, LOBSANG SANGAY! The SIKYONG!! Didn’t even bother to be there supporting the important day! LOL! Busy finding money from the other country??? Whatever it is, I think Lobsang Sangay, being born in a Buddhist “country” clearly know what Karma is. (Maybe he doesn’t know or doesn’t bother at all) So, is this the KARMA of CTA? Good bye soon CTA.

  20. You can’t fool your people all the way. After 60 years leading the Tibetan people in Exile, what does the results brought by Tibetan Leadership? Tibetan people in Exile still suffer. More and more Tibetan people in Exile realised that the only way for their next generation to have a better living is to apply for western or Indian citizenship. Currently, it becomes more difficult for them because more and more countries rejected them. Many countries already accepted Tibet is part of China and Tibetan people in exile should be going back to their own country. Due to this, the CTA can’t influence the world anymore and is going to be powerless and more difficult to survive, with this hope that CTA can understand the current situation and do something to help their own peoples.

  21. VERY GOOD PIECE by Ashok. Yes… so what happened to Mr. President? Where on this planet do you ever see a PRESIDENT of a nation NOT AROUND during their own Democratic event, plus it is an event called “Tibetan Democracy day” that shows the world that its decentralization of power and creation of a supposedly democratic. So what on earth happened to the President of democracy?

    He apparently decided to ditch his own people and for what? Perhaps in search of $$$$ to make him and his ministers wealthy and safe when they cannot exploit the Dalai Lama’s name anymore in the very near future. CTA’s days are numbered and they are living in fear each day as their time is running short, without the Dalai Lama, who on earth knows Tibet and who is this Lobsang dude? What is so great about him? How has he impacted the world? Zero.


  22. Year of hoping and dreaming for Tibetan through CTA to independent finally they has realise. It took generation and painful experience to see through how CTA use tibetan sympethy to raise money for west. The corrupted exile government raise the money and not their tibet refugee. This is total unaceppteble and surpress their tibetan human right, religion practice. It time CTA have to pray their price by cheating and lying to their own people over 60 year.

  23. CTA could easily “treat” their people selectively by only focusing on inviting only 1000 people to attend the celebration to ensure the event is crowded.. But why with this result? Does the CTA stopped to care about it or another way round that the Tibetans are really rejecting the CTA?

    I think this is a good start for all Tibetans to gain real freedom and escape from the CTA

  24. Again the CTA obviously has not much to do with democracy as the Tibetans don’t feel compelled to celebrate it. The image that the CTA wants to show to the world, especially the West, has not much to do with reality.

    This leadership of fear and suppression against everyone, who does not follow the CTA, does stand alone and the Tibetans don’t respect them as it seems. Why not organise new elections as the current leadership has no support from their people?

  25. We love Tibet and we want her free. But the Tibetan government in exile is segregating our people due to religion. Here in Germany today September 13, 2017 Tibetans are protesting against the Dalai Lama. Quite a few videos here: https://www.facebook.com/tenzin.trinlay?hc_ref=ARRLpe1G-46M9gSiGXdCoIyHzB8JjFqDTGTXZEWgWTT3BReqrYp_7clmDoXxv4PzhC0&fref=nf


  26. It will be interesting to see what the next election would be like ??
    There’s so much more information out there for people to read and learn. Also with the technology of today, one can gauge and compare what they are going through compared to their neighbours.
    Also when the CTA keeps bad mouthing China and also creating controversies with other groups, Tibetans can gauge the real actual situation through their digital platforms. They are not so naive anymore to just listen and believe entirely the talks of political leaders. This applies to all nations throughout the world.
    People can read up, watch videos, experience it themselves, compare and deduce if a government or leader is really there for its people !!

  27. Check out this video as it contains the Dalai Lama’s own words issuing the ban.

    Here is a clear video of His Holiness the Dalai Lama asking the monasteries to expel monks that practice Dorje Shugden. Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTgYWidYw3U

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Contemplate This

.…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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