Author Topic: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?  (Read 1658 times)

michaela

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Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« on: March 17, 2019, 06:03:25 PM »
I wish to fight for Tibetan freedom, but I am a Dorje Shugden follower. If in exile I don’t have freedom to practice Shugden and segregated, if we get a free Tibet, will you do the same to me in Tibet? Will Tibet be segregated like we are in exile India now? All Shugden people are banned from mainstream Tibetan life. I am a 2nd generation Tibetan living in Delhi and our community is heavily segregated because of this. If Shugden people are segregated and banned in Tibet like in India, what type of democracy is that? Dalai Lama said I have the freedom to practice Shugden, but I cannot join his secular talks, then that is not freedom but conditional leadership. Almost like blackmail to quit Shugden. I don’t wish to join in his religious talks but secular events which I am not allowed to as a Tibetan and he is our leader politically. A section of Tibetans cannot join Dalai Lama’s secular talks due to discrimination against their religion. That is wrong. Leaders have to be fair and not look at my religion. If like that now with segregation based on religion, how to fight for the freedom of a segregated Tibet?

Comment made by Ngawang on the article titled "Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?"

Link to the article: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/forget-my-religion-why-cant-i-support-tibetan-freedom/



Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?

Posted on March 17, 2019



By: Tsering Samten

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you as well as some international media with the hope that you will bring attention to my plight as a Dorje Shukden worshipper.

As you know March 10 is an important date to the Tibetan people because it is supposed to be the day when we commemorate our struggle to regain our freedom. I was excited and hopeful when the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) Tenzing Jigme announced the ‘Chalo Delhi’ program which started yesterday March 10, 2019. In his announcement posted in Phayul.com Tenzing Jigme had stated, “Tibet is in a critical state and at this moment in history, it is imperative for us to come together united in our stand for our nation and our people”. What the TYC President said is true and today after 60 years of efforts and struggle it appears that the force behind our struggle for freedom is fading.



So I wrote to the TYC asking if my friends and me who are all Tibetans can participate in the ‘Chalo Delhi’ programs. I had to ask because within the Tibetan community I am like a pariah due to a religion I practice. For generations my family worshipped a dharmapala called Dorje Shukden who until the 1990s was an important practice in the gelugpa. It may shock many people to know that within the Tibetan community controlled by the Dalai Lama and his Central Tibetan Administration, we are told what we can believe in and what we cannot. And they can change their mind anytime if it serves them politically. If the Dalai Lama and CTA forbids your religion and you continue in your faith, you will be regarded as a criminal. And so it was important to get express permission from the TYC and if we turned up for an official TYC and CTA events without permission, we can get into very deep trouble.

The CTA is not a democracy that allows religious freedom although religious freedom is guaranteed by our democratic constitution. If you practice a religion that the CTA does not like, you will get into trouble, you are segregated and persecuted and regarded as a criminal. Even family, neighbours and colleagues are not allowed to be friendly with us because they too will get into trouble. We Shukdenpas have suffered this for over 20 years. Without having any voice of our own we have kept a low profile and continued to live and practice our religion and not cause trouble.

At the same time, in the last 20 years we have seen the Tibetan struggle go from something tangible to become something more like a fantasy. And so when the TYC President Tenzing Jigme called for unity, my friends and me answered the call. But to my shock, my enquiry was ignored and it seems I am not even deserving of an answer.



What saddens me is to realise that the TYC, just like the CTA, is not sincere about its call for Tibetan unity. It is not sincere about fighting for the freedom of all Tibetan people. It shows to me that even if somehow the CTA regains our homeland, there are many of us who will continue to live like outcasts and untouchables. Is that the freedom that Tibetans are fighting for? Is that the freedom that our Tibetan democracy promises? Is that the kind of freedom friends of Tibet have supported for 60 years? If yes, then it is not different to having the Chinese as masters. As painful as it is for me to say that, it is a truth. In a truly free community it would not be important what colour your skin is, what race you belong to, what religion you practice, what sex you belong to and what caste you belong to and what opinions you have. The very fact that there are such discriminations is proof that a society is not free.



It is wrong to say that a person is only Tibetan if he fits into a mould that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leaders decide, if he fits a description, if he is willing to forfeit his own freedom of choice and his human rights and only then will he be accepted by the CTA and TYC and be regarded as worthy. That is like the attitude of Hitler’s Nazis who did not regard everyone to be worthy of being alive and treated as human beings. To them these certain people must fit a Nordic description and have blue eyes and blond hair and only then are they worthy to be regarded as the master race. The rest like the Jewish people should be exterminated. In principle, how the CTA and TYC regard Shukdenpas is the same. If I am a free person I should not need anyone’s permission to practice my faith and I should not need anyone’s permission to express my wish for a free Tibet and I should not live in fear simply because I do not meet someone else’s description of what is a worthy human.

Even more saddening is to see the very low turnout worldwide of Tibetans and supporters during the TYC’s Chalo Delhi. It is shocking and disappointing to see that the TYC would rather fail in its fight than to be fair to all Tibetans and regard Shukdenpas as human beings.

In my opinion, the TYC and CTA have failed the acid test of how sincere they are about uniting all Tibetans and upholding Tibetan rights under a constitution. If we are not free of the prejudices and persecutions of our own leaders, then Tibetan freedom is already lost with or without regaining our homeland.

Sincerely,
Tsering Samten



Content of my letter to TYC President, Tenzing Jigme

Dear Tenzing la,

I read with interest news about your ‘Chalo Delhi’ program recently reported in Phayul.com. And I wanted to personally thank you for your efforts since you took office in the TYC.

I have seen your good works over the years and I am a supporter of your vision. This is due to my believe that today, more than ever Tibet needs good leaders who are brave, progressive, far-sighted and fair.

Frankly it has been very difficult to see our present state of affairs and the hopelessness that seems to be trapped in many Tibetan hearts. However, I started to have hope again after observing your efforts. I was encouraged when I read about your interview of May 9 2016, posted on the TYC website. In the interview with the Tibet Sun you made this profound declaration

Quote
“The first clause of TYC aims and objectives is to follow the guidance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. I believe that should be the aim or principle of every Tibetan. Our fourth clause is to seek independence for Tibet, which is our right. I don’t think we need to give up seeking our right. Since the inception of the Middle-Way Approach in 1980 until now, over the last forty years we did not have any issues. TYC’s charter was formed in 1970. Both political stands have co-existed in the past without any problems. More importantly, what I really think needs to happen in our exile diaspora is that we need to comprehend ongoing discussions in our political discourse, and pay attention to elements that seem to be intruding into our society and our communities to divide us vis-a-vis Rangzen vs MW or Regionalism or Sectarianism”. (https://www.tibetanyouthcongress.org/2016/05/tyc-president-interview-wt-tibet-sun/)


Tenzing la, you courageously made a stand for the Tibetan people, and the countless number who have given their lives to defend the cause over the decades. If we compromise enough and lower ourselves enough, I am sure we, the Tibetan people may be allowed back on our motherland. But I wonder if there is any point to this if we do not regain the soul of Tibet. This can only be secured if Tibet is free and the Tibetan people live as independent people without any political overlords. Otherwise, every Tibetan becomes merely a reminder of how we pledged away our birthright.

I thank you for your far sightedness and your strength of commitment to say that. It cannot be easy for you to make that stance publicly because there are strong forces that want us to forget our struggle for Tibetan independence. But at the same time, you are careful to preserve what is precious to all Tibetans which is our reverence for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This too is important to note.

In essence, what you stated was that it is not impossible and contradictory to love and revere His Holiness the Dalai Lama and at the same time hang on to the basic rights and freedoms that all human beings are entitled to. Freedom to choose is our right bestowed upon us as human beings and protected by the Tibetan Constitution.

I understood your meaning, which was to say that exercising our rights as human beings does not mean we reject His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I agree with you wholeheartedly Tenzing la.

I also note your recent statement in Phayul.com when you announced the ‘Chalo Delhi’ program, that it is also time to introspect on “the movement, our policies and foster unity among ourselves when China is trying to destroy it even in exile”. And that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) should encourage and include people with different opinions and ideologies in discussions.

As you have said many times, there are elements that seek to divide us. As it is, we are already a very small community facing a very powerful enemy. Apart from Rangzen vs MW, and divisions based in regionalism, one very harmful issue that has divided us is the worship of Gyalchen Shukden, as I am sure you are aware.

I am one victim of such a division. I come from a family of Gyalchen Shukden worshippers. We have worshipped this protector for many generations just as we have loved and respected His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Just like seeking independence does not mean we are against His Holiness the Dalai Lama, neither does being a believer of Gyalchen Shukden mean we oppose the Dalai Lama.

But today our family is broken because of this issue. But regardless of what sect or region we belong to or what protector we worship, we are all Tibetan people and we all love our country. The time is not for us to look at what separates us but what unites us. Our internal divisions have weakened us and it is very clear to see Tibetans fighting Tibetans instead of uniting against a common enemy. As you said, Tibet is in a critical state now and if our struggle for independence becomes merely a memory, then those who seek to divide us would have won.

You, honourable Tenzing la, are a fighter for freedom and independence. Does the freedom you fight for include our freedom to exercise all our basic human rights including our right to a religion of our choice? In a truly free and democratic society, no one should be punished for having different opinions and ideologies and religion. This is the foundation of being free.

I am asking because as a Tibetan I would like to see our nation free and independent again. And so I would like to join your ‘Chalo Delhi’ program. In the past, the CTA has said that people who worship Gyalchen Shukden cannot join anything organised by them. Like this, we as a nation of people will become weaker and weaker and so I disagree with the CTA’s stand on this. I do not see how I can only be regarded as a Tibetan only if I reject our fight for independence, only if I come from a specific region or belong to a certain sect and follow a certain religion the CTA say I can worship. If that is the case, then we already lost what we are fighting for.

The ‘Chalo Delphi’ program is under the TYC of which you are the President. I am hopeful of the changes you stand for. Accordingly I seek your commitment to foster genuine Tibetan unity that cuts across political preference, region and religion. Please Tenzing la, please break what has kept the Tibetan people apart and unite us again.

I eagerly await your confirmation that the ‘Chalo Delhi’ program and all TYC programs are for all Tibetan people regardless of region or sect or religion. It would be my great honour to stand with you in your fight for all Tibetan people.

Yours in hope and trust,
Tsering Samten

Article link: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/forget-my-religion-why-cant-i-support-tibetan-freedom/


« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 06:13:40 PM by AshRao »

thaimonk

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 09:41:13 PM »
Tibetan leadership does so much to divide their own people even BEFORE they have their country back in India and Nepal. Once they get their country back, if they do, they will segregate more people based on religion and other social constructs. Tibetans in Tibet are overall very backwards and very primitive in thinking. They are always very violent when dealing with each other. They will definite segregate each other and there will be many civil wars.

Tracy

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 10:11:30 AM »
I am not a Tibetan, but I can feel how sad and frustrated Tsering Samten is. From what he wrote, he seems to be a person who loves the Dalai Lama and Tibet a lot. He strongly believes in the Tibet cause and he wants to contribute to make the cause a successful one. Unfortunately, due to the Dorje Shugden ban, his basic right as the Tibetan in exile was taken away, he is like the untouchable even though he has not done anything wrong.

CTA claims to be a democratic government, people have the religious freedom to choose what they want to believe and practice. But this is not true, Tsering Samten is segregated in his own community, he was not allowed to attend the secular talk of the Dalai Lama, he kind gesture of offering his service to fight in the Tibet cause was completely ignored simply because he is a Dorje Shugden follower.

To make the Tibet cause successful, there must be unity in the Tibetan community. At the moment, due to various conflicts, the Tibetans are split into different fractions, each group have their own ideology. If CTA continues to allow segregation in the Tibetan community, the Tibet cause will never be successful. Tibetans are losing their faith in CTA and CTA should feel alarmed. If CTA doesn’t resolve the conflicts in the Tibetan community, there will be even fewer Tibetans participating in the uprising anniversary event in the future.

Drolma

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 10:31:00 AM »
To be honest, the Tibetans should not allow CTA to continue to be their leader. What can they give to the Tibetans? For the past 60 years, CTA constantly creates problems and conflicts in the Tibetan community, they don't take care of the welfare of the Tibetans, they misuse the donations give to the Tibetans, all they do is splitting the Tibetan community into different fractions. They make use of the Tibet issue to make money for themselves.

If they cannot even improve the lives of 80,000 Tibetans in India, how is that possible they are able to give a better future to millions of Tibetans in Tibet? The Chinese government has successfully reduced the poverty rate in Tibet from 37% to 7.9% in 2018, can CTA do that? Tibetans in Tibet now make more money than those in India, they have a very comfortable life. Who wants to change that?

This is a reality check, how many Tibetans in Tibet and outside of Tibet really want Tibet to be an independent state? There are not many supporters, why does CTA still want to waste time and money to pursue the Tibet cause? Go for the Middle Way approach which will be a win-win situation to both the Chinese government and the Tibetans.

PrajNa

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 12:04:29 PM »
Tibetan leadership does so much to divide their own people even BEFORE they have their country back in India and Nepal. Once they get their country back, if they do, they will segregate more people based on religion and other social constructs. Tibetans in Tibet are overall very backwards and very primitive in thinking. They are always very violent when dealing with each other. They will definite segregate each other and there will be many civil wars.

Central Tibetan Administration claims that they are democratic, why do they discriminate people based on religion? Worse still, Dorje Shugden practitioners are recognised by the resolution of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile as criminals in history. Can you believe that?

You can see for yourself here and they proudly put in on their official website: https://tibet.net/2014/03/tibetan-parliament-passes-resolution-concerning-dolgyal/

I've also put it here below as an attachment.

Drolma

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 06:29:26 PM »

Central Tibetan Administration claims that they are democratic, why do they discriminate people based on religion? Worse still, Dorje Shugden practitioners are recognised by the resolution of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile as criminals in history. Can you believe that?

You can see for yourself here and they proudly put in on their official website: https://tibet.net/2014/03/tibetan-parliament-passes-resolution-concerning-dolgyal/

I've also put it here below as an attachment.

This is what Dorje Shugden followers have to go through. The ban is imposed unlawfully without any ground, this is already bad. The Tibetan leadership makes it even worse by criminalising Dorje Shugden followers. Seriously, what did Dorje Shugden followers do that they deserve this?

CTA is the lousiest government in the world. They are very capable of creating problems but they are not capable of taking care of their own people. Instead of protecting Tibetans and maintaining harmony in the community, CTA wants the Tibetan community to split into different groups that are hostile to one and other so that the people's power is weakened. When the people's power is weak, CTA can continue to do what they want and no one will go against them.

CTA is full of lies and deceptions. All they care is the benefits they are going to get. This is why the lives of the Tibetans living in the exile community did not improve at all and the Tibet cause has no progress. CTA has no intention to improve Tibetans' lives because they need poor Tibetans to help them get money from the sponsors. In order to cover up their evil plan and their failure as the government, they conveniently put the blame on Dorje Shugden.

Alex

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2019, 01:59:36 PM »
This is just ridiculous. Why would anyone be condemned and labeled as criminals just because they choose to practice a certain religion? This is ridiculous especially when the Tibetan government proudly claimed themselves as democratic government. There is nothing democratic in persecuting someone based on their religion choice.

The Tibetan government lied to the whole world saying that they are a democratic body. They are able to get millions of donations when they cry about how China had been suppressing human rights in Tibet and they need help from other countries. However, if one looks closely on how the Tibetan government operates, you will find that they are nowhere near a democratic body.

They did the exact same thing that they accuse China of doing which is suppression of human rights. They disregarded religious freedom by banning Dorje Shugden practice despite no valid reason of why the practice is being banned. However, little did they know is that the people that will suffer most will be their own Tibetans in exile.

michaela

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2019, 02:53:16 AM »
There are already so few Tibetans in exile, and their population continues to dwindle. Even that they cannot get their act together. Among the Tibetans in exile, they discriminate against Shugden practitioners and denied them of health care, education, employment, etc. Just another reason for us not to support the Tibetan government in exile.

pemachen

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2019, 03:00:58 AM »
This is just ridiculous. Why would anyone be condemned and labeled as criminals just because they choose to practice a certain religion? This is ridiculous especially when the Tibetan government proudly claimed themselves as democratic government. There is nothing democratic in persecuting someone based on their religion choice.

That's the Tibetan leadership for you. That's why from the "Tibetan Government in Exile", they are now "Central Tibetan Administration". Soon, it will become "Tibetan People Association" because they are reduced to nothing after eligible Tibetans migrate to other countries, including going back to Tibet, and those in India become Indian citizens.  8)

Tracy

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2019, 03:30:11 AM »
This is sad, isn't it? The Dorje Shugden followers are discriminated against by their own government. They did not kill or rob a bank, but yet they are criminalised. This is all due to Lobsang Sangay. I wonder what has he studied at Harvard that he can make such an unlawfully decision. Dorje Shugden followers are also Tibetans, they also love their country, why can't they express their love for their country? Their basic human rights as Tibetans are not granted to them by their government. The human rights activists should look into this issue and condemn the action of the CTA.

Alex

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2019, 03:43:20 AM »
This is sad, isn't it? The Dorje Shugden followers are discriminated against by their own government. They did not kill or rob a bank, but yet they are criminalised. This is all due to Lobsang Sangay. I wonder what he studied at Harvard that he can make such an unlawful decision. Dorje Shugden followers are also Tibetans, they also love their country, why can't they express their love for their country? Their basic human rights as Tibetans are not granted to them by their government. Human rights activists should look into this issue and condemn the action of the CTA.

Dorje Shugden practitioners are just scapegoats for the failure of the Tibetan government. They are just being used as a shield and also a distraction for the whole world to forget about what the Tibetan government is supposed to do which is to fight for Tibet's freedom. Until now they have not been able to deliver their promise and they are keeping quiet about it.

They blew up the Dorje Shugden issue and hope that the world and Tibetans will focus on the Dorje Shugden ban instead of the question of Why the Tibetans are still in India after 60 years. Actually, the Dorje Shugden issue is a very small religious issue and there is no need for them to blow it up this big. That is why we can see their true intention behind the ban and most importantly, Dorje Shugden people are innocent.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 05:49:04 AM by Vajraprotector »

Rowntree

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2019, 04:35:17 AM »
With more Tibetans in India opt for the Indian passports, it is clear to us that the Tibetans no longer believe that they can travel to Tibet, let alone to go back to their country. The Tibetans are practical in this sense. Better to be seen as a 'traitor' that stateless.

Tibetan leadership does so much to divide their own people even BEFORE they have their country back in India and Nepal. Once they get their country back, if they do, they will segregate more people based on religion and other social constructs. Tibetans in Tibet are overall very backwards and very primitive in thinking. They are always very violent when dealing with each other. They will definitely segregate each other and there will be many civil wars.

daka

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2019, 04:47:48 AM »
Well, at least the Tibetans are smarter now. They learn their lesson not to trust CTA anymore on their fight for Tibetan cause. This recent case of Dorje Shugden practitioner being rejected is another proof of the insincerity of the CTA in fighting for Tibetan cause. There's nothing much to say.

dsnowlion

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2019, 04:54:49 AM »
No Tibetans should be shunned upon by their own leaders. If they are experiencing so, it goes to show that their leaders are FAKE and care nothing about the people but only to serve and benefit themselves. No good leader would suppress their own people.

Dorje Shugden people are still humans and they have their rights too. When you as a leader shun your own people, then without the people, you are nothing because you will have no one to lead except a bunch of yaks. But I guess what do we expect from a bunch of bigger yaks. Sorry to say but CTA leaders are not the brightest.

More and more Tibetans are moving forward and becoming citizens of other countries and nations... so soon CTA will only have themselves to command and manage which they probably even can't because from within they are also fighting which other and can't even get their facts right > Who is lying, Samdhong or Sangay?
http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/who-is-lying-samdhong-or-sangay/

Alex

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Re: Forget my religion, why can’t I support Tibetan Freedom?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2019, 12:17:32 PM »
Tibetans should separate the issue of Religious freedom with the fighting of Tibet's independent. They are not the same because one is a religious issue and the other is a political issue. They should not be mixed together because it will create a very messy situation as the nature of both the issue is different.

The Tibetan government is a religious and political government because their leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is both a monk and a leader of a country. It is never a good idea to combine both issues together because everything will get mixed up and a simple straight forward problem will be blown out of proportion as both religion and politics both are a sensitive area on their own.

Just like the Dorje Shugden ban. It is a very small issue if everyone just treats it as a religious issue. However, the Tibetan government chose to make it a political issue as well and that is why the ban is so huge now that affects everyone including those who are not even in the same religion. This is how CTA distracts the public from focusing on the real problem.