Chronology of Key Events: 1999 – 2007

January 13, 1999

  • H.H. the Dalai Lama pays a visit to Trijang Labrang, the residence of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche (1900-1981), his tutor. At a gathering of the Labrangs, H.H. the Dalai Lama says:
     
    …during my visit to Switzerland, Lobsang said, the current Choktrul Rinpoche be allowed to worship Dorje Shugden like his predecessor, without a decision through the dough ball divination. He also told me that the ban on Shugden worship is causing widespread suffering to everyone, and that it may be revoked.
     
    This is ridiculous talk. My reason for banning the Protector is in the interest of Tibetan’s politics and religion, as well as for the Gelug tradition. In our face to face meeting, I also told Rinpoche to understand that we may meet each other for the last time.
  • During this private audience with H.H. the Dalai Lama, Ven. Choenzey-la, the eldest official at Trijang Labrang, mostly humbly points out that the religious ban has created an unprecedented atmosphere of hostility against both Shartse monastery and against Trijang Labrang which is not very different from the atmosphere of the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. He requests the Dalai Lama to consider revoking the ban to lift the suffering of the Tibetan public.
  • To this, H.H. the Dalai Lama angrily says:
     
    There will be no change in my stand. I will never revoke the ban. You are right. It will be like the Cultural Revolution. If they (those who do not accept the ban) do not listen to my words, the situation will grow worse for them. You sit and watch. It will grow only worse for them.

 

January 14, 1999

  • During the first public address at Drepung monastery, H.H. the Dalai Lama touches briefly on the Tibetan issue, and dwells on his ban on the worship of Dorje Shugden:
     
    Dorje Shugden Society play games at me wherever I go. They have published an announcement. They think that I will back off. That I will never do. If not in this life, a successor will be appointed to sustain this ban.

 

January 15, 1999

  • In Mundgod, the Shugden Society calls on Mr. Pema Choejor, Tibetan Minister for the Department of Security and Mr. Khedrup, Secretary of the same department from Dharamsala. The society representatives, in their face to face meeting, explain their situation in detail:
     
    The exile government has already taken away both our political rights and religious rights. The Tibetan public has been induced to hate us even more than the Chinese, with discrimination, defamation, abuse and baseless allegations. This has gone on for three years now.
     
    From our side, time and again, we have approached H.H. the Dalai Lama and exile government through personal representation and delegations, as well as numerous petitions. Till date, however, there has been no sympathetic solution from the exile government’s side. This day, His Holiness spoke out so angrily, violently, and so abusively against us and our faith in front of the entire settlement.
     
    According to you, the worship of Shugden in Tibetan society harms the well-being of H.H. the Dalai Lama and the cause of Tibet. We do not have any intention to undermine the well-being of His Holiness; at the same time we cannot compromise our religious principals for the sake of political expediency.
  • To these representations, the exile government officials respond:
     
    We understand your difficulty. We will convey your grievance clearly to the Kashag (cabinet) in Dharamsala. What you say is true, but since the ban comes from His Holiness, we are put into a very difficult situation. H.H. the Dalai Lama is taking a rock-like stand, and if you also take an equally rigid stand, we (exile government) are caught helpless in between.

 

First week of May, 1999

  • In an informal meeting of local Tibetan organizations in Darjeeling with the new representative officer of H.H. the Dalai Lama, these groups unofficially announce to the local Tibetans that henceforth no one is permitted to invite any member of the Samten Choeling Monastery (Est.1952), Tharpa Choeling Monastery (Est: 1922) and Kharshang Monastery (Est: 1919) to any Tibetan gatherings or Buddhist festivals. All are Gelug monasteries related to Dorje Shugden.

 

July 24, 1999

  • Anonymous poster in Nepal:
     
    The Mahayana Gelug Monastery in Kathmandu sent around 152 monks to Pomra of Sera Mey and Dhokang of Gaden Shartse monasteries.
     
    The posters go on to ask Nepali families not to send children to these monasteries, because these monasteries worship Dorje Shugden.

 

September 11, 2000

 

December 14, 2000

  • The Delhi High Court directs the Delhi Police to look into the complaints of torture of Lord Dorje Shugden devotees by H.H. the Dalai Lama. In a writ filed before the court, Geshe Konchog Gyaltsen says that he received telegrams signed by “S Killer” which threaten to kill him in the same way as Geshe Lobsang Gyatso had been murdered.
     

    Death threat received by Geshe Konchog Gyaltsen

  • A division bench of Justice Usha Mehra and Justice K. Ramamoorthy after hearing the criminal writ filed by the Dorje Shugden Devotees’ Charitable & Religious Society, directs the Deputy of Commissioner of Police (North) to look into the complaint and take decision in accordance to law within six weeks.

 

June 20, 2002

  • Sera Jey Monastery sends a letter to the representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama at Lugsung Samdupling Tibetan settlement, Bylakupee, Karnataka State. It reads:
     
    As the one person mentioned below requires an Identity Certificate for traveling abroad, he is not a worshipper of Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden). As such, we have no objection for his travelling abroad.
     

    Dorje Shugden practitioners face difficulties in obtaining travelling permits from the Tibetan government on account of their religious beliefs

 

June 30, 2002

  • An anonymous notice is posted in Lama Camp No. 2, supposedly issued by examination candidates who have no wish to study or hold any religious exercise with apostates.
     
    Along with the concluding meeting of this examination, in the interest of the general policy of Tibet, and for the very sake of Gelug sect, we wish to pass a resolution and take signature to ban devotees of Dholgyal (Shugden) from appearing at this examination.
     
    Some perverted worshippers of Dholgyal (Shugden) have been engaged in slander against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They have been engaged in various activities, which are detrimental to the cause of Tibetan polity. The reason why this is so, is the fact that till now none of you have taught them (Shugden worshippers) a strong lesson. You have left them free. When you offered long life prayers to him (Dalai Lama) at Pang-pe this year, he (Dalai Lama) shouted out of exasperation: “Am I the only person who should challenge the Dholgyal Society?”
     
    …the need of the hour is to make a complete discrimination between those who worship and those who do not worship Shugden……the abbots and former abbots should establish a complete ban blocking the inclusion of any Dholgyal worshipper in the Gelug Board Examinations.
     
    …we will institute a signature campaign, to the effect that henceforth we do not wish to conduct or sit at examinations alongside those who worship Dholgyal. Copies of this signature and oath will be submitted to the (exile Tibetan) Cabinet and the Private Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama.

 

July 8, 2002

  • An official announcement by the (Administrative) House Teachers, with the seal of Sera Jey monastery:
     
    It has been resolved at the meeting of July 8, 2002 that oath will be taken from the entering of the monastic community that henceforth no one will worship Dholgyal (Shugden).
     
    On that day, all the adjacent monks of respective houses will be stringently called together for this taking of oath. Whoever does not attend, will be treated as “voluntarily expelled” from the monastery’s communal auspices.
     
    5) The monastery will not take cognizance of any posters for or against this decision, once the oath-admission is completed. House teachers will take stringent steps over their members on this point.

 

July 28, 2002

  • Sera Jey abbot Dhonyoe, Gyumey Khensur Lobsang Tenzin, Geshe Wangdhu and Jangtse abbot use their power to coerce the monks of their monasteries to cooperate with the forced signature campaign, swearing that they have no connection with Dorje Shugden. Seven monks are badly attacked.

 

February 2, 2003

  • The abbot, chantmaster, disciplinarian and general body members of Ganden Jangtse Thoesam Norling Monastery decide to issue all residents of the Monastery a fresh Identity Certificate (I.D. Card), after they swear not to practice Dorje Shugden.

 

Jan 5 to 20, 2005

  • The Guntur police station and the media receive the names and photographs of seven people who are reported to be serious threats to H.H. the Dalai Lama’s life. Three are Geshes who have lived in the monastery for 20 years. They are accused of attempting to assassinate H.H. the Dalai Lama during his Kalachakra ritual because they are worshippers of Shugden. A police official said:
     
    The Tibetan authorities informed us that these persons might attempt to assassinate him during his stay in Amravati

 

February 14, 2006

  • A few monks in the Nyakri department of Ganden Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet, forcibly remove and destroy a statue of Dorje Shugden, along with a statue of Setrab. Pilgrims report the incident to the people in Lhasa and a few hundred Tibetans from the Kham region, particularly Dagyab, set off to question those responsible.
  • The Chinese police arrive at the monastery in time to prevent direct clashes between the perpetrators and the people of Kham. The perpetrators are interrogated and the two main instigators face legal consequences.
  • In other acts of violence, houses of Dorje Shugden practitioners are attacked with heavy explosives. When those responsible are caught by Chinese authorities, the exile administration hails them as national heroes fighting for Tibetan freedom.

 

July 19, 2006

  • The house of a family in Lhasa known to be Dorje Shugden practitioners is attacked by four Tibetans wearing masks and claiming to be Dalai Lama’s messengers. Alone at home, the 20-year-old son is tortured and his fingers are cut off. He is told that his hands, and later his head, will be cut off if his family doesn’t listen to the Dalai Lama.

 

December 9, 2006

  • The Dorje Shugden Society organizes a Grand Puja in Delhi. Many senior Lamas, Geshes, and monks are invited from various monasteries including Sera and Ganden.

 

December 20 & 21, 2006

  • The 10th Anniversary of the Dorje Shugden Society and the 5th International Dorje Shugden Summit is held at the India International Center, New Delhi. The summit is attended by dignitaries, scholars, and delegates from 14 different countries.

 

January 12, 2007

  • At a public speech in Sera Mey monastery, H.H. the Dalai Lama labels the Dorje Shugden Society and Shugden devotees as murderers and beaters, and says:
     
    They receive money from China.

 

February 2, 2007

  • In the morning puja of Ganden Jangtse monastery, the abbot Lobsang Choepal declares that monks who have no identity card must make a decision within two weeks. To get the ID, every monk must give a signature that he will give up the worship of Shugden.
  • The monks of Serkong house who worship the deity do not receive ID cards from the monastery.
     

    Most, if not all, major Tibetan Buddhist monasteries adopt the policy to issue new Identity Cards to members who swear to give up the practice of Dorje Shugden

 

February 5, 2007

  • The Dorje Shugden Society sends petitions to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, and Foreign Minister of India, requesting them to stop the religious repression by the abbot of Ganden Jangtse monastery in South India, and let the devotees enjoy their religious freedom granted by the Indian Constitution.

 

February 15, 2007

  • Delegates from the Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibetan Youth Congress seek permission from the abbot to conduct peaceful demonstrations in the monastery against Shugden devotees.

 

February 23, 2007

  • Tsering Dondup, General Secretary of the Department of Religion & Culture (Tibetan Government in Exile) sends letters to the abbots and staff of all Gelug monasteries. It reads:
     
    Even the Head Reception Center are explaining why H.H. the Dalai Lama has banned the worshipping of Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden) to our brothers who newly arrived from Tibet. However, we give the same recommendation, without discrimination, for schools and monasteries to the few newcomers who take rigid stand to worship Dholgyal.
     
    However, in Gelug code of Conduct resolved on the gathering of Gaden Tripa, Shartse Choje and Jangtse Choje, abbots and representatives, in article 4, 7 of section 12, about do and don’t. Those who will join a monastery must give up the worshipping of Dholgyal (Dorje Shugden). The head reception Center must explain like before as to why H.H. the Dalai Lama has imposed a ban on worshipping Dholgyal.
     
    In case they didn’t listen and take staunch stand despite your explanations, there is no way to let them go like present in every Gelug monastery including Sera, Drepung and Ganden. Therefore, from the day you received this degree, you must implement the policy not to provide recommendation [to those who continue worship Dorje Shugden.] in every monastery which was registered in the Tibetan Exile’s Department of Religion and Culture.

 

September 10, 2007

  • The Kashag Secretariat and the Tibetan Reception Center deny 16 Tibetan newcomers recommendation letters to join Tibetan monasteries, on the basis of being Dorje Shugden practitioners. The 16 Tibetans are sent back to Tibet.

 

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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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