Bhutan: The Rise of Kings and Dorje Shugden

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By: Karmo Tsomo

Bhutan is no ordinary place. A modern-day Shangri-La shrouded in magic and mystery, this is the last of the great Himalayan kingdoms, a place where modernity is embraced alongside traditional Buddhist culture. Known all over the world for its sustainable approach to tourism focused on “low-volume” but “high-value”, the country prides itself for its philosophy of “Gross National Happiness”, placing emphasis on citizens’ wellbeing rather than material indulgences.

The result is a country full of juxtapositions, from Buddhist monks with smartphones, to provocative images etched on the sides of sacred monasteries. Nevertheless, contrary to how it is portrayed for its upkeep of traditional Buddhist values, Bhutan is not a mere museum piece. The Bhutanese are highly educated, well-informed about the world and are extremely fun-loving. It is this very blend of the modern and the ancient that makes the country endlessly fascinating.


Legendary Beginnings

Bhutan’s snow-capped peaks tower above deep and shadowy gorges cloaked in primeval forests. Dotted along this stunning Himalayan landscape are formidable dzongs or fortress monasteries, reminders of how the Bhutanese have made this incredible land their home for centuries. It is no wonder that Bhutan is the land of legends.

Bhutan is known around the world for its beautiful landscapes, from lush green forests to snow-capped mountains dotted with Buddhist temples and fortress dzongs.

And legend has it that the great and powerful Indian tantric adept, Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava, saved King Sindhu Raja of Bumthang from being possessed by a vicious demon spirit. He exorcised this demon, captured it and bound it by oath never to harm others and instead support the practice of Buddhism. By manifesting his extraordinary powers, Guru Rinpoche also converted both the king and his rival to the peaceful Buddhist religion, thereby ending years of strife and restoring peace to the land of what is today known as Bhutan.

On Guru Rinpoche’s second visit to Bhutan, he traversed the districts of Bumthang, Mongar and Lhuentse on his return from Tibet where he had subdued hordes of demons and spirits obstructing the great Abbot Santarakshita from establishing Buddhism there. King Trisong Detsen had invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet to save Santarakshita’s work from being destroyed by the likes of Pehar (now known as Nechung). Thanks to Guru Rinpoche’s subjugation of the negative interferences, Santarakshita was able to complete the construction of Samye Monastery and establish the order of ordained Sangha there.

While doing all this, Guru Rinpoche left his body print and an impression of his head with a hat in the rocks at Gom Kora, Bhutan. Taking on the form of Dorje Dragpo (one of Guru Rinpoche’s eight primary manifestations) he also flew to Taktsang in Paro on a tigress surrounded by the flames of his wisdom. And it was this event that gave the world-famous Taktsang Monastery its colloquial moniker “Tiger’s Nest”.

Guru Rinpoche later visited Bhutan again, his third visit being during the reign of Muthri Tsenpo (764 – 817 CE), the son of Tibetan King Trisong Detsen. Since then, a host of enlightened beings have empowered the landscape with their holy presence and built Bhutan as a Buddhist kingdom which survives until today.

The Bhutanese landscape is intrinsically linked with Guru Rinpoche, an enlightened Indian tantric adept who visited the country thrice and blessed the land. Here we see a giant statue of the master in the Lhuentse district.


The Bhutanese Identity

By the 16th century however, the kingdom had fallen into political disarray, with local chieftains controlling various territories and engaging in petty feuds. It was during this period that Bhutan’s complex history with Tibet began.

The arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651 CE) of the Drukpa Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism was to change the fate of Bhutan forever. At just eight years old, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal received the layman vows from Mipham Chogyal and was given the name Ngawang Namgyal. He went on to receive teachings from esteemed masters of the time, covering not only teachings from the Drukpa Kagyu lineage but also the Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug and other Kagyu traditions as well. He was also the abbot-prince of Ralung Monastery.

At the age of 12, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was recognized as the reincarnation of Kunkhyen Pema Karpo, the 4th Gyalwang Drukpa, or supreme head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. The Gyalwang Drukpas are actually considered to be emanations of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. He was enthroned at Ralung Monastery at the age of 13 and received the name Drukpa Ngawang Tenzin Namgyal Jigme Drakpa.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan and the great master who spread the sacred Drukpa Kagyu lineage in the country.

However, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was not the only recognized reincarnation of Kunkhyen Pema Karpo. There was another candidate, known as Gyalwa Pagsam Wangpo, and this led to disharmony not only within the monastery but also within the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. Gyalwa Pagsam Wangpo eventually earned the favor of the King of Tsang and was enthroned as the 5th Gyalwang Drukpa. Fearing persecution from the King of Tsang, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal decided to flee Tibet.

Receiving signs from the Dharma Protector Yeshe Gonpo (the Wisdom Mahakala) in the form of a raven, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was directed south to Bhutan. Arriving in what is now Bumdeling in eastern Bhutan, in 1616, he established Cheri Monastery, also known as Chagri Dorjeden Monastery. Three years later, he entered solitary retreat in a cave near Cheri where he manifested tremendous spiritual realizations. At the age of 40, he received full monastic ordination.

After establishing Palpungthang Dewa Chenpo Dharma Gandro in 1637, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal become an exalted leader, both spiritually and in secular terms. In fact, he successfully established a system of dzongs, or fortress monasteries, to protect the Bhutanese from marauding Tibetans bent on conquering new lands. The first of these, Simtokha Dzong, even housed a monastic body and administrative facilities. Combining civil, religious and defensive functions, it became the model for all later dzongs in Bhutan.

Simtokha Dzong in the present days

In establishing an order of Buddhist Sangha in Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal commenced the construction of many monasteries and when Punakha Dzong was completed in 1653 CE, two years after his passing, the Sangha were relocated there. It became the dratsang (central monastic body) for Bhutan, headed by the supreme abbot known as the Je Khenpo.

Realizing a need for the Bhutanese to preserve their own culture and identity embellished with the Buddhist religion, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal created a spectrum of unique customs, traditions, ceremonies and rituals in a deliberate attempt to develop a distinctive Bhutanese identity that has since come to be beloved and celebrated by its people. This included not only the codification of the Drukpa Kagyu teachings into a distinctively Bhutanese system, but also the adoption of a national dress and the celebration of new festivals. It was through his foresight and immense efforts that the current nation of Bhutan as we know it was born. He also successfully built good relations with the neighboring kingdoms of Nepal, Cooch Behar and Ladakh, thus securing the Bhutanese kingdom’s status as a sovereign state.

Punakha Dzong


The Rise of Kings

By the late 1800s, as things would have it, Bhutan was once again in the throes of political turmoil although the positions created by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal of Druk Desi (secular ruler) and Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) still had sway with the people. It was the shrewd 51st desi, Jigme Namgyal who installed his 17-year-old son Ugyen Wangchuk as the penlop (governer) of Paro. This move was to change the history of Bhutan forever.


First King: Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuk

Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuk, the first king of Bhutan.

At the age of 20, Ugyen Wangchuk was also installed as the penlop of Trongsa, giving him more influence than the new desi. When fights broke out between various dzong leaders from around the country, he tried to mediate. However during the conflict, some of these leaders were either killed or they fled to Tibet. In the aftermath, Ugyen Wangchuk providentially emerged as the most powerful figure in the country.

With the death of the desi, Ugyen Wangchuk was elected the hereditary leader of Bhutan through a unanimous vote of Bhutan’s highest Buddhist lamas and secular chieftains. He was enthroned with the title Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) on 17th December 1907.


Second King: Druk Gyalpo Jigme Wangchuk

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Wangchuk, the second king of Bhutan.

Ugyen Wangchuk was succeeded by his 24-year-old son, Jigme Wangchuk, when he died in 1926. Though King Jigme Wangchuk reigned during the Second World War, Bhutan was unaffected due to its policy of isolationism. During this time, King Jigme Wangchuk successfully brought the entire country under his control through refining the nation’s administrative processes and economic systems.

In 1947, India gained independence from Britain and signed a landmark agreement with King Jigme Wangchuk. This treaty asserted Bhutan’s authority as a sovereign nation state and marked the beginning of very strong relations between the two countries. India also vowed never to interfere with Bhutan’s internal affairs, while Bhutan asked India to guide its external policies in order to build international relations.


Third King: Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan.

King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk succeeded his father to the throne of Bhutan in 1952. Having been educated in both India and England, he was a formidable statesman and spoke fluent Hindi, English and Tibetan as well as his native Bhutanese. In order to build closer relations with India, he invited the then-Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his daughter Indira Gandhi to Bhutan in 1958.

As the Chinese Cultural Revolution spread to Tibet in 1959, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk realized that the Bhutanese policy of isolationism was no longer appropriate in the 20th century and he strove to make Bhutan a member of the larger world community. In 1961, he ended Bhutan’s self-imposed isolation and started a five-year program of development that propelled Bhutan into the modern world. In 1962, Bhutan joined the Colombo Plan, giving it access to technical assistance and training from other member countries throughout Southeast Asia. Improved relations with India also led to the financing of the Chhukha hydroelectric project in western Bhutan. In 1969, Bhutan joined the Universal Postal Union and became a member of the United Nations in 1971.

King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk’s achievements were also equally impressive on the home front. He established a High Court, created the Royal Bhutan Army and police forces, and abolished serfdom throughout the country. Another of his greatest achievements was the creation of the National Assembly known as the Tshogdu, and the implementation of a 12-volume code of law. All the while, the king emphasized the need to preserve Bhutanese culture and tradition.


Fourth King: Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk

The fourth king of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk (right), crowning his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk (left) as the fifth king of Bhutan.

King Jigme Singye Wangchuk assumed the throne at the age of 16 when his father passed away at the age of 44. Similar to his father, he received his education in both India and England. He also studied at the Ugyen Wangchuk Academy in Paro.

Continuing his father’s legacy, he dramatically advanced the modernization process in Bhutan. Making use of Bhutan’s three special circumstances – a small population, a large land mass, and the country’s rich natural resources – he strove to achieve economic self-reliance.

It was King Jigme Singye Wangchuk who implemented the now-famous philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Rather than just a measurement of a person’s individual happiness, this philosophy encompasses criteria to measure development projects and progress in terms related to the greater good of society at large. This in turn feeds back into an individual’s sustainable level of happiness.

He was also the first king to invite foreign press to the country’s capital, Thimphu. A total of 287 guests were invited and many new facilities such as hotels were built to accommodate them. These hotels have since become the basis for the development of tourism in Bhutan, which is one of the industries the country relies on to sustain its economy.

King Jigme Singye Wangchuk was instrumental in improving health care, rural development, education and communications. He was also the mastermind behind Bhutan’s policy of environmental conservation, which stresses ecological considerations above commercial interests. He also strengthened the modernization process through six development goals: sustainability; self-reliance; people’s participation and decentralization; human resource development; regionally balanced development; and the efficiency and development of the private sector.

In 2005, the then 49-year-old king announced that he would abdicate the throne in favor of his son, the Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, and facilitated the transition of the country from an absolute monarchy to a democratic constitutional monarchy in 2008.


Fifth King: Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk

Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, the fifth king of Bhutan

King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk became king on 9th December 2006 and was enthroned on 6th November 2008. Apart from being educated in Bhutan, India and England, he also studied in the USA. He is well-known for his efforts to democratize Bhutan, improve diplomatic relations with foreign nations such as India, Thailand, Japan and Singapore; improve education; and land reforms.

His marriage to Queen Jetsun Pema and the arrival of their son was greatly anticipated by the people of Bhutan who affectionately call him “The People’s King”. His works are leading Bhutan into the modern world, carrying on the legacy of previous kings, all the while retaining Bhutan’s unique culture.


Bhutan’s Tibetan Trouble

Bhutan has a long and complex history with Tibet. As both countries are Buddhist, and as the form of Buddhism practiced in Bhutan has its origins in Tibet, one would assume that the two countries have maintained close cultural and political ties. Both countries even rely on the same writing script that was developed by the great Tibetan translator Thonmi Sambhota.

In theory therefore, the two nation states should get along well with each other. In practice however, Tibetans have been creating problems for Bhutan for a very long time. Since the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal’s settling in Bhutan, the Tibetan leadership have repeatedly tried to take over the country for themselves. This repressive attitude continues even into the modern era — the Central Tibetan Administration’s (“CTA”; Tibetan leadership located in Dharamsala, North India) actions over the last 60 years have been nothing but hostile.

Gyalo Thondup, brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He was one of the alleged masterminds behind the assassination attempt on the crown prince of Bhutan.

In 1979, the Bhutanese government issued the Tibetans in their country with an ultimatum: become Bhutanese citizens or go back to China. This ensued after tensions between Tibetans, who were kindly granted refuge by the Bhutanese government, and the local Bhutanese population escalated. Not only did the Tibetans refuse to assimilate into Bhutanese culture but in 1974, a day before the coronation of the young King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, a Tibetan plot to murder the then 18-year-old crown prince was uncovered by the Bhutanese government.

30 Tibetans were arrested and accused of conspiring to assassinate the young king. The group of conspirators, though led by a Bhutanese deputy home minister, was largely made up of Tibetans. This included Gyalo Thondup, the brother of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Dalai Lama’s representative in Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital city. Amongst the others involved was a “Tibetan woman who once used to enjoy considerable influence and privilege in Bhutan”.


The Tibetan Woman

This “Tibetan woman” was a controversial figure known as Yangki. She was the mistress of King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan. Yangki’s family had no social status or political power before she became the king’s mistress, but as her influence grew, so did the power of her family. Professor Leo Rose of Cornell University describes the machinations of Yangki and her family in his work The Politics of Bhutan, published in 1977. His research makes it clear that Yangki had been involved in more than one political assassination plot. The disposal of certain key figures in the upper echelons of Bhutanese society was her way of consolidating power and moving up the power ladder.

Yangki and Kanaibhu, her father, were the masterminds behind the assassination of Lochen Jigme Dorji, the then-prime minister and close confidant of the king. They had become convinced that the prime minister was trying to murder the king. Since they were solely dependent on the king for economic and social prosperity, they decided the prime minister had to be done away with, lest his plan to kill the king was successful. Kanaibhu even supplied the gun that the assassin used to kill the prime minister.

Queen Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuk and the 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.

As it turned out, their reasoning was nothing more than their self-centered need to retain power. Suffice to say, the king was furious and ordered the elimination of both Yangki and her father. They were saved at the last minute when the queen, Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuk interceded. The queen was a paragon of compassion; although she knew she was sparing the life of her husband’s mistress, she was still moved to do so. Eventually, cover-up stories were spread to hide Yangki’s involvement in the assassination as it was commonly known that she was the king’s mistress.

Yangki and Kanaibhu were secretly imprisoned for their part in the assassination, but were later released and reinstated to their eminent positions within the Bhutanese elite. By the time of the king’s passing, Yangki had borne the monarch four children but they were never legitimized or considered to be in the line of succession for the throne. Shortly before his death, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk himself dictated a letter to the crown-prince, countersigned by some of the top Bhutanese government officials. In it, the king made it clear that he regretted his relationship with Yangki, and that her children should never be considered royalty:

“In my life time I have committed a very big blunder by having an affair with Yangki. Being young, I stayed with her a few times and before I could keep the affair within limits, not one or two but four children were born, so I could not sever my connection with her. Kesang Wangchuk is completely in the right. She was consecrated with me in the Tashi Ngasol ceremony as my true Queen, and as such children born from her are the legitimate princes and princesses. In the case of Yangki, she is only a girlfriend and not a legitimate wife, and as such children born from her cannot be considered royal children but are to be considered as illegitimate children.

You should never give any Government service and status to Yangki’s children. If you grant them status, it will create problems for you. It will be enough to treat them like other Bhutanese subjects.

I have given them adequate wealth, so they should not face any hardship. In case they do face hardships, maybe you will help them.

In case I die, let them stay outside the country for a few years; after that do as you deem necessary. The reason why I am saying all this is for your own benefit.”

~ Jigme

Despite the king’s efforts to make the best of a bad situation and provide for his children born out of wedlock, Yangki, her father and their Tibetan cohorts had other ideas.


The Failed Assassination

King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk passed away in 1972 but it was not until 1974 that his heir, Prince Jigme Singye Wangchuk, was to be crowned the king of Bhutan. Following the insidious plot hatched by Gyalo Thondup, the Tibetans set out to murder Prince Jigme Singye Wangchuk and burn down not only the royal palace but also Bhutan’s administrative headquarters. They even managed to smuggle more than 12 trucks of weaponry into the country.

During the ensuring panic and pandemonium, the conspirators planned to install one of Yangki’s illegitimate male children as the monarch, and the group of Tibetans behind the coup would have moved into positions of authority. If the plot had been successful, Bhutan would have come under the control of this group and indirectly, the Tibetan leadership. However, a secret meeting of the Bhutanese National Assembly took steps against the conspirators and with the help of Indian intelligence agencies, the plot was foiled. Yangki fled to India with her family where she settled and lived in exile. Other members of the Tibetan cohort were arrested by the authorities, tried and convicted for their involvement. Prince Jigme Singye Wangchuk went on to become the king.

Map of Bhutan, Nepal and India. Click to enlarge.

To prevent such a situation from arising again, the Bhutanese government had to act appropriately. The government knew that if Tibetans were left to their own devices and were allowed to remain without integrating into Bhutanese society, Tibetans would:

  • Continue to retain their Tibetan identity. This separation from the Bhutanese population would give rise to increased resentment on both sides. The Bhutanese would resent the Tibetans for being refugees, while the Tibetans would presumably make further attempts to take over the country, egged on by the Tibetan leadership who desperately sought a land they could rule.
  • Continue to protest for the ‘Tibetan cause’. This would not only disrupt the peace in Bhutan, but would hinder its move towards modernization and jeopardize future relations with foreign powers.

An archived news article published in The New York Times about the plot to assassinate Jigme Singye Wangchuk before his coronation as the king of Bhutan. Source:

Shockingly, the CTA opposed the Bhutanese government’s 1979 ultimatum. Instead of securing their people’s future as legitimate citizens of a nation state, with all the benefits it provides, they chose to keep the 6,300 Tibetans within Bhutan’s borders as refugees. Bhutan even accused CTA officials of creating difficulties for the Tibetan refugees, although the Tibetans living in Bhutan had already accepted that Bhutan was the country of their future.

Despite the CTA’s objections, 2,300 Tibetans decided to become Bhutanese citizens, swearing allegiance to the king, and integrating into the country’s society. They became full citizens with all the rights accorded to them by law. The remainder resettled in India, where they continued to live under the yoke of the CTA, although some later chose to move to Europe and North America.

Since that time, Bhutan has remained quiet on the issue of the Tibetans, obviously scarred from the devious plot to overthrow the Bhutanese monarchy and plunge the country into chaos. But what does this incident tell us about how the Bhutanese government thinks about the Tibetans?

  • The Bhutanese government was not prejudiced against Tibetans. They simply wanted them to integrate into Bhutanese society for the sake of harmony and peace. Not only that, but the Tibetans would have access to all the legal rights, services, and the economic potential that every Bhutanese citizen has.
  • They wanted to avoid disagreements and struggles with China, something that both Nepal and India had to deal with in the succeeding years. Once the ‘Tibetan refugee’ situation was removed, the Bhutanese could remain focused on developing their country rather than worrying about international relations.
  • They wanted to ensure that Tibetans who remained in Bhutan became contributing members of the country’s Gross National Happiness philosophy rather than relying on hand-outs.

Despite the CTA being exposed for trying to assassinate the country’s beloved future monarch, Bhutan never retaliated. Instead it took a compassionate stance towards the Tibetans, understanding that harmony could never be achieved by keeping the Tibetans as refugees. This was a lesson that the likes of Nepal and India did not learn, and are suffering for now.

It is unfortunate that the CTA have a track record of making the lives of Tibetans difficult no matter where in the world they are. Just as Bhutan accused the CTA of creating issues where there were none to begin with, the CTA is also known to ostracize, discriminate and actively persecute whole swathes of their own society, from the Jonangpas to Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In keeping their people divided and in constant need of support, the CTA have crippled the Tibetan society in-exile. The CTA has failed to provide the Tibetans with a secure future and if the CTA continues down this path, Bhutan will not be the last nation state to remove them from their borders. One day, as countries seek to integrate the Tibetans rather than keep them as refugees, the Tibetan culture and heritage outside the Tibet Autonomous Region of China will cease to exist forever.


Bhutan and Dorje Shugden

The 4th Zhabdrung Rinpoche Jigme Norbu was an ardent practitioner of Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden.

Unbeknownst to many Tibetan Buddhist practitioners, Buddhism in Bhutan has a long and established link to the practice of the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. To understand the tremendous impact of this relationship, one must trace the annals of history back to the time of Bhutan’s legendary founder, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was the first in a successive line of reincarnations that spread the Drukpa Kagyu tradition in Bhutan and secured the country as an independent nation state. He was not only the reincarnation of Kunkhyen Pema Karpo, the 4th Gyalwang Drukpa, and therefore an emanation of Chenrezig; but he was also the figure who effectively ensured Bhutan’s independence and defended it against waves of attacks from Mongolian and Tibetan invaders during the time of the 5th Dalai Lama. After his passing, three of his reincarnations were identified, each representing emanations of his body, speech and mind. However, only one of the three i.e. the mind emanation was enthroned as his successor and was named the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche.


The First Zhabdrung Rinpoche: Jigme Drakpa I

Jigme Drakpa was born in 1724 in the mountain ranges of Yoru, Tibet. He was enthroned at the age of 23 and became a fully ordained monk. At the age of 25, he entered a three-year retreat at Cheri Monastery, following the Kagyu tradition. Engaging in both the generation and completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra, he gained many spiritual attainments and dedicated his life to serving sentient beings and spreading the Buddhist doctrine. However, his deeds led others to become envious. He was poisoned and subsequently passed away in 1761.


The Second Zhabdrung Rinpoche: Chokyi Gyeltsen

Born in 1762, Chokyi Gyeltsen was enthroned at a young age. Receiving both novice and full monastic ordination, he had not yet completed his studies when again jealousy overtook the minds of others. He was poisoned and passed away in 1788. He was just 27 years old at the time.


The Third Zhabdrung Rinpoche: Jigme Drakpa II

Jigme Drakpa II was born in Bumdeling, Bhutan in 1791. He was enthroned at a young age, and began his study of the monastic codes of conduct as well as sutra and tantra. He also received teachings on the generation and completion stages of Highest Yoga Tantra. While at Talo Sangak Choling Monastery, he expanded the main prayer hall and later took responsibility for the entire institution. He is also noted to have invited a Dharma Protector from Samye Monastery in Tibet, and built a chapel for the Protector.

When he was just 20, he assumed both spiritual and secular responsibility for the country. However, those with untoward intent fostered problems between him and another of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal’s reincarnations who was identified as the speech emanation. Manifesting great disappointment, he resigned from his position as the country’s leader only a year after he had assumed power. He spent the rest of his life in the monastery, practicing and meditating. He passed away in 1830.


The Fourth Zhabdrung Rinpoche: Jigme Norbu

The fourth of the Zhabdrung mind incarnations was Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu (1831-1861 CE). He was born into the respected family line of the renowned Bhutanese Nyingma tertön (discoverer of hidden Buddhist teachings) Pemalingpa (1450-1521 CE).

The 4th Zhabdrung Rinpoche Jigme Norbu. Click on image to enlarge.

Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu received his education from many of the Je Khenpos or supreme heads of Buddhism within Bhutan. These included Sherab Gyeltsen (the 25th Je Khenpo), Padma Zangpo (the 27th/29th Je Khenpo), Jampel Gyatso (the 30th Je Khenpo), and Yonten Gyeltsen (the 31st Je Khenpo).

After being positively identified as the reincarnation of the 3rd Zhabdrung Rinpoche, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu was enthroned as the 4th mind emanation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. He was also enthroned as the desi, the secular ruler of the country. Not wanting to remain a monk, he took on a consort named Dechen Tsomo in order to practice advanced Mahamudra meditation.

It was with his consort that he fathered a daughter named Rinchen Tsomo. This did not sit well with the elite of Bhutanese society of the time. Combined with false allegations of his involvement in a failed political coup, he decided to resign from his positions in 1852. He then left his monastic seat of Talo Sangak Choling and travelled to Tibet for some time. Later, he returned to Gorina Monastery in Bhutan, which was originally founded by one of his teachers, Sherab Gyeltsen, and entered clear light at the age of 31.

Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu wrote many texts throughout his life. A compilation of these works, titled ‘The Collected Works of the Fourth Zhabdrung Tulku of Bhutan, Jigme Norbu (1831-1861)‘ was published by the National Library of Bhutan in 1984. Contained within this compilation are various rituals to powerful and important Dharma Protectors such as invocation liturgies, torma offerings and verses of praise to Mahakala, Tsering Chenga, Shingkongma, Palden Lhamo, Tsiu Marpo, Rahula and Dorje Shugden.


A Closer Look at Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s Dorje Shugden Texts

Upon closer examination, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s Collected Works contain numerous mentions of Dorje Shugden throughout. Specific sections are even dedicated to this enlightened Dharma Protector. For instance, in Volume ‘NA’ of his collected works, which is a 50-page Request for Fulfilment of Activities to All Protectors, Dorje Shugden is mentioned repeatedly, alongside the other Protectors listed above.

Volume NA of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s Collected Works. Click to enlarge.

The prayer begins with mentions of Guru Rinpoche in the form of Pema Totreng or the “Powerful Lotus Garland of Skulls”. This form of Guru Rinpoche was particularly favored by the tertön Pemalingpa and his followers.

Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu composed this text when he was just 27 years old, at the monastery of Ngenlung Sangwa Chenpo Zhelmey Khang. According to the colophon, the author’s name is given as Chime Wangchuk, which is one of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s many known aliases.

According to the colophon, the author of the first part of the prayer is Chime Wangchuk, a known alias of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu. Click to enlarge.

The next part of this work is a daily torma offering ritual to various Dharma Protectors including Dorje Shugden. The authorship of this ritual is also attributed to Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu under the alias Dorje Chechog Dupa Tsel, who composed it after he was requested to do so by the ever-faithful Dagmo Kelsang Karma Tsomo.

The colophon indicates that the author of the daily torma offering ritual is Dorje Chechog Dupa Tsel, another of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s known aliases. Click to enlarge.

A comprehensive list of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s many aliases, as compiled by the Buddhist Digital Resource Center, can be seen below. The Buddhist Digital Resource Center is a reputable US-based non-profit organization that seeks out, preserves, and disseminates Buddhist literature.

A comprehensive list of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s many aliases from the Buddhist Digital Resource Center.

Dorje Shugden’s importance to Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu is most clearly evidenced in Volume “PHA” of his Collected Works, which is a collection of fulfillment rituals to all protectors known as Pawo Jiglu. An entire section of this volume (21 pages in total) is dedicated solely to Dorje Shugden, and includes his visualization, invocation, offerings, torma offerings, praise, fulfilment offering, confessional and enthronement prayers.

Volume PHA of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s Collected Works. Click to enlarge.

It is important to note Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s assertion within Volume PHA that Dorje Shugden is the collection of all the Buddhas’ power. This can be seen in the first line of his praise and it references Dorje Shugden’s unmistaken enlightened nature.

Another important point of note is that throughout the ritual, there are numerous examples of Dorje Shugden’s intricate connection and association with Guru Rinpoche. This is not commonly found in other ritual texts. For example, a confessional verse reads:

“Ordered to protect the essential doctrine
By Padma Wang and Jamyang father and sons
Heruka and Vajrakapalamalin [Guru Rinpoche],
Dorje Shugden and retinue consider me.”

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.

In another verse within the enthronement prayer, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu writes:

“Fully empowered and Vajra-sealed
By deathless Vidyadhara Vajrakapalamalin
[Guru Rinpoche Pema Totreng]
To protect the general and specific doctrine,
I enthrone you as the Great King of Dharma Protectors.

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.

In view of the unique manner in which Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu combines praises and petitions to both Guru Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden within the same ritual text and even within the same verse, it is highly likely that Dorje Shugden was not only a Protector of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu, but also one who has a special connection to all the people of Bhutan.



Drukpa Kunley

Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s writings on Dorje Shugden have many similarities with those of the 17th century Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu master, Drubwang Dreuley Tenzin Zangpo, who is also known to have propitiated Dorje Shugden. Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo is considered to be the third reincarnation of Drukpa Kunley, the Bhutanese mahasiddha.

Known and loved all over Bhutan for his outlandish mahasiddha behavior and magnificent spiritual attainments, Drukpa Kunley led a very interesting life. He was one of the Nyönpas (“madmen”), a group of spiritual masters who, on an outward level, appeared to be behaving completely in opposition to the Buddhist teachings, but inwardly had great spiritual attainments. Their behavior included eating meat, drinking alcohol, singing, dancing, and engaging in sexual activity.

A painting of Drukpa Kunley

Drukpa Kunley was born in 1455 and was the great grandson of Yeshe Rinchen, a known emanation of Manjushri. From a young age, he showed signs of renunciation and took ordination, receiving the name Kunga Legpa. Around the age of seven, his father, Nangso Rinchen Zangpo, was murdered due to conflict with his paternal uncle. He spent the next six years of his life as a servant. During this time, he realized that if he did not practice the Dharma, his life would be wasted. And so he travelled to U province, giving away his worldly possessions which included a rosary made of 50 pieces of amber, a turquoise earring and a yellow ochre horse.

Arriving at Ralung Monastery, he stayed there for a short while, receiving his main teachings from his root teacher Lhatsun Kunga Chogyam. These included teachings on the body’s energy channels, the Nyingpo Kor, and grammar. He also received teachings on tummo (inner heat meditation) and Mahamudra (Great Seal meditation). He received layman’s vows and novice monastic ordination from Nenying Choje and full ordination from Zhalu Khyen Rabpa. He also received the complete teachings of the Buddha from various erudite Rimé masters such as Kungpo Sangye.

Ralung Monastery

Having attained complete realization of both the sutra and tantra paths within Buddhism, Drukpa Kunley understood that self-liberation, bodhicitta and samaya (spiritual commitment) vows are all contained within the tantric vows, so he returned his monastic vows to the Three Jewels. He had come to the understanding that protecting the mind was more important than outward appearances. It was from then on that the great master manifested the behavior of a madman. Even so, he was extremely compassionate, providing people with whatever they needed, from water and wealth to teaching the Dharma.

One interesting tale recounts his meeting with two other “madmen”, known as the madman Heruka of Tsang (Tsangnyon Heruka) and the madman Kunga Zangpo of U (Unyon Kunga Zangpo). All three happened to meet each other and travelled to Tsari, southeast of Lhasa. Deciding to leave something behind for faith to arise in the minds of future disciples, Tsangnyon Heruka left his footprint in a stone and Unyon Kunga Zangpo left his handprint. Drukpa Kunley however exclaimed that leaving a print in a stone was as easy as leaving a print in the mud for him, and he declared that even his dog could do it. Drukpa Kunley then caught a dog and placed its paw on the stone, where it left an impression.

Drukpa Kunley or Kunga Legpa

Drukpa Kunley also studied under the master Pemalingpa who, as we saw earlier, was the forefather of Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu. Drukpa Kunley’s outrageous behavior is said to have shocked people out of their preconceived notions and misconceptions about not only secular life, but on a higher level, spirituality too.

Drukpa Kunley’s impact on Bhutanese culture cannot be underestimated. He is still honored in religious murals, rituals, and artwork throughout the country. Known as the ‘Madman of the Dragon Lineage’, his legacy lies in his crazy methods of bringing people to enlightenment. Another of his epithets is the ‘Saint of 5,000 Women’, since most of his disciples were female. His strange behavior however was moist with Buddhist teachings.

One story recounts the importance of holding vows. Upon entering a monastery, he emitted a beautiful fragrance while walking past some young monks. As he approached the older monks however, he farted, emitting a foul odor. When confronted, he told the older monks that what they smelled was a reflection of how well or badly they were holding their morality and vows.

The divine madman, Drukpa Kunley. Click to enlarge.

Drukpa Kunley is also known for his unconventional methods of teaching people about desire and attachment. There are numerous accounts of how he would lay down naked in the middle of the road with his private parts exposed and erect. Nuns would walk past him, at first showing how shocked they were, but then coming closer and talking amongst themselves. When asked why he was doing this, he would reply that he was not doing anything at all, and that it was the nuns who were making a spectacle of him. He would then proceed to grant them profound teachings about desire, attachment and how to overcome them.

Towards the end of his life, Drukpa Kunley was invited to Nangkatser. There, he realised he would pass away soon after a rainbow appeared and shone onto his right foot. So, he travelled to where his son, Zhingkyong Drukdrak was staying. He passed away at Thodlung Lampar Monastery and his body was cremated. Incredible images of deities and numerous relics were found in the ashes of his funeral pyre, and were later installed in a silver reliquary stupa.

During his lifetime, Drukpa Kunley served as the abbot of Nyel Dreuley Gon for a brief span of time. This small Drukpa Kagyu monastery was to become the seat of his incarnations, known as the Dreuley Tulkus. Drukpa Kunley was considered the first of his incarnation lineage and his second incarnation was known as Drubtho Rinpoche.


Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo

Drubwang Dreuley Ngawang Tenzin Zangpo was recognised as the third Dreuley Tulku by his root-teacher, Gyalwang Pagsam Wangpo. He was born into a servant family and showed signs of being spiritually attained, such as hooking a leg of lamb onto the rays of the sun.

From a young age, Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo was known to be very humble and held his vows strongly. He was a great meditator and became a well-known religious figure throughout the land. He is particularly noted to have received the initiation of Palden Lhamo and teachings on Mahamudra. He is also remembered for his memorization of the Abbreviated Kalachakra Tantra.

One of his later incarnations, the 5th Dreuley Tulku, Drubwang Kunga Mingyur Dorje composed a prayer in which he praised the incomparable qualities of Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo:

“With his excellent compassion, he performed limitless deeds for the benefit of others,
Skilled in teaching Dharma to those of different propensities,
Teaching the definitive nectar to develop beings’ full understanding of enlightenment,
To the great saffron-clad monk, I make requests.”

It was this incarnation of the Dreuley lineage who began Bhutan’s close connection with Dorje Shugden. The great Gelugpa master Serkong Dorje Chang wrote that one of the earliest and most significant Dorje Shugden ritual texts, known as Petition to Dorje Shugden Tsel: Granting all Desired Activities was most likely co-composed by Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo and Morchen Kunga Lhundrub, a Sakya master. This work was so significant that Serkong Dorje Chang incorporated it into his own writings. It was also included in the extensive catalogue of Dorje Shugden texts compiled by the Mongolian master Lobsang Tamdin.

The Dorje Shugden prayer composed by Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo can be found in Volume KA of the Dorje Shugden bebum. Click to enlarge.

The colophon lists the authors of this Dorje Shugden text as Dreuley (the Drukpa Kagyu master Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo) and Morchen (the Sakya master Morchen Kunga Lhundrub). Click to enlarge.

Both Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo and Morchen Kunga Lhundrub are named in the colophon of the text as ‘Dreuley’ and ‘Morchen’ respectively. Serkong Dorje Chang further states that Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo authored the upper portion of the text while Morchen Kunga Lhudrub authored the lower portion. This text also appears in the Dorje Shugden bebum compiled by H.E. Guru Deva Rinpoche.

Like many other masters who composed texts to this enlightened Dharma Protector, Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo wrote reverentially of Dorje Shugden, with clear allusions to his enlightened nature. For instance, he writes:

“As such appears in the middle of open, wide space from the syllable tsa the King of Dharma, the lord of the powerful and magical, Dorje Shugden.”

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.


“Kye! Fast and powerful protector of the Buddhadharma
Overwhelmingly frightful body mandala,
Like the sun illuminating a coral mountain,
Blazing glory clothed as a renunciate,
With one face both wrathful and virtuous.”

The original Tibetan verse can be viewed here. Click to enlarge.

It is also known that Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu based his own Dorje Shugden compositions on that authored by Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo. Thus, it is logical to deduce that prayer texts to Dorje Shugden were easily available, indicative of the fact that his practice was once popular in Bhutan.


  • Click here to download Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo’s Dorje Shugden text.


Non-Sectarian Nature

In the present environment where divisions and schism based on religion are becoming pervasive, it is vital that we take special note of past Buddhist masters’ inclusiveness in their approach to practices and practitioners of other traditions.

Today, some people attempt to claim that Dorje Shugden is a sectarian Gelugpa protector, only practiced by a handful of Tibetan Buddhists. His practice is mistakenly labelled as wrong and not something we should engage in, but these people are ignoring historical facts – Dorje Shugden was practiced first in the Sakya tradition and, as we have seen, he was practiced in the Kagyu tradition too. Furthermore, his practice even spread to Bhutan centuries ago.

Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu was a Drukpa Kagyu master, but respected the Nyingma tradition and also propitiated Dorje Shugden. His view of Dorje Shugden’s nature is made clear in his reference to the Protector as being the “embodiment of all the Buddha’s power”. Only an enlightened being can be worthy of such a title, so it is an indication that Dorje Shugden is in fact an enlightened being, contrary to what others, including the Tibetan leadership would have you believe.

Dorje Shugden Tanag (Dorje Shugden on a Black Horse) originating from the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

Hailing from such an important and revered incarnation lineage, it is impossible to believe that Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu would make a blunder in identifying Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being. To say so would effectively nullify the entire lineage of Zhabdrung incarnations since that time, and even call into question the spiritual authority of his first incarnation, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Coupled with the fact that the Zhabdrung incarnations are believed to be emanations of Chenrezig, if one were to say that Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu was mistaken, it would be tantamount to claiming Chenrezig himself is wrong. Furthermore, since the Tibetan leadership are fond of declaring that the Dalai Lama cannot be wrong because he is an emanation of Chenrezig, surely the Bhutanese leadership should similarly back up Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s praise of Dorje Shugden as an enlightened Protector since he too is also an emanation of Chenrezig?

More than that however, Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu’s and Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo’s texts prove that Dorje Shugden is not a sectarian deity that protects only Gelug practitioners. Both Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu and Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo belonged to the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, which had by then incorporated Nyingma practices into their tradition. On the other hand, Morchen Kunga Lhundrub belonged to the Sakya tradition, which has a long history of Shugden propitiation. For such masters to compose texts to Dorje Shugden shows without question that Dorje Shugden practice can benefit anyone, regardless of what sect they belong to. Add to this the fact that Dagmo Kelsang Karma Tsomo, an ordinary practitioner, petitioned Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu to compose a daily torma offering which included Dorje Shugden is clear evidence of Dorje Shugden’s practice having once been popular in Bhutan.

Dorje Shugden, one of the Three Kings (Gyalpo Sum), is part of the Sakya pantheon of Dharma Protectors.

The Tibetan leadership regularly try to pass off lies and warped logic as truth. However, this is not unexpected from an autocratic regime that is only pretending to be a democracy. What is strange however is the unfortunate fact that Bhutan, a real democratic nation also banned the practice of Dorje Shugden, even though the country has such an intimate link to it.

The truth of the matter becomes clear when we understand Bhutan’s troublesome history with the Tibetan leadership. Nothing good has ever come from having any association with the Tibetan leadership and Bhutan is no exception. First it was the endless plots of the Tibetan government to get the better of Bhutan, then the assassination attempt on the life of Prince Jigme Singye Wangchuk. Thus, the Dorje Shugden practice may very well have been an attrition of the Bhutanese leadership’s loathing and fear of the Tibetan government, within whose ranks the practice of Dorje Shugden was once very common.

The Tibetan leadership’s wrongful segregation and discrimination of their own people based on their religious choices (Dorje Shugden practice) for political reasons would not have gone un-noticed by Bhutan’s leaders. So perhaps in order to prevent the Tibetan leadership from spreading the conflict into their borders, the Bhutanese government decided to take an unfortunate pre-emptive measure and banned Dorje Shugden before it became a trigger for division, infighting and strife to creep into Bhutan. Looking at the state of the Tibetan community, who could blame the Bhutanese government? But in doing so, they sacrificed an important component of Bhutanese history and part of their spiritual heritage.


A Real Buddhist Democracy

Comparing historical Bhutan with its modern version makes a few things very clear. Chiefly, it is thanks to the forward-thinking policies of their broadminded monarchy that Bhutan has managed to retain its unique identity, marrying 21st century technological advancements with ancient Buddhist values as well as a practical appreciation for nature. This open-minded thinking has filtered down to every sector of Bhutanese society, allowing Bhutan and its people to decide for themselves what works best for them, at their own pace.

The 5th Druk Gyalpo His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk and the current 70th Je Khenpo Tulku Jigme Choedra. The position of the Je Khenpos was created by none other than Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Thus, we see in Bhutan today a model of what a successful Buddhist democracy truly looks like, where religious principles are an intrinsic part of everyday life for both ordinary citizens as well as the government. These Buddhist principles are applied to better the Bhutanese people’s lives instead of being used to manipulate them, as we see the Tibetan leadership do as a matter of habit. In this way, Bhutan has found a gentle and yet sure method of upholding and preserving its traditions. Unfortunately, due to the machinations of the Tibetan leadership in wanting to meddle in Bhutan’s affairs, the practice of Dorje Shugden was banned, denying everyday citizens their right and heritage to the practice.

ARTICLE 7 FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. No person shall be compelled to belong to another faith by means of coercion or inducement… No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, language, religion, politics, or other status. Source: The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan,

Both the Bhutanese and the Tibetan people once practiced Dorje Shugden. And both the Tibetan and Bhutanese governments banned the practice of Dorje Shugden for different reasons. And yet we see very different outcomes. The Tibetan leadership blamed Dorje Shugden for their political failures and the loss of the Tibetan nation. If the Tibetan people’s problems were truly related to Dorje Shugden, then the Tibetan leadership is still no better off after having institutionalized a prohibition against the protector practice. Clearly it has nothing to do with a deity but very much to do with the attitude and caliber of the Tibetan leadership.

An official statement banning Dorje Shugden’s practice in Bhutan, as issued by the 70th Je Khenpo. Click to enlarge.

The Bhutanese spiritual leadership banned Dorje Shugden too but the country prospered before the ban and continued to do so after. Again, it is clear that the fortune of the nation has nothing to do with Dorje Shugden or indeed any deity. Therefore, it is a shame that the Bhutanese people are still denied the Dorje Shugden practice, a very important aspect of their Buddhist heritage bestowed upon them by the holy line of the Zhabdrung Rinpoches.

The Bhutanese leadership have come a long way and must by now have the maturity to separate religion from politics and also the confidence to be a proper democratic state that allows its people to practice his or her faith openly, freely and without fear, even if they decide to resurrect the practice of Dorje Shugden which the 4th Zhabdrung Rinpoche Jigme Norbu and Drubwang Tenzin Zangpo hailed. This is especially important given the fact that Dorje Shugden is a proven and indivisible part of their history.

Hopefully the Bhutanese nation will lead the way again and lean away from the medieval attitudes of the Tibetan government that have proven time and again to be the cause of much failure and grief to the people. Indeed, there are many lessons that the Tibetan leadership can learn from this mountainous Land of the Thunder Dragon and if Bhutan’s history is anything to go by, then one thing is for sure – the world has not heard the last of the dragon’s roar, nor the beautiful chant of Dorje Shugden prayers.



The current incarnation of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal known as the 10th Zhabdrung Jigdrel Ngawang Namgyal was placed under unwarranted house arrest by the Bhutanese government as a young child. This news even appeared on the Buddhist Channel website. Click on the image below to read more.

Click to enlarge. (Source:,3674,0,0,1,0#.WyK4w1Uzayp)


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  1. The cracks in Tibetan society are starting to show, and it is now coming to the attention of local Indians who have all but identified the Tibetan leadership as the source of the divisions. According to this author, disunity amongst the Tibetans is now creating problems for Indian law enforcement agencies, and this disunity may culminate in young Tibetans holding silent grudges against their host country. It is incredible that after six decades of generosity from India, Indians are now facing the very real possibility Tibetans can be ungrateful towards India. The Tibetan leadership totally failed to impart positive values upon their exiled community, like gratitude for those kindest to them and the need to repay these kindnesses with real, tangible results. It’s also very unlikely that the Tibetan leadership will now start to do this, after six decades of failing to do so. Indians need to realise this, and see that there is no benefit for their nation to align themselves with the Tibetan leadership, and there never will be.
    Tibetan disunity not in India’s interest
    John S. Shilshi
    Updated: August 7, 2018, 11:00 AM
    India is home to the Dalai Lama and an estimated 120,000 Tibetan refugees. Though this humanitarian gesture on India’s part comes at the cost of risking New Delhi’s relations with China, India has never wavered in ensuring that Tibetans live with dignity and respect. Notified settlements across the country were made available so that they can live as independently as possible and practice Tibetan religion and culture. They are also allowed to establish centres of higher learning in Tibetan Buddhism. As a result, several reputed Buddhist institutes came up in Karnataka, and in the Indian Himalayan belt. In what may be termed as a gesture well reciprocated, and because of the respect and influence His Holiness the Dalai Lama commands, the Tibetan diaspora also lived as a peaceful community, rarely creating problems for India’s law enforcement agencies.
    The situation, however, changed from 2000 onwards when unity amongst Tibetans suffered some setback due to developments like the Karmapa succession controversy and the controversy over worshiping of Dorje Shugden. In a unique case of politics getting the better of religion, two senior monks of the Karma kargyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Tai Situ Rinpoche and late Shamar Rinpoche, developed serious differences after the demise of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, in 1981. This animosity ultimately led to emergence of two 17th Karmapa candidates in the early nineties. While Tai Situ Rinpoche identified and recognised UghyanThinley Dorje, late Shamar Rinpoche anointed Thinley Thaye Dorje as his Karmapa candidate. Enthronement of their respective protégés at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, the supreme seat of the Karma Kargue linage, being their primary objective, both started indulging in activities monks normally are expected to, and bitterness spewed against each other.
    The bitter rivalry assumed a new dimension when UghyenThinley Dorje suddenly appeared in India in January 2000. The competition became fiercer and hectic political lobbying, never known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism on Indian soil, became common place. Apart from pulling strings at their disposal in Sikkim as well as in the power corridors of New Delhi, these senior monks spat against each other with allegations and counter allegations, widening the gaps between their supporters. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, choosing to favour one of the candidates—a decision many Tibet watchers felt was ill-timed—had also limited possible scope of rapprochement. Hence, the Karma Kargyue followers are now vertically divided, while the camps are dragged into a long drawn legal battle.
    Another development that unfortunately split the Tibetans is the controversy over Shugden worshipping, which again is an internal matter of the Gelugpa sect, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It erupted as a result of the Dalai Lama urging Tibetans to refrain from worshiping Dorje Shugden, a deity believed to be a protector, according to Tibetan legend. Shugden practitioners, who felt offended by the call, describe it as an attack on freedom of religion, a right, which Dalai Lama himself tirelessly fought for. On the other hand, die hard Dalai Lama followers perceived the questioning of the decision as one challenging the wisdom of the Dalai Lama and mounted massive pressure on Dorje Shugden practitioners to relent, with some even demolishing the statues of the deity. The rivalry ultimately led to split in two Gelug monasteries in Karnataka, and Serpom and Shar Garden monasteries in Bylakupe and Mundgod respectively came under the control of Shugden followers. The bitterness associated with the split is exemplified by the fact that till today, members of these monasteries are treated as some sort of outcasts by the others. Thus, for the first time, the Tibetan diaspora in India gave birth to sections opposed to the Dalai Lama, with spillover effects in Tibet and elsewhere.
    For India, with a fragile internal security profile, a divided Tibetan population on its soil is not good news. It has several long-term implications. It is common knowledge that China considers Dalai Lama as a secessionist, one plotting to divide their country. The latter’s claim of “all that Tibetans were asking for, was a status of genuine autonomy within the Constitution of the Peoples’ Republic of China”, had fallen into deaf ears. China also considers him as someone who plays to the Indian tune to tickle China. Therefore, at a time when China has successfully shrunk the Dalai Lama’s space internationally, India continuing to extend the usual space for him is viewed as complicity. Sharp reaction from China when he was allowed to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, is a recent example. Such being the delicate nature of India-China relations on matters and issues concerning Tibetans, India can hardly afford to ignore the division within the diaspora. Past experience of dubious elements from Tibet having succeeded in infiltrating the Central Tibetan Administration, including the security wing, should be a warning.
    It is also time India understands the reason behind Tibetans seeking Indian passports, despite an existing arrangement for issue of Identity Certificates, which is passport equivalent. Some had even successfully taken recourse to legal remedy on the issue, and left the government of India red-faced. These changing moods should not be viewed as desires by Tibetans to become Indian citizens. They are triggered by the pathetic state of affairs associated with issuing of Identity Certificates, where delays in most cases are anything between six months to one year. Early streamlining of the process will drastically reduce their desire to hold Indian passport. It will also remove the wrongly perceived notion among some educated Tibetan youth, that the cumbersome process was a ploy by India to confine them in this country. While India should not shy from requesting the Dalai Lama to use his good offices to end all differences within the community in the interest of India’s internal security, it will also be necessary to ensure that young Tibetans do not nurse a silent grudge against the very country they called their second home.

  2. Why does the Bhutanese Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche behave and dress in a way that makes people lose faith in Buddhism and it’s teachers? 😒

    Dzongsar kyentse tattoo

    • If you’ve read the above passage about Lam Drukpa Kunley then you’d know outside appearances is not what is important rather the spiritual compassion internally.

  3. Although the Dalai Lama has offered an apology, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) still expressed their disappointment over his controversial comment on Nehru, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC). Dalai Lama called Nehru self-centred.

    The Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

    Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting controversial information to students: Arunachal Congress
    Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation: APCC
    | DAMIEN LEPCHA | ITANAGAR | August 12, 2018 9:58 pm
    disappointment over the recent statement made by Tibetan Spiritual Leader the 14th Dalai Lama in which he called Jawaharlal Nehru, the former Prime Minister of India as “self-centered” and the one responsible for parting India and Pakistan.
    “Although Dalai Lama expressed regret over his controversial comment, the APCC is extremely thwarted by it. A Tibetan spiritual leader calling names to an Indian leader who sweated most to keep him and his followers safe from Chinese aggression is simply not acceptable. Today, India is home to lakhs of Tibetan refugees who are living in 37 settlements and 70 scattered communities across different states of India,” APCC vice-president Minkir Lollen said in a statement on Sunday.
    “Dalai Lama may have forgotten that India provided a beam of light and hope to Tibetans remaining in Chinese-dominated Tibet and in the neighbouring Chinese provinces politically cut off from the Tibetan heart land. All these happened only because India has great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru who took the responsibility of social burden to shelter thousands of persecuted Tibetans then in 1959,” Lollen added.
    Minkir said Dalai Lama should know that a spiritual leader like him is shouldering great expectation, hope and trust of millions on record and the same are watching his contribution towards the mankind.
    “In such circumstances, Dalai Lama should abstain from imparting partial and controversial information to the students who are the torch bearer of the nation,” the Congress said.
    Further stating that the statement of the spiritual leader could be a politically motivated one and made with an effort to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for survival of his continuation in the country, the Congress said Dalai Lama being a foreigner should shun and refrain from interfering in the internal as well as external affairs of India.

  4. I am not surprised when I read about how the Tibetans have been causing problems for Bhutan. They are the kind of people that are always up to no good and keep creating problems and trouble for those who are around them. Their greed for power, fame, and money is disgustingly strong that kills anything good in its path and leave everything in ruins.

    They have been takers for their whole life and they accomplished nothing. They lost their country due to their incompetence to protect it despite numerous help and advice from Dorje Shugden oracle who took trance to warn them of the situation. They choose to ignore the signs and advice pointed out by Dorje Shugden which caused Tibet to be invaded by China and His Holiness Dalai Lama was forced to leave Potala Palace and take refuge in India until now.

    Now despite putting in real effort in negotiating with China to get their country back, they accuse a Buddhist deity of their failure to bring Tibetans back to Tibet. They make a big fuss out of it and made the issue huge to distract the public from seeing their failure for 60years. Now that China is getting stronger and H.H Dalai Lama has expressed that he would like to go back to Tibet under China, CTA has nothing to say. CTA will not last long and soon they will have to dissolve their little party.

  5. It is bewildering that His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentioned that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s, yet nothing was done to reprimand these Buddhist teachers. After all, such abuses inflict substantial damage to the reputation of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole as compared to smaller issues like Dorje Shugden.

    The Central Tibetan Administration was fervent in executing the Dorje Shugden ban, launching a documentary film, books, expelling monks, splitting monasteries and denying access to hospitals, clinics, schools, retail shops and so forth down to even publishing a hit list of Shugden activists in order to encourage violence and lynch mob. Yet, the damage done to Tibetan Buddhism by these lamas seems to be ignored and hushed. Why is the Central Tibetan Administration not doing more to warn the public about these sex offenders like posting a warning list on their website?

    Dalai Lama knew sex abuse by Buddhist teachers; it’s ‘nothing new’
    Agence France-Presse
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dalai Lama said Saturday that he had known of sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations were “nothing new.”
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in northern India, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behavior”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”

  6. His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan spiritual leader revered by millions of Buddhists around the world should ensure that the Tibetan spiritual leaders do more to denounce sexual misconduct and abuse of Buddhist teachers as there are far-reaching repercussions and negative impact on Tibetan Buddhism.

    While His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been consistent in reminding practitioners about not practising Dorje Shugden in lieu of the social and religious problems associated with it, despite the unsubstantiated claims or justifications, the indolence of the Central Tibetan Administration in taking action to pacify the public disgust against the misconduct of these Buddhist teachers is severely lacking and appalling. The bias in dealing with these issues related to religious matter has again proven the political nature and conspiracy behind the ban on Dorje Shugden.

    ‘Nothing new’: Dalai Lama says he knew about sex abuse by Buddhist teachers
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    Agence France-Presse
    The Dalai Lama said Sunday he has known about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers since the 1990s and that such allegations are “nothing new”.
    The Tibetan spiritual leader, revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, made the admission during a four-day visit to the Netherlands, where he met on Friday with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers.
    He was responding to a call from a dozen of the victims who had launched a petition asking to meet him during his trip, part of a tour of Europe.
    “We found refuge in Buddhism with an open mind and heart, until we were raped in its name,” the victims said in their petition.
    “I already did know these things, nothing new,” the Dalai Lama said in response on Dutch public television NOS late Saturday.
    “Twenty-five years ago… someone mentioned about a problem of sexual allegations” at a conference for western Buddhist teachers in Dharamshala, a hill town in Himachal Pradesh, he added.
    The Dalai Lama, 83, lives in exile in Dharamshala.
    People who commit sexual abuse “don’t care about the Buddha’s teaching. So now that everything has been made public, people may concern about their shame,” he said, speaking in English.
    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, said Friday that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behaviour”.
    Tibetan spiritual leaders are due to meet in Dharamshala in November.
    “At that time they should talk about it,” the Dalai Lama said in his televised comments Saturday. “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”

  7. When compared to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala that does not take any responsibility for their people like any proper government normally would, China is radically different and liberal for allowing sex abuse victims to express themselves on social media, despite its heavy censorship of the Internet.

    For people like Luo Xixi, whose online postings on sex abuse has garnered millions of views on Chinese social media, said that the government is gradually opening up to the #MeToo movement, a hashtag catch-phrase movement that encourages and empowers sex abuse victims to stand up against sex abuse. In China, those who are convicted of sexual abuse are severely dealt with by the law and laid off from work. The Central Tibetan Administration should take heed of how such cases are dealt with in China and not allow sex abuse perpetrators, especially Tibetan lamas to continue committing their crimes unchecked and without consequence.

    Social media gives sexual abuse victims in China voice to speak out
    By Violet Law, Special to USA Today
    BEIJING – After spending two months late last year nudging university officials to punish her former adviser for trying to pressure her and others into sex, Luo Xixi found unlikely help on China’s heavily censored internet.
    She published a post on Weibo, a popular microblog site similar to Twitter, to detail her own experiences and those of four others with the professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In a few hours, her post – initially targeting her less than 10 followers – garnered 3 million views.
    It had swift consequences in the conservative country, too: The professor was fired.
    “I don’t think the officials forgot to block me,” Luo told USA TODAY by phone from her California home, where she moved after graduation to work in software programming. “I can tell the government is trying to open the door to the #MeToo movement, little by little.”
    Sexual abuse scandals aren’t new in China, but they rarely have caused a stir in the past. In this deeply patriarchal society, women who spoke out before were often seen as airing dirty laundry in public and bringing shame upon their family.
    But with Luo’s post – the first by a Chinese to use her real name – the tide has turned and the floodgates to sexual misconduct allegations in China burst open.
    Other Chinese nationals living overseas began posting on various Chinese-language social media sites alleging sexual misconduct by academics. Since late July, every few days new victims and witnesses inside China have aired their accusations on chat groups or personal blogs against such prominent figures in philanthropy, the media, entertainment – including a national variety show host and a monk who heads the country’s Buddhist association.
    State censors have deleted some of the posts, though not before they percolated on cyberspace through re-posts and were amplified by local media reports.
    Much as the so-called Great Firewall has kept sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and most recently Reddit off-limits to China’s netizens, there is a plethora of popular homegrown sites.
    Also, as China’s censorship apparatus is known to employ AI, or artificial intelligence, to automatically block sensitive terms from posts and group chats, some netizens find a way around referring to #MeToo by using homophonic Chinese words that mean “rice rabbit.”
    “China has a contentious internet culture – people in China are used to taking their grievances online,” said Yang Guobing, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in online activism in China. “(Censorship) hasn’t really stopped the determined protesters.”
    For example, in April, five Chinese living abroad, including one on the faculty at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and another teaching at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, posted open letters online demanding that Peking University release specifics of a 1998 investigation into a former professor following their undergraduate classmate’s suicide: They believe he repeatedly raped her. Even as she took her own life, the professor held on to his position for more than a decade and won national recognition.
    They distanced themselves from the #MeToo movement knowing that Chinese officials often are quick to crack down on organized actions.
    “Before I came forward, I told our classmates we shouldn’t hitch ourselves to any movement or political demand,” the Wesleyan professor Wang Ao wrote on one of his blogs. “I tend to think I’m just an outsider and volunteer.”
    Following the recent wave of allegations, however, a few of the accused ended up apologizing online. After well-known environmentalist Feng Yongfeng was accused of harassing several women, he posted his mea culpa on WeChat, a social media-cum-messaging app.
    And the fallout has been particularly swift for professors identified as perpetrators – all were let go or resigned from their jobs.
    The latest to face consequences is Xu Gang, associate professor of East Asian studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. On at least two Chinese-language social media sites, Wang publicized his female colleagues’ accusations against Xu’s sexual harassment dating back two decades. He left his tenured position earlier this month.
    Meanwhile, Luo says she now embraces #MeToo, as she’s since realized the term is a rallying cry that resonates with the Chinese.
    “So more people can come forward,” she said. “So they know they’re not alone.”

  8. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s speeches create headlines nowadays not because they bring wisdom and enlightening thoughts, but rather unpleasant feelings and disapprovals. From the sexist quip in 2015, his gaffe on Nehru, and his recent comment about Europe that caused him to be labelled as White Supremacist, there is now one more to add onto the list. In order to be congenial and consistent with the image of a Nobel Peace Laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been issuing statements, especially about Islam, such as redefining Jihad as an interior struggle.

    More and more people are expressing their doubt, with some even directly pointing out the mistakes in the Dalai Lama’s speech. This pattern of speech of strong statements that ends up in denial or apology seems consistent with his advice concerning the practice of Dorje Shugden. With the reasons behind the ban shifted so much over time, perhaps there really was never any validity behind the ban at all.

    Should one be truthful about Islam when making pronouncements about it?
    September 20, 2018 Hugh Fitzgerald
    There seem to be two Dalai Lamas when it comes to Islam.
    The first Dalai Lama, like that other expert on Islam Pope Francis, knows that authentic Islam is opposed to terrorism, that Islam is all about peace, and that any Muslim who engages in violence for that very reason can not be a “genuine Muslim.”
    Here he is, for example, in a speech in Strasbourg in September 2016:
    “‘Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim,’ says Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.
    He argued that differentiating fundamentalism from Islam itself was a key way to stop violence and strengthen integration.
    The Dalai Lama has said there is no such thing as a “Muslim terrorist” as anyone who partakes in violent activities is not a “genuine” Muslim.
    Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in France at the end of last week, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader suggested the phrase was a contradiction in terms and condemned those who commit violent acts in the name of religion.
    The Dalai Lama asserted that all religions were united by the values of love, compassion, tolerance and more. He argued that with this common ground the world would be able to build peace.
    Where and when have Muslims demonstrated “the values of love, compassion, tolerance…” to non-Muslims?
    “Buddhist terrorist. Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong,” he said. “Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam.”
    Where does it say anywhere in the Qur’an or the hadith that “once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam”? Nowhere. Quite the reverse: throughout the Qur’an, in 109 Jihad verses, Muslims are commanded to engage in bloodshed. In the Hadith, Muhammad, the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct — and therefore to be emulated — takes part in 27 military campaigns, orders the torture and killing of Kinana of Khaybar, directly engages in the decapitation of 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, and is delighted to receive news of the murders of people who had mocked or opposed him, including Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf. Wasn’t this warrior and killer “involved in bloodshed”? And who, if not Muhammad, was a “genuine practitioner of Islam”?
    “All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline – all religious traditions.”
    This isn’t true. There is no “message of love” for non-Muslims in Islam. Rather, Muslims are told to make war until all non-Muslims are subdued, and offered only the options of death, conversion to Islam, or enduring the permanent status of dhimmi, with its many onerous conditions. Where is the “love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment,” etc. in any of this? Indeed, Muslims are taught to not even take “Christians and Jews as friends, for they are friends only with each other.” They are taught, too, according to a famous hadith, that they may smile at Infidels, as long as they curse them in their hearts. None of this suggests the “love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance” that the Dalai Lama insists are the essence of Islam’s message.
    “He argued that differentiating between fundamentalism and Islam was a key way to stop violence and strengthen integration: ‘On that level, we can build a genuine harmony, on the basis of mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual admiration”.
    “Mutual respect, mutual learning, meaning admiration”? Is he unfamiliar with the Qur’anic verse that describes Muslims as the “best of peoples” (3:110) while the non-Muslims are described as “the most vile of creatures” (98:6)? How can Muslims admire those whom they have been told not to take even as friends, how can they admire those they are told are “the most vile of creatures”? It’s not possible.
    On what basis does the Dalai Lama make such remarks? It’s amazing to think that at the age of 83, with all the time in the world to have engaged in the study of other religions, he still has managed to avoid learning what Islam is all about. Or is it that he hopes that somehow, by dint of ignoring the essence of Islam, he can somehow affect the attitudes and behavior of Muslims? He is foolish to keep making pronouncements on Islam without having read, and studied, the Qur’an and Hadith. And he is both foolish and wicked if he has indeed read and studied the canonical Islamic texts, and decided that nonetheless he will ignore their content and attempt, using his great and quite undeserved prestige, to convince us that the authentic Islam — the same authentic Islam that Pope Francis refers to — has nothing to do with violence or terrorism.
    In September 2014, at a meeting in India, the Dalai Lama made the usual claim of the apologists that Jihad is a Spiritual Struggle:
    “Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jihad in their hearts, including me,” the Dalai Lama said.
    This claim that Jihad is an interior struggle comes from a supposed hadith about Muhammad returning from the “Lesser Jihad” of warfare to the “Greater Jihad” of his own spiritual struggle. No one, by the way, has been able to find the source of this supposed hadith.
    The Dalai Lama said Indian Muslims can offer lessons on Shia-Sunni harmony as Shias feel safer in India than in Pakistan.
    Why would that be? It’s because the Hindu majority, which controls the police and security services, keep violence down between the sects, without favoring either side. In Pakistan, on the other hand, the Sunni majority does nothing to protect the Shi’a from Sunni attacks, such as those carried out by the anti-Shi’a terrorist group Sipah-e-Sahaba. The only “lesson” to be learned has nothing to do with Indian Muslims being somehow different, but rather, with the fact that non-Muslims in India are better able to hold the intra-Muslim violence in check.
    As far back as 2008, the Dalai Lama said what lots of Western leaders have been saying about Islam since 2001. He said “it was wrong, it was entirely unfair, to call Islam a violent religion.” But six years later, in September 2014, at a conference of religious leaders he had organized, the Dalai Lama seemed to modify his earlier brisk dismissal of any connection between Islam and violence, when he said that “killing in the name of faith is terrible.” The implication was clear: some people [Muslims] were killing in the name of faith, and while that was “terrible,” it was no longer “entirely unfair” to link some Muslims to such violence. Everyone understood what adherents he must have intended to set straight about their own faith. At least he recognized that some people “claimed” to be acting violently in accordance with the texts and teachings of their religion, even if those people were “wrong.”
    Then he showed he was still determined to give Islam a pass, adding in the same speech that “jihad was being misused and the term connotes fighting one’s own impurities.” No, that’s what the apologists maintain. He clearly had been reading too much Karen Armstrong. And still worse was to follow: “Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jihad in their hearts, including me.” Apparently Muslims over the past 1400 years have everywhere misunderstood the true nature of jihad, which only very tangentially might have to do with fighting the Infidels, failing to understand that it describes an individual’s struggle to be a better person.
    Is it possible that the Dalai Lama really does not know by this point, in 2018, how Muslims understand the word “jihad” and how they historically have acted when commanded to wage “jihad,” does not know with what murderous meaning the Qur’an endows that word? Perhaps he really doesn’t know. Or perhaps he thinks that if he (and others) repeat this jihad-as-inner-struggle mantra, that many Muslims will in time convince themselves that that is really what “jihad” is about. But why would they listen to the Dalai Lama and not their own clerics? Other world leaders have described Islam in similarly misleading terms — Barack Obama (“the true peaceful nature of Islam”), Tony Blair (the Islamic State’s ideology is “based in a complete perversion of the proper faith of Islam”), Pope Francis (“Islam is a religion of peace”) – whenever they pontificated about Islam, a faith which they so maddeningly presume to know so much about. Muslim behavior did not change as a result. In the case of Obama, Blair and the Pope, one has the feeling that they really believe the nonsense they are spouting. With the Dalai Lama, who has been exposed to Islam in Asia for more than a half-century, his real beliefs are still not clear.
    The prominent Syrian cleric Ramadan al-Buti complained that when Westerners describe Islam as a “religion of peace,” they are not trying to defend Islam, but to trick Muslims into believing it is peaceful, and then – horribile dictu — into giving up the real doctrine of jihad for that ludicrous “inner struggle” business. Of course, Islam is about violence and war, said the truth-telling Ramadan Al-Buti. But why believe a prominent Muslim cleric about Islam, when there are so many non-Muslims, like the loquacious Dalai Lama, ready to tell both us, and Muslims, that the faith is all about peace and tolerance?
    At the same gathering, the Dalai Lama insisted that “India is the only country where different religions have been able to co-exist.” This was a bizarre remark, but the Dalai Lama is given to strange remarks. First, could he have forgotten that all over the Western world, people of different confessions have coexisted peacefully? Or is it that he just doesn’t want to say anything in praise of the West, because that would invite comparison with how Muslim states treat non-Muslims (very badly) compared to how the non-Muslim West treats Muslims (very generously)? Second, when he speaks about “coexistence” in India, hasn’t he overlooked the centuries of Muslim conquest and Muslim rule? In all his decades in India — he has lived there since 1959 — didn’t he learn the history of India, the country that gave him refuge, about the mass murder of tens of millions of Hindus, about the virtual disappearance of Buddhism, about the forced conversion of many millions — Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, more? Has he forgotten Mahmoud of Ghazni, and Aurangzeb, and all the other murderous Muslims in India’s history? Does any of that support his claim that India is “the only country where different religions…have been able to co-exist”? Coexistence, of a kind, only became possible in India once the British had deposed the Mughal rulers, and then, since 1947, Hindus dominated — and that domination is what allowed for coexistence.
    The Dalai Lama has claimed that Indian Muslims can offer lessons on Shia-Sunni harmony, as Shias feel safer in India than in Pakistan. He’s right – they do feel safer in India. But he’s wrong about the reason. It’s not that Indian Muslims can “offer lessons” on Sunni-Shia harmony to Muslims in Pakistan, which might hold out hope of lessening intra-Islamic hostilities. The sects remain just as ideologically at odds in India as in Pakistan. But the secret of tamping down the intra-Islamic violence is that the Indian government, in which Hindus predominate, can use force to suppress such intra-Islamic violence. It’s not that the Muslims in India are a different, less violent breed than their coreligionists in Pakistan, but that in India, the violence can be better held in check. In Pakistan, the Sunni government does little to reign in anti-Shi’a violence.
    The next time the Dalai Lama mentioned Islam was at a gathering of his followers from 27 countries on January 31, 2015. He said that “though terrorism has emerged as a global problem,” it should not be associated with Islam, as “Muslims were neither terrorist nor its sponsorer [sic].” No one had the bad taste to remind him of the nearly 25,000 terrorist attacks (now there have been 33,500) carried out by Muslims since 9/11; no one at the meeting had the nerve to jog his memory with mention of Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher, Bataclan, Magnanville, Nice, London buses and metro stations, Lee Rigby, the Atocha station in Madrid, Theo van Gogh’s murder in Amsterdam, or the attacks at Fort Hood, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Orlando. No reporter asked him about Muhammad’s claim that “I have been made victorious through terror.”
    Like Pope Francis, who now says “equating Islam with violence is wrong” and just this past summer insisted again, astoundingly, that “all religions want peace,” the Dalai Lama is a “spiritual leader” who doesn’t want to call into conceivable question other faiths. All religions are good; no religion, rightly understood, can possibly countenance violence. Repeat ad libitum.
    The Dalai Lama offers treacly pieties, insisting that no religion could possibly be responsible for any violence or aggression by its adherents. His worldview cannot accommodate the real Islam, and its violent adherents who make the news every day, so he has chosen to believe in a sanitized, even imaginary, version of the faith.
    Yet the Dalai Lama has also shown, very occasionally, signs of justified worry. He has noticed that the migrants flowing into Europe have been a source of great anxiety and disruption, and this past May, in an interview with the Frankfurter Algemeiner Zeitung, he surprised many when he forthrightly said: “Europe, for example Germany, cannot [that is, must not] become an Arab country. Germany is Germany.” And “from a moral point of view too, I think the refugees should only be admitted temporarily. The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”
    This seemed to be a welcome volte-face from the pollyannish pronouncements of the past. Of course, one should notice that he said Germany “cannot become an Arab country,” rather than saying that Germany “cannot become a Muslim country.” It’s as if he still couldn’t bring himself to recognize that it is the faith of Islam, and not the ethnicity of some of its Believers, that makes Muslims permanently hostile to non-Muslims, and unable to integrate into their societies, that is, into Europe. But he certainly appeared to be suggesting that the migrants, almost all of them Muslims, should not be allowed to remain and transform the countries which had so generously admitted them. Rather, those migrants should eventually be sent back to “help rebuild their countries.” It was a welcome display of common sense. He appeared to recognize the danger of letting “Arab” (Muslim) migrants stay, and that a policy of sending them home after they had acquired skills useful in rebuilding their own countries, was morally justified. Some might say — you and I, for example — that it would have been morally justified to send them right back, without that training: the Western world is not some gigantic training center, and it owes the world’s Muslims exactly nothing.
    But then, in a visit to Paris in September 2016, the Dalai Lama called for entering into talks – a “dialogue”? – with the Islamic State so as to “end bloodshed in Syria and Iraq,” which showed a complete misunderstanding of the Islamic State. Its fighters are determined to carry on without letup against those it considers — not just Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, but also Shi’ites and even insufficiently-fanatical Muslims — to be Infidels. Not dialogue, but total destruction, is the only way to deal with the Islamic State. But even that will not end the threat, because the ideology on which ISIS rests cannot be destroyed, which means that new recruits to the cause, and new Islamic States, will keep appearing. The Dalai Lama’s notion of a “dialogue” with ISIS is a fantasy solution, by someone who doesn’t know what else to suggest.
    In the same speech, the Dalai Lama also repeated that “religion is never a justification for killing,” when Islam – see the Qur’an, see the Hadith – overflows with justifications for the killing of insubmissive Infidels. And the Muslim killers always justify their killings, being careful to cite chapter and verse, from the Qur’an, or to adduce evidence from the life of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith, that lend textual support to their every act.
    Did the Dalai Lama see the killers of Drummer Rigby holding up their Qur’ans and quoting from it? Did he see the many leaders of the Islamic State, such as Al-Baghdadi, or propagandists for Al Qaeda, like Al-Awlaki, similarly quoting from the Qur’an to justify their attacks? Perhaps he managed to miss it all.
    In August 2018, the Dalai Lama appealed to Muslims in India to make efforts to reduce Shia-Sunni conflicts that are prevalent in some other countries and asserted that Islam is a religion of peace. He lamented the bloodshed over denominational differences, which he said should be avoided as Islam teaches compassion and harmony.
    The Dalai Lama has recently been speaking out about Sunni-Shi’a clashes, deploring them even as he offers no explanation as to why “peaceful” Muslims seem so often to engage in violence.
    Addressing an event in August 2018 at the Goa Institute of Management, the 14th Dalai Lama stressed the need for international brotherhood and harmony.
    “Muslims across the globe follow the same Quran and also pray five times a day. However, they are killing each other owing to differences between the sects like Shia and Sunni,” he said.
    The Dalai Lama said, “I was in Ladakh. I suggested to Ladakhi Muslims that Indian Muslims should make some efforts to reduce the conflict between Shias and Sunnis.”
    He told the audience that a national conference of Muslims would be organised in the coming months, which will be followed by a similar convention at the international level.
    He said that modern India has remained by and large peaceful due to over 1000-year-old history of religious harmony.
    The Dalai Lama’s claim is bizarre. Modern India did not “remain by and large peaceful” during the last 1000 years. It was the scene of bloody conquests by invading Muslims, who killed many millions, and once they had conquered and subjugated the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist populations, they killed tens of millions more. The Indian historian K. S. Lal has written that 70-80 million non-Muslims in India were killed by Muslim armies. Tens of thousands of Hindu and Buddhist temples were destroyed. How can the Dalai Lama be unaware of this long history? After the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959, he fled to India, where he, and tens of thousands of his followers, were given permanent refuge. Has he not, in all the decades he has lived in India, had the slightest interest in studying the history of the country that gave him refuge, and the effect of the Muslim conquests on Hindus and Buddhists? Is he unaware that Buddhism, his own religion, was virtually wiped out in India by the Muslim conquerors? Can he, the spiritual head of one branch of Buddhism, really be unaware of what happened to Buddhism in the land of its birthplace? Wasn’t he interested enough to find out?

  9. Transcript: Dalai Lama is a Racist Nazi

    Dalai Lama is a piece of shit and a disgusting scumbag. It is, it is insane this cunt comes to Europe and tells us that we should not accept more refugees. Is he fucking retarded? It is amazing, like you don’t expect from people like, like those to be Nazis and to support all the right. It’s just insane a spiritual leader is a fucking Nazi dude. Europe needs more refugees, way more than we already have. Do you understand? And this degenerate says that we should send refugees back to where they came from and that we should help the countries of the refugees. His suggestions are, it’s obvious, like obviously we should help the countries of the, of the refugees, of their origin, but we should not send anyone back. We need more refugees in Europe and we should not deport anyone. We should give money to the refugees so they can stay in Europe and live here. What this Dalai Lama is suggesting is very inhumane, that’s all what I wanted to say. Hopefully in future we will get more migrants in Europe. Hopefully we can help more people. Let’s hope, let’s hope for the better.

  10. The issue of Indian resentment towards the Tibetan refugees living on Indian soil is nothing new. The Tibetans have built comfortable lives for themselves in India and enjoy many privileges including exemption from paying tax. All of this is done without Tibetans showing genuine concern for the less fortunate in their host country.

    The story below, which took place over 24 years ago, is a reflection of how fragile the Tibetan situation is in India. When a Tibetan murdered an Indian following a dispute, chaos ensued, and the Dalai Lama had to consider moving out of Dharamsala. Tensions between the Indian and Tibetan community have not normalised and remain high in the area even until today.

    Hate campaign shatters calm of Dalai Lama
    TIM MCGIRK in New Delhi | Wednesday 11 May 1994 00:02
    THE Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet, has threatened to move the headquarters of his government-in-exile from Dharamsala, in the Himalayas of northern India, after two local politicians incited Indians to go on a rampage against Tibetan refugees.
    The calm of Dharamsala, the forested retreat where the Dalai Lama and 8,000 other Tibetan monks and refugees have been living since 1960, was shattered on 22 April when an Indian youth, who belonged to a caste of shepherds known as the gaddis, was stabbed to death by a Tibetan in a fight which developed over an India versus Pakistan cricket match on television.
    During the funeral Krishan Kapoor, a politician belonging to the rightwing Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), yanked the shroud off the corpse, reached into the cadaver’s open stomach, pulled out a length of intestine, and held it high. ‘This is what the Tibetans have done]’ he yelled.
    The mourners went berserk. Shouting ‘Death to the Dalai Lama]’ and ‘Long Live Deng Xiaoping]’ the mob stormed the compound of the Tibetan government-in-exile, smashed windows, set fires and destroyed furniture. They then looted Tibetan shops and beat up refugees.
    Not to be outdone by Mr Kapoor, the rival Congress politician, a shrill ex-princess named Chandresh Kumari, helped circulate a petition calling for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans to get out of India. The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was abroad during these events, but in a statement he said: ‘To avoid a conflict becoming a major problem in the future, it is best that I move out of Dharamsala. I am very, very sad that an individual incident has, unfortunately, been allowed to be manipulated by local politicians and this makes it serious.’ He mentioned moving to Bangalore, in southern India, which would mean dismantling the government-in-exile’s offices, Tibetan medicine centres, libraries, monasteries and schools. In all, more than 100,000 Tibetan refugees are scattered around the country.
    In goading the gaddis against the Tibetans, both Mr Kapoor and Ms Kumari are aiming to pick up support from the poor but numerous shepherds’ community. Even before the stabbing, the gaddis’ resentment against the refugees was high. They blame them for driving up land prices and envy the prosperity of some Tibetan shopowners.
    One recent pamphlet warned: ‘If you Tibetans do not leave Dharamsala by 25 July, we will bomb you out.’

    Hate campaign shatters calm of Dalai Lama

  11. A Plot to Murder the Dalai Lama

    Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, South India, says there is a plot to murder the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

    Link to the original video:

  12. A plot to murder the Dalai Lama by a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist named Kausar was recently uncovered. Kausar planned to cause the Dalai Lama’s demise and blow up Buddhist temples in the Indian State of Karnataka as revenge for the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by some Buddhists in Myanmar.

    Although Kausar’s plans are appalling and cannot be justified, it is a reminder that the Dalai Lama as a well-known Buddhist personality has a moral obligation to discourage religious persecution in any form. This even includes the discrimination experienced by Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    Bengaluru: JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka?
    Tue, Oct 2 2018 01:46:48 PM
    Daijiworld Media Network – Bengaluru (MS)
    Bengaluru, Oct 2: Explosive information about the plans of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist Kausar alias Muneer Sheikh alias Mohammed Jahidul Islam (38) has been unearthed in which he had targeted to blow up the Buddhist temples of the state.
    Earlier in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation, it came to light that Kausar had planned to plant a bomb at the programme of Buddhist leader Dalai Lama that was held in the month of August at Ramanagara. Dalai Lama had participated in the programme that was held on August 13 at the Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Education, which is situated at the Bengaluru – Mysuru road. Kausar was arrested by NIA on August 7, barely six days before the programme.
    With regard to this information, the top officials of the CID department have held a meeting on Monday, October 1 and it was decided to conduct a separate investigation of this issue, as per the information given by home minister.
    It was also decided to gather information to know whether Kausar had visited the sites of important Buddhist temples in the state like Bailukuppe Tibetan Camp at Kushalnagar in Kodagu, Kollegal and the camp at Mundagod of Uttara Kannada district.
    It is confirmed from the interrogation that Kausar had planned to conduct acts of sabotage and explosions, targeting the Buddhists living in India, as a revenge to the attacks on Rohingya Muslims by the Buddhists in Myanmar. In addition, the investigating officers have also said that Kausar, who had lived in and around Bengaluru from 2014, had hatched a plot to kill Dalai Lama.
    NIA officials had arrested an accomplice of Kausar in the case of Bodh Gaya bombings. It is also confirmed that the JMB terrorists had planned in Kerala to carry out acts of sabotage in the state of Karnataka. It is learnt that a special team will be sent to Kerala also to know Kausar’s link there.
    One accomplice of Kausar still absconding
    NIA has so far arrested seven accused in the Bodh Gaya explosion case. However, Arif Hussain, one more accused and accomplice of Kausar is absconding. Arif is one of the members of the gang that kept IED explosives in the Kalachakra ground of Bodh Gaya. During the investigation, a shocking piece of information has come to light that Arif had met Kausar after the blasts and also discussed with regards to the failure of the intended plan.
    Expert in manufacturing IED explosives
    Kausar, the JMB terrorist is an expert in manufacturing IED explosives. He had come to India with his accomplice Muzafir Rehman from Bangladesh and had planned to carry out terrorist acts on a large scale. Kausar had also trained his accomplices with regards to the manufacture of IED.
    No information of intended bombings in state, says CM
    “No plot was hatched to kill Buddhist leader Dalai Lama in the state of Karnataka. Police are about to file charge sheet against the accused who have been arrested for the bomb blasts that took place in Bodh Gaya. However, I do not know why the name of Dalai Lama is mentioned in this issue. There is no relation between terrorist Kausar, who was caught in Ramanagara, and the attempt on the life of Dalai Lama. However, the police are going to conduct investigation in this angle also. The central government has not sought any information in this regard from the state government,” clarified CM Kumaraswamy to the media.
    Speaking on the issue, Dr G Parameshwar, DCM, said, “The officers of NIA are not sharing any information with us with regard to the plot hatched by the terrorists. They gather information at the international level and arrest the terrorists.”
    Former CM Jagadish Shettar accused the state government and said, “A comprehensive inquiry has to be conducted relating to the issue of the plot to kill Dalai Lama by JMB terrorists. The arrest of suspected terrorists by the NIA shows the utter failure of the state CID.”

    Bengaluru JMB terrorists targeted Buddhist temples in Karnataka

  13. The fact that rangzen activists aim for the goal of Tibetan independence is at odds with the Dalai Lama’s goal for Tibet’s autonomy. This is nothing new but it is an undeniable fact that the Dalai Lama is the most recognisable Tibetan face and representative for the Tibetan Cause. However, for years now there has been a deficit of trust between China and the Dalai Lama, which leaves the future of Tibetan refugees in limbo.

    Recently, the Dalai Lama tried to take conciliatory steps towards China by acknowledging that development in the Tibet Autonomous Region is beneficial and expressed his desire to return to China. He even said he wants to go on pilgrimage to Mount Wutai, China’s most famous Buddhist site. The fact that the Rangzen people are still protesting against China however shows their true colour. They are against the Dalai Lama and want to make sure that his efforts to help Tibetans are unsuccessful.

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY
    [Thursday, September 20, 2018 18:01]
    By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 20: Activists from various countries that calls for freedom from China’s repression gathered in front of the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City on Tuesday on the opening day of the 73rd General Assembly to protest CCP honcho Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    Activists from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong, Taiwan as well as pro-democracy groups in unison called for the end to repressive policies implemented by China and freedom for their countries. The coalition labelled the Chinese president “Xi-the Pooh” in resemblance to cartoon character Winnie the Pooh who is incidentally banned in China, in addition to calling the Chinese leader “Xitler” likening him to infamous Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter.
    Members of the Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan National Congress joined in the rally that saw activists throw ink at an effigy of Xi in apparent solidarity with Chinese woman Dong Yaoqiong who threw ink at a poster of Xi in Shanghai on July 4. The 29-year-old from Hunan province was arrested by Chinese police in July and has been detained in a mental institution, sources say. 
    SFT Executive Director Dorjee Tsetan led the protest where activists denounced China’s narrative that Xi as the face of new China inching towards leadership in the global arena and reiterate their resistance in the face of Xi-led CCP’s totalitarian rule.
    Tiananmen massacre survivor and pro-democracy activist Rose Tang wrote in her Facebook page, “Very honoured to be with my sisters and brothers from Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the US to de-face Xitler. Xitler and the Chinese Communist Party rely on lies and violence; our weapons are peace, love and compassion. We shall defeat Xitler!”
    Representatives from various occupied nations and activists such as Ilshat Hassan, President of Uyghur American Association, Enghebatu Togochog, Director of Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Sarah Cook, Senior Researcher for East Asia, Freedom House, Teng Baio, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer and Activist, Omer Karnat, Director, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Ngawang Tharchin, President, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress NY/NJ, Anna Cheung, Activist, New York For Hong Kong and Marvin Kumetat, US Program Coordinator, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization were seen speaking at the protest rally in New York city.

    Activists coalition rally against “Xi-the-Pooh” at Un headquarters in NY

  14. Sex Predator in a Monk’s Robes?

    In USA, Shambhala’s head Sakyong Mipham with his huge ceremonial hat, blue and gold brocades on a high throne. So much pomp and ceremony and underneath it all was a monster… a sexual predator in religious robes exploiting women and people. Such a disgusting shame. Sakyong should be barred from any activities in the future and go for counselling. He needs it badly. His father was Chogyam Trungpa who did the same thing to women and included drugs and orgies in the 70′s. Dalai Lama supports Sakyong Mipham as sizeable donations were given to the Dalai Lama’s office. Shame. We all thought Dalai Lama was clairvoyant and can see the hearts of sentient beings? Sakyong Mipham wears monk robes, shaves his head but has a wife and kids. Why keep wearing monk robes? He is wearing monk robes to look authentic as he is not authentic. Easier to swindle and fool people. Ontop of wearing robes, shaved head masquerading as a monk, has a wife and kids, he further attacks other women sexually. What kind of spiritual leader is this? Disgusting.

  15. Thank you for this interesting history of Bhutan, its royalty and religious leaders. It brings more understanding of how these great leaders helped to keep Bhutan, though a small country, safe from invasion by other bigger nations. They are well learned and placed the welfare of their people first which one can see through all the policies implemented, especially the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. No other country cares to measure the level of happiness of their people, only the monetary value.

    My goodness, it would seem that the Tibetans create havoc wherever they go. And I must say, the brother of the Dalai Lama, Gyalo Thondup is so audacious to plot the attempted assassination of the Prince a day before his coronation to be the 4th King of Bhutan. That is so wrong! Instead of preserving the holy status of his brother the Dalai Lama, Gyalo Thondup instead commits such grave crimes. It is fortunate that the Bhutanese government saw the problems of the Tibetan refugees not assimilating into their society, will bring problems and took the steps to force them to either apply for Bhutanese citizenship or to go back to China Tibet. Pretty good deal I would say since they will be accorded the full rights as a Bhutanese citizen. Finally India is catching on this idea and had recently made it easy for the refugees to apply for Indian citizenship.

    It is such a shame that the Bhutanese had to sacrifice their centuries old practice of Dorje Shugden just to keep peace with the Tibetans. It is obvious that Dorje Shugden practice had no adversity and will instead benefit, so to lose one’s national practice for the very people who tried to bring chaos to one’s country, seem such a waste. Why give up a practice that your forefather had exalted with prayers to pacify the ungrateful intruders? I am sure that the Bhutanese are educated enough to understand the illogical claims by CTA are just that, “illogical” and can be easily be dispelled by logic. Due the ban on DS practice, so many younger generations are losing out on their history. The economy is also on the decline with many young people not finding work. Maybe it will help to revive the practice of Dorje Shugden.

  16. China and India are becoming closer and in a recent meeting have agreed on some points. One of these points is that the Dalai Lama will not be allowed to carry out any more political activities against China on Indian soil. Being a spiritual leader, why is he so political anyway? The Indian leaders are slowly silencing the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in India. The Dalai Lama and his Tibetan government in-exile regime had better make friends with China already. They should either go back to Tibet/China or become Indian citizens and remain silent.

    China will review new inputs on Azhar

    Delhi says no anti-Chinese activity will be allowed in India

    China has assured India that it will, in future, consider any additional information that is provided on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar to designate him as an international terrorist.

    The assurance was given by Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Zhao Kezhi, to Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a high-level meeting held in New Delhi last week.

    Dalai Lama’s visit

    On its part, India said its territory would not be used for any political activity against China, when Beijing raised the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh in 2016.

    The Doklam stand-off between the armies of the two countries at the China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction last year, which lasted for over two months, was not raised by either side.

    China had blocked India’s proposal to designate Azhar as an international terrorist at a UN sanctions committee. “The Chinese Minister also promised action on United Liberation Front of Assam leader Paresh Baruah, who is said to be hiding in China. He said they would consider any fresh information provided by India on both Azhar and Baruah,” said a senior government official.

    China considers Arunachal Pradesh a disputed territory and has referred to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama as a “separatist.” China was categorical that no protests or demonstrations should be organised by the Tibetans here.

    ‘A spiritual leader’

    “They wanted to raise the so-called disputed status of Arunachal Pradesh, but we did not agree to include it in the agenda. The Chinese delegation was assured that no political activity against the Chinese will be allowed from any Indian territory and as far as the Dalai Lama is concerned, he is a spiritual Tibetan leader who was given shelter in India,” said the official.

    Beijing also raised the unrest in Xinjiang province and sought India’s cooperation on the movement of Uighur militants.

    ‘No Uighur militants’

    “There is no evidence of the movement of Uighur militants in India, but the Chinese raised the subject as they have an apprehension that they may use India as a transit. They were assured that no such activity will be allowed,” said the official.

    On October 22, India and China signed an agreement to “strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, organised crime, drug control and other such relevant areas.”

    A Memorandum of Understanding had been signed in 2005 with China, but that lapsed two years ago.


  17. A powerful article, a must-read! Makes people wonder, why are they so biased against China when all the other countries are doing exactly what China is doing but behind the facade of ‘democracy’? 👎

    Opinion: In Search Of Historical Parallels For China’s Rise
    October 15, 20182:55 PM ET
    Alexis Dudden teaches history at the University of Connecticut and is the author of Japan’s Colonization of Korea and Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States. Jeffrey Wasserstrom (@jwassers) teaches history at University of California, Irvine, and is the author of Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo and coauthor of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know.
    History can be helpful in making sense of what the Chinese Communist Party is doing within and beyond the borders of the People’s Republic of China. But when it comes to understanding today’s China, history is an imperfect guide. Neat parallels with the past aren’t possible. Certain aspects of China today are completely without historical precedent. And even when certain parallels do become possible, history isn’t helpful in quite the way that either Chinese President Xi Jinping or others promoting comparisons to the past may assume.
    Some have warned that as China threatens to displace the U.S. as a world power, war is inevitable — the so-called Thucydides Trap. While it may be tempting now to view the U.S. as Sparta to China’s Athens, this analogy does not stand up to scrutiny. There are more than just two major states locked in competition. Moves by Russia, the European Union, Japan and other powers will affect what does or does not happen next. The existence of international organizations and nuclear weapons alone makes it problematic to summon ancient Greek wars as templates for contemporary geopolitical tensions.
    Xi’s own ideas about the past are particularly significant, and similarly flawed. In promoting his outward-facing Belt and Road Initiative — an ambitious global infrastructure project — and his more domestically focused “Chinese dream” vision of national rejuvenation, he advances the idea that China should be seen as both rebooting and rejecting the past.
    In terms of rebooting, he presents the Belt and Road Initiative as putting a glorious new high-tech spin on the ancient Silk Road. In terms of rejecting, he presents China as breaking completely from the way two previous rising powers — the U.S. and Japan — behaved during the so-called “century of humiliation,” the period between 1839 and 1949 when they were part of an imperialist ganging-up on China.
    But there are no perfect historical analogies for the Belt and Road Initiative. It is not the modern version of the ancient Silk Road. That “road” was actually a set of roads, and they evolved organically, not via a top-down edict. In addition, Silk Roads also were defined by flows in different directions, with China being transformed by things moving into the country as much as by things heading out from it.
    Similarly, there are no perfect analogies to Beijing’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea or its creation of a vast network of indoctrination camps for Uighurs in Muslim-majority Xinjiang.
    As historians of China and Japan, what intrigues us, though, is that some of the most revealing imperfect analogies that come to mind lie precisely where Xi claims no precedents should be sought: in the actions and rhetoric of America and Japan between the first Opium War and the second world war — the period encompassing China’s century of humiliation.
    As America and Japan leapfrogged up the world’s geopolitical hierarchy, they each, as China does now, generated awe, anxiety and an admixture of the two. Much like China today, these two countries were associated with rapid economic development (facilitated by limits on the rights of laborers), technological advances (such as impressive new train lines) and territorial expansion (including, in each case, asserting control over islands in the Pacific Ocean).
    Leaders in Washington and Tokyo then, like those in Beijing now, often claimed to be breaking with the playbooks of previous empires. They asserted that their actions were motivated not by a naked desire for greater power but by a wish to improve the lot of people already under their control in borderlands or those being brought under their control farther away. When they used force, they claimed, they did so only to ensure stability and order.
    Beijing’s recent actions in Xinjiang and Tibet have echoes in Tokyo’s actions in Manchuria in the 1930s and Washington’s in the Philippines at the turn of the 19th century. Tokyo sent soldiers and settlers to Manchuria and exerted direct and indirect influence over the territory. Japanese official publications treated Manchuria’s people much in the same way as China’s Xinhua News Agency now treats those of Xinjiang and Tibet — as inhabitants of a backward and dangerous frontier that needed guidance from a government in a more advanced capital. In the Philippines, American proponents of expansion similarly celebrated the influx of new people and the importing of “modern” ideas, institutions and influences.
    History does suggest that Beijing’s leaders might consider doing things to make their actions less similar to the negative models of Japanese and U.S. expansion that loom large in China’s textbooks. They could grant greater agency to Uighurs and Tibetans in the path of their assimilationist development moves — allowing various languages to be taught in schools, for example — and reverse the trend in Xinjiang of disappearing people into camps, which conjures up other troubling historical analogies as well.
    In the South China Sea, Beijing is doing things that anyone steeped in the American and Japanese pasts will find familiar. But there are new twists.
    In the 1850s, the Japanese government built six Odaiba island fortresses in Tokyo Bay as a defensive strategy, primarily against the Americans. During an 1879 tour of China and Japan, former U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant boasted about his nation’s completion of the transcontinental railroad, which is notable in this context because it was a grand, “belt”-like project that, among other things, facilitated his successors’ annexations of Hawaii and the Philippines, as well as other islands.
    Beijing’s recent pressure on international airlines to shade Taiwan the same color as the mainland on their maps is a new turn. It does, though, recall schoolchildren’s maps in Japan being modified to include Taiwan in 1895, when Tokyo annexed the island into its growing empire. The same thing occurred again in 1910, when Japan subsumed Korea.
    One important difference between China’s expansionist moves and those of the United States and Japan is how they resonated at home. Until Japan took its dark turn in the late 1930s that resulted in the cataclysmic events of 1945, Japanese critics of Tokyo’s territorial ambitions could express their views in public.
    Mark Twain, a writer Xi admires, found it distasteful when the U.S. took control of the Philippines — when, as he put it, the “eagle put its talons” into new places with rapacious greed.
    Some Chinese citizens doubtlessly feel similarly about their government’s actions in the South China Sea, as well as its repressive moves in Xinjiang and Tibet. Unlike Twain or domestic critics of Japanese expansionism, though, it would be dangerous for China’s people to voice their concerns openly. That may be one of the most troubling comparisons from the past and present.


  18. “The bottom line is its not about whether anyone trusts or likes China but whether China can help these countries advance their own respective national interests. And the answer is yes. Correspondingly the question is whether any country can afford not to access China’s vast consumer market moving into the future. Not doing business is bad for local economies and no one will elect or re-elect a government that presides over a failing economy.”~NY Times

    How China Has Defied Expectations, in Canada and Around the Globe
    By Ian Austen
    Nov. 23, 2018
    In Saskatchewan, farming is done on a grand scale. So when I visited the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina this week for an upcoming story, I wasn’t surprised to find that the annual gathering of Western farmers is almost overwhelmingly large, luring 127,000 visitors last year to a city of 215,000.
    Like all agricultural exhibitions, the Agribition has a wide array of activities for city dwellers like me, including a rodeo, horse shows and cattle judging. But what started as a regional exhibition 48 years ago has grown into a global event. Cattle ranchers, many from distant parts of North America, parade their livestock to buyers from around the world looking to improve their herds.
    When I asked breeders where their customers come from these days, many of them said China.
    Canada, like the rest of the world, has not escaped the effects of China’s move from isolated backwater to a global economic and political force. For the past several months, more than a dozen New York Times reporters, editors, photographers and designers have been examining China’s dramatic rise in a project called China Rules, which launched this week.
    Phil Pan, our Hong Kong-based Asia editor, has worked in China for about two decades and returned to writing to produce the must-read opening essay on how China’s rise has defied expectations.
    Political shifts in Washington and Beijing helped influence the timing of the series. “One factor was certainly a sense at the beginning of the year that America under Trump was in retreat or withdrawing from the world,” Phil said.
    Under President Xi Jinping, China saw an opportunity to step up, he said. And in recent months, he said, “We began to see this fundamental shift in the relationship between the U.S. and China from engagement to competition.”
    While President Trump has attacked China and launched a trade war against it, Canada has taken an opposing track. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said repeatedly that his government is moving toward a full-scale free trade agreement with China, though that movement’s progress has been stately, at best.
    And Mr. Trudeau’s government continues to rebuff American security warnings about allowing equipment made from Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications company with research operations in Canada, into the coming upgrade of Canada’s wireless networks.
    I asked Phil if Canadians can, or should, trust China.
    “I think the debate in Canada and the United States probably will be much less about trust than about interests,” he said. “Is the fact that the Chinese political system is authoritarian a problem for our national interest?”
    Here, for your weekend reading pleasure, is more from our China Rules series:
    • The American Dream Is Alive. In China.
    • How China Made Its Own Internet
    • How China Took Over Your TV
    • How China Is Writing its Own (Hollywood) Script
    • The World, Built by China
    Among the stories still to come in the series is an examination of China’s authoritarian control of its citizens, as well as articles on how the country is challenging the global, liberal democratic order and why its economic rise left many Western economists red-faced.
    If after reading China Rules, you’d like to discuss the series, we have a new Facebook group: Examining China’s Reach With The New York Times.
    In Conversation
    Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, will join Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, in conversation at the University of Toronto on Tuesday, December 11. The two will discuss U.S.-Canada relations, foreign policy challenges and more. Details and ticket information are available here.
    And a final reminder that Sam Tanenhaus, a former editor of The New York Times Book Review, will moderate a panel on book reviewing on Friday, Nov. 30, also in Toronto. Use the code CANADALETTER for $5 off the ticket price.
    Trans Canada
    —The turmoil that followed the arrest of six teenagers accused of sexual assault during hazing rituals at an elite private school in Toronto is prompting some Canadians to question the value of all-boys schools.
    —Canada is pushing the United States to end steel and aluminum tariffs before the ceremonial signing of the replacement deal for Nafta. But Washington is considering another, similarly unappealing measure to replace the duties.
    —An art historian from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario is among the curators of an exhibit that uses imaging technology to peel back the layers of Bruegel’s complex masterpieces.
    —In Opinion, Amanda Siebert wrote that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada will allow medical research to blossom.
    —While the United States dithers, Canada has approved new regulations that will allow for the sale of cars with headlights that automatically adjust their beams, letting drivers see farther down the road without blinding oncoming traffic.
    A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for the past 15 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.

  19. Everyone is expecting a communist China to fail. But in fact China is getting stronger and bigger and more powerful. China proves communism can work to the chagrin of ‘democratic’ countries such as the US who is jealous and threatened of their own status quo. China will continue to grow according to the New York Times.

    The Land That Failed to Fail
    The West was sure the Chinese approach would not work. It just had to wait. It’s still waiting.
    Photographs by BRYAN DENTON
    NOV. 18, 2018
    In the uncertain years after Mao’s death, long before China became an industrial juggernaut, before the Communist Party went on a winning streak that would reshape the world, a group of economics students gathered at a mountain retreat outside Shanghai. There, in the bamboo forests of Moganshan, the young scholars grappled with a pressing question: How could China catch up with the West?
    It was the autumn of 1984, and on the other side of the world, Ronald Reagan was promising “morning again in America.” China, meanwhile, was just recovering from decades of political and economic turmoil. There had been progress in the countryside, but more than three-quarters of the population still lived in extreme poverty. The state decided where everyone worked, what every factory made and how much everything cost.
    The students and researchers attending the Academic Symposium of Middle-Aged and Young Economists wanted to unleash market forces but worried about crashing the economy — and alarming the party bureaucrats and ideologues who controlled it.
    Late one night, they reached a consensus: Factories should meet state quotas but sell anything extra they made at any price they chose. It was a clever, quietly radical proposal to undercut the planned economy — and it intrigued a young party official in the room who had no background in economics. “As they were discussing the problem, I didn’t say anything at all,” recalled Xu Jing’an, now 76 and retired. “I was thinking, how do we make this work?”
    The Chinese economy has grown so fast for so long now that it is easy to forget how unlikely its metamorphosis into a global powerhouse was, how much of its ascent was improvised and born of desperation. The proposal that Mr. Xu took from the mountain retreat, soon adopted as government policy, was a pivotal early step in this astounding transformation.
    China now leads the world in the number of homeowners, internet users, college graduates and, by some counts, billionaires. Extreme poverty has fallen to less than 1 percent. An isolated, impoverished backwater has evolved into the most significant rival to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union.
    An epochal contest is underway. With President Xi Jinping pushing a more assertive agenda overseas and tightening controls at home, the Trump administration has launched a trade war and is gearing up for what could be a new Cold War. Meanwhile, in Beijing the question these days is less how to catch up with the West than how to pull ahead — and how to do so in a new era of American hostility.
    The pattern is familiar to historians, a rising power challenging an established one, with a familiar complication: For decades, the United States encouraged and aided China’s rise, working with its leaders and its people to build the most important economic partnership in the world, one that has lifted both nations.
    During this time, eight American presidents assumed, or hoped, that China would eventually bend to what were considered the established rules of modernization: Prosperity would fuel popular demands for political freedom and bring China into the fold of democratic nations. Or the Chinese economy would falter under the weight of authoritarian rule and bureaucratic rot.
    But neither happened. Instead, China’s Communist leaders have defied expectations again and again. They embraced capitalism even as they continued to call themselves Marxists. They used repression to maintain power but without stifling entrepreneurship or innovation. Surrounded by foes and rivals, they avoided war, with one brief exception, even as they fanned nationalist sentiment at home. And they presided over 40 years of uninterrupted growth, often with unorthodox policies the textbooks said would fail.
    In late September, the People’s Republic of China marked a milestone, surpassing the Soviet Union in longevity. Days later, it celebrated a record 69 years of Communist rule. And China may be just hitting its stride — a new superpower with an economy on track to become not just the world’s largest but, quite soon, the largest by a wide margin.
    The world thought it could change China, and in many ways it has. But China’s success has been so spectacular that it has just as often changed the world — and the American understanding of how the world works.
    There is no simple explanation for how China’s leaders pulled this off. There was foresight and luck, skill and violent resolve, but perhaps most important was the fear — a sense of crisis among Mao’s successors that they never shook, and that intensified after the Tiananmen Square massacre and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Even as they put the disasters of Mao’s rule behind them, China’s Communists studied and obsessed over the fate of their old ideological allies in Moscow, determined to learn from their mistakes. They drew two lessons: The party needed to embrace “reform” to survive — but “reform” must never include democratization.
    China has veered between these competing impulses ever since, between opening up and clamping down, between experimenting with change and resisting it, always pulling back before going too far in either direction for fear of running aground.
    Many people said that the party would fail, that this tension between openness and repression would be too much for a nation as big as China to sustain. But it may be precisely why China soared.
    Whether it can continue to do so with the United States trying to stop it is another question entirely.
    Apparatchiks Into Capitalists
    None of the participants at the Moganshan conference could have predicted how China would take off, much less the roles they would play in the boom ahead. They had come of age in an era of tumult, almost entirely isolated from the rest of the world, with little to prepare them for the challenge they faced. To succeed, the party had to both reinvent its ideology and reprogram its best and brightest to carry it out.
    Mr. Xu, for example, had graduated with a degree in journalism on the eve of Mao’s violent Cultural Revolution, during which millions of people were purged, persecuted and killed. He spent those years at a “cadre school” doing manual labor and teaching Marxism in an army unit. After Mao’s death, he was assigned to a state research institute tasked with fixing the economy. His first job was figuring out how to give factories more power to make decisions, a subject he knew almost nothing about. Yet he went on to a distinguished career as an economic policymaker, helping launch China’s first stock market in Shenzhen.
    Among the other young participants in Moganshan were Zhou Xiaochuan, who would later lead China’s central bank for 15 years; Lou Jiwei, who ran China’s sovereign wealth fund and recently stepped down as finance minister; and an agricultural policy specialist named Wang Qishan, who rose higher than any of them.
    Mr. Wang headed China’s first investment bank and helped steer the nation through the Asian financial crisis. As Beijing’s mayor, he hosted the 2008 Olympics. Then he oversaw the party’s recent high-stakes crackdown on corruption. Now he is China’s vice president, second in authority only to Xi Jinping, the party’s leader.
    The careers of these men from Moganshan highlight an important aspect of China’s success: It turned its apparatchiks into capitalists.
    Bureaucrats who were once obstacles to growth became engines of growth. Officials devoted to class warfare and price controls began chasing investment and promoting private enterprise. Every day now, the leader of a Chinese district, city or province makes a pitch like the one Yan Chaojun made at a business forum in September.
    “Sanya,” Mr. Yan said, referring to the southern resort town he leads, “must be a good butler, nanny, driver and cleaning person for businesses, and welcome investment from foreign companies.”
    It was a remarkable act of reinvention, one that eluded the Soviets. In both China and the Soviet Union, vast Stalinist bureaucracies had smothered economic growth, with officials who wielded unchecked power resisting change that threatened their privileges.
    Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, tried to break the hold of these bureaucrats on the economy by opening up the political system. Decades later, Chinese officials still take classes on why that was a mistake. The party even produced a documentary series on the subject in 2006, distributing it on classified DVDs for officials at all levels to watch.
    Afraid to open up politically but unwilling to stand still, the party found another way. It moved gradually and followed the pattern of the compromise at Moganshan, which left the planned economy intact while allowing a market economy to flourish and outgrow it.
    Party leaders called this go-slow, experimental approach “crossing the river by feeling the stones” — allowing farmers to grow and sell their own crops, for example, while retaining state ownership of the land; lifting investment restrictions in “special economic zones,” while leaving them in place in the rest of the country; or introducing privatization by selling only minority stakes in state firms at first.
    “There was resistance,” Mr. Xu said. “Satisfying the reformers and the opposition was an art.”
    American economists were skeptical. Market forces needed to be introduced quickly, they argued; otherwise, the bureaucracy would mobilize to block necessary changes. After a visit to China in 1988, the Nobel laureate Milton Friedman called the party’s strategy “an open invitation to corruption and inefficiency.”
    But China had a strange advantage in battling bureaucratic resistance. The nation’s long economic boom followed one of the darkest chapters of its history, the Cultural Revolution, which decimated the party apparatus and left it in shambles. In effect, autocratic excess set the stage for Mao’s eventual successor, Deng Xiaoping, to lead the party in a radically more open direction.
    That included sending generations of young party officials to the United States and elsewhere to study how modern economies worked. Sometimes they enrolled in universities, sometimes they found jobs, and sometimes they went on brief “study tours.” When they returned, the party promoted their careers and arranged for others to learn from them.
    At the same time, the party invested in education, expanding access to schools and universities, and all but eliminating illiteracy. Many critics focus on the weaknesses of the Chinese system — the emphasis on tests and memorization, the political constraints, the discrimination against rural students. But mainland China now produces more graduates in science and engineering every year than the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan combined.
    In cities like Shanghai, Chinese schoolchildren outperform peers around the world. For many parents, though, even that is not enough. Because of new wealth, a traditional emphasis on education as a path to social mobility and the state’s hypercompetitive college entrance exam, most students also enroll in after-school tutoring programs — a market worth $125 billion, according to one study, or as much as half the government’s annual military budget.
    Another explanation for the party’s transformation lies in bureaucratic mechanics. Analysts sometimes say that China embraced economic reform while resisting political reform. But in reality, the party made changes after Mao’s death that fell short of free elections or independent courts yet were nevertheless significant.
    The party introduced term limits and mandatory retirement ages, for example, making it easier to flush out incompetent officials. And it revamped the internal report cards it used to evaluate local leaders for promotions and bonuses, focusing them almost exclusively on concrete economic targets.
    These seemingly minor adjustments had an outsize impact, injecting a dose of accountability — and competition — into the political system, said Yuen Yuen Ang, a political scientist at the University of Michigan. “China created a unique hybrid,” she said, “an autocracy with democratic characteristics.”
    As the economy flourished, officials with a single-minded focus on growth often ignored widespread pollution, violations of labor standards, and tainted food and medical supplies. They were rewarded with soaring tax revenues and opportunities to enrich their friends, their relatives and themselves. A wave of officials abandoned the state and went into business. Over time, the party elite amassed great wealth, which cemented its support for the privatization of much of the economy it once controlled.
    The private sector now produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s economic output, employs over 80 percent of workers in cities and towns, and generates 90 percent of new jobs, a senior official said in a speech last year. As often as not, the bureaucrats stay out of the way.
    “I basically don’t see them even once a year,” said James Ni, chairman and founder of Mlily, a mattress manufacturer in eastern China. “I’m creating jobs, generating tax revenue. Why should they bother me?”
    In recent years, President Xi has sought to assert the party’s authority inside private firms. He has also bolstered state-owned enterprises with subsidies while preserving barriers to foreign competition. And he has endorsed demands that American companies surrender technology in exchange for market access.
    In doing so, he is betting that the Chinese state has changed so much that it should play a leading role in the economy — that it can build and run “national champions” capable of outcompeting the United States for control of the high-tech industries of the future. But he has also provoked a backlash in Washington.
    ‘Opening Up’
    In December, the Communist Party will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “reform and opening up” policies that transformed China. The triumphant propaganda has already begun, with Mr. Xi putting himself front and center, as if taking a victory lap for the nation.
    He is the party’s most powerful leader since Deng and the son of a senior official who served Deng, but even as he wraps himself in Deng’s legacy, Mr. Xi has set himself apart in an important way: Deng encouraged the party to seek help and expertise overseas, but Mr. Xi preaches self-reliance and warns of the threats posed by “hostile foreign forces.”
    In other words, he appears to have less use for the “opening up” part of Deng’s slogan.
    Of the many risks that the party took in its pursuit of growth, perhaps the biggest was letting in foreign investment, trade and ideas. It was an exceptional gamble by a country once as isolated as North Korea is today, and it paid off in an exceptional way: China tapped into a wave of globalization sweeping the world and emerged as the world’s factory. China’s embrace of the internet, within limits, helped make it a leader in technology. And foreign advice helped China reshape its banks, build a legal system and create modern corporations.
    The party prefers a different narrative these days, presenting the economic boom as “grown out of the soil of China” and primarily the result of its leadership. But this obscures one of the great ironies of China’s rise — that Beijing’s former enemies helped make it possible.
    The United States and Japan, both routinely vilified by party propagandists, became major trading partners and were important sources of aid, investment and expertise. The real game changers, though, were people like Tony Lin, a factory manager who made his first trip to the mainland in 1988.
    Mr. Lin was born and raised in Taiwan, the self-governing island where those who lost the Chinese civil war fled after the Communist Revolution. As a schoolboy, he was taught that mainland China was the enemy.
    But in the late 1980s, the sneaker factory he managed in central Taiwan was having trouble finding workers, and its biggest customer, Nike, suggested moving some production to China. Mr. Lin set aside his fears and made the trip. What he found surprised him: a large and willing work force, and officials so eager for capital and know-how that they offered the use of a state factory free and a five-year break on taxes.
    Mr. Lin spent the next decade shuttling to and from southern China, spending months at a time there and returning home only for short breaks to see his wife and children. He built and ran five sneaker factories, including Nike’s largest Chinese supplier.
    “China’s policies were tremendous,” he recalled. “They were like a sponge absorbing water, money, technology, everything.”
    Mr. Lin was part of a torrent of investment from ethnic Chinese enclaves in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and beyond that washed over China — and gave it a leg up on other developing countries. Without this diaspora, some economists argue, the mainland’s transformation might have stalled at the level of a country like Indonesia or Mexico.
    The timing worked out for China, which opened up just as Taiwan was outgrowing its place in the global manufacturing chain. China benefited from Taiwan’s money, but also its managerial experience, technology and relationships with customers around the world. In effect, Taiwan jump-started capitalism in China and plugged it into the global economy.
    Before long, the government in Taiwan began to worry about relying so much on its onetime enemy and tried to shift investment elsewhere. But the mainland was too cheap, too close and, with a common language and heritage, too familiar. Mr. Lin tried opening factories in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia but always came back to China.
    Now Taiwan finds itself increasingly dependent on a much more powerful China, which is pushing ever harder for unification, and the island’s future is uncertain.
    There are echoes of Taiwan’s predicament around the world, where many are having second thoughts about how they rushed to embrace Beijing with trade and investment.
    The remorse may be strongest in the United States, which brought China into the World Trade Organization, became China’s largest customer and now accuses it of large-scale theft of technology — what one official called “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”
    Many in Washington predicted that trade would bring political change. It did, but not in China. “Opening up” ended up strengthening the party’s hold on power rather than weakening it. The shock of China’s rise as an export colossus, however, was felt in factory towns around the world.
    In the United States, economists say at least two million jobs disappeared as a result, many in districts that ended up voting for President Trump.
    Selective Repression
    Over lunch at a luxurious private club on the 50th floor of an apartment tower in central Beijing, one of China’s most successful real estate tycoons explained why he had left his job at a government research center after the crackdown on the student-led democracy movement in Tiananmen Square.
    “It was very easy,” said Feng Lun, the chairman of Vantone Holdings, which manages a multibillion-dollar portfolio of properties around the world. “One day, I woke up and everyone had run away. So I ran, too.”
    Until the soldiers opened fire, he said, he had planned to spend his entire career in the civil service. Instead, as the party was pushing out those who had sympathized with the students, he joined the exodus of officials who started over as entrepreneurs in the 1990s.
    “At the time, if you held a meeting and told us to go into business, we wouldn’t have gone,” he recalled. “So this incident, it unintentionally planted seeds in the market economy.”
    Such has been the seesaw pattern of the party’s success.
    The pro-democracy movement in 1989 was the closest the party ever came to political liberalization after Mao’s death, and the crackdown that followed was the furthest it went in the other direction, toward repression and control. After the massacre, the economy stalled and retrenchment seemed certain. Yet three years later, Deng used a tour of southern China to wrestle the party back to “reform and opening up” once more.
    Many who had left the government, like Mr. Feng, suddenly found themselves leading the nation’s transformation from the outside, as its first generation of private entrepreneurs.
    Now Mr. Xi is steering the party toward repression again, tightening its grip on society, concentrating power in his own hands and setting himself up to rule for life by abolishing the presidential term limit. Will the party loosen up again, as it did a few years after Tiananmen, or is this a more permanent shift? If it is, what will it mean for the Chinese economic miracle?
    The fear is that Mr. Xi is attempting to rewrite the recipe behind China’s rise, replacing selective repression with something more severe.
    The party has always been vigilant about crushing potential threats — a fledgling opposition party, a popular spiritual movement, even a dissident writer awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But with some big exceptions, it has also generally retreated from people’s personal lives and given them enough freedom to keep the economy growing.
    The internet is an example of how it has benefited by striking a balance. The party let the nation go online with barely an inkling of what that might mean, then reaped the economic benefits while controlling the spread of information that could hurt it.
    In 2011, it confronted a crisis. After a high-speed train crash in eastern China, more than 30 million messages criticizing the party’s handling of the fatal accident flooded social media — faster than censors could screen them.
    Panicked officials considered shutting down the most popular service, Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, but the authorities were afraid of how the public would respond. In the end, they let Weibo stay open but invested much more in tightening controls and ordered companies to do the same.
    The compromise worked. Now, many companies assign hundreds of employees to censorship duties — and China has become a giant on the global internet landscape.
    “The cost of censorship is quite limited compared to the great value created by the internet,” said Chen Tong, an industry pioneer. “We still get the information we need for economic progress.”
    A ‘New Era’
    China is not the only country that has squared the demands of authoritarian rule with the needs of free markets. But it has done so for longer, at greater scale and with more convincing results than any other.
    The question now is whether it can sustain this model with the United States as an adversary rather than a partner.
    The trade war has only just begun. And it is not just a trade war. American warships and planes are challenging Chinese claims to disputed waters with increasing frequency even as China keeps ratcheting up military spending. And Washington is maneuvering to counter Beijing’s growing influence around the world, warning that a Chinese spending spree on global infrastructure comes with strings attached.
    The two nations may yet reach some accommodation. But both left and right in America have portrayed China as the champion of an alternative global order, one that embraces autocratic values and undermines fair competition. It is a rare consensus for the United States, which is deeply divided about so much else, including how it has wielded power abroad in recent decades — and how it should do so now.
    Mr. Xi, on the other hand, has shown no sign of abandoning what he calls “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Some in his corner have been itching to take on the United States since the 2008 financial crisis and see the Trump administration’s policies as proof of what they have always suspected — that America is determined to keep China down.
    At the same time, there is also widespread anxiety over the new acrimony, because the United States has long inspired admiration and envy in China, and because of a gnawing sense that the party’s formula for success may be faltering.
    Prosperity has brought rising expectations in China; the public wants more than just economic growth. It wants cleaner air, safer food and medicine, better health care and schools, less corruption and greater equality. The party is struggling to deliver, and tweaks to the report cards it uses to measure the performance of officials hardly seem enough.
    “The basic problem is, who is growth for?” said Mr. Xu, the retired official who wrote the Moganshan report. “We haven’t solved this problem.”
    Growth has begun to slow, which may be better for the economy in the long term but could shake public confidence. The party is investing ever more in censorship to control discussion of the challenges the nation faces: widening inequality, dangerous debt levels, an aging population.
    Mr. Xi himself has acknowledged that the party must adapt, declaring that the nation is entering a “new era” requiring new methods. But his prescription has largely been a throwback to repression, including vast internment camps targeting Muslim ethnic minorities. “Opening up” has been replaced by an outward push, with huge loans that critics describe as predatory and other efforts to gain influence — or interfere — in the politics of other countries. At home, experimentation is out while political orthodoxy and discipline are in.
    In effect, Mr. Xi seems to believe that China has been so successful that the party can return to a more conventional authoritarian posture — and that to survive and surpass the United States it must.
    Certainly, the momentum is still with the party. Over the past four decades, economic growth in China has been 10 times faster than in the United States, and it is still more than twice as fast. The party appears to enjoy broad public support, and many around the world are convinced that Mr. Trump’s America is in retreat while China’s moment is just beginning.
    Then again, China has a way of defying expectations.
    Philip P. Pan is The Times’s Asia Editor and author of “Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China.” He has lived in and reported on China for nearly two decades.
    Jonathan Ansfield and Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Beijing. Claire Fu, Zoe Mou and Iris Zhao contributed research from Beijing, and Carolyn Zhang from Shanghai.
    Design: Matt Ruby, Rumsey Taylor, Quoctrung Bui Editing: Tess Felder, Eric Nagourney, David Schmidt Photo Editing: Craig Allen, Meghan Petersen, Mikko Takkunen Illustrations: Sergio Peçanh

  20. India and China now pushing ahead with resolution of their border disputes. It looks like India is finally ready to officially drop the Tibet card.


    “India and China will have “early harvest” talks on their vexed border dispute as many agreements have been reached by both sides since their top leaders met in Wuhan, Beijing said on Monday”.

    Sino-Indian ‘early harvest’ spells scorched earth for Tibetan dreams.

    Too bad for Tibetans in India. Too bad for Tibetan leadership. Their karma coming back soon for all the harms they have done.

    India, China for ‘early harvest’ talks on border
    November 27, 2018
    BEIJING: India and China will have “early harvest” talks on their vexed border dispute as many agreements have been reached by both sides since their top leaders met in Wuhan, Beijing said on Monday.
    Days after India and China pledged to intensify their efforts to resolve a decades-long boundary feud in their border talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that New Delhi and Beijing have agreed to authorise the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs to start “early harvest consultations.”
    The Ministry’s spokesperson Geng Shuang said India’s National Security Advisor and Chinese State Councillor had a constructive and forward-looking meeting at the 21st round of border talks last week.
    Asked what he meant by “early harvest,” Geng did not elaborate.
    “After the Wuhan summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the bilateral relations have made very positive progress and made new developments.
    Indo-Asian News Service

  21. Dear Lobsang Sangye and Tibetan Govt in exile in Dharamsala,

    How come after 60 years you are still not at the G20 meetings? How come you cannot get your country back? How come the world economies and power are shifting towards the East which is China? How come you cannot get Tibetan autonomy, or freedom or any leeway with China? How come your negotiations with China is a failure and you produced nothing?

    You run around begging for FREE MONEY from Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada, Taiwan and US for 60 years now but no one in your refugee community has made it big or successful? Where did all the money go? In your pockets? How come all your Tibetans from India/Nepal are going back to Tibet or leaving to the west. How come your schools in India are empty? How come Dharamsala is emptying out?

    How come you are getting weaker and more world governments are ignoring you? How come more are paying attention to China? Less governments are willing to pay attention to you and the Tibet cause? Where is all your rangzen groups? How come they are not effective? Maybe they are disillusioned with your corruption, lies and underhanded tactics and human rights abuses using religion to divide your own people?

    What happened to you? Why are you and your community your Tibetan ‘parliament’ such losers and failures? How come you cannot achieve anything?

    Are you going to continue to beg for more FREE MONEY to fund your trips, houses, children’s education, vacations, five star hotels, nice brocade chubas, expensive accessories, and properties. You know the ordinary Tibetan in India has gotten nothing in financial help of the hundreds of millions in aid for that last 60 years you Tibetan exiled government pocketed. Is that why your Tibetan people in India and Nepal are all leaving to back to Tibet and the west? You failed?

    Your policies and work are not effective.

    Too bad.

    China rises at the G20
    The global balance of power is shifting from West to East
    Tensions loom over Argentina, which plays host to the 2018 summit of the G20 which started on November 30. The G20 is an international forum of the EU and the heads of state of 19 major economies, which discusses global economic challenges. And the challenges are mounting.
    Globalization is in reverse, as the US threatens to escalate its trade war with China and other trading partners; and xenophobia is rife in many Western countries. These challenges are a threat to global prosperity, but what will shape much of the long-term evolution of the global economy is the rise of China and other emerging economies.
    Much of the focus at the G20 has been on Donald Trump and his series of sidebar meetings with other leaders, especially Xi Jinping. Trump has said that it is “highly unlikely” that he would postpone the planned increase in tariff levels from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods in January 2019.
    Of course, this may be bluster and a frequent refrain from apologists for Trump is: “Take note of what the president does, not what he says.” But we may be on the cusp of a full-blown trade war, which will not be confined to the US and China and which will reverse and reconfigure globalization. Entering foreign markets will be more costly and global supply chains will be disrupted.
    Globalization is not inevitable
    The notion that globalization is a natural phenomenon, akin to the change in the seasons or the weather or gravity, is a frequent refrain. During his tenure as prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair opined: “I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalization. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer.” A pithy turn of phrase, but patently not true.
    The configuration and extent of globalization are shaped by public policy and technological change. When this changes, it can, in turn, accelerate, slow, or reverse globalization. In periods of severe economic crisis, it has been common for countries to become inward looking — blaming “others” for economic problems and resorting to protectionism and controls on immigration.
    In the interwar period, for example, the response to the Great Depression was a trade war and competitive devaluations as the Gold Standard unraveled. Similarly, since the 2008-09 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, there has been a worldwide rise in protectionist measures and Trump’s interventions may lead to a new phase of “delocalization.”
    An evolving global economic order
    Major economic crises often reflect endemic flaws within the structure of the global economy and lead to major changes in global economic leadership. The crises and lessons of the interwar period led to the establishment of the Bretton Woods system, which managed the world economy during the post-war golden age of capitalism until the early 1970s. It was the system that created new international institutions (the IMF, World Bank, and GATT, which was the forerunner of the WTO) and this was underpinned by the dominance of the US economy.
    But the relative strength of the US (and the dollar) declined and the system unraveled in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This collapse, and a series of oil crises, led to another major economic crisis which temporarily stalled globalization and led to shifting reliance on the power of unfettered market forces.
    Liberal market capitalism may have been unleashed, but is still not ubiquitous in the world economy. The picture of a fully globalized world and the dominance of free markets is a partial distortion of a complex picture. The extent to which countries have embraced the global market agenda is highly variable.
    Although many developed countries have deregulated financial markets, capital controls and managed currencies are still highly prevalent in developing countries. In terms of trade, tariffs have been reduced since World War II but they have not been eradicated.
    Meanwhile, the use of non-tariff barriers has increased, with roughly 80% of all traded goods affected by these restrictive rules and regulations — and these are prevalent in developed countries. The ongoing chaos of Brexit illustrates that “free trade” is not a natural state but is negotiated, complex, and dependent on a litany of regulations and agreements.
    Deregulation, the hollowing out of the welfare state, and intensified global competition have led to rising income and wealth inequality in many Western countries. And many of those who have not benefited from globalization have also borne the brunt of the austerity policies that followed the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The resulting backlash against globalization helps explain the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit.
    The rise of China
    The G20 will focus on current instability but there are long-term structural shifts which are leading to a rebalancing of the global economy. The balance of power is shifting from West to East and we are in the early stages of transition to China as the dominant world economy.
    China is already the largest economy in the world (measured in purchasing power parity) and PwC (using World Bank data) estimates that by 2050, the Chinese economy will be 72% larger than the US. Further, by 2050, six of the largest eight economies will be countries that are still emerging markets.
    China is home to many of the world’s largest companies, including major tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent. It is investing rapidly in research and innovation and although the dollar remains the dominant world currency, the IMF has added the renminbi to its basket of global reserve currencies. It will only become more important as Trump’s policy of American isolationism continues.
    This year’s G20 summit will focus on maintaining some semblance of international cooperation and preventing a global trade war. The short-term noise will probably come from Trump. But China can play a long-term game as its position in the global economy is on the rise. In the face of the gales of the long-term shifts in the global economy, Trump can blow hard now — but as far as the future is concerned, he will be blowing in the wind.
    Michael Kitson is University Senior Lecturer in International Macroeconomics, Cambridge Judge Business School. This article previously appeared in Reuters.


    Note what Namdol Lhagyari said is progressive and unlike the usual Tibetan rhetoric:

    “The problem I see right now is how reliant we are on one individual,” Namdol Lhagyari, 32, the youngest member of Tibet’s exile parliament, said. “I understand that every freedom movement requires one role model, one leader, who would push everyone in the right direction, bring everyone to one goal. But he has reached an age where we will have to prepare ourselves for a post-Dalai Lama.”



    These are important points to remember:

    1. Tibetan lamas and monks SHOULD not enter politics. They should not hold positions of power, leadership and political roles. It will demean the Dharma. They are not trained, nor qualified nor have the credentials to be in government. They also do much damage to religion as people start to respect them less. The lines between respecting them as spiritual beings (sangha) and speaking against them when they are in government and make wrong decisions become blurred.

    2. Monks and nuns should not get involved with the running of the country but should stick to education. Giving good education to the public about ethics, morality and in some cases Buddhism. No one wants to see a political monk or nun. Because it contradicts the very reason they renounced the worldly life in order to enter a life of contemplation, learning, meditation and gaining enlightenment.

    3. Look at other countries where Buddhism is strong where sangha is sangha and never get involved with government or being public officials. In Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Sri Lanka etc where there are tens of thousands of sangha, you don’t see them in the government at all. Local or national governments both do not have sangha. Even in Christian countries you don’t see priests in government. That is Tibet’s big mistake to place monks/high lamas in so many government positions and as public officials. Very dangerous for the country as it has proven with Tibet and Tibetans.

    4. Monks, nuns and high lamas should do dharma practice, produce books, videos, give teachings, guide the public, do funerals, blessings, be a nurturer, study dharma, build real temples, keep existing temples spiritual, animal shelters, environmentalists, be mediators, help with orphanages, shelters, the poor, half way houses, poor houses, and basically all sorts of charities that benefit the mind and body of sentient beings that is NOT GOVERNMENT BASED. If sangha gives good education, they can produce kind and good leaders to run the country.

    Tibetans should never never never allow Sangha (monks, nuns and spiritual personages) to be involved with government, politics and rule of law because it ends up in disaster. That is how Tibet lost it’s country and will never get it back. There are too many monks in the Tibetan Parliament and as leaders remember Samdhong Rinpoche as the prime minister of exiles. That was very bad. The King of Tibet currently is a monk. How does that look? Very political.
    Tibet made that huge mistake and Tibet will never recover from it.


  23. Differences between Dalai Lama and CTA president put Tibetan politics in a tailspin
    By Rajeev Sharma, November 27, 2018

    Tibetan politics is in a tailspin as there are signs of serious differences between the 14th Dalai Lama, unquestionably the supreme and undisputed leader of the Tibetans, and Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

    The immediate provocation is the unceremonious cancellation of the 13th Religious Conference of the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition, which was scheduled between November 29 and December 1 year in Dharamshala. Insiders have revealed that the conference was cancelled by Lobsang without consulting the Dalai Lama.

    Even more intriguing is the timing of the move. Knowledgeable sources in the Tibetan establishment in India disclosed that Lobsang made the move while the Dalai Lama was travelling back from Japan, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to do anything to stop it.

    Tibetan politics is turning out to be a cloak-and-dagger mystery. According to sources, Lobsang waited until the Dalai Lama was on his way to the airport before ordering the Department of Religion and Culture to cancel the event. Interestingly, the cancellation of the conference is available by way of an announcement in English on the CTA website.

    The CTA’s Department of Religion and Culture announced that owing to the sudden demise of the supreme head of the Nyingma tradition, Kathok Getse Rinpoche, who passed away this week in Nepal and in respecting the sentiments of the followers of Nyingma tradition, the 13th Religious Conference of the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition was being indefinitely postponed.

    The department cited that many lamas and representatives of the Nyingma tradition were unable to participate because of Rinpoche’s passing away.

    On November 22, the CTA organised a prayer service to mourn the demise of Rinpoche, the 7th supreme head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche passed away following an accident on November 19 in Pharping, Nepal. He was 64.

    Sources say the Dalai Lama is furious with Lobsang Sangay for trying to take credit for his negotiations with China about returning to Tibet.

    Sangay claimed that the Dalai Lama has failed for 60 years in negotiations with China, but he has the power and ability to succeed. This is also an indication of how weak the Dalai Lama’s current position is. Sangay knows that the Dalai Lama has been negotiating with China about returning and he’s trying to position himself to take credit for it. Had this happened a few years ago the Dalai Lama would have had him removed, but since his cancer has become terminal, Sangay has been consolidating his position among the exiled community. He controls the press department of the Tibetan government-in-exile and has done so since he ousted Dicki Chhoyang.

    For the record, the head of the department, which cancelled the conference, was appointed by Sangay.

    By the time the Dalai Lama returned to India the event was cancelled and announcements were issued to the media while he was still in the flight, which would have prevented a confirmation with the Tibetan leader and nothing could have been done to stop it. The reason given for the cancellation was the death of a senior monk.

    Sources said that the real reason for the CTA president to keep the Dalai Lama in the dark was because the latter would decide again whether to back the Karmapa as his successor. The Karmapa issue has been a major reason of discord between the Dalai Lama and the CTA president. Sources spoke about a telephonic conversation between the Dalai Lama and Sangay in this regard on November 22 when the former was in Japan.

    During this conversation, furious arguments broke out between the two. The Dalai Lama is said to have “shouted” at Sangay, saying that the Karmapa wouldn’t be chosen and that he wouldn’t be dictated terms by anyone. In this conversation, the Dalai Lama used some expletives in Tibetan language which he did not expect Sangay to understand as the CTA president doesn’t know the language. However, a Lobsang aide is said to have translated what the Dalai Lama said.

    This marks the most significant power play ever between the different factions within the Tibetan exile leadership. In other words, it’s now an all-out battle between the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay over the future of the exile community, which may worsen in the days to come.

    (The writer is a columnist and strategic analyst who tweets @Kishkindha)



    This interesting article has much food for thought:

    1. Dalai Lama is angry and shouting expletives as Lobsang Sangay. Everyone knows the Dalai Lama is in full control. He claims he’s retired from politics but this is just to say what the west wants to hear so he can continue getting funding. It looks good to the west that he voluntarily gave up power and this makes him look progressive. But the Dalai Lama controls everything from behind and if you don’t agree with his decisions, he will be furious. Every Tibetan knows this well.

    2. Interesting the article mentions Dalai Lama’s cancer is terminal. Everyone knew this but the Dalai Lama tries to cover this point up. Why? Who knows? What is the problem if people knows he has cancer. Tibetan govt tries to play it down.

    3. Dalai Lama is angry as his successor will only be on his terms and no one else may dictate to him the terms as Lobsang Sangay tried to do so since it is not a democracy in practice. As all Tibetans know, the Dalai Lama is the Lama-King and he has full power and no one may contradict him. The face he shows the west (soft, friendly, diplomatic, easy-going, democratic) is all just for the west. The face Dalai Lama shows his Tibetan people (fierce, King, angersome, in charge and must be obeyed) is how it really is. Tibetans know the Dalai Lama controls everything and fully manages all politics. People are not happy with this but dare not speak up as there is no democracy.

    Writer Rajeev Sharma is telling the situation like it really is. Finally the truth is coming out. Tibetan government in exile is a regime in every sense of the world that depends on all the hundreds of millions of free dollars it has been taking from the west, Japan, Australia and so on. It exists on free money. It is not a good government and has failed all negotiations with China due to the Tibetan leaders’ arrogance. Why arrogance? They think the world will force China to do what Tibetans leaders want and that they are so important on everyone’s agenda. Tibetans are on no one’s top agenda and China is an economic and military super power. China will not and will never kowtow to the Tibetan demands. It is the Tibetans who must beg China to be friends and get some concessions if at all possible. No country has ever dared stand up to USA, but China has and China is growing in power yearly. Everyone is scrambling to be China’s friend and saying goodbye to the Tibetan cause. Tibetan cause is the thing of the past and no economic benefits to support Tibetan cause.

    These days every country votes in leaders that can better their country’s economy due to world recession. So every country has to do business and trade and aid with China to improve their economy. If you side with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan govt in exile in India, what do you get? Nothing! So leaders of every nation realize this now and will continue to make friends with China and say goodbye to the Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama on a personal level may be rich, famous and sells a lot of books, but that won’t get Tibet back. That won’t win the support of leaders of the free world and other nations.

  24. “What does Empress Cixi and the 14th Dalai Lama have in common?”

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama has a ‘method’ in his very powerful rule.

    The Dalai Lama will always say it is not up to him and it’s up to his people. He gave up his power to the people. But it is not really up to his people. His people and his parliament must seek his approval for all decisions or carry out his will. If you ask his people do they want a 15th Dalai Lama after him, they have to say yes as the current one (14th) is watching them and you have to be politically correct to say yes. Who dares to say no? You don’t want to displease him. Who dares to say we want genuine democratically elected leaders. Remember, none of the Dalai Lamas were ever democratically elected (the penny drops). All the Dalai Lamas sit in power on the throne till the end of their lives.

    Also how the next Dalai Lama will be found, the current Dalai Lama will definitely set the mechanics during his lifetime and then sit back and say, it’s the people who wanted it this way. It’s the people who wanted another Dalai Lama. Of course they have to say that. If they say they don’t want another Dalai Lama after this one, it is tantamount to treason. It will offend the current Dalai Lama and make him upset. In order for a stateless leader like himself to continue to get millions in aid for free as he has been for 60 years, he must appear democratic. How will he get money to support his vast expenditure of his lama court, if no free donations in the millions are given? So behind the scenes, Dalai Lama pulls all the strings but in front, he acts like he is doesn’t know anything and not involved and his elected leaders are running the show. Nothing can be further from the truth. Just like the last empress Cixi of China. She always enthrones little emperors handpicked by her from her royal family and extended families and controlled their power and ruled China from behind them as their regent during their adolescence. As a woman she could not be the emperor or ruler of all China, so she was clever and put young kids she chose from her royal families on the throne to be their regent and controlled them from behind the gauze curtain. She was suppose to hand power back to them when they reach the age of maturity to rule China, but she never did. She would place the young emperors on the throne during audiences and sit behind a curtain and dictate orders to the ministers in the name of the emperor as their regent. So in this way, she was acting in the name of the emperor (regent), but actually she was in full control. When time came to hand power over to the emperor, she would have them poisoned. Then place another new very young emperor on the throne. She did this for decades.

    She was literally the power behind the throne. She could not be dethroned in this way yet she held all power. Like this, she ruled China till her death which was near impossible for any woman to do so. The last emperor Puyi she placed on the throne before the kingdom fell to civil war. (This spawned the movie by director Bernardo Bertolucci “The Last Emperor” and the emperor was played by John Lone.) When time came for the maturing emperors to take actual power from Dowager Cixi during her regencies, she would have them poisoned and install another young emperor and continue to be the regent. In this way, she stayed in power. She didn’t get a chance to poison Puyi because she passed away (rode the dragon to heaven) during his adolescence.

    The other only female ‘emperor’ in Chinese history is We Xetian (Empress Wu). Another very incredibly intelligent woman who beat the men around her at their own game and ruled China as a woman.

    The Dalai Lama started the Dorje Shugden ban. It came from him and only he can start it. But now he says, it is not him. Because it would make him look bad if he admits the ban came from him which it did. He claims everyone in the monasteries took a vote and they voted Dorje Shugden out. Ignorant western audiences wouldn’t know any better. They had no choice but to vote Dorje Shugden out or the abbots of the monasteries would be dishonorably discharged by the Dalai Lama himself. He places them in power and he can remove them. All Abbots of the great Gelug Monasteries are chosen by the Dalai Lama himself. He can remove them from power anytime, therefore the abbots are frightened of the Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama says he just advised to not practice Shugden, but his people, the abbots in charge, the monasteries took it to another step and outlawed Dorje Shugden and it’s the will of the people. So his ban on Shugden appears democratic. It was up to them. But it is not. He rules behind a ‘gauze’ curtain that he handed his power over to his personal ‘Puyi’ (Lobsang Sangay).

    The Dalai Lama cannot show the world he is in full charge, because he would be seen as a dictator and therefore lose all free aid money which he and his government subsist on. Dalai Lama is behind the gauze and holds all power and Lobsang Sangay ‘Puyi’ is on the throne. Strangely similar to Empress Cixi. If Lobsang Sangay does things that does not please the Dalai Lama, you can bet your bottom dollar, he will be dethroned. Again, no Dalai Lama was ever democratically voted into a lifetime of power.

    Photos-Empress Cixi of China.



  25. ‘Karmapa’ Ogyen Trinley no longer recognised by Indian govt as 17th Karmapa. Indian government is not happy he did not show respect to India for all the years he took refuge in India. He simply renounced his Indian protectorate papers and took a Dominican republic passport. He could have had the courtesy to let Indian government know beforehand and thank them.

    Read more at:

    ‘Dorje no longer recognised by Indian govt as 17th Karmapa’
    Indrani Bagchi | TNN | Dec 28, 2018, 04:00 IST
    Given its apparent disenchantment with the Karmapa, the government is no longer seeing his decision to acquire a Dominican passport as a problem and is willing to give him a visa.
    This could mean that India will no accord much importance to the status of his identity certificate, the document commonly issued to Tibetan refugees, which also facilitates travel abroad.
    NEW DELHI: The already strained ties between Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje and the Indian government seems to have further deteriorated with the government making it clear that it does not recognise him as the legitimate Buddhist religious leader of the influential karma kagyu sect.
    The sharp put down, articulated by well-placed sources, makes the status and future of the Karmapa uncertain in India and seems to indicate that India’s impatience with his long absence from India has turned into a colder indifference to the leader’s claim to his “traditional” seat of the Rumtek monastery.
    Given its apparent disenchantment with the Karmapa, the government is no longer seeing his decision to acquire a Dominican passport as a problem and is willing to give him a visa. This could mean that India will not accord much importance to the status of his identity certificate, the document commonly issued to Tibetan refugees, which also facilitates travel abroad.
    There are legal and political aspects to the development. Since there are competing claims to the Rumtek monastery that are sub judice, India cannot pronounce on the Karmapa’s claim. However, politically, keeping the Karmapa in its zone of influence and supporting his presence here makes India a “guardian” of a religious leader seen to rank next to the Dalai Lama in importance.
    The government’s stand is at odds with the Dalai Lama, who has recognised Dorje as the legitimate Karmapa. In recent years, the Indian government had also shed its suspicions about Karmapa’s escape from China along with his older sister and a few followers. But for more than a year after Karmapa went to the US, he has avoided returning and has in fact complained that he finds restrictions on his travel irksome.
    The rival claimant to the post, Thaye Dorje, who had been placed as a Karmapa claimant by Shamar Rimpoche, recently renounced monkhood and got married, diluting his claim since the title calls for celibacy.
    The two claimants had riven the Karma Kagyu sect, though according to reports, an attempt was made to bridge the divide with Ugyed Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje meeting at a place on the France-Switzerland border in October.
    Ugyen Trinley Dorje’s situation became tenuous after he took a passport from the commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean. Sources said Dorje’s acquiring of a foreign passport automatically makes the Tibetan identity certificate (IC) invalid. This means, he would need a visa to enter India.
    The Indian government, according to sources, have conveyed to the Karmapa willingness to issue him a visa. “But he has not approached any Indian mission for a visa,” they said.
    Indian security agencies have been suspicious of him for years, branding him a Chinese spy, particularly as China so readily recognised him. In 2016, the Modi government however, eased travel restrictions for him and he was allowed to travel overseas.
    This throws into confusion not only the future of the Karma Kagyu sect of which Dorje is believed to be the head, but would have implications for India-China and India-Tibet relations in the longer term.

    Dorje no longer recognised by Indian govt as 17th Karmapa

  26. As the so-called spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama strictly abstains from drinking alcohol in accordance to traditional monastic codes. However, it has recently been reported that the religious leader owns his own vineyard in Switzerland! Apparently, various celebrities, including the likes of Roger Moore, Sepp Blatter and Zinedine Zidane have all made trips to the vineyard. What will people say when they find out that a Buddhist monk, who promotes abstinence from alcohol, owns a vineyard that produces wine for sale? This is certainly not going to sit well with his image of a religious leader and member of the Buddhist monastic order.

  27. Dear Tibetan government-in-exile (Dharamsala),

    Sharmapa Rinpoche is the highest authority in the Karma Kagyu after Karmapa. By age-old tradition, Sharmapa is the one that confirms the real incarnation of Karmapa. He recognized Thaye Dorje as the genuine Karmapa. But Dalai Lama endorsed Orgyen Trinley as the real Karmapa. Dalai Lama is a great lama but there has never been a tradition of him recognizing a Karmapa.

    Both ‘Karmapas’ have big followings in and out of Tibet. So which one should we follow? We have to follow the genuine Karmapa. If we follow the fake one, we will get fake teachings, fake lineage and no results. We can even take rebirth in the lower realms.

    Only the Tibetan leaders can tell us which is the real Karmapa. You have told us which one is the real Panchen Lama. We follow the Panchen of your choosing. Since then we have condemned China and condemned the fake Panchen Lama. Now it is the same situation with Karmapa. We have denounced the fake Karmapa and ask him to step down. He is destroying the Karma Kagyu Lineage.

    This issue has torn the Karma Kagyu sect in half. There are many who are so confused and some gave up Tibetan Buddhism altogether because of this. We must solve the confusion. This does not look good for the Tibetan government in exile because the confusion was started by Tibetan government. I support Dalai Lama and Tibetan government. But so many of us need to know the real Karmapa already. Don’t remain silent. Which one is the real Karmapa.

    Tibetan government in exile, you have created two Gelugs (Pro-Dorje Shugden and against), you have created two Panchen Rinpoches, two Karmapas, two Dromo Geshe Rinpoches, two Kundeling Rinpoches and so on. When are you going to solve all the confusion. You are destroying Tibetan Buddhism.

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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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