Man Jailed for Creating Division

Religious freedom is something that most of us around the world take for granted. But the ban on Dorje Shugden instigated by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) prevents practitioners from observing their religious practice in peace. Following the advice given by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan populace have taken matters into their own hands. Supported by the CTA, they promote intolerance, segregation and violence.

The Chinese government, seeing just how divisive this ban is, have outlawed the creation of division and intolerance. Any government that truly cares for its subjects would want harmony and unity within its society. That they are doing so is simply good governance, as compared to the CTA who continue in their efforts to divide and conquer.

The article below showcases just how much China values harmony and religious freedom among its people. It highlights the fact that an elderly gentleman was jailed for promoting this harmful division. Whereas we do not condone the actions, given the gentleman’s age, we do value China’s efforts to promote religious harmony.

The length to which the Tibetans take the Dalai Lama’s divisive advice to extremes is highlighted by the fact that a 28-year-old would stab himself to death following the destruction of a Dorje Shugden statue. The all-powerful dictates of the Tibetan god-king still linger in the minds of many Tibetans. This viewpoint does nothing but undermine the universal right to religious freedom and even the teachings of non-violence and acceptance taught by the Buddha himself. China at least seems to want harmony and promotes religious freedom.

 


 

Elderly Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of Controversial Deity

2014-12-12

Jamyang Tsering, in an undated photo.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. EST on 2014-12-15

An elderly Tibetan man has been ordered jailed by Chinese authorities for advising a group of Tibetan students to abide by the Dalai Lama’s call not to participate in a controversial form of worship deemed “divisive” by the exiled spiritual leader, sources said.

Jamyang Tsering, 77, was handed a one-and-a-half year term in early December by a court in Dzogang (in Chinese, Zuogong) county in the Chamdo (Changdu) prefecture of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“He is currently being held in the Dzogang detention center pending transfer to a jail in Chamdo,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“His relatives are worried about his health, which is said to be not good,” the source said, adding that Tsering suffers from abdominal disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other ailments.

“He himself says he has done nothing wrong and has no regrets. His only concern is for his wife, who is 86 and was left behind in [the regional capital] Lhasa after he was detained,” he said.

Tsering, a native of Chamdo, was taken into custody in early June after encouraging a group of Chamdo-area students visiting Lhasa to follow the wishes and guidance of the Dalai Lama and to always “hold to their pride in being Tibetan,” the source said.

“He had also advised as many people as possible in local gatherings not to worship Shugden,” a Tibetan “protector” deity whose rituals have been denounced by the Dalai Lama as divisive and sectarian, he said.

Chinese police frequently investigate and arrest Tibetans deemed to have responded to the policy directives of the India-based Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers a dangerous separatist bent on “splitting” Tibet from Chinese control.

 

Religious Differences

Earlier this year, a young Tibetan stabbed himself to death when police attempted to detain him in Chamdo’s Markham (Mangkang) county over the destruction of a Shugden statue six years ago, sources told RFA in an earlier report.

Tashi Tsering, a 28-year-old layman, had joined together with at least eight monks of Chamdo’s Khenpaluk monastery in 2008 to destroy the statue of the deity after the Dalai Lama urged Tibetans to abandon its worship, one source said.

When the Dalai Lama in 2008 publicly criticized Shugden worship as damaging to harmony among Tibetans, Khenpaluk monastery was the first religious establishment in the area to ban the practice, the source said.

“Some monks of Khenpaluk then volunteered to dismantle the statue,” which had been installed by a private sponsor, he said.

Chamdo police in April issued a set of regulations including a ban on “anyone using the protector ‘Gyalchen Shugden’ to create differences among the believing masses” and using language that appeared to be “aimed primarily at opponents or critics of the Shugden practice,” Columbia University Tibet scholar Robbie Barnett told RFA in an e-mail on Friday.

“From the perspective of the Chinese, they have a responsibility to prevent violence and conflict over this, as with any other contentious issue among Tibetans,” Barnett said.

“However, the Chinese authorities have published numerous statements attacking the Dalai Lama on the Shugden issue both in Tibet and internationally,” he said.

“So they are widely perceived within Tibet as favoring the pro-Shugden side in this dispute.”

Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English with additional reporting by Richard Finney.

 

The article on Radio Free Asia’s website

Click on image to read the original report.

Source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/worship-12122014152106.html

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  1. Any government that truly care for the welfare and unity of her people will be stern on those who create division and hatred using religion as a front. This is exactly what is being used by Dalai Lama’s follower who are fanatic and quick to fan discord among Tibetans in China to propagate their nationalistic agenda. The court in Zuogong county in the Changdu did the right thing by punishing the culprit.

  2. I personal hail China for implementing a policy of respect for all practicing religion, even Dorje Shugden practice. So in jailing the man who is creating divisiveness within the society, China is showing her stance. It may be unfortunate that the man is 77 years old but it is from his mouth that spout the advice of harm. Although Tibet is considered a strongly religious country but it is all very surface, where they have an altar, visit monasteries or holy sites to perform prayers, etc. It is the Dharma that they should be given and practise to dispel the ignorance. Without the Dharma, they will see something wrong as right. They do not look deep but delve on the surface accepting “advices” as right due to the popular status of person, which in this case is the Dalai Lama. If they had the Dharma, then they would understand how every reasons given by the Dalai Lama are baseless and not as Buddha had taught.

    How could the Dalai Lama, an emanation of Buddha Avalokiteshvara, with enlightened mind of no karma be harmed by Protector Dorje Shugden? And how in the world could Dorje Shugden be harmful to the Tibetan cause when it is he who helped the Dalai Lama escape to India? Also how does Dorje Shugden create sectarianism when everyone was practicing in peace before the Dalai Lama’s “advice” and ban? Instead it is the very advice from the Dalai Lama that had created sectarianism which lead to segregation of the practitioners in Pro or Anti Dorje Shugden which lead to creating of abuse, discrimination, threats and fear for the Shugden practitioners. It is the Dalai Lama’s advice that gave CTA the leverage to inflict harm on the Shugden practitioners whilst lining their own pockets with the millions of dollars in donation from mislead sponsors. It is the Dalai Lama’s advice that created many to doubt their own Gurus, to break their samaya and to harass & threaten the lineage Gurus who practised purely. All these wrongs the Dalai Lama and CTA themselves created to avert answering “why have they not fulfilled their promise to be back in Tibet?”. Then they link Dorje Shugden practitioners with China and make them out to be cohorts in “crime”. Stupid move I would say as although totally not true, this proclamation helped China accept and protect Shugden practitioners all the more. Back fired. And what more, now it seems CTA won’t even exist much longer with the agreement between India and China looming to take place after the Dalai Lama’s passing.

    May the Dalai Lama manifest his true wisdom and lift the ban Dorje Shugden to unite his people, all practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. On the other hand the Panchen Lama is gathering much momentum towards the powerhouse for Dharma and soon will gather the people under his umbrella. May the people in China/Tibet grow in Dharma wisdom and not be ignorantly mislead again. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  3. WELL WHAT IS THE CTA GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS NOW? They are the ones who keep on inciting hate and division amongst their own people by persecuting, condemning Dorje Shugden. If there was no BAN then there will not be such issues right, and the poor old man will not be in JAIL. SO who’s fault is it in the first blooming place?!

    Although I feel sorry for the old man, but I have to say I support China’s firm stance against anyone who tries to split their people… they do not need a divided Tibet as they need to make everyone work in harmony for China to grow is the right way as it promotes religious FREEDOM.

    So Dharamsala THANKS for creating more harm… because of your silly lies about Dorje Shugden, this old innocent man is now in Prison. You are the one TO BE BLAMED! REMEMBER before the BAN everyone was in peace and harmony… China would not have such strong rulings against those who say nasty things about Shugden… basically Shugden would not have been any issue at all… get it?!

  4. China, in recent years is beginning to look into the spiritual welfare of her citizens as she realizes now spiritual needs are important for psychological health and culture.

    But, as a growing nation and new economic power, China has to keep the peace as well. The Cultural Revolution is over. China is trying very hard to keep the country on an even keel and it bodes well for her citizens to work with the government instead of keep looking back and keep opening an old sore that needs to heal.

    Why complain about the old monk being jailed for divisive talk? Is it because CTA does not jail the Tibetans in exile for stoning monks who practice Dorje Shugden? Even in Buddhism, there is heavy karma associated with schism, the old monk being jailed for it, is only a mild ripening of negative karma.

    CTA better take a good, objective look at their own actions before they start accusing others. They should also look really hard at the actions of the followers of the Dalai Lama.

  5. It would be nice if for once the CTA actually gave a toss about their people and stopped inciting them to break the law. This mans in his 80s and they cant leave him alone and have to fill his head with all sorts of stupid ideas. So he gets jailed and then what? What does it prove? That hes got the bollox to break the law? Wow.

    Dharamsala is going about this all wrong. They keep antagonising the Chinese by encouraging Tibetans to break the law. Its not going to win any brownie points with the Chinese and really, it just adds to their accusation that the Dalai Lama is a splittist.

  6. All the violence, problems, suffering and frustration because of illusions, because of ignoring non-duality.

    Main problem of mankind is ignoring non-duality and creating duality, because mankind still want’s to practice dualistic betray systems that only keep up ignorance, violence, problems, suffering and frustration.

    I can’t change others, so I don’t need to try to change others but I can stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for myself.

    Others can’t change me, so they don’t need to try to change me but they can stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for themself.

    So why do I try to change others eventhough I can’t? So why do others try to change me eventhough they can’t?

    We can’t change deities into good or evil spirits, so why should we try to change deities into good or evil spirits? We can’t change wisdom and compassion itself but create illusions and destroy illusions. So why don’t we use the deitites to effect freedom and wellbeing instead of creating illusions and violence?

    Why don’t we all stop ignoring non-duality and effect freedom and wellbeing for ourself?

    We can stop ignoring non-duality and we can get rid of karma, we can effect freedom and wellbeing, we don’t need to create illusions, violence and try to change something into something else eventhough we can’t.

    We are all perfect and all deities are perfect but we create illusions, violence, problems, suffering and frustration.

    May the wisdom of non-duality, that is represented by all dharmapalas, protect you all from ignorance, duality, harmful views, harmful aspirations/motivations and harmful actions of mind, speech and body.

    Never ever give up dharma, love you all!

  7. The governments are instituted for the common benefit to secure the health, safety and protection, rights and freedoms of individual citizens. This is very important to have harmony and unity among men.
    Hence, in order to provide the safety and protection to the nations, the governments have to take action against the people those are trying or intentionally to instigate another to commit the acts of violence which is potentially to create the division and as a threat to national security. For instance in these 2 cases, an elderly Tibetan man advised a group of Tibetan students to abide by the Dalai Lama’s call and the destruction of Shugden statue by a young Tibetan.

  8. Why is it that Tibetan people have to fight against each other. Why do Dorje Shugden statues get destroyed? Instead of working together and improving the situation of Tibetans, the CTA is creating problems. The Tibetan people has to suffer and because of this ban all the Tibetans have to suffer in one way or another because the practice of Dorje Shugden was so widely spread. Please, HH Dalai Lama, give us all religious freedom. Religion is a personal choice – not a choice by the government!
    I agree that China has to take action so that not respecting someone else’s faith is wrong and should be punished to avoid such behaviour. So much pain has been inflicted on Dorje Shugden practitioners, their friends and families. It needs to stop!

  9. When I read this article, I somehow felt a bit of sympathy for Jamyang Tsering because such an old man has to go to jail to defend his skewed belief that worshiping Dorje Shugden is wrong. However, I applaud the Chinese authority that executed repercussion for faith based discrimination. I believe that this will be a deterrent for the rest of the Dalai Lama’s followers in China to discriminate or intimidate Shugden practitioners.

    May this event serves as a reminder that religious based discrimination is wrong and unethical and should not be condoned.

  10. It is very sad to read about this 77-year- old man to be jailed, however, it is equally important to maintain social stability and harmonious coexistence, especially in Tibet where there is so much political instability.

    Even more heartbreaking is the death of Tashi Tsering’s. These can all be prevented if the CTA did not continuously persecute and create divisions between the Shugden and non-Shugden people. These people live in China Tibet for god’s sake, please do not make them your puppet to split the Tibetans for your personal gain! Stop inciting Tibetans in China to break the law and get themselves and their families in trouble.

    It is time the CTA look into what they really are doing. The welfare of the Tibetans in exiles are not taken care of, so much shame brought by the recent unethical moves in the elections, and they are still going their old ways. So much unrest in China Tibet and CTA is not helping. If we wish to gain back Tibet, I have no confidence in a government like you, CTA to rule.

    On the 56th Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day, you vehemently condemned the fringe group of extremists who bear the name of Shugden who you claimed have been making concerted efforts to denigrate the work and accomplishments of His Holiness. It is you CTA who is denigrating the work and accomplishment of His Holiness. Even the Gods had to come down to scold you, shame!

  11. Heres an idea for Tibetans which will probably be completely revolutionary… how about for JUST ONCE you follow the laws of your country?

    How about you follow the laws in AMERICA and allow for freedom of worship?

    How about you follow the laws in INDIA and stop suppressing Shugden practitioners?

    How about you follow the laws in NEPAL and stop protesting and creating trouble at places like Boudhanath?

    How about you follow the laws in CHINA and stop self-immolating and dividing people?

    What is it with Tibetans being troublemakers wherever they go? Sorry, does this shatter your Shangrila view of them? Well its the truth and the truth hurts. SO how about you follow the law for JUST ONCE. What it is with Tibetans refusing to follow the law, I will never be able to figure out.

  12. It is baffling to see the RFA ‘celebrating’ that one of the Dalai Lama’s overzealous supporter discriminate and actively suppress other’s religious freedom. Why would anyone be proud for being divisive and creating social unrest. Is this what the Dalai Lama is trying to achieve? Creating unrest, intolerance and suppression of basic human rights for others to practice their belief, regardless it being controversial or not.

    I take this as a direct encouragement on the Tibetans in exile’s side of the game. While the general Tibetans are unaware of it, it is obvious to those following the scene, that the Tibetans are being used by external forces to create disharmony within China with the pretense that they are doing it out of ‘love’ for the Dalai Lama and Tibet.

    If Tibetans truly loved the Dalai Lama, then they would work to make peace and harmony with China to help Dalai Lama achieve his vision of the Middle Way, greater autonomy, and not try to create more distortion under his name. What a disgrace.

  13. It is not right for people to split others using religion as a factor. I do hope the Chinese people will look into the age of the man who committed this action.

    i do blame lack of knowledge and ignorance that led this man to follow blindly what others have told him, and what he thought he heard from the Dalai Lama. A lack of wisdom led to this man to jail, i do hope he can leave with wisdom as soon as possible.

  14. Anyone in the world promoting the division among citizens will always be seen as a threat to the government, what more this happened in the highly populated country, China, where unity is the top priority tovthe government. Buddhism is always seemed to promote non-discrimination and non-judgment on everything in the world. But bizarre enough that Dalai Lama’s advice on not practising Dorje Shugden, was obviously a condemn and judgment. But it’s glad to know that the ban on Dorje Shugden for the past 20 years will be lifted soon. The fear, discrimination and suffering faced by Shugden Buddhistcls eventually can come to an end. Hopefully the division created long ago will vanish and Tibetan Buddhist can unite as one.

  15. Citizen who disobey the law, causes disharmony among the people, taken actions that cause disruption that threaten the peace of the nation SHOULD be punished. Religious freedom and human rights should be uphold. There is no excuse or special treatment regardless of the age. Moreover, Jamyang Tsering’s action is a poor reflection of Dalai Lama.

  16. I really support what the China is doing. We should all promote peace and harmony and not segregation and division amongst the people. What the CTA is doing to the people is totally wrong and is not bringing peace at all. Everyone has their own rights of whatever practices they want to follow and nobody has the rights to stop them. I really pity the 77 year old elderly man for being put in the jail but why in the first place he want to create division? People who has been practising Dorje Shugden should they themselves check and contemplate whether the practise is doing them harm or not.

  17. No matter what country, religious freedom is a must. No one should be segregated nor harmed because of what they practice. The government must also ensure that no hate groups can incite hatred in any way. There must be strict laws against those haters.

    In this case, China was right to do so. No matter what age nor race, punishment is a must. As a government, they are there to ensure peace, harmony and unity. How do you think they manage the amount of people in China if they are not doing their job?Once one person start, others will follow and things will definitely be blown out of proportion so it was wise of the government to stop it before it did.

    The Dalai Lama should stop asking His own people to create disunity because of Dorje Shugden. Everyone should have the right to practice what they want. Looking at this and the cases of immolation, its really sad. What does He hope to achieve in doing this??

  18. It is not correct for an outsider to instigate and do harm in your household. In the same context, obeying the “orders” and “decrees” of the Dalai Lama in Tibet, China is a form of treason. Especially when there is already a rift between the Dalai Lama and China.

    In the compassion of Buddhism as always taught by the Dalai Lama, it is important that in interfering with the Tibetans in China, the Dalai Lama is inflicting harm on them as what the Dalai Lama believes in is the complete opposite of what the Chinese government’s ideology.

    For sure the Chinese Government does not believe in disunity and disharmony among the Tibetans in China and truly believes in religious freedom. Of this I cannot say for the community of the Tibetans in exile, lead and controlled by CTA.

    Although it looks like the Chinese government is pro Dorje Shugden but are they making laws that will discriminate those who does not worship Dorje Shugden? It seems a bit strict to jail a frail 77 year old man, but to preserve peace, governments must find the best solution.

  19. Nechung is ZUMA 👎 before I m think he is one of d best when I m watch dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we r not back to Tibet yt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIDZLzXIgW8 Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if2dFMKIr_8 n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

  20. What will the all the people around the world and in Tibet do now? Dalai Lama says he is happy that Tibet is a part of China and should remain a part of China. So many Tibetans self-immolated for Tibet to be independent and now Dalai Lama did a 360 degree turn and says he wants to go back to Tibet and China and Tibet should be a part of China. So unbelievable. So many are angry and disappointed.

    Tibetans ready to be part of China: Dalai Lama
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    Indo-Asian News Service
    Bengaluru
    Tibetans are ready to be a part of China if guaranteed full rights to preserve their culture, the Dalai Lama said on Friday.
    “Tibetans are not asking for independence. We are okay with remaining with the People’s Republic of China, provided we have full rights to preserve our culture,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said at “Thank You Karnataka” event here in the city.
    Organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the event was a part of “Thank You India – 2018″ held by the Tibetan community across India to mark 60 years of its exile in the country.
    “Several of Chinese citizens practicing Buddhism are keen on Tibetan Buddhism as it is considered scientific,” the Nobel laureate said.
    Born in Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.
    China annexed Tibet in 1950, forcing thousands of Tibetans, including monks, to flee the mountain country and settle in India as refugees.
    Since then, India has been home to over 100,000 Tibetans majorly settled in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh among other states.
    https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/india/tibetans-ready-to-be-part-of-china-dalai-lama/293109.html

    d

  21. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

  22. Why doesn’t the United States and its allies end Refugee Status for the useless Tibetans? They have been refugees for 60 years now and don’t tell me they still cannot get their lives back in order?

    Tibetans really know how to put on a good show and use people, take their money and do nothing in return.

    Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    In internal emails, Jared Kushner advocated a “sincere effort to disrupt” the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinians.
    BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER | AUGUST 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.
    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.
    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.
    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.
    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.
    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.
    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.
    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.
    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”
    Kushner raised the refugee issue with officials in Jordan during a visit to the region in June, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. According to Palestinian officials, he pressed the Jordan to strip its more than 2 million registered Palestinians of their refugee status so that UNRWA would no longer need to operate there.
    “[Kushner said] the resettlement has to take place in the host countries and these governments can do the job that UNRWA was doing,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    She said the Trump administration wanted rich Arab Gulf states to cover the costs Jordan might incur in the process.
    “They want to take a really irresponsible, dangerous decision and the whole region will suffer,” Ashrawi said.
    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, told reporters in June that Kushner’s delegation had said it was ready to stop funding UNRWA altogether and instead direct the money—$300 million annually—to Jordan and other countries that host Palestinian refugees.
    “All this is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees,” hesaid.
    The White House declined to comment on the record for this story. A senior executive branch official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. policy regarding the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee program “has been under frequent evaluation and internal discussion. The administration will announce its policy in due course.”
    Jordanian officials in New York and Washington did not respond to queries about the initiative.
    Kushner and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both proposed ending funding for UNRWA back in January. But the State Department, the Pentagon, and the U.S. intelligence community all opposed the idea, fearing in part that it could fuel violence in the region.
    The following week, the State Department announced that that United States would cut the first $125 million installment of its annual payment to UNRWA by more than half, to $60 million.
    “UNRWA has been threatening us for six months that if they don’t get a check they will close schools. Nothing has happened,” Kushner wrote in the same email.
    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said at the time that the U.S. had no intention of eliminating funding for Palestinian refugees, and that it was taking time to explore ways to reform UNRWA and to convince other countries to help Washington shoulder the financial burden of aiding the Palestinians.
    But the following day, Victoria Coates, a senior advisor to Greenblatt, sent an email to the White House’s national security staff indicating that the White House was mulling a way to eliminate the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
    “UNRWA should come up with a plan to unwind itself and become part of the UNHCR by the time its charter comes up again in 2019,” Coates wrote.
    She noted that the proposal was one of a number of “spitball ideas that I’ve had that are also informed by some thoughts I’ve picked up from Jared, Jason and Nikki.”
    Other ideas included a suggestion that the U.N. relief agency be asked to operate on a month-to-month budget and devise “a plan to remove all anti-Semitism from educational materials.”
    The ideas seemed to track closely with proposals Israel has been making for some time.
    “We believe that UNRWA needs to pass from the world as it is an organization that advocates politically against Israel and perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem,” said Elad Strohmayer, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
    Strohmayer said that Palestinians are the only population that is able to transfer its refugee status down through generations.
    The claim, though long advanced by Israel, is not entirely true.
    In an internal report from 2015, the State Department noted that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “recognizes descendants of refugees as refugees for purposes of their operations.” The report, which was recently declassified, said the descendants of Afghan, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali, and Tibetan refugees are all recognized by the U.N. as refugees themselves.
    Of the roughly 700,000 original Palestinian refugees, only a few tens of thousands are still alive, according to estimates.
    The push to deny the status to most Palestinians refugees is also gaining traction in Congress.
    Last week, Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, introduced a bill that would limit the United States to assisting only the original refugees. Most savings in U.N. contributions would be directed to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United States’ principal international development agency. But USAID is currently constrained by the Taylor Force Act, which restricts the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends a policy of providing aid to families of fallen terrorists.
    “Instead of resettling Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli Conflict of 1948, UNRWA provides aid to those they define as Palestinian refugees until there is a solution they deem acceptable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lamborn’s bill states.
    “This policy does not help resettle the refugees from 1948 but instead maintains a refugee population in perpetuity.”
    A congressional aide familiar with the legislation said its intent isn’t to gut UNRWA funding, but redirect assistance to descendants through USAID.
    “The people that are suffering should still get assistance, but through appropriately defined humanitarian channels and aid programs,” the aide said.
    Similarly, Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), has drafted legislation that would redirect U.S. funding away from UNRWA and to other local and international agencies.
    The bill, which has not yet officially been introduced, would require the U.S. secretary of state certify by 2020 that the United Nations has ended its recognition of Palestinian descendants as refugees.
    “The United Nations should provide assistance to the Palestinians in a way that makes clear that the United Nations does not recognize the vast majority of Palestinians currently registered by UNRWA as refugees deserving refugee status,” reads a draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
    Previous U.S. administrations have maintained that the vast majority of Palestinian refugees will ultimately have to be absorbed in a new Palestinian state or naturalized in the countries that have hosted them for generations.
    But the fate of the refugee issue was expected to be agreed to as part of a comprehensive peace pact that resulted in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    “It’s very clear that the overarching goal here is to eliminate the Palestinian refugees as an issue by defining them out of existence,” said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “This isn’t going to make peace any easier. It’s going to make it harder.”
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/03/trump-palestinians-israel-refugees-unrwaand-allies-seek-end-to-refugee-status-for-millions-of-palestinians-united-nations-relief-and-works-agency-unrwa-israel-palestine-peace-plan-jared-kushner-greenb/

    DS.com Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  23. Supreme Court of India JUSTICE Mr. MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) writes that Tibet is much better under the Chinese than it was under the lamas who only wanted to make the populace slaves. It was feudal and it will never return to the backwardness again.

    Time has come to acknowledge that Tibet has vastly improved under Chinese rule
    JUSTICE MARKANDEY KATJU (RETD) | 12 August, 2018
    From a terribly poor state hinged on a feudal system, Tibet has modernised and grows faster than the rest of China
    This article has been prompted by Jyoti Malhotra’s article in ThePrint ‘Tibetan government quietly changed its PM’s designation. India won’t be unhappy about it‘.
    China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959, ousting the Dalai Lama, had attracted it worldwide criticism. The Dalai Lama fled and was granted asylum in India, where he set up a government-in-exile with its headquarters in Dharamshala.
    The Chinese claim Tibet on the grounds that it has been part of the country since the Yuan dynasty of the 13th century, which is disputed by the government-in-exile. But let us leave this that matter aside.
    The more important question is whether Chinese rule has benefited Tibet.
    The answer is that it undoubtedly has. As the Reuters’ Ben Blanchard writes: “Today Tibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, better dressed and fed”.
    Although Ben goes on to argue that this development masks “a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans”, I will disagree. How can anyone be unhappy if s/he is healthier, better fed and better clothed?
    Under the rule of the Dalai Lamas (Buddhist priests), the people of Tibet were terribly poor, almost entirely illiterate, and lived like feudal serfs.
    Today, Tibet presents a totally different picture. The illiteracy rate in Tibet has gone down from 95 per cent in the 1950s to 42 per cent in 2000. It has modern schools, universities, engineering and medical colleges, modern hospitals, freeways, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, mobile stores and apartment buildings. The capital Lhasa is like any other modern city.
    While the economic growth in the rest of China has slowed down to about 7 per cent, Tibet has had a 10 per cent growth rate in the last two decades.
    Tibet has huge mineral wealth, which was only awaiting Chinese technology to be tapped. Nowadays, it has numerous hydro and solar power plants and industries running with Chinese help.
    Tibetan literature is flourishing, contrary to claims that the Chinese want to crush Tibetan culture.
    Of course, now the lamas cannot treat their people as slaves.
    The so-called ‘government-in-exile’, of which Lobsang Sangay claims to be the President, is a fake organisation, funded by foreign countries. They only want to restore the feudal Tibet, ruled by the reactionary lamas, something which will never happen.
    The writer is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India
    https://theprint.in/opinion/time-has-come-to-acknowledge-that-tibet-has-vastly-improved-under-chinese-rule/97172/

  24. While the government of Nepal has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, they have welcomed 30 Chinese NGOs to enter the country. These NGOs will penetrate the country’s social sector at the grassroots level. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal at one time. Nepal is increasingly open to Chinese influence, a sign that ties between both countries are strengthening, while India’s influence is being reduced. The time has passed for India’s monopoly to remain uninterrupted in Nepal as opportunities to engage with China are being welcomed.

    30 Chinese NGOs all set to work in Nepal
    REWATI SAPKOTA
    Kathmandu, July 30
    At a time when the government has framed a policy to tighten the noose around non-governmental organisations, 30 Chinese NGOs have entered Nepal to penetrate the country’s social sector and the grassroots.
    The Social Welfare Council Nepal and China NGO Network for International Exchanges, an umbrella body of Chinese NGOs, have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. The agreement was signed yesterday between SWCN Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatt and CNIE General Secretary Zhu Rui in the presence of Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa and Chinese Deputy Minister of External Affairs Wang Yajun.
    The agreement has paved the way for the first batch of 30 Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal for a period of three years. Their contract will be extended based on the consent of SWCN and CNIE. Representatives of these 30 Chinese NGOs were also present during yesterday’s signing ceremony. They have agreed to work in partnership with local NGOs to implement their programmes and projects.
    The Chinese NGOs are eyeing areas such as livelihood, healthcare, education, skill-based training, community development and disaster management. This is the first time such a large number of Chinese NGOs has entered Nepal at one time. The Chinese assistance so far in Nepal has largely been limited to development of infrastructure projects. But the entry of these NGOs indicates China is keen on making its presence felt in Nepal’s social sector and the grassroots, which, till date, have remained domains of the West and countries such as Japan and India.
    The MoU signed between SWCN and CNIE states that Chinese NGOs will be mobilised for ‘the benefit of needy Nepalis and to enhance ties between China and Nepal through people-to-people support programmes’.
    “The Chinese NGOs will abide by the law of Nepal in its entirety while carrying out development cooperation in Nepal,” says the MoU, adding, “Chinese NGOs will submit programmes to the SWCN to carry out development activities in partnership with Nepali NGOs and SWCN in line with plans and policies of the government of Nepal.”
    The MoU was signed at a time when the government has drafted the National Integrity Policy to limit activities of NGOs and INGOs, as some of them were found ‘trying to break communal harmony and proselytising Nepalis’. There were also concerns that high administrative cost of many NGOs and INGOs was preventing money from reaching the real beneficiaries. The policy clearly states that NGOs and INGOs cannot spend more than specified amount under administrative and consultant headings. They will also be barred from working against Nepal’s interests, culture and communal harmony and conducting activities to promote their religious, social or other agenda, adds the policy.
    Around 48,000 NGOs are currently registered in Nepal, of which only 1,600 have been receiving funds from INGOs, as per SWCN. The SWCN has directed INGOs and NGOs to spend 60 per cent of the budget to generate tangible results, while the remaining can be used to cover administrative costs and organise training, meetings and seminars.
    https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/30-chinese-ngos-all-set-to-work-in-nepal/

  25. 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.
    https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/tibetan-disunity-not-indias-interest

  26. 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.
    https://nenow.in/north-east-news/dalai-lama-should-abstain-from-imparting-controversial-information.html

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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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