President of the Singapore Buddhist Lodge: “Dalai Lama is a political monk”

Xinhuanet 10th Sept 2009

During an interview by Xinhuanet, Mr Lee Bock Guan, President of the Singapore Buddhist Lodge (SBL) told reporters, “The Dalai Lama has obvious political motives behind his activities.” He said Dalai Lama is a “political monk”, not a religious monk. Wherever he goes, he only gives “political speeches”, not religious speeches.

Mr Lee is a famous religious figure in Singapore who has long been contributing to social welfare, as well as promoting inter-religious, inter-racial and social harmony. He is much respected in Singapore’s society. Mr Lee said he remembered when the Dalai Lama was giving a speech in Manjushri Secondary School in Singapore, his speech was filled with political motives. He only mentioned about how he was exiled from Tibet, which is unrelated to Buddhism, and he did not perform any Buddhist rituals.

Mr Lee said, “The Dalai Lama is a political monk, not a religious monk. During my entire life, I never listened to any of his Dharma audio cassettes, nor read any of his Dharma books. Wherever he went, he only gave “political speeches”, not religious speeches.” He hopes that the Dalai Lama will work towards promoting world peace and the growth of Buddhism, instead of causing division in a country.

While talking about the Dalai Lama’s recent activities, Mr Lee said, “The Dalai Lama said his trip to Taiwan after Typhoon Morakot is without any political intention. This is a lie. If he is without any political intention, then why was he invited by Democratic Progressive Party, instead of Taiwan Buddhist organizations?” Mr Lee also said, “Most people in Southern Taiwan are Catholics and Christians. What is the Dalai Lama going to do there? In Buddhism we said, ‘pray towards the sun’. Even if he wanted to pray, he does not necessarily need to go to areas hit by disasters. Furthermore, doesn’t Taiwan have their own monks?”

Mr Lee also pointed out, “The Dalai Lama’s visit to Taiwan was to cause damage to the good relationship between China and Taiwan. This is his real motive, everyone can see that.”

Since 1984, Mr Lee has visited China more than 40 times. He even visited Tibet in 2005. He recalled that, together with a group of 16 people, they visited Tibet for 13 days. He noticed that there was religious freedom in Tibet. He said the Potala Palace is very well-kept and compared to neighboring countries which also believe in Tibetan Buddhism, monks in Lhasa obviously have better living conditions and a more conducive environment for them to practice Dharma.

According to Mr Lee, China is a multiracial and multi-religious country. Many people have their own religion. The five main religions in this country enjoy a harmonious relationship. He said from his observations via inter-religious platforms in China, it is clear that the Chinese Government is treating all religions equally. The government not only invested a huge amount of money into reconstructing religious places, but they also sponsored religious people to further their tertiary education. This will bring tremendous benefits not only to the growth of religion, but also in the nurturing of future religious elites.

He quoted the scale and the organizing of the 2nd International Buddhist forum which was held early this year as a good example of the Chinese Government showing support for the growth of Buddhism.

Mr Lee said that in September this year, he will attend the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. He said, “Although we are not in the same country, just like the old saying goes, ‘Blood is thicker than water’. All Chinese in the world are very close. We are truly happy seeing that China is now growing well.”


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