The Scholar Dorje Shugden

Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet. Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche belonged to this monastery.

Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche was a famous lama from Drepung Loseling Monastery, who left Tibet for India during the time of the Cultural Revolution in China. In the year before Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche was due to graduate from his Geshe degree studies, he started making plans for the customary offerings to the Sangha, which he would make during his graduation. As he was low on funds, he had to think of ways to save money. One of the ways that he could think of was to return to his home region of Kham for a year. This would give him time to save money and then resume his studies in Lhasa.

One morning however, before he could put his plans into action, during the early hours of dawn, between 5am to 6am, a protector appeared before him in a dream. The protector advised him not to worry about the funds but instead to continue with his studies. Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche was also advised by the protector that he will help with his monetary requirements. The protector then said to Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche: “I am Dorje Tsenchen.”

When Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche awoke, he was puzzled and was not sure of the identity of the protector that he dreamt of because there are literally hundreds of protectors with “Dorje” in their name. He then assumed that it must have been Dorje Drakden who appeared to him. Dorje Drakden, more commonly referred to as Nechung, is one of Drepung Loseling’s Dharma protectors, hence Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s conclusion. Trehor Gyurpon felt sure it was Nechung who had appeared to him in the dream because who else could it be?

Some 15 days later, when Nechung took trance of an oracle, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche went to seek confirmation from the oracle that it was indeed Nechung who appeared to him in the dream. At the trance however, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche was told by Dorje Drakden that it was not him and that there are many protectors with names starting with “Dorje”. This puzzled Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche even more.

Trode Khangsar

Some time later, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche went to the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa to perform his circumambulations. While there, he met some friends from Lhokpa Khangtsen who were very busy and frantically preparing for something. He enquired as to the nature of their haste, and they told him that they were rushing to Trode Khangsar, the Dorje Shugden chapel, because Dorje Shugden was taking trance. They invited Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche to join them for the trance, to which he agreed.

Back then, the trances of Dorje Shugden were monthly affairs. The trance sessions were very scheduled and routine. For example, the trance would ALWAYS start at 7pm and Dorje Shugden would ALWAYS leave the oracle by 8pm. However, on this particular occasion, Dorje Shugden had not left long after he was due to leave, despite the fact that all the questions had already been answered. Dorje Shugden seemed to be waiting for something or someone. This puzzled the monks from Trode Khangsar and they began to ask each other “What’s going on? Why hasn’t Dorje Shugden left yet?”

At this point, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche and his friends arrived at the door, and started to offer three prostrations before entering. Dorje Shugden immediately said, “No need to prostrate, I waited a long time for you. You (pointing to Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche), come here.”

Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche followed instructions and approached Dorje Shugden’s throne. He seized the opportunity to ask Dorje Shugden if it was Dorje Shugden who appeared in his dream. Dorje Shugden affirmed with a “Yes”, saying that it was him in Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s dream.

Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche then felt very grateful and inquired as to how he could thank Dorje Shugden for helping him. Dorje Shugden replied, “Study Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s texts, especially those on the Middle Way. You have a lot of doubts. You must continue to study. Don’t go home. Your main problem is not money. Your main problem is doubt. When you have doubts, ask me. I’ll answer you.” Upon hearing this, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche relaxed.

Over the following month, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche did indeed encounter many doubts in his studies, just as Dorje Shugden had predicted. As Dorje Shugden had advised, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche wrote down his questions as he went along but had doubts that Dorje Shugden would be able to answer them. Before the next trance, he then decided to replace the very difficult questions with easier ones.

Panchen Sonam Drakpa, an eminent scholar, prolific author and one of the previous lives of Dorje Shugden

At the next trance, Dorje Shugden scanned the questions quickly and asked Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche why the main question, the question that Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had the biggest doubts about, was not included. Dorje Shugden told him that on a specific page and line in Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s text, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had a huge doubt about the teaching presented. So, Dorje Shugden wanted to know, why was the question not put forward to him? Upon hearing that, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche immediately developed tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden and offered three prostrations.

Over the years, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had many debates with Dorje Shugden during trance sessions. At first, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche felt uncomfortable debating with Dorje Shugden but Dorje Shugden ‘forced’ Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche into debate, to help Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche progress by answering his questions.

As a result, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had very close relationship with the Trode Khangsar oracle. Years later while in exile in India, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche came across a Dorje Shugden oracle based in Assam. Hoping to rekindle the same kind of relationship he had with the Trode Khangsar oracle, and to check the authenticity of the Assam oracle, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche asked a simple question: “What is a bhumpa?” The answer seemed easy enough – a ritual vase – but what Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche really wanted was for the Dorje Shugden oracle to read the answer in Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s mind. The oracle gave a vague answer: “It is interdependence.” After that incident, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche felt that he could not trust the oracle and never went back.

Dorje Drakden, more commonly known as Nechung

Later, when the ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden was imposed and practitioners were required to give up their practice, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche appeared to have conceded and publicly ceased the practice. However, when Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche entered Clear Light, his attendants found a bag on him. In this bag was a Dorje Shugden ladö, the heart crystal given to those who have received the Dorje Shugden sogtae or life entrustment initiation. It was kept together with a picture. It thus transpired that despite outer appearances, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had kept his faith in Dorje Shugden and had kept Dorje Shugden close to him. Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche had been practicing Dorje Shugden secretly despite the ban on the practice, holding his faith in the protector until the end of his physical form.

The story of Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s achievements during his lifetime are incredible and goes to show just how closely the Dharma protector Dorje Shugden aids sincere practitioners in their spiritual lives. Just like a scholar of the highest caliber who became skilled through the attainment of the teachings (and not just rote learning), Dorje Shugden personally assisted Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche to overcome doubt in the teachings and excel in his studies, without the worry of material needs. Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s unwavering faith in Dorje Shugden, due to his clairvoyance and abilities as a Dharma teacher, led him to practice Dorje Shugden in secret, keeping the sacred commitments made when he received the life entrustment initiation. Despite the ban on Dorje Shugden, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche continued his practice, show great devotion and faith. His story is inspiring example of what it means to be a spiritual practitioner with integrity and perseverance.

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  1. I am moved by the closeness shared between Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche and Protector Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden’s previous life was the attained Master, Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen and before that a long line of reincarnate Masters, including Panchen Sonam Drakpa. As such I am not surprised that Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche was able to learn directly from Dorje Shugden. No other Protector has this ability to teach as Dorje Shugden does.

    Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche displayed such compassion when he publicly stopped his Shugden practises but continue to practise in private. This enabled him to remain in his monastery to continue teaching the Dharma thus keeping Je Tsongkapa’s teaching alive to benefit many when it was needed the most.

    Thank you for this inspiring article of a true practitioner and may the ban on Dorje Shugden be swiftly lifted to stop further negative karma being created that prevents so many from receiving Dorje Shugden’s beneficial practises.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I havent heard of other Dharma Protectors insisting that the practitioner questions them. Its usually shut up and do as your told haha

    This story reminds me of the way Shugden receives tsok when in trance? He picks up a vajra and bell to accept it and does rituals and whatnot, where other protectors cut it with a sword. I was told that reflects his previous lives as a highly accomplished lama.

    Well I dont see this as any different. You dont have other Dharma Protectors giving teachings or answering Dharma questions in this manner. And in this case, Dorje Shugden found another way to protect the Dharma which is to help propagate the teachings directly by clearing doubt so the blessings remain potent through the practitioners practice, understanding and in his mind.

  3. Dear

    Thank you for the interesting article. it is short and enjoyable to read. I have never heard of Trehor Gyupon before. The story of how Dorje Shugden helped to clear his financial trouble and doubt is inspiring. I am particularly impressed that Dorje Shugden was so patient with him and answer his questions although he tried to hide the biggest questions that created the doubt – which is so human because sometimes I also have my doubt. I feel that Dorje Shugden is acting like a father and a patient mentor to those who have faith in him and provided whatever help that we need.


  4. Thank you for giving the background and the close relationship of this Rinpoche and Dharmapala Dorje Shugden.

    Trehor Kyorpen Rinpoche is a master of meditation, known for his serious practice after he became a Lharampa Geshe in Tibet, and later in exile in India. It is said that After Trehor Kyorpen Rinpoche became a Geshe, he went looking for a cave on Lhumbo Tse, a very high mountain near Lhasa. He took very few things with him, Lamrim Chenmo, his robes and one monk-attendant. While he was searching for a suitable meditation cave, stones kept dropping near him, as if they were thrown towards him to get his attention. When he went into the cave, there was a skeleton in a meditative posture. Trehor Kyorpen Rinpoche then offered a mandala. After the mandala was offered, the skeleton collapsed and Trehor Kyorpen Rinpoche then decided to practice in that cave. This Rinpoche spent his life in practice and continued to do so when he left to India and stayed in Dalhousie.

    Knowing that this great practitioner Rinpoche has such a close relationship with Dorje Shugden in his earlier days, and that he didn’t give up his samaya with Dorje Shugden makes my heart leap with joy, and strengthen my faith in this Dharmapala who has done so so much to bring benefit to many in hopes of preservation and propogation of Buddhadharma.

    Thank you for your good work and please continue to share more about this Wisdom Protector with the world.

  5. Thank you for sharing this article. This is a heartwarming story showing us how Dorje Shugden could and would guide a sincere practitioner on his path of spirituality. Dorje Shugden would appeared in the dream of Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche, waited for him when Dorje Shugden took trance, and even debate and giving personal dharma teaching to him. It was very compassionate of Dorje Shugden to take care of Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche. Many people were able to benefit and learn dharma because of Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s attainment.

  6. I thoroughly love this story and do not believe that this is just folklore.

    When I first met Dorje Shugden years ago, I was told that he is the only Dharma Protector who would teach Dharma while taking possession of an oracle and I thought this was remarkable. Years later I would be one of the lucky ones to have received such a Dharma teaching from Dorje Shugden himself.

    The relationship we can have with Dorje Shugden is unlike the relationship we have with other deities. It is definitely more personal and intimate and it feels like it is a relationship that has spanned many lifetimes.

    Just read Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang’s ‘Nyirtoe’ and again you see how close thie Buddha gets with those who are committed to practice the Dharma and who have placed their trust in him.

  7. When one has gone through dreams, trance experiences and all the debate sessions as that experienced by Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche, it would be imposible to shake off the faith or stop one from practicing the very Buddha that has become the essence of one’s life.
    The faith attained here is clearly beyond the petty ban which is imposed.
    In the first place there are so many doubts and negative repercussions resulting from the execution of the ban against Dorje Shugden and its followers. If the ban was suppose to benefit people how come it created so much sufferings ?
    Those who practice Dorje Shugden must stand away from all the distractions and threats. We should stay focus and steadfast to the practice that has benefited us and many others. Just like the example shown by Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche.

  8. It sad that great lamas have to hide their practice. With the ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden and having it imposed by violence, have made it very difficult for anyone to practice. It is even more heartbreaking for the lamas with sogtae. They just can do no right here.

    Though he may be called a liar for seemingly to concede with the ban but in fact was practicing it secretly, I feel that he had no choice as his commitment is to his protector and enlightened being as well as to the propagation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings.

    Even in this situation all Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche wanted was for the continuation of the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.

    Dorje Shugden’s direct intervention in Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche case, generated great faith. And, it was this faith that Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche kept and continued the practice despite the ban. Indeed a spiritual practitioner with integrity and perseverance.

    Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche is a true inspiration to all and an example of what faith and devotion means.

  9. This is a nice and inspiring story about relationship between Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche with Dorje Shugden.
    Dorje Shugden not only appeared in the dream to ask Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche not to worry about the funds instead continue his studies. On the other hand, Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche immediately developed his great faith in Dorje Shugden when he had the biggest doubts which was not included but being asked by the Dorje Shugden while taking trance.
    Later, when Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche entered Clear Light, his attendants found a bag with Dorje Shugden ladö inside. This means that Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche have received the Dorje Shugden sogtae and kept Dorje Shugden close to him.

  10. Wow… this is an inspiring story to see how compassionate and caring Dorje Shugden is to help clear Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche’s many doubts on the teachings. It also goes to show who Dorje Shugden really is, which is the great scholar Lama who is Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen and previously Panchen Sonam Drakpa, which is what makes Dorje Shugden extraordinary because He is a great high Lama who cares for nothing more than to see Dharma being learnt and taught and spread further. So compassionate is this great Lama Protector Dorje Shugden to even appear to teach Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche.

    Where have we ever heard of any protector, enlightened and unenlightened, who teaches people the Dharma and clear their doubts and even debate with them so that they will learn?! No Dharma protector except Dorje Shugden does so because first and foremost He is a Lama.

    Secondly, this beautiful story just shows us that no matter what the CTA may say or do or ban Dorje Shugden, many great Lamas, who are real genuine Lamas will know the qualities of DOrje SHugden and will no doubt continue to do his practice in their hearts secretly. If really Dorje SHugden was an evil demon spirit, then why on earth would Dorje Shugden teach the Dharma and clear Rinpoche’s doubts and why would this Rinpoche still have his heart crystal with Him till the end of His life.

    If He really believe what Dalai Lama said about Dorje Shugden, he would have long time ago thrown away anything associated with DS. So again this and many other stories show us that the ban and discrimination on Dorje Shugden is indeed a huge political stunt and injustice political stunt by the Tibetan Leaders for their own selfish ulterior motives to gain power, wealth and temporary success.

    It is so silly of Dharmasala because up until now they are no where near in helping the Dalai Lama return to Tibet as promised by the Dalai Lama. How many more broken promises can Dharamsala make for the folish Tibetans to get sucked in? Sooner or later it is all going be revealed because the truth will always be revealed no how hard we try. Do they not know what is karma, are they not Buddhist to be this illogical and ridiculously ignorant? I sometimes ask.

  11. Thank you for sharing this information. From my reading about Dorje Shugden, I begin to see more of his deeds and his concerns, and I see that it is only for the benefit of the growth of the Dharma.

    I am familiar with many protectors in Tibetan Buddhism, but none quite like Dorje Shugden, in terms of his contribution to the Dharma by leading His Holiness the Dalai Lama out of Tibet, his assistance to various great teachers, and now this.

    Please share more of these in the future and thank you for keeping this website updated and informative.

  12. Dorje Shugden manifest help and assistance in so so many ways, but always bringing benefit to us all. It is very true that Dorje Shugden is the only Dharma Protector known to give dharma teachings.

    By giving teachings those teachings can be subject to scrutiny or even checked against the holy scriptures. Naturally as Dorje Shugden is a buddha, there will not be any fault with the teachings at all.

    I wonder if the nature of Dorje Shugden which is one with Manjushri, has to do with the myriad and varied ingenious ways of bringing the dharma to sentient beings.

  13. I came here to say one thing… Imagine Nechung debating like this!

    Imagine Tenma debating like this!

    Imagine Gadong debating like this!

    Only Dorjee Shugden can teach, debate and educate like this, no one else! That tells you very clearly he is a different caliber when compared to the other unenlightened deities that the Tibetan government relies on! It makes you wonder what kind of karma they have to discard, disregard and discriminate against an enlightened being, and to hold, treasure and rely on unenlightened deities!

  14. From this story, just as in Dorje Shugden’s prayer, Dorje Shugden is protecting our spiritual path.

    Dorje Shugden will always helps practitioner who are sincere. He would always show sign to practitioner who needs helps especially in Dharma. He encourage practitioner to continue dharma and never give up, and to repay Dorje Shugden’s kindness, all he asked from us is to read more dharma and transform. Dorje Shugden do not want anything from us, but, wanted us to learn more dharma and benefit more sentient beings.

    Dorje Shugden even know what is the doubt that Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche will have when he study Panchen Sonam Drakpa’s texts. Dorje Shugden understand clearly the mind of practitioner so well and thus He taught Trehor Gyurpon Rinpoche during the trance and even debate with Trehor Rinpoche to get Rinpoche more understanding on the text. Dorje Shugden is truly the Dharma King. How many oracle in trance could debate and teach in Dharma? I don’t think any of the oracle.

    This story have motivated me to continue my dharma learning despite facing so many life problems, and trust Dorje Shugden all the way.

  15. 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
    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.


  16. 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.

  17. 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.
    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.” Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians (1)

  18. 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

  19. 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
    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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. This is a very touching story, it shows how compassionate Dorje Shugden is in protecting a real Dharma practitioner. As long as what you are doing is of benefit to the lineage, Dorje Shugden will do whatever he could to help you in achieving that. This is my own experience too.

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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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