The WeChat Effect on 2016 Tibetan General Elections

By: Steve Lee

  The article discusses the role of the Wechat platform in the recent Tibetan elections held within the exiled community in India. The apparent popularity of the Tibetan Wechat platform is due to its voice messaging function, which allows Tibetans from around the world to discuss political issues. But even on Weechat there is discrimination based on one’s religion as perpetuated by Tibetan leadership. In the article, it clearly states that some Tibetan political chat groups have barred Dorje Shugden practitioners from becoming members of these groups. This shows that Dorje Shugden has become a politicized issue when there was no issue to begin with. There is no connection between the practice of Dorje Shugden and the political issues being discussed within these chat rooms. This is clear evidence of religious discrimination of the highest order as perpetuated by the Dorje Shugden ban. If there was no ban, there would be no need to discriminate against Dorje Shugden practitioners in this manner. What democratic country or persons would block people from any discussion regarding voting of a new leader on the basis of their religion? No one in the democratic countries except the Tibetans under the Exiled Government of Tibet would discriminate in this manner. Yet the Tibetan leaders like to proclaim there is no ban against Shugden people.  It is due to the fact that Tibetans embrace the ban on Dorje Shugden with an almost mindless zeal that there is such discrimination, which is rampant within their community. Why would you ban a group of your own people only based on their religious beliefs? On the other hand, the Tibetan elections is an attempt to implement democracy within the exiled community. So, how does banning Dorje Shugden practitioners from political discussions for the betterment of their countrymen on Tibetan chat groups adhere with the spirit of democracy? Hence, in the best interest of the Tibetan community at large, it would be best to be inclusive regardless if a person is Dorje Shugden practitioners or not, in order to be truly united and democratic. But there is no democracy from the Tibetan leaders for their own people.  


The WeChat Effect on 2016 Tibetan General Elections

By Tenzin Dalha,


The Rise of New Media

Free media has long been recognized as a cornerstone of democracy and plays a vital role in influencing political discourse during elections. Free and balanced traditional media (print and broadcast) foster transparency and the dissemination of important electoral information. The rise of new media such as WeChat provides further avenues and possibilities for constructive public participation, information and knowledge sharing and inclusion and empowerment. Both traditional and new media can play the vital role of a watchdog while serving as a campaign platform and a forum for public debate, ultimately strengthening democracy. In the recent Tibetan general elections, both Sikyong candidates and their supporters maintained active Facebook pages and WeChat groups. New media, especially WeChat, is widely credited in playing a major role in promoting awareness ahead of the vote. For instance, WeChat changed the way the candidates and their campaigners interacted with citizens, providing unprecedented opportunities for a two-way dialogue and interaction. Tibetan netizens are increasingly turning to social media platforms for election news and related developments. Additionally, more and more people are also using smart phones to follow news and information. The increasing access to internet around the globe has further encouraged many candidates and citizens to employ various new media tools to directly engage in lively debate. At its best, new media embodies the spirit of democracy, enabling citizens to hold candidates and representatives accountable, monitor electoral process, and engage in political debate. However, this vehicle of participatory electorate is not without challenges, among which are issues of ethics and integrity and despite the dramatic expansion of technology, there are still many groups, such as the elderly, the illiterate and the poor, who have limited or no access to these resources.  

Elections, Voting and Effect of WeChat

While WeChat offers many benefits of connecting, bonding and bridging the communication gap between Tibetans, it also creates significant obstacles. The growing popularity of applications like WeChat shows the continued wish of the Tibetan people throughout the world to remain interconnected breaking down geographical and political boundaries. Although WeChat has become legitimate medium for social interaction incorporating private and public lives, the safety of the application and the security over shared contents is everyone’s concern. When Tencent first launched WeChat in 2011, nobody could have guessed the role it would play in the Tibetan general elections. Even as the 2016 Tibetan elections drew near, a large number of Tibetan were already using the app. Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s devolution of political responsiblities, the election in exile, particularly that of Sikyong (formerly known as Kalon Tripa), has generated greater interest and debate among the Tibetan diaspora around the world. Since WeChat is prominently a voice message based function it empowers a large number of people including those who cannot read or write to view their thoughts directly and engage with the community at large. Beginning from the date of declaration of the electoral process by the exile based Tibetan Election Commission under the Central Tibetan Administration, WeChat groups began to form into small forums and soon developed into a force to reckon with as a platform for campaigning and discussion. Frequent users of WeChat created chat groups ranging from specific support groups of their respective choice of candidates for Sikyong to groups for general discussions on the elections. Most of the chat groups have at least 100 members with some group having as many as 500 members. Considering the fact that the Tibetan electorate is scattered in 13 countries and that these chat groups include members from India and abroad, WeChat groups gained considerable traction in the election campaigns. Some of the more prominent chat groups are: Gangchenling, Sikyong 2016 (2016 Sikyong Debate) U-Che-Ling (Forum for U-Tsang Parliamentarian Debate), Voe-due Lengtak (Forum for Election Debate), Penpa Tsering for Sikyong, Khata Tsokpa (Messenger Community) and Voe-Mi-Durup (Voters’ Forum). These groups are well organised and have a president and vice-president who conduct discussions in an orderly manner. In most cases, the conveners, just like the members live in different corners of world and follow rules and regulation to ensure smooth discussion without unwanted disruptions or unhealthy interruptions. Any member can invite any Tibetan into the group. Some groups made a rule that an invitee must provide brief self-introduction and vow that they were not followers of Dorji Shugden. Unconstructive members or members who indulge in obscene or unrelated conversations and break rules were warned with a yellow card and if required were expelled from the group. Debates and discussions were held on various topics of public importance and speakers were also invited to share their thoughts and interact with the members. Most of the speakers were candidates running for Tibetan Parliamentary elections. Parliamentary candidate including Dhardon Sharling,Tenzin Phuntsok, Lhakpa Tsering, Dawa Rinchen, Sonam Dorjee, Tenzin Jampyang, Doctor Nyamgyal Qusar, Jampa Choephel and Mingyur Dorjee participated in such debates and explained their reasons for standing for the elections. Sikyong candidate Penpa Tsering also took part in these WeChat debates. These intensive debates and discussions, from almost every household to social gatherings to both online and offline platforms, imply the growth and progress of the nascent Tibetan democracy. Tenzin Phuntsok, an independent candidate for the Tibetan Parliament in Exile from U-Tsang Province who participated in nearly five such WeChat groups said, “WeChat has been useful medium of communication in reaching out to people to explain why I was running in the elections. It provided me a wide opportunity to seek support from the members in WeChat. The fact that I secured 33rd position with 804 votes in the primary elections without field campaign and support from any political party or association is clear evidence of the effect my participation in the WeChat discussions had on my performance. Had I also done field campaigns, I would have secured in the top 20 list at least.” For many, mobile apps like WeChat these days have become an indispensable in their social life. News and information spreads like wildfire on social media even as the mainstream media struggles to catch up with the pace. While the general elections in mind social media apps can be instrumental in mobilizing Tibetans, especially the youth to vote and participate in political proceedings. Such involvement will not only help in making the elections successful but also create a sense of belonging and trust among the people; further connecting the diaspora to the Central Tibetan Administration and the policy making process which are all fundamental requirements for any democracy. However WeChat can also serve as a platform for the dissemination of false or misleading information as it lacks gatekeeping and verification processes of traditional media. The convergence of traditional and new media as means of information dissemination has raised questions regarding where to draw the line between regulation and censorship and how to balance freedom of expression with inflammatory and provocative speech. Nonetheless, WeChat has become an integral component of the new media landscape and an important outlet for candidates, election campaigners and citizens. Despite some of the drawbacks detailed above, increased worldwide internet access will only further the importance of new media in democracy and elections. Citizens have more avenues than ever to reach out to their candidates and share information thus presenting new opportunities and challenges for the promotion of democracy and possibilities for democratic consolidation around world. Tsangdor a young voter who is currently studying in Chennai said, “It was great to see so many youngster in the queue to cast their votes. The Social media aspects have been great, it feels like everyone is discussing it on WeChat and Facebook. Even this morning, people were sharing their voting status and updating photos on their way to the polling stations. It wasn’t like this five years ago”. The scale of participation, in both numbers and intensity, in the preliminary and final elections indicates an impressive growth as compared to the previous general election of 2011. It is a known fact that Tibetans both as individuals and as a community are being targeted with some of the most sophisticated malware attacks and cyber surveillance by the Chinese government. As long as we equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills to defend against such attacks and understand the threats involved, technology can be one of most powerful tools in our struggle for freedom. *Tenzin Dalha is a Visiting Fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Tibet Policy Institute

Click to enlarge

Source:   Interesting to see the Dalai Lama’s personal oracle (Protector goddess Tema) taking trance in Nechung Monastery, Dharamsala recently (2016) and angrily throwing rice at Sikyong Lobsang Sangye and Penpa Tsering and other members of the Exiled Tibetan government standing behind them. The goddess is very angry and this is her way of chastising Penpa Tsering and Sikyong by the wrathful and violent throwing of rice at them. Towards the end she tugs at them violently. You can see Penpa Tsering (Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile) comically blocking himself in fear as the rice is thrown at him. She is openly showing her displeasure at them with the public as witness. Looks like all the corruption, selfish games, lying and deception of these two and their cohorts has angered the goddess. Things do not bode well for the exiled Tibetan government of Dharamsala. Even their own protectors are displeased now. This video was taken by people who are not happy with how the recent Tibetan elections were conducted in such a corrupt and dishonest manner. The Dalai Lama’s own protector goddess takes trance of the oracle and shows this much displeasure. It is a clear indication that she is not pleased and it must be very embarrassing for Penpa Tsering and Sikyong Losang Sangye. A further testament of their corrupt government methods.  

Dalai Lama’s oracle Goddess chastises Penpa Tsering and Sikyong Lobsang Sangye 2016

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  1. My goodness, what is happening in Dharamsala for Tema to start throwing rice at and being so displeased with the two “top” politicians. Even the camera person had to momentarily avoid the flying rice!

  2. It’s about time the corrupt leaders of Tibetan government were publicly embarrassed as we Tibetans are sick of them. They do so many bad things and now their karma is coming back. Even the Dalai Lama’s own protectors scolding them publicly. More need to see this.

  3. A democratic ‘government’ that excludes a certain portion of their own community due to difference in Religion? How is that democratic at all? Another clear sign the cta have failed their people and yet they dare to publicly declare such discrimination in their official website.

  4. Why do you not allow people to share their views on the ‘leaders’ of the Tibetans in exile JUST BECAUSE THEY PRACTICE DORJE SHUGDEN?

    Why such blatant discrimination against people because of their religion? Why does the Tibetan government in exile perpetuate this hatred and prejudice based on religion?

  5. I wonder how people like Tenzin Peljor will view this? It certainly is embarrassing as Tenzin Peljor is paid by Tibetan govt in exile to carry on his smear campaign against Shugden people. The days are numbered.

  6. I am very shock but excited to see the video above that the Dalai Lama’s personal oracle (Protector goddess Tema) taking trance in Nechung Monastery, Dharamsala recently (2016) and angrily throwing rice at Sikyong Lobsang Sangye and Penpa Tsering and other members of the Exiled Tibetan government standing behind them.

    Thanks to let the world know about this.

    This is definitely not the blessing style of the protector hence from Sikyong Lobsang Sangye face we can know how embarrass he is.

    May the CTA stop their unethical ways soon

  7. What does throwing rice signify? Is there a deeper meaning?

  8. @Ben,

    The deities taking trance have the power of mantra. Since mantra is sound, it has to be ‘transferred’ onto an object to do it’s job. Therefore they blow on rice to transfer the power of mantra onto the rice. The rice is then thrown. When the rice hits the intended object, it transfers the blessings of the mantra to the object.

    In Sikyong and Penpa Tsering’s case, although the protectors are very angry at them, they are still blessing them to have a change of mind by throwing the rice on them and thereby transferring blessings.

  9. An individual or entity will only do wrong and continue to do wrong when they know they are able to get away with the crime in hand. Religious discrimination is something completely unacceptable in modern civilization. How is it then possible for the blatant and outright discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners, leaders and centers continue? I believe it is because it is endorsed by the Tibetan authority and because the general public permits it.

    Actually, this is a reflection of the hypocrisy because how can developed nations like USA, UK, Australia, India etc stand for democracy but permit individuals suffer religious discrimination within the boundaries of their country. The authorities and people of these countries should disallow the breach of fundamental human right on their soil by stopping this ban on Dorje Shugden that is causing injustice and suffering amongst Tibetan refugees that live within their borders.

    Humanity is the heritage of each and everyone of us. Hence, it is our responsibility to protect and preserve it during this degenerate age.

    Thank you for this article about the dirt behind Tibetan politics

  10. Sorry state of affairs. Social media platforms can be such a great and inspirational tool for the better if utilized properly. Alas the Tibetan Administration has once again found a means to subvert something that can be beneficial. This barring of Dorje Shugden practitioners has a severe impact on the political health of the Tibetan refugee population. By excluding Dorje Shugden practitioners, not just from Wechat groupings, but from Tibetan society in general, they are no representing their people, which is what they should be doing since they don’t even have a country base any more.

    Dorje Shugden practitioners, despite being Tibetans are ostracized. It’s a sorry state when the government itself discriminates its own citizens. This sounds more like a modern-day dictatorship than anything else.

  11. Dear Steve Lee

    Thank you for the article. It is indeed interesting to see that social media and public chat rooms played an increasingly influential role in the recent Sikyong election. I like the idea of people can freely discuss their opinions and contribute to society positively. Howver, one thing really threw me off. I don’t understand the reason why some WeChat group screen their participants based on their belief? So if I were a Tibetan and a Dorje Shugden practitioner, my opinion does not count? Am I not human who have the ability to provide intelligent opinion and contribute positively to the community?

    I think these WeChat group coordinators made a huge mistake for discounting Dorje Shugden practitioners from contributing their thoughts and opinion on the election process.


  12. WeChat has become an integral component of the new media landscape and important for candidates, election campaigners and citizens can contribute their thoughts and opinion on the election process. Social media platforms can be so powerful now..

  13. Well, what can i say? The Tibetan should not just embrace WeChat but they should also join the bandwagon of real democracy. Why embrace the globalism that WeChat promises and not really embrace the spirit of globalism itself. That would mean that the Dorje Shugden ban has no place in the future of the Tibetan people. The Tibetans are already stateless and they should be as united as possible and not destabilize what is essentially a flimsy Tibetan leadership. Time to get rid of the ban and embrace true globalism and not just the outer trappings of one.

  14. Everyone can see it clearly except for the people who follow the Dalai Lama and CTA blindly. The social media is perhaps the best (no matter how inconvenient) expression of free speech which is the cornerstone of democracy.

    A community that stands idly by when its leaders curb free speech must accept the eventuality that they will lose other aspects of their freedom from the same government. And those people who bar Shugden practitioners from participating in forums on matters affecting all levels of Tibetan society are just proving to the world that the so-called ‘Tibetan Democracy’ is merely a ruse to get sponsorships and funding from well meaning individuals and corporations who wish for the Tibetan people to live under a fair and representative government.

  15. Well this just show that with technology, news and information is gonna get circulated a lot faster! Sorry CTA, your schemes, lies, corruption days are numbered. Sooner or later it will all come back to them.

    The CTA is no where near a democratic administration. It is very one sided, totalitarian and people can see through it especially the educated young Tibetan youths… the next generation. And I think they are not going to tolerate any more BS from the CTA. On this planet, there has never been a democratic country that persecutes their own people due to their faith? They sound exactly like their enemy which they condemn all the time… China. But what’s worst is that at least China admits they are communist, but CTA hide behind the façade of being democratic yet they are not. How long are they gonna go on this way and pretend people cannot see… sorry but we all see it!

  16. Our leaders are still using old way n this will not work now. 60 years trying to control us bt now we have WeChat so we don’t even need to travel anymore to spread the news. If our leader spend those years trying to improve life situation maybe now we will like to them. Bt now less n less reason to to like to them.

  17. With the advance of new media like Wechat, the government can no longer hide information from the mass and try to fool the mass by telling lies. Many corruptions and scandals for example the rumored murder conducted by Kalon Penpa Tsering spread like wildfire in Wechat, the video of the Oracle taking trance of Dalai Lama’s protectors scolding Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay for their corruption and incapability also first spread through Wechat, and to then to other media like wildfire. The Tibetan leadership has to wake up that this is no longer a feudal society, the government also can no longer control information, instead they are constantly under scrutiny, so either they change or go bust.

  18. Tibetan leadership or the CTA has created such a situation that Tibetans are against Tibetans. How wonderful, China doesn’t have to do much to split Tibetans up, the Tibetans are doing a good job with 2 Panchen Lamas, 2 Karmapas, Shugden vs Non-Shugden, Rangzen vs Umaylam, and on top of that, regionalism. I guess losing their country hasn’t taught them anything because corruption, nepotism and cronyism in the exile community is rampant.

    There is no connection between the practice of Dorje Shugden and the political issues being discussed within these chat rooms. It’s funny that China that was accused of supressing religion is now restoring and providing financial aid to the monasteries, whereas CTA is destroying Tibetan Buddhism from ‘within’ with all these issues. How do people choose between the 2 karmapas, Shugden vs non-Shugden etc? On top of no religious freedom (although there is continuous claim that there is no ban), people are ban from being socially active as Shugden practitioners are shunned, now even on Wechat. Tibetan Shugden practitioners suffer so much discrimination despite CTA claim or aiming to be democratic.

    I’m glad the gods reprimanded the leaders. It is time they wake up and realise that they cannot fool the public.

  19. The Tibetan leadership have been fooling their people because they look down on them and they disrespect the Tibetans, thinking that they are uneducated and backwards. But in fact, with all the advanced technologies and platforms, it’s very easy for them to get information nowadays.

    The leaders should really stop exploiting their own people, if they can’t even get the Tibetan’s support, how are they
    supposed to run Tibet? Unless all they have ever wanted is money and power, they don’t care about Tibet and the Tibetans at all.

  20. Internet gives us many opportunities – good and bad. This is definitely a good one. The ban has brought so much distress to Dorje Shugden practitioners, their friends and families.

    And it gives proof that there is a ban! The corruption of the Tibetan Government gets exposed and many more people learn about what is happening.

    It is great news that more young people get interested and the news are accessible wherever we go. It is time for the ban to come down and the old system being replaced by a democratic system who doesn’t discriminate and watch out for their own benefit but a system for all the Tibetan people.

    Thank you for sharing the WeChat effect. comes into my mind and how much i can learn from your guys hard work and interesting sharings.

  21. It is because of the advancement of communication methods, we are now able to pass messages so easily across countries and boarders. It is great to know that the Tibetans are all very concern with the elections. At the same time, with them discussing through what is happening, it shows that many of them know the oppression and how the government should be improving themselves. They have been trying to control how the Tibetans think and act for the past 50 years, now with the advancement of technology, it shows that the CTA have to proceed with time and no longer be so backwards in their thoughts so that they will not lose that little respect that the Tibetans have left towards them. They have to change their act and improve on their ways, not trying to force people to see and think in a certain manner that they deem correct.

  22. Tibetans people have lost 20 odd valuable years for chasing shugden followers and they are wasting their best years in chasing other oracles. They are good in chasing Holy Sprits but no good in chasing human beings like Chineses.

  23. Democracy has to be implemented and executed. It has been 50 years since the setup of the CTA; they have received generous help and assistance externally including millions of dollars from the USA meant for democracy.

    The banning of Dorje Shugden practises, the changing of policies for selfish agenda, the restrictions of travelling, etc. are not signs of democracy. Also, there is the restriction of speech which is evident in the election process where Mr. Lukar Jam couldn’t continue to campaign due to his different view from His Holiness.

    The CTA has created so much disharmony and segregation within the Tibetan community since the banning of Dorje Shugden practices than before for not executing democracy to the extent to disappoint their state protector and to risk His Holiness’s life! The disappointment of the protector is valid and for the benefit of the Tibetan people.

    The CTA should buck up their actions and take serious considerations of their protector’s advice, and most importantly to execute democracy and do their work in solving the Tibetan cause (whatever it is).

  24. Just elect your own wisdom and compassion.

  25. The internet and social apps, are really bringing to light all the happens behind closed doors.

    CTA policies have been self serving all this while, this includes CTA’s gung ho attitude to implement the Dorje Shugden ban, in fact I think they never thought much about implementing the ban. Not thinking for a person in power is damaging to the country, the people and the institution they represent.

  26. A social media platform is being used to wide-spread the news over the world. It is fast, quick and enables everyone to discuss openly on these platforms especially in WeChat, Facebook, Twitter or etc etc. Nevertheless, we may still have to consider the reliable of the information. Believe the information is very much dependent to the readers, who are really intended to seek for the truth.

  27. This article opens my eyes to the mentality of Tibetan. A community who can embrace an illogical and baseless ban on enlightened Dharmapal, Dorje Shugden with an almost mindless zeal. Considering that this is the same Dharmapala propitiated by their forefathers, erudite high lamas, past and present Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas, yet they decide to follow blindly a discrimination so harsh that breaks families.

    Perhaps, the discrimination and further instigation by CTA is a guise to ban freedom of speech because if the ugly truth of Tibetan leadership and their heavy-handed tactics were disclosed, it will be difficult for them to pull wool over the eyes of Tibetans. A government that attempt to implement democracy within the exiled community yet banning Dorje Shugden practitioners from political discussions for the betterment of their countrymen on Tibetan chat groups. It is certainly a double standard practice, nowhere near being democratic.

    Tibetan electorate is scattered in 13 countries. In the effort to embrace technology, chat groups were setup to foster closer relationships between the people and these chat groups include members from India and abroad. While it is impressive that the chat groups are well organised and have a president and vice-president who conduct discussions in an orderly manner, but it is equally disappointing on how some groups made rule that an invitee must provide brief self-introduction and vow that they were not followers of Dorji Shugden.

    Social media and new technology, like WeChat can serve as a platform for new channel of interactions among people. It is useful to collect information and garner trust (or vote). But beware of dirty techniques used to dissemination of false or misleading information as it lacks gatekeeping and verification processes of the traditional media. Considering the lack of reasoning of the general Tibetan, this could be misused to cause more suffering on Shugdenpa.

  28. This is certainly interesting to see how modern technology is greatly influencing the electoral for Sikyong. As more and more Tibetan-In-Exile embrace modern technology, more information will be available, including the wake up call to the antics of CTA. I would dare say that modern technology is a bane that CTA is not prepared for. It is still living in its own world, expecting their subjects to toe the line and thinking information are still kept secret.

    I do wonder however, why had the power still remain with Sikyong Losang Sangye and Penpa Tsering for this election? All I can guess would be that even with the Whatsapp chats or other platforms, the Tibetans-in-exile are still new to the ways of politics and have not found their voice yet. The youths who would play an important role in the years to come should really educate themselves on the political system of successful countries and their policies to unite their people. They should learn to be people centric and not treat anyone as fools to be controlled. Most of all to practice human rights and freedom of choice. Then, only then will they gain the force of the people’s approval to do great things.

    I see that the youths will not be as entrenched in religious beliefs as their older generation but I do hope they will maintain religious freedom for all without any illogical ban as with Protector Dorje Shugden.

    The modern ways of communication can be progress if used to disseminate information with good intention but can be also mistreated by unscrupulous people or organisation with ill intent. May the minds who uses, be blessed to be always mindful to others’ happiness.

  29. Social media has definitely made it easier for border-less communications. With communication comes, knowledge except that one must be savvy i dealing with the information coming in. There are a lot of hackers out there out to create mischief. There are also many using social media in a very negative way.

    But, looking at how the election in the Tibetan community in India has come along, it is clear that the younger generation of Tibetans are learning to be more proactive and educating themselves on the web. It will take time for the new Tibetans to mature politically, so therefore, unfortunately, the CTA will still be up to their tricks to get things done their way.

    So, a simple app like wechat can make so much difference. Hopefully, there will be more positive advancement rather than a move for mischief.

  30. 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.


  31. 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.

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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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