Author Topic: The readers’ editor on... Buddhism and organised lobbying  (Read 3115 times)


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The readers’ editor on... Buddhism and organised lobbying
« on: September 01, 2015, 04:26:57 AM »
“The net effect of your biased and harmful accusations is to abuse and alienate innocent Shugden Buddhists,” wrote one emailer. “Instead, why don’t you honestly assess the claims of Shugden Buddhists?” So I turned to an acknowledged authority, Professor Robert Barnett, director of modern Tibetan studies at Columbia University.

“Their campaign depends on the implication that a ban by the Dalai Lama on Shugden practice exists throughout the Tibetan Buddhist community,” he said. “There is no ban in that broad sense, though some Tibetan organisations are said to have at certain times imposed such bans on their own members, which is indeed a matter of concern. But the Dalai Lama did issue a [Shugden] prohibition to those who ask to take religious teachings with him. This could be loosely termed a ban, but it was a requirement that applied only to those people who ask to study religious texts with him. The ISC literature does not acknowledge this distinction.”

Discriminatory statements by some in the exile Tibetan administration had not helped and he believed the Dalai Lama should have done more to clarify that Shugden worshippers should not be discriminated against. “But, regrettably, the Shugden campaign has tended to elide and confuse those questions and to focus on political, personal and sectarian issues which are extraordinarily provocative and incendiary.” All this had closed off most avenues for reasonable discussion.

There was no firm evidence, he said, of Chinese funding or involvement in Shugden protests organised in the west, but there was very strong evidence of significant Chinese involvement in Shugden organisations in India and Tibet. “NKT and its sister groups have formally linked themselves to those exile groups in India at times, including at least one joint statement and campaign. Leaders of the exile Shugden groups in India frequently travel to China and have formal receptions with Chinese officials, in which they make public statements.”

But more significant, he felt, was the fact that Shugden groups in the west expressed the same core views as the Chinese authorities and used the same specific strategy, and often the same terminology, notably the decision to focus their campaigns on attacking the Dalai Lama and describing him as “false”. He believed that a convergence of strategic objectives and methods was evident.

It was not, however, correct to say that Shugden followers in the west believed in an evil spirit. “Novice members are taught that Shugden is a caring and enlightened figure. So for those followers, the sect and its teachings are not extremist,” he said. The ISC, which claims not to be an NKT organisation but clearly is largely composed of and led by its members, operates by a kind of strong manipulation, he said, which is also central to its social media campaigns. “Whenever challenged by the media, the protesters claim to be conducting a human rights campaign, as they are entitled to, but in practice they carry out a campaign of personal abuse against a prominent religious leader.”

Professor Barnett is frank about the fact that there are no money given to Western Dorje Shudgen organisation  and HH Dalai Lama could and is the one who can make things very clear for everyone about the Dorje Shudgen issue. HHDL can end the ban and discrimination towards Dorje Shugden.


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Re: The readers’ editor on... Buddhism and organised lobbying
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 09:36:59 AM »
Professor Barnett is indeed a very wise man.

All these problems, discrimination, and fear are all created because of this "ban" on the practices of Dorje Shugden.

Why is it that previously there are no problems with regards to the practice, yet only in recent years there is an issue with regards to the practice? Many people have kept quite and wanted to only do their practice in quite. Yet, things like that is not granted to them. They would receive threats and boycotted by their communities. What for? Just for a so called "ban" that does not bring any benefit to anyone at all. It only brings pain to the Tibetans. Families and friends are being split up because of the ban. Yet there are no benefits to the situation apart from pain.