Tibetan refugee youth speaking up
China official says Dalai Lama ‘making a fool’ of Buddhism
Mon, Mar 28 13:13 PM BST
BEIJING/DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) – Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is “making a fool” of Tibetan Buddhism with suggestions he may not reincarnate, or reincarnate as something inappropriate, and the faithful are not buying it, a Chinese official wrote on Monday.
The comments came as early election results put the leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, on course for a second term, part of a strategy to sustain a decades-old struggle for greater autonomy for its Chinese-ruled homeland.
China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist. He denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.
The animosity between the two sides, and their rivalry for control over Tibetan Buddhism, is at the heart of the debate about reincarnation.
Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.
China says the tradition must continue and its officially atheist Communist leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a right inherited from China’s emperors.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning monk has suggested his title could end when he dies. China accuses him of betraying, and being disrespectful towards, the Tibetan religion by saying there might be no more reincarnations.
Writing in the state-run Global Times, Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China’s parliament, said the Dalai Lama had to respect tradition.
“The Dalai Lama continues to proclaim his reincarnation is a ‘purely religious matter’ and something only he can decide, but he has no way to compel admiration from the faithful,” wrote Zhu, known for his hardline stance on Tibet.
“He’s been proclaiming he’ll reincarnate as a foreigner, as a bee, as a ‘mischievous blond girl’, or even proposing a living reincarnation or an end to reincarnation,” he added.
“All of this, quite apart from making a fool of Tibetan Buddhism, is completely useless when it comes to extricating him from the difficulty of reincarnation,” wrote Zhu, who was involved in the past in Beijing’s failed efforts to talk to the Dalai Lama’s representatives.
A senior aide to the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Taklha, said there was “no way” Tibetans would accept a successor appointed by China. “The Chinese are following an absurd agenda and we continue to reject it,” he said.
In 2011, the Dalai Lama called on exiled Tibetans to nominate an elected leader, or “Sikyong”, to lead the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Sangay was on track to win re-election with over 65 percent backing in the March 20 vote.
“I hope to do much better. Both on political terms, by holding dialogue with the Chinese, and working on welfare issues in the next five years,” he told Reuters.
China does not recognise the CTA, which is based in India’s Himalayan town of Dharamsala and represents nearly 100,000 exiled Tibetans living in 30 countries including India, Nepal, Canada and the United States.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Rupam Jain in New Delhi, Abhishek Madhukar in Dharamsala; Editing by Nick Macfie and Douglas Busvine)
The commentary below was submitted by a member of the Tibetan community who wishes to remain anonymous due to the potential backlash they may experience as a result of penning an article of this nature. Although published here, it does not necessarily represent the views of this blog site.
The article does not say anything new per se and it’s a rehash of old stories. I see their strategy as using a world renown brand like Reuters to regularly portray China as a bully.
This article seems to be preparing the world for perhaps an impending succession of the Tibetan leadership. It could be that all these articles are sent into circulation for that purpose.
If we were to respond, it would be to steer attention into its right focus i.e. state that it’s not really about the Dalai Lama versus the Chinese government. This 50 year old rivalry has stained the true practice of Buddhism and also neglected the future of the exiled Tibetans. By pointing the finger at China all the time, the real problem has avoided attention.
We will say this is merely politics and show that both sides are still mixing religion and politics. But China does not hide its politics and is bound by a need to keep a vast country consisting of many tribes to work in harmony.
The Tibetan leadership on the other hand disguises its hand and pretends to be about Buddhism but in fact the religion is a tool.
Looking at the 50 year history in exile, how much have the Tibetan leadership done for Buddhism?
We may even venture to propose that the Dalai Lama’s Dorje Shugden ban is intended to create dissension and unrest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and hence problems for China. It’s a political move and has been successful. China cannot afford unrest especially in view of its ongoing issues with Taiwan, Hong Kong and the regions along the Sino-Indian border. The Dalai Lama knows that and yet does not hesitate to gamble the religion as a political move.
I think one need not side China to highlight that Tibetan leadership is the more cunning of the two.
In fact, with the way the Tibetan leadership have been bewitching the global community we see that the International Shugden Community (ISC) protests are in fact the last bastion to protect the sanctity of the religion and nothing to do with politics. And apart from China’s quarrel with the Dalai Lama, we see that Tibet under the Dalai Lama is still very much a feudal theocracy pretending to be a democracy. If we put China factor for a while and look at the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) then it’s not a gruesome picture but a more accurate one when not overshadowed by geopolitics.
In summary we don’t side with China and say both are bad, but the CTA is inflicting the most damage on the religion and taking the whole world for a fool. Don’t get me wrong as I don’t have any negative feelings towards the Dalai Lama, but there are many within the exiled Tibetan communities around the world who do not agree with the Dalai Lama’s middle way, style of governance where religion and state are intermixed, the Dorje Shugden controversy not resolving amicably, and the Dalai Lama’s government not making firm attempts to reach out to Beijing. Beijing is our hope for betterment of Tibetans inside Tibet. As generous as many countries have been to accept Tibetan refugees, we can do nothing for the six millions Tibetans in Tibet. That is up to China. We have to make concerted effort to make friends with China regardless of the West penalizing China on human rights abuses, the same countries who then turn around and sign trillion dollar deals with China.
Within the Tibetan communities my thoughts echo among the young and modern Tibetans who are held back by the elders for speaking out as it is seen as ‘against’ the Dalai Lama therefore bad karma and/or unpatriotic. Platforms like this website www.tsemrinpoche.com dare to voice the truth and what many Tibetan youths are thinking but not voicing on their own or openly because there will be backlash from our feudalistic exiled Tibetan leaders. I commend www.tsemrinpoche.com for the courage. Saying the Dalai Lama’s style of governance is feudal and needs to change has nothing to do with my respect and love for the Dalai Lama himself. He just does not comprehend the style of government we need now but that does not mean the Dalai Lama is bad. Tibetans outside of Tibet can see good governments and how they operate but our exiled government under the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala (affectionately called Dhasa) does not move with the times.
It’s been 50 years and there is no sign of a ‘deal’ being reached between Dhasa and China. All this while the Tibetans in Tibet linger and our refugees around the world assimilate and in the process lose our culture, religion and language. I am one of them that is losing my culture and language. I don’t even speak my native Tibetan well now I have assimilated into a country where everyone speaks English from birth.
For more interesting information:
- The Dorje Shugden category on my blog
- When Reuters becomes a tool of oppression
- China officially supports Dorje Shugden
- Reuters Anti-Dorje Shugden Report Backfires
- Reuters Investigation on Dorje Shugden Inaccurate?
- What you must know about China
- Dalai Lama, China & Dorje Shugden
- Dorje Shugden: My side of the story (多杰雄登：我这方面的说法)
- To Sum It Up
- Dorje Shugden people
- This happened in the USA
- I can speak up now about Shugden
- The Ethnics Groups of China
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