The Building Wanderers of Amsterdam

By | Jan 6, 2016 | Views: 594

Hossein from Libya in the room he shares with seven others

 

Rejected asylum seekers who refuse to leave and cannot do so, even if they wanted to

In North Amsterdam, just across the river from the central station, there is a neighbourhood of shipping containers. These containers are mostly used for storage, with the exception of a couple of crunchy (hippy?) design firms. One of these containers, on a quiet street at the edge of the neighbourhood, houses over thirty men. 

As I walk in, one of them shakes my hand and offers me an apple. Another one, Hossain from Libya, is happy to answer my questions. As I pull out my camera, he says: “Wait, don’t take a photo yet. I must arrange my things nicely.” He sits on his mattress, one among nine others on the floor of a room the size of a LUC single, “I must look like a good refugee.” 

 

Held Captive in Europe

Over 100 refugees were evicted from “de Vluchttoren” on September 30th, another abandoned building they had been squatting in for four months. After packing up their belongings and cleaning the premises, the group walked to City Hall demonstrating for change in the Netherland’s flawed asylum-seeking procedure, leaving the latest of their past fourteen temporary homes behind. A number of them found shelter in this container. 

Twelve thousand asylum applicants were rejected from the twenty-five thousand who applied in 2014. These thousands of rejectees have fallen into a grey area of Dutch law, and are now homeless and without means of earning a living. 

A common room where residents share meals

Pretend you are an asylee. After being rejected, you will be told that you are not to work and rent or buy property in the Netherlands. The key legal document which defines if you can be called a refugee, your rights and the legal obligations of states to you – the UN Convention Relating to Refugee Status – also prevents the Dutch authorities from deporting you back to your home country if the situation there is considered dangerous to your race, religion, membership in a social group or political opinion. 

The Netherlands deported 4,400 people last year, while 4,110 left voluntarily, the Volkskrant reported. 

At this point, you may want to travel to another country to try your luck at asylum there. With your papers or lack thereof, your travel is limited to Schengen countries. You soon learn that the Dublin Agreement – a regulation under the Geneva Convention that applies to all EU countries – bans you from applying for asylum in other EU countries if you were fingerprinted on arrival to the EU, which is the case for most asylum-seekers. Local municipalities insist that providing you with housing is not their responsibility either. You end up trapped in Europe, unable to work or find yourself accommodation, stuck in a system that seems to perfectly create an illegal immigrant. 

 

The Authorities Are Lost Themselves

Last November, the Council of Europe admonished the Netherlands for failing to provide basic amenities for rejected asylees who have not or cannot leave the country. Dutch policy makers scrambled to create a policy called Bed-Bath-Bread (BBB). The program began by turning an unused prison in Rotterdam into an accommodation centre. It lasted six months before evicting residents with a 48-hour notice.

The program has since revamped itself into two night accommodation centres in Amsterdam. The individuals I interviewed found these centres restraining. BBB residents enter the centre at 5pm and have to leave at 9am the next morning. Their night activities are restricted and they cannot leave the building between those hours. It also only has a capacity of 135 people. If a BBB resident fails to show up for more than two nights in a row, they stand to lose their spot and have to re-register. 

 

We Are Here

In 2012, a mixed group of a hundred asylum-seekers and rejectees named themselves “We Are Here” to form a stronger collective voice. The group gained national attention when they set up a makeshift tent camp in Amsterdam’s Diakonie gardens in 2012, but attention quickly waned and newspapers moved on to “fresher” topics.

Since then, We Are Here has found a loophole to put to good use in Amsterdam, their temporary solution – squatting in abandoned buildings. Squatting, or ‘Kraken’ in Dutch, was made popular in the housing shortages after the Second World War. A vacant building could be turned into an official squat by placing three things which signal domestic occupation: a bed, table and chair. Squatting became de jure illegal in the Netherlands in 2010. 

“They come and knock on the door but when they see us, they know we are refugees,” said Ahmed Omar, a former Vluchttoren resident who came to the Netherlands from Somalia seven years ago. The authorities seem to have developed an unspoken relationship with members of We Are Here and tend to turn a blind eye to refugee-filled squats. “They know it is better for us to be in here than out on the streets with normal people and tourists.” 

Ahmed and many other Vluchttoren residents wandered the streets of Amsterdam before finding another building to squat in. “We have moved from house to house, building to building, street to street. I may know Amsterdam better than my home country”, he said. 

Ahmed said he fled Somalia after being threatened by Al-Shabab for refusing to join their military forces. Upon hearing that Ahmed was in danger, his childhood best friend, a German citizen, gave Ahmed his passport which Ahmed then used to fly to France while pretending to be his friend. Ahmed applied for asylum in the Netherlands but was rejected shortly after. 

 

Vluchtgemeente

Ahmed came to LUC last month with other We Are Here members to screen a documentary about their situation. He volunteered to give a tour of their current squats – they are spread out through three squats in Amsterdam. 

The “Vluchtloods” group lives in a container office in Amsterdam Noord, close to IJ-Hallen flea market, the Smaragdgroep moves from church to church, but most members stay at “Vluchtgemeente”.

“Vluchtgemeente”, or refugee town, is a large building just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam Lelylaan station. Ironically, the building was formerly Amsterdam North-West’s City Hall. The width and structure of Vluchtgemeente is similar to the LUC building, but three storeys tall.

Women live on the ground floor in rooms that were formerly offices. Volunteers use the main conference room to conduct Dutch language classes, and large fundraising dinners happen in the cafeteria. 

Men, who form the majority of residents and refugees coming into the Netherlands, fill office cubicles on the second and third floor. Most residents have grouped their rooms geographically with the Sudanese staying with the Sudanese, and the Iraqis with the other Iraqis. 

Volunteers from the surrounding neighbourhood have stepped in to lend refugees a hand in setting up their living spaces. We Are Here has an active Facebook page that they use to request food donations and provision of other basic needs. Ahmed recalls an elderly retired electrician coming into the building in the first days to help the group wire the building and tap into the electricity. Others have donated mattresses, blankets and hotplates. Piles of donated bread and vegetables line a tabletop at the entrance and are a free-for-all for the Vluchtgemeente residents. At the moment, the residents are trying to set up Wi-Fi in the building.

Food is often pooled together and meals are communally cooked then shared.

Katy, a volunteer with We Are Here, says that things are more stable now. She remembers when the BBB program ended and refugees were out on the street. “It was in the winter and it was cold,” she told LUC students at the documentary screening. “I took someone into my house who kept trying to commit suicide because he was driving the rest of the group to suicide as well.” Katy has recently started studying basic administrative law to give her more autonomy in helping refugees with paperwork.

 

Political Expediency

The Netherlands is getting crowded. Some 24,000 refugees arrived in the Netherlands in 2014 and the Dutch cabinet expects 50,000 refugees to arrive this year. Feeling a strain on finances, the ruling coalition of the VVD and PVDA passed an agreement last month to reduce social security benefits for refugees and remove them from social housing priority lists. 

“Blame the immigrant” rhetoric and capitalising on fear is a political trick that is working to the favour of anti-refugee far-right Freedom Party (PVV). PVV, who won 15 seats in the most recent 2012 elections, are shooting up the polls amid the refugee crisis. A survey by daily De Telegraaf states that PVV could command up to 35 seats in the 150 seat lower house, if elections were held today. 

While Germany has agreed to take 40,000 refugees, France 30,000 and the UK 20,000, the Netherlands has agreed to 9,000, a figure proportionate to the population but does not account for a shrinking population of youth and a fertility rate below replacement ratio.

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About Melissa Leong

Melissa Leong, 25, is an undergraduate student of economics and political science. From Kuala Lumpur, she has previously lived in India, the United States, and most recently, the Netherlands.
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14 Responses to The Building Wanderers of Amsterdam

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  1. Samfoonheei on Aug 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Thank you Melissa for sharing this report on refugees in Netherlands.
    A sad reality of living in a first world country, sad for them. The poor security situation in some parts of the world has caused an increase in the number of refugees in Europe. I have read in other articles too regarding those living conditions which are terrible. Living in empty offices, as room and several people clamped in a room. Some of the refugees were fortunate to have mattresses, blankets and so forth ,donated by some kind souls at their neighbourhood. Its wonderful that the government and local authorities are doing their best to help them after the human rights groups brought up this issue. …the sad state of refugees.

  2. Wai Meng Wan on Jun 9, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Migrant workers and asylum seekers have so much vulnerability. We need to be kind to refugees.

  3. graceleong on Jan 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    In my opinion we cannot turn away the refugees irrespective of how much “threat” we think they will give us. This apprehension of “threat” again stems from our over indulgence of the “I”.
    Of course it will be tough to bring in tens of thousands of foreigners to our country. They have different values and cultures. They have different faiths and beliefs.
    There must be efforts to assimilate them into our society. They may have to be re-trained or re-educated with the new ways and cultures. It will not be an easy tasks at all as many old ways are hard to change. However efforts have to be put in to do so. Then as they live on and slowly gets accustomed, a new generation will emerge. This new generation will be no different from the rest. Efforts towards this must be made for the simplest reasons. Help others to help ourselves.
    Thank you Melissa Leong for sharing your personal experiences with us. Looking forward to more of your stories !

  4. Jutika Lam on Jan 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    It is really heartbreaking to know of the way the Netherlands government is treating asylum seekers.

    It is really cruel of them to evict them from an abandoned building, a building not even being used and they still evicted them, deprived them of a roof over their heads and chose to let them suffer out in the harsh cold weather.

    To make matters worst,they rejected twelve thousand asylum applicants denying them of a legal paper to stay in the Netherlands.

    Couple that together with the many laws put in to place over the years, the asylum seekers are literally counted as illegal.

    It would be so much better if the Netherlands Government would lift the laws they put in place and allow the asylum seekers already in the Netherlands to be citizens.

    It would benefit both sides as jobs such as street cleaners or etc could be filled by them the asylum seekers and in turn they could earn money.

    Thank you Melissa for sharing an insight in to the current situation at the Netherlands!

  5. Uncle Eddie on Jan 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    What Pastor Shin has displayed in her blog article “That asylum seekers has become not just an issue but a crisis, as the EU countries struggle to cope with the influx as well as trying to resolve the division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people,” seems correct and clearer now. All we can further hope and earnestly pray for is that, through the excellence of whatever white virtue there are in Samsara and Nirvana, may all be auspicious for those asylum seekers as mentioned therein, be freed here and now from all further misfortune and hardships, and thus enjoy a glorious perfect virtue of goodness earnestly! Om Mani Padme Hung.

  6. Lin Mun on Jan 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you Melissa for sharing this report on refugees in Netherlands.

    It is heartrenching to hear the treatment of this asylees in Netherlands. They are trapped due to unsympathetic regulation that stop them to get a safe place and a living. Situation is worsen when political move to stop the BBB programme and ask the refugees to leave without any shelter in the winter.

    Nevertheless, I am glad that there are so many people who volunteered to help the “Vluchtloods” group and offering them the basic necessities.

    This article again serve as a reminder for me to be always be contended with what we have and help those we are in need.

    Lastly, I hope the government will provide a solution to the refugees soon as it is difficult to sustain based on donation and help by volunteers alone.

  7. Pastor Shin on Jan 9, 2016 at 1:15 am

    With the new Dutch EU presidency, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Europe’s first priority on refugees was to improve efforts to curtail the flow of asylum-seekers arriving into the EU, which reached record numbers in 2015. By that he means that the numbers have to come down very much, very considerably.

    On 16 December 2015 in Geldermalsen near Rotterdam, police fired warning shots during a riot by thousands of protesters opposed to the opening of a refugee center to accept 1500 asylum seekers. More recently in Cologne, Germany, police are investigating 31 potential suspects, of whom 18 are reported to be asylum seekers, one of them a 14-year-old Syrian boy seeking asylum in the Netherlands on suspicion of sexual assault. The accusation stems from an alleged New Year’s Eve attack on two girls, aged 14 and 15.

    Asylum seekers has become not just an issue, but a crisis as the EU countries struggle to cope with the influx, as well as trying to resolve the division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people.

    There are many initiatives for migrants and refugees in the Netherlands, and the Dutch Council for Refugees has 6.000 volunteers and 600 paid employees. However, this does not help the rejected or illegal asylum seekers much who fall among the cracks. Like what we read in the article by Melissa, these rejected asylum seekers often disappear into illegality and live a virtually invisible and disenfranchised existence: they can not work, can not go to school, have little or no access to health care and have no right to adequate shelter.

    There are sympathisers, for example a Dutch owner of an area in Slootdorp that was once a village for Jews fleeing the Nazis, he has offered the land to house refugees from Syria and Iraq, following a heated debate over the arrival this year of at least 26,000 Middle Eastern migrants.

    However, there is only that much that sympathisers can do. The members of the public need to help press for a solution from the governments as voluntary organisations and individuals don’t have enough resources to support the asylum seekers long term.

  8. Pastor Patsy on Jan 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    It is so sad to read about these refugees who are not welcomed in the country. They have nowhere to go, no way of making a legal leaving and worrying when they can have the next meal or when they will be evicted again.

    Thank you, Melissa, for highlighting this and it’s good to know that despite their difficulties there are still good, caring local people around who are willing to come forth to help these refuges to make their lives a bit more comfortable.

  9. Phoebe Yong on Jan 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you to Melissa for documenting the status of refugees in Netherlands. Thank you to Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    That’s shown there are so many refugees at Europe seek for asylum. Its good to know that the local people are volunteer to help to setting up the live space for the refugees. That always have good people around us. I pray that they can find the asylum successfully.

  10. Stella Cheang on Jan 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    One cannot help but to feel sad and sorry for the “refugee” after reading this article. As asylee, they are are being rejected and restricted from entering any employment, meaning no means to make a legit living, and deprive of basic amenities. This is a very sorry state of affair for adults, leave alone for children and the elderly. The conditioning Dublin Agreement and the EU system confine these asylee to just European countries with no way out. Life is very tough for them.

    Something positive that I notice is how they hang on to their dignity. This statement by one of them almost brought tear to my eyes:

    “Wait, don’t take a photo yet. I must arrange my things nicely.” He sits on his mattress, one among nine others on the floor of a room the size of a LUC single, “I must look like a good refugee.”

    This is a strong message for me to bring away. The living condition of a person is not the definition of ones’ dignity.

    Another point for me to ponder from this article is how sheltered we are, oblivious to the many suffering happening in other parts of the world or even in our own backyard. We are used to the rosy pictures from mainstream media (unless they want to make a statement otherwise) as well as the glorified lifestyle our friends and families are living through social media while the thousands who suffered without a voice will never see daylight; e.g. these refugees or Dorje Shugden practitioners. They were left to fend for themselves until an occasional mention in media. This is very sad.

    Therefore I would like to say thank you to Melissa Leong who brought to light the plight of these refugees. And thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article with us.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  11. Chris Chong on Jan 8, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Thank you Melissa for this report of the situation of the refugees in Netherlands.

    Its is pleasant to see that some of the local people and even some of the authorities are trying to help them as they could despite of the rules set by the government. This shows that they are compassionate towards these unfortunate people who are forced to leave their countries. I hope that more people will have compassion towards them and understand their situation instead of just blindly direct their anger and dissatisfaction onto them.

    Chris

  12. Sarah on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you for documenting the plight of these refugees in the Netherlands. I pray that their attempts to find asylum will be successful.

  13. NUTroll on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Melissa Leong : in 2014 .. While Germany has agreed to take 40,000 refugees, (((((intersting shows how CHANGEs are progressing )))))______________________________________________________________________specialy as connected with Mandziuśri!TSEM TULKU &RINPOCHE before publications do.pls.RELAY ON REALITY(NOW?) even on estimated.______ We Are Here ____It’s 2016 after(annual) new year’s ~~”celebrations”~~ on germany’ streets.

  14. JP on Jan 6, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you Melissa for your report on the status of refugees in the Netherlands. Many refugees suffer because they are not wanted in other countries and they are not priority in their agendas. Many governments oblige themselves to take them in because it is a social responsibility of not seeing others suffer. However, this can be a very costly affair if not properly planned. And many governments are not keen to take on this humanitarian project.

    What is disturbing is that the Netherlands allow themselves to drag on their internal bureaucracy at the expense of refugees suffering more because it is a financial burden. They don’t realize that all refugees want is a chance to better livelihood that their countries could not provide. So if the government can invest in assimilating them in to the Netherlands and have them join the working force, the new citizens can contribute back to the Netherlands when they pay for their income tax. The longer they delay the assimilation process, the more costly it is to have them reside in the country.

    European countries are supposed to be developed countries and democratic, which is supposed to be the most effective and efficient form of government. So why are issues like this so difficult to resolve? Sometimes, too many people involved in giving their opinions can cause unnecessary delays, resulting in unnecessary sufferings.

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  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 03:05 PM
    Thank you for the nice and beautiful article about Vietnam .Really fantastic and the food also look delicious and yummy .Vietnam capital city Hanoi is consistently ranked among the world s top holiday destination

    A stunning landscape ,beautiful beaches and vibrant shopping scene are all great reason to travel Vietnam.Thank you for a good write up which will be helpful for plan a visit to Vietnam.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2Yd6GO6
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 03:03 PM
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    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/science-finally-proves-meridians-exist.html
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 03:02 PM
    Since young, I used to read and hear about mermaid in books and so forth. All I knew ,mermaid is a creature with heard and upper body of a female human. But do not know further than that until I read this interesting and facts about it in this blog. Many cultures have their own versions of mermaids, There are indeed so many folklore stories, legends and myths of mermaids from different countries and each defer from each other all around the world. Mermaids have fascinated people for centuries and inspired many sightings by individuals. Do it really exist , no one could tell. There is no evidence that mermaids exist outside folklore, reports of mermaid sightings continue to the present day. Well, it seem that mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in schools . They have even been depicted in operas, paintings, books, films and comics. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/creatures-and-monsters/the-legend-of-the-mermaids.html
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 02:59 PM
    Through the words of Ribur Rinpoche we are fortunate to get a better understanding of a great master, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. To see the image of these Enlightened Beings, to hear their names, is so rare and precious for us. Tsem Rinpoche our Guru who received the dharma from the unbroken lineage of these great masters and we are very fortunate to receive teachings and oral transmissions from Tsem Rinpoche. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche been devoted to his guru has inspired, and benefited many through his teachings up to this day. Many great master and high lamas were his students.
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 01:50 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. It is true that divination is one of the ways for enlightened beings and Buddhas communicate with ordinary beings. Just because we can consult Dorje Shugden through divination, it does not mean we should go to the Protector for everything under the sun.

    Dorje Shugden himself prefers to see we try to solve our own problems first without relying on divination at the very beginning. Dorje Shugden is most pleased when we use our own effort and intelligence to be practical and solve our problems as best as we can.

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2KItWOi
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 01:29 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. The Buddha compassionately taught methods for all of us to purify our karma which suit our current karma-bound situation. It is important to know that purification of our karma become necessary because karma creates suffering and holds us back from achieving higher states of consciousness.

    Buddha’s body is just as effective for purifying negative speech karma, as it is for purifying negative body or mind karma. So, those unable to recite mantras can circumambulate around mantra stones, for instance, to purify speech karma. Thank you.

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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 12:11 PM
    The article was well described about Dorje Shugden and Vajrapani. The powerful roles and functions of the dharma protectors to remove of all obstacles and other emotional issues that can easily lead us away from our spiritual journey.

    Thanks for the beautiful sharing, It is best and good to practice to worship them daily in our life.
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    Tuesday, Jun 25. 2019 10:59 AM
    Thank you for sharing this interesting article.Psychopathy is a fairly common mental disorder that is often associated with serial killers and lack of empathy for fellow human beings but it also includes many type of people who do not kill

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    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 09:29 PM
    Rinpoche is very kind to share Dorje Shugden to all of us. There are so many high lamas who can confirmed that Dorje Shugden is emanation of Manjushri and is very beneficial especially during this period. In order to bring the practise do us Rinpoche has to withstand many negative comments and threat from the Tibetans and non Dorje Shugden practitioners. Rinpoche has taken so much effort to give us this knowledge despite all the challenges. Thank you Rinpoche and team for all the great work. We can learn all about Dorje Shugden through this website and other articles. Always making it so convenient for all to access. May everyone around the world have the opportunities to meet Dorje Shugden and engage in this holy practise.
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 04:41 PM
    I was so much fortune to come across reading this article. A full life journey and activities of Lord Buddha was well seen in the stunning and beautiful photographs. The amazing photos looked so much real and wonderful. Thanking you so much for the sharing and had a good feel and touch.

    REPLY
  • Ummamageswari
    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 01:14 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. It is true that these pujas that is done in Kechara Forest Retreat provide all of us with powerful protection, purification, good health, wealth and abundance, and the blessings of the enlightened beings.

    Admission is free and all are welcome. All of us are encouraged to attend this potent puja in person. It is important to observe a strict vegetarian diet with no black foods (onions, garlic, meat, fish, eggs, radishes, alcohol) one day before and on the day of the puja itself.

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    We have to be kind to the animals .Consider opting for animal -friendly fashion item. Thanks for the article and hopefully with such imagery, more people would be aware and come to avoid leather and fur products.

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    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 12:58 PM
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    Sangharakshita has highlighted the importance of the commitment in one’s spiritual life, the importance of a spiritual community, the special connection between religion and art, and the need for a ‘new society’ which supported aspirations and ethics based on Buddhism. Thank you.

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2BkTZHP
  • Ummamageswari
    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 12:44 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. By reading this article, i get to know that Choje-la is not an ordinary monk or person but also a highly trained monk who has been personally trained by the previous His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Domo Geshe Rinpoche where he has been fully authorized by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche to be the official Panglung Oracle over 40 years back.

    Choje-la is a very knowledgeable monk, a very kindly, well-experienced monk who has no agenda, has very strong guru devotion and very pure in his monk vows. Thank you so much.

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2w1Mtiv
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 24. 2019 12:01 PM
    Stunning rime thangka of Samayavajra and Dorje Shugden. Colourful painted and standing out and seeing it is a blessing. In Tibetan Buddhism ,Samayavajra is one of the most powerful purification practices for broken samaya, degenerated commitments and vows. The incredible purificatory power of the Samayavajra puja is most effective when one feels great remorse and regret towards any negative actions performed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/samayavajra-the-purifier-of-spiritual-bonds

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 week ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 weeks ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
3 weeks ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
3 weeks ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
3 weeks ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
3 weeks ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 weeks ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 weeks ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
4 weeks ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
4 weeks ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
4 weeks ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
4 weeks ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
4 weeks ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
4 weeks ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 month ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 month ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 month ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 month ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 month ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
2 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
2 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
2 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
2 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
2 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
2 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
2 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
2 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
2 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
2 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
2 months ago
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 months ago
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
Tsem Rinpoche\'s personal shrine.
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
In Kechara Forest Retreat- Bentong, Malaysia, we have a beautiful outdoor offering grotto dedicated to Lord Dorje Shugden who fulfills the wishes of many visitors- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 months ago
In Kechara Forest Retreat- Bentong, Malaysia, we have a beautiful outdoor offering grotto dedicated to Lord Dorje Shugden who fulfills the wishes of many visitors- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Guhya Manjushri of the Forbidden City| 密德文殊室利佛- https://bit.ly/2J3HIvM
2 months ago
Guhya Manjushri of the Forbidden City| 密德文殊室利佛- https://bit.ly/2J3HIvM
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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
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    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
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    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
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    6 months ago
    Cute!
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  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
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    Nice cups from Kechara!!
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    6 months ago
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    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
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    6 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
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    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
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    2 yearss ago
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    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Students helping teacher to set up for dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Students helping teacher to set up for dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Tsa tsa painting is one of the activities during Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Throwback - Tsa tsa painting is one of the activities during Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
Pastor blessing during recent Wesak day in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Pastor blessing during recent Wesak day in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
Students learning the method to make water offering. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Students learning the method to make water offering. Lin Mun KSDS
Taekwondo session to strengthen children’s mind and body. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Taekwondo session to strengthen children’s mind and body. Lin Mun KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS wanted to make flower offering to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
The youngest group of KSDS wanted to make flower offering to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
Andrea learned how to keep water offering. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Andrea learned how to keep water offering. Alice Tay, KSDS
Chern Chern showed Yong Ern on making water offering to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Chern Chern showed Yong Ern on making water offering to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
Violet is paying homage to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Violet is paying homage to Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
Start with this simple setup of altar your lovely kids. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Start with this simple setup of altar your lovely kids. Alice Tay, KSDS
Highlights of SPIRITUAL SATURDAY 22June 6月22日 Clean Dorje Shugden & purify your karma 多杰雄登佛像扫尘除垢
2 days ago
Highlights of SPIRITUAL SATURDAY 22June 6月22日 Clean Dorje Shugden & purify your karma 多杰雄登佛像扫尘除垢
Highlights of SPIRITUAL SATURDAY 周六修行游亮点: 22June. 6月22日
2 days ago
Highlights of SPIRITUAL SATURDAY 周六修行游亮点: 22June. 6月22日
‪We strongly believe that by making an effort to gain an understanding of the situation through volunteering is an important aspect of knowing poverty. Join Kechara Food Bank programme by registering yourself at 010-3333260. #Kechara #foodbank #poverty ‬- Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
‪We strongly believe that by making an effort to gain an understanding of the situation through volunteering is an important aspect of knowing poverty. Join Kechara Food Bank programme by registering yourself at 010-3333260. #Kechara #foodbank #poverty ‬- Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Inner Peace Retreat in June 2019 in Kechara Forest Retreat. More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat in June 2019 in Kechara Forest Retreat. More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Group picture of the end of the Inner Peace Retreat, June 2019. More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Group picture of the end of the Inner Peace Retreat, June 2019. More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Debrief & Closing More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sensory Discovery with Herbs More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sensory Discovery with Herbs More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sensory Discovery with Herbs More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sensory Discovery with Herbs More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sunrise Meditation More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sunrise Meditation More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sunrise Meditation More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 2: Sunrise Meditation More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat, Day 1: Expression Through Art More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat, Day 1: Expression Through Art More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat Day 1: Walking Meditation at Tara Walk More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat Day 1: Walking Meditation at Tara Walk More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
Inner Peace Retreat, Kechara Forest Retreat, Day 1: Walking Meditation in Nature More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
6 days ago
Inner Peace Retreat, Kechara Forest Retreat, Day 1: Walking Meditation in Nature More info: http://bit.ly/2GvGl7A
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