De geestelijke leider van het Tibetaanse volk, de Dalai Lama, heeft zich in een interview met de BBC kritisch uitgelaten over de Amerikaanse president Donald Trump. Ook sprak hij over zijn visie op het immigrantenbeleid van de Europese Unie en een eventuele vrouwelijke opvolger als nieuwe Dalai Lama. ,,Als er een vrouwelijke Dalai Lama komt moet ze aantrekkelijk zijn.’’
In het interview met de Britse publieke omroep bespreekt de 83-jarige Dalai Lama verschillende onderwerpen, waarbij hij duidelijke standpunten inneemt. Zo verwijt hij Trump een ‘gebrek aan morele principes’, omdat hij de ene dag iets anders zegt dan de andere. Ook stelt hij dat Amerika niet voor ‘America first’ moet kiezen, maar globale verantwoordelijkheid moet nemen.
De geestelijk leider gaat ook in op Europese ontwikkelingen. De Brexit vindt hij bijvoorbeeld een slecht idee, maar ook over de immigratie naar de Europese Unie heeft hij een duidelijke mening. De EU moet vluchtelingen toelaten en hen onderwijs bieden, maar dat moet er wel op gericht zijn om hen weer terug te laten keren naar hun eigen land. ,,Een gelimiteerd aantal mag blijven, maar houdt Europa voor Europeanen.’’
“De Europese landen moeten vluchtelingen opvangen en hen onderwijs en een opleiding geven. Het doel moet dan zijn dat ze terugkeren naar hun eigen land”, zegt hij stellig. Op de vraag of deze mensen er niet voor mogen kiezen om in Europa te blijven, antwoordt hij: “Een beperkt aantal, oké, maar heel Europa uiteindelijk een moslimland laten worden? Onmogelijk. Of een Afrikaans land: ook onmogelijk. Ik denk dat ze zelf beter af zijn in hun eigen land. Hou Europa voor de Europeanen.”
Tot slot spreekt de Dalai Lama nog even over de mogelijkheid dat zijn opvolger een vrouw is. Daar heeft hij geen problemen mee, maar dan moet ze wel aan een bepaalde voorwaarde voldoen. In het interview trekt de Dalai Lama een gek gezicht en stelt dat mensen zo’n gezicht liever niet willen zien. ,,Als er een vrouwelijke Dalai Lama komt moet ze aantrekkelijk zijn.’’
Of course, war and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous – an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.
War is like a fire in the human community, one whose fuel is living beings. I find this analogy especially appropriate and useful. Modern warfare waged primarily with different forms of fire, but we are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die. None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people – his relatives and friends – suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.
Frankly as a child, I too was attracted to the military. Their uniform looked so smart and beautiful. But that is exactly how the seduction begins. Children starts playing games that will one day lead them in trouble. There are plenty of exciting games to play and costumes to wear other than those based on the killing of human beings. Again, if we as adults were not so fascinated by war, we would clearly see that to allow our children to become habituated to war games is extremely unfortunate. Some former soldiers have told me that when they shot their first person they felt uncomfortable but as they continued to kill it began to feel quite normal. In time, we can get used to anything.
It is not only during times of war that military establishments are destructive. By their very design, they were the single greatest violators of human rights, and it is the soldiers themselves who suffer most consistently from their abuse. After the officer in charge have given beautiful explanations about the importance of the army, its discipline and the need to conquer the enemy, the rights of the great mass of soldiers are most entirely taken away. They are then compelled to forfeit their individual will, and, in the end, to sacrifice their lives. Moreover, once an army has become a powerful force, there is every risk that it will destroy the happiness of its own country.
There are people with destructive intentions in every society, and the temptation to gain command over an organisation capable of fulfilling their desires can become overwhelming. But no matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don’t have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society. As long as there are powerful armies there will always be danger of dictatorship. If we really believe dictatorship to be a despicable and destructive form of government, then we must recognize that the existence of a powerful military establishment is one of its main causes.
Militarism is also very expensive. Pursuing peace through military strength places a tremendously wasteful burden on society. Governments spend vast sums on increasingly intricate weapons when, in fact, nobody really wants to use them. Not only money but also valuable energy and human intelligence are squandered, while all that increases is fear.
I want to make it clear, however, that although I am deeply opposed to war, I am not advocating appeasement. It is often necessary to take a strong stand to counter unjust aggression. For instance, it is plain to all of us that the Second World War was entirely justified. It “saved civilization” from the tyranny of Nazi Germany, as Winston Churchill so aptly put it. In my view, the Korean War was also just, since it gave South Korea the chance of gradually developing democracy. But we can only judge whether or not a conflict was vindicated on moral grounds with hindsight. For example, we can now see that during the Cold War, the principle of nuclear deterrence had a certain value. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to assess al such matters with any degree of accuracy. War is violence and violence is unpredictable. Therefore, it is better to avoid it if possible, and never to presume that we know beforehand whether the outcome of a particular war will be beneficial or not.
For instance, in the case of the Cold War, through deterrence may have helped promote stability, it did not create genuine peace. The last forty years in Europe have seen merely the absence of war, which has not been real peace but a facsimile founded dear. At best, building arms to maintain peace serves only as a temporary measure. As long as adversaries do not trust each other, any number of factors can upset the balance of power. Lasting peace can assure secured only on the basis of genuine trust.
Editor’s Note: In this excerpt from their new book Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions, the Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron explore the qualities of the Tathāgata. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Tathāgata as “one of the titles of a buddha and the one most frequently employed by the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, when referring to himself. The exact meaning of the word is uncertain; Buddhist commentaries present as many as eight explanations. The most generally adopted interpretation is ‘one who has thus (tatha) gone (gata)’ or ‘one who has thus (tatha) arrived (agata),’ implying that the historical Buddha was only one of many who have in the past and will in the future experience enlightenment and teach others how to achieve it. In later Mahayana Buddhism, Tathagata came to convey the essential buddha nature hidden in everyone.”
Learning about the qualities of the Three Jewels and especially of the Buddha increases our confidence in his ability to guide us from the dangers of saṃsāra. Both the Pāli and the Sanskrit traditions extensively praise the Tathāgata’s qualities by expressing his four types of fearlessness, ten powers, and eighteen unshared qualities.
Candrakīrti quotes (Madhyamakāvatāra 6.210cd) a passage, also found in the Pāli canon (MN 12:22–26), describing the four kinds of self-confidence or fearlessness of the Tathāgata that enable him to “roar his lion’s roar in the assemblies.” The Buddha sees no ground on which any recluse, brahman, god, or anyone else could accuse him of (1) claiming to be fully awakened although he is not fully awakened to certain things, (2) claiming to have destroyed pollutants (āsava, āśrava) that he has not destroyed, (3) calling things obstructions that are not obstructions, and (4) teaching a Dharma that does not lead someone who practices it to complete destruction of duḥkha. These four enable the Tathāgata to teach the Dhamma with perfect self-confidence free from all self-doubt because he is fully awakened regarding all aspects, has destroyed all pollutants, correctly identifies obstructions on the path, and gives teachings that lead those who practice them to nirvāṇa.
The ten powers are a set of exceptional knowledges exclusive to the Tathāgata. They enable him to do a Buddha’s unique activities, establish his doctrine in the world, skillfully teach sentient beings, and lead them to awakening. Spoken of in both the Pāli (MN 12) and Sanskrit sūtras (Daśabhūmika Sūtra), these ten are exalted wisdoms that have abandoned all obscurations and know the infinite objects of knowledge. Unless otherwise noted, the explanations below are shared by both traditions.
With direct, unmistaken perception the Tathāgata knows the tenable and the untenable, the relations between actions and their results as well as the implications of actions done by āryas and ordinary beings.
Only the Tathāgata fully and accurately knows the intricacies of past, present, and future karma and their results, including subtle causes leading to a particular experience in the beginningless lives of each sentient being.
The Tathāgata knows the various destinations of ordinary beings—the saṃsāric realms—and the paths leading to rebirth there. He also knows the destination of the āryas of the three vehicles—nirvāṇa—and the paths leading to that.
He fully understands the world and the various elements (dhātu) that compose it—the eighteen constituents (dhātu), six elements, external and internal sources (āyatana), twelve links (nidāna) of dependent arising, twenty-two faculties (indriya), and so on—with wisdom seeing them as impermanent, conditioned, and dependent processes.
He knows the different inclinations of beings (adhimutti, adhimokṣa)—their spiritual aims and the vehicles they are attracted to. This enables him to teach them the Dharma according to their individual faculties, abilities, and aspirations.
He knows the strength of each being’s faculties (indriya) of faith (saddhā, śraddhā), effort (viriya, vīrya), mindfulness (sati, smṛti), concentration (samādhi), and wisdom (paññā, prajñā) and teaches each being accordingly.
Because the Buddha has mastered the jhānas, the eight meditative liberations (vimokkha, vimokṣa), and the nine meditative absorptions (samāpatti), he knows the defilements, cleansing, and emergence (Pāli: sankilesa, vodāna, vuṭṭhāna) regarding them. Defilements are impediments hindering a meditator from entering a meditative absorption or, having entered, make it deteriorate. Cleansing is the method for removing the impediment. Emergence is the way to come out of a state of meditative absorption after having entered it. He is able to guide others to attain these meditative states without their becoming attached to the bliss of concentration and urge them to continue practicing the path to nirvāṇa.
The Tathāgata recollects in detail his manifold past lives with their aspects and particulars. This and the next power are the last two of the five superknowledges (abhiññā, abhijñā). Thus he knows his previous relationships with each sentient being and what types of relationship would be most beneficial to have with them now and in the future.
With the divine eye, he sees beings dying and being born according to their karma. Knowing this, he does whatever is most beneficial to guide each being on the path to awakening.
Realizing with direct knowledge, the Tathāgata here and now enters upon and abides in the unpolluted deliverance of mind (cetovimutti, cittavimukti) and deliverance by wisdom (paññāvimutti, prajñāvimukti) and knows that all defilements have been eradicated. He also knows the level of realization and attainment of each being of the three vehicles. The last three powers are the three higher knowledges that the Buddha gained while meditating during the night prior to his awakening.
Both the Pāli tradition (in later commentaries) and the Sanskrit tradition (in the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras) describe eighteen qualities of a buddha not shared by other arhats (aṭṭhārasāveṇikabuddhadhammā, aṣṭādaśāveṇikabuddhadharma):
Six unshared behaviors
Due to mindfulness and conscientiousness, a buddha has no mistaken physical actions, whether he is walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. He acts in accordance with what he says, and his speech satisfies what each sentient being who is listening needs to understand in that moment.
Always speaking appropriately, truthfully, and kindly, he is free from mistaken speech and idle chatter. A buddha does not dispute with the world, nor does he complain about what others have done.
He is free from any kind of forgetfulness interfering with the jhānas and exalted wisdom, or with viewing all sentient beings and teaching them appropriately.
His mind always abides in meditative equipoise on emptiness, and simultaneously he teaches sentient beings the Dharma.
He does not perceive any discordant appearances of inherent existence and thus recognizes all phenomena as sharing the one taste of emptiness. He also does not treat sentient beings with bias.
He abides in perfect equanimity, knowing the individual characteristics of each phenomenon.
Six unshared realizations
Due to his all-encompassing love and compassion, a buddha never experiences any decline of his aspiration and intention to benefit all sentient beings and to increase their virtuous qualities.
He never loses joyous effort to lead others to awakening. A buddha experiences no physical, verbal, or mental fatigue and continuously cares for the welfare of sentient beings without getting tired, lazy, or despondent.
A buddha’s mindfulness effortlessly remains constant and uninterrupted. He is mindful also of the situations each sentient being encounters in the past, present, and future and the methods to subdue and help them.
He continuously remains in samādhi free from all obscurations and focused on the ultimate reality.
His wisdom is inexhaustible and never declines. He perfectly knows the 84,000 Dharma teachings and the doctrines of the three vehicles, as well as how and when to express them to sentient beings.
It is impossible for him to lose the state of full awakening free from all obscurations. He knows the mind to be naturally luminous, and he lacks any dualistic appearance or grasping at duality.
Three unshared awakening activities
Imbued with exalted wisdom, a buddha’s physical actions are always done for the benefit of others. He emanates many bodies that appear wherever sentient beings have the karma to be led on the path to awakening. Whatever a buddha does has a positive effect on sentient beings, subduing their minds.
Knowing the dispositions and interests of each sentient being, he teaches the Dharma in a manner appropriate for that person. His speech flows smoothly, is accurate and lovely to listen to. It does not deceive or lead others astray but is clear, knowledgeable, and kind.
Filled with undeclining love and compassion, his mind encompasses all beings with the intention to do only what is of the highest benefit. He is effortlessly and continuously cognizant of all phenomena.
Three unshared exalted wisdoms
A buddha’s exalted wisdom knows everything in the three times—(1) past, (2) present, and (3) future—without any obscuration or error. His knowledge of the future does not mean that things are predetermined. Rather, a buddha knows that if a sentient being does a particular action, this particular result will follow, and if another course of action is taken, a different result will come. He knows all buddhafields and realms of sentient beings as well as all the beings and their activities there.
Reading such passages from the sūtras gives us an idea of a buddha’s exceptional qualities. Contemplating them brings joy and expands our mental horizons. These passages also give us an idea of the qualities we will attain if we practice the Dharma as the Buddha instructed.
While the descriptions of the four fearlessnesses and ten powers in the Pāli and Sanskrit traditions do not differ considerably, the Sanskrit tradition emphasizes how these abilities benefit sentient beings.
De Dalai Lama vindt dat een oplossing voor de problemen met gewelddadige extremisten niet van God moet komen. ‘Het zijn mensen die deze problemen veroorzaken. En als we onze verslaving aan oorlogen willen beëindigen, zullen we moeten ophouden om met gebed God een oplossing te laten aandragen. Wij hebben als mensen deze problemen veroorzaakt.’
Parijs 13 november 2015 aanslagen 128 dodenDe Dalai Lama stelt in een interview met de Deutsche Welle, naar aanleiding van de bloedige aanslagen in Parijs, dat terrorisme niet een probleem is, of veroorzaakt wordt door een religie. De geestelijk leider van het Tibetaans boeddhisme zegt dat vanaf het moment dat de Amerikaanse president George W Bush in 2003 de oorlog verklaarde aan islamitische extremisten die een heilige oorlog predikten tussen christendom en de Islam, aan beide zijden is geprobeerd om vredelievende mensen zich uit te laten spreken in voor of tegen zo’n oorlog.
De Dalai Lama: ‘We debatteren over welke godsdienst verantwoordelijk is voor de problemen waarmee we geconfronteerd worden. Maar wat is de gemeenschappelijke noemer in elke moord, terroristische aanslag, verkrachting of andere daad van geweld die we dagelijks zien over de hele wereld? Wat is het enige wat dat ze allemaal gemeen hebben? Het zijn handelingen van mensen. Mensen plegen deze daden, en ze zullen een beroep moeten doen op hun eigen geweten om die daden te rechtvaardigen.
Geweld, haat, misbruik van macht — dit zijn universele menselijke problemen. Ze zijn niet de unieke eigenschappen van dit of dat geloof. Om dat te beweren karakteriseer je jezelf echt als onwetend. Onwetendheid over het verleden, onwetendheid over het heden.
Conservatieve leiders in het westen gebruiken, in een hefboomwerking, de angst en woede over de aanslagen in Parijs hun eigen haatdragende ideologieën. In het Midden-Oosten doet IS hetzelfde. Degenen die deze haat verwerpen vinden een eigen manier om daar mee om te gaan. De wereld is veiliger in onze handen.’
China’s new directive on controversial Shugden spirit in Tibet in bid to further discredit Dalai Lama
ON APRIL 7, 2015
- The Chinese government has issued a new directive on propitiation of a controversial Tibetan Buddhist spirit in a bid to further discredit the Dalai Lama.
- The document, couched as protecting freedom of religion of the Tibetans under China’s Communist Party control, nonetheless uses this pretext to project the Dalai Lama as the wrongdoer. This demonstrates that the Chinese authorities are aligned with protestors in the West who propitiate Shugden and have been denigrating the Dalai Lama when he travels to the U.S. and Europe.
- Describing the Shugden issue as “an important front in our struggle with the Dalai Clique,” the document, obtained by ICT, could be the first such set of overt official guidelines from inside Tibet.
- The Dalai Lama has repudiated the propitiation of Shugden (also known as “Dolgyal”) for its sectarianism, among other reasons.
- The Chinese authorities for several years have been promoting the propitiation of Shugden inside Tibet as a part of their campaign to undermine the Dalai Lama.
- Following the official advisory, which was circulated last year but has only just reached ICT, two Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region have been imprisoned – one for ten years – for allegedly discouraging propitiation of the Shugden ‘protector’ spirit in Tibet.
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A copy of the document, entitled “Some opinions on dealing correctly with the ‘Gyalchen Shugden’ issue” and issued by the General Office of the Communist Party Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is translated below from Tibetan into English. It was released on February 20, 2014, but has only just reached ICT due to restrictions on information and the dangers of sending such documents outside Tibet. The document states that the issue “should be given a high degree of importance, and clearly recognized as a deceitful ploy by the 14th Dalai’s Clique to split the country.” This characterization of the issue indicates that Tibetans who encourage others not to propitiate the spirit in accordance with the Dalai Lama’s advice could face criminal charges and imprisonment. The Dalai Lama, who himself had propitiated Shugden at one time, has said that after thorough investigation there were “profound historical, social and religious problems associated with it.”
In December 2014, a Tibetan man from Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) named Uyak Tulku Lobsang Tenzin was sentenced to ten years in prison, because he urged residents of his home town to follow the Dalai Lama by not participating in Shugden propitiation, according to Radio Free Asia Tibetan service. In early June 2014, four months after the document on Shugden was issued, a 77-year old Tibetan man, Jamyang Tsering, also from Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) was imprisoned after encouraging a group of students to follow the guidance of the Dalai Lama and to always “hold to their pride in being Tibetan. […] He had also advised as many people as possible in local gatherings not to worship Shugden.” According to the same source, Jamyang Tsering, who suffers from abdominal disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other ailments, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.
The ‘Opinions’ document indicates that the Chinese authorities are politicizing an internal Buddhist matter as a divisive weapon in a systematic ideological campaign against the Dalai Lama that attempts to sever connections between Tibetans in exile and those inside Tibet. It can also be viewed as a means of diverting attention from oppressive Communist Party policies against religion by attempting to drive a wedge among Tibetans. In the document, the Party Committee does not only blame the Dalai Lama for “instigating the self-immolations” that have swept Tibet since 2009, but it also blames the “Dalai Clique” for using “the Gyalchen Shugden issue to stir up divisions and instability in Tibet.”
Followers of Shugden – led by Westerners from the “New Kadampa Tradition” (“NKT”) now operating as the International Shugden Community – have organized strident demonstrations against the Dalai Lama in global capitals where he travels.
Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “This document on Shugden opens up a new front on the cultural battleground targeting Tibetans for their loyalty to the Dalai Lama, in a political environment that is already deeply oppressive. It also provides confirmation that the Shugden supporters in the West are aligned with the Chinese Communist government’s agenda on Tibet, which threatens the very survival of Tibetan religion and cultural identity.”
Some counties in the Tibet Autonomous Region have followed the guidelines in imposing similar regulations. A harsh new set of regulations in Driru (Chinese: Biru), Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) prefecture included one provision that stated there will be punishments for “those who stir conflicts among monastics and lay believers over belief in […] Shugden out of malevolence.” The same ban has been imposed in Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu), an area that has been subject to a dramatic tightening of security and on the “frontline’ of the ‘patriotic education’ campaign as Tibetans continue to resist repressive measures imposed after protests that began in March 2008.
Inside the PRC, officials have long used Shugden propitiation to create divisions between Tibetans, often encouraging Tibetans to propitiate Shugden and offering financial inducements to do so, as part of their objective of undermining the Dalai Lama. Shugden statues have been installed in monasteries in different parts of Tibet, often against the will of resident monks.
In some cases, even small monasteries connected to Shugden have had large amounts of funding from the government compared to much larger monasteries with a higher population of monks where Shugden is not propitiated. In 2008, thousands of yuan were allocated to a relatively small monastery in Amdo which propitiates Shugden. In contrast, the much larger monastery across the river in Takstang Lhamo had its school closed down and struggled for funding after monks participated in a peaceful demonstration, asserting their Tibetan identity.
In one small monastery in Chamdo, the entire population of 21 monks was forced out when they refused to install a statue of Dorje Shugden. According to Tibetan sources, the authorities then appointed eight other monks and the statue was installed. Last year, also in Chamdo, a young Tibetan stabbed himself to death when police attempted to detain him over the dismantling of a Shugden statue six years ago, according to a report by Radio Free Asia.
Similar incidents of resistance to the imposition of Shugden statues have been reported across Tibet. A Tibetan prominent in the Western Shugden movement, Gangchen Lama, urged monks to be ‘patriotic’ and to show loyalty to the PRC, on a visit to Gangchen monastery in Shigatse, the Tibet Autonomous Region. Subsequently, local government officials arrived at the monastery to instruct monks to propitiate Shugden and to respect Gangchen; monks who did not were threatened with arrest, detention and imprisonment.
Gangchen Lama is a frequent and regular visitor to China and Tibet who has applauded the Chinese authorities for improving conditions in Tibet and keeping Tibetan culture and spirituality alive. The “Dolgyal Shugden Research Society” states that: “Gangchen has proven a useful tool for the Chinese in their attempts to reshape Tibetan religion into what they consider a more ‘culturally acceptable’ form: on meeting the Chinese Panchen Zuma or ‘False Panchen’ Lama, whose first official photos on his investiture coincidentally featured him seated before a somewhat overbearing image of Dorje Shugden, Gangchen stated: ‘It was my long-cherished dream to meet his [the Tenth’s] incarnation. Now, my dream has come true, and I was glad to see that the 11th Panchen Erdeni is wise and benevolent.’”
The new opinion on Shugden is in the context of a harsh political climate in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas. Campaigns directed against the Dalai Lama’s influence, Tibetan culture and religion, mean that in recent years almost any expression of Tibetan identity not directly sanctioned by the state can be branded as ‘separatist’, and penalized by a prison sentence, or worse. Communist Party officials in Tibet Autonomous Region have been punished for taking part in ‘separatist’ activities linked to the Dalai Lama, following scrutiny by a disciplinary official work team linked to Xi Jinping’s politicized drive against corruption. The developments follow stern warnings of “punishment” for Tibetans “who have fantasies about the 14th Dalai Clique,” effectively acknowledging the Chinese authorities’ failure to eradicate loyalty to the religious leader in exile, even among Party members.
 His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Advice Concerning Dolgyal (Shugden) http://www.dalailama.com/messages/dolgyal-shugden/his-holiness-advice
 Radio Free Asia cited a Tibetan source saying that Tenzin was detained “sometime in June ” in Lhasa, where he had retired after working as a driver and tour guide. The same source said: “At some point, he returned to Dzogang county in Chamdo and began to advise the lay public and the monastic community to obey the instructions of the Dalai Lama and abandon worshipping Shugden, as this would be in the best interest both of individuals and the community.” Radio Free Asia report, ‘Another Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of a Controversial Deity’, December 17, 2014
 Radio Free Asia report, ‘Elderly Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of Controversial Deity’, December 12, 2014. The same report quoted a Tibetan source saying that Tsering suffers from abdominal disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other ailments, and that: “He himself says he has done nothing wrong and has no regrets. His only concern is for his wife, who is 86 and was left behind in [the regional capital] Lhasa after he was detained.”
 More than 130 Tibetans have set fire to themselves in one of the biggest waves of self-immolation as political protest worldwide. ICT factsheet: http://www.savetibet.org/resources/fact-sheets/self-immolations-by-tibetans/
 ICT statement on Shugden demonstrators: http://www.savetibet.org/the-international-campaign-for-tibets-statement-on-the-shugden-demonstrators/ The New Kadampa Tradition currently operates as the International Shugden Community. Even former members of the community have condemned the demonstrators. The following statement was released by ex-practitioners, who describe themselves as ‘survivors’ of what is recognized as a cult: “We, the undersigned, as former members of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), and ex-practitioners of Dorje Shugden, are appalled and saddened that those who were once our NKT sangha now demonstrate against and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Inaccuracies and distortions of what we know to be the truth have been published as fact. The New Kadampa Tradition currently operates as the ‘International Shugden Community’ (ISC). Many allegations and insults are made against His Holiness which are completely unwarranted. At demonstrations and on numerous web sites and Facebook pages, the NKT/ISC viciously attacks the reputation of His Holiness. We have tried to address inaccuracies with the group, but without success. We believe it is time to speak out with one voice.” The full statement is published at: http://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2014/09/26/revised-declaration-from-new-kadampa-survivors-concerning-the-demonstrations-against-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/, posted on September 26, 2014
 Among other inaccurate claims made by Western Shugden groups is the accusation that the Dalai Lama has ‘banned’ Shugden propitiation. As Robert Thurman writes: “The worship of their chosen deity was not ‘banned’ by the Dalai Lama, since he has no authority to ‘ban’ what Tibetan Buddhists practice. ‘Banning’ and ‘excommunicating’ are not Tibetan Buddhist procedures. Although they are Buddhists who should focus on emulating the Buddha, members of the cult are free to worship their chosen “protector deity,” whom they call Dorje Shugden, as much as they like.” (‘The Dalai Lama and the Cult of Dolgyal Shugden’, by Robert Thurman, http://tibet.net/dolgyal-shugden/the-dalai-lama-and-the-cult-of-dolgyal-shugden/).
 ICT report, November 20, 2014, http://www.savetibet.org/harsh-new-rectification-drive-in-driru-nuns-expelled-and-warning-of-destruction-of-monasteries-and-mani-walls/
 Chamdo is treated by the authorities as “a strategic bridge between the Tibet Autonomous Region and the neighboring provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai.” (Tibet Daily, April 17, 2009). ICT report, December 2, 2009, http://www.savetibet.org/determination-to-resist-repression-continues-in-combat-ready-chamdo-frontline-of-patriotic-education/
 Further information on Shugden is available at the Dalai Lama’s website (www.dalailama.com), the Central Tibetan Administration (www.tibet.net), and the Tibet Houses (www.dalailamaprotesters.info/)
 According to Tibetan sources known to ICT, and a French newspaper article ‘Chronicle of oppression in a village in Amdo’, April 8, 2008, http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/monde/20080404.OBS8253/chronique-de-la-repression-dans-un-village-d-amdo.html (in French).
 Tibetan Review, January 23, 2008, http://www.tibetanreview.net/new-shugden-image-reigns-as-ancient-statues-stolen-from-monastery/. The Pashoe Naira monastery in Pashoe (Chinese: Basu) County of Chamdo Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, located about 300 kms (186 miles) from the prefectural capital, had 21 monks till about 1998, when authorities forced them out after they refused to install the statue. The monastery had no previously history of worshipping Shugden, the report added.
 Radio Free Asia report, December 12, 2014, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/worship-12122014152106.html
 The reference to ‘patriotic’ means that Chinese Communist Party requires monks and nuns to be loyal to the Party state first; political allegiance is an official prerequisite for registration at monastic institution and to be considered by the state as a ‘religious’ person. This is an inversion of the priorities of a Buddhist practitioner.
 Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (June 2000) Human Rights Update and Archives ‘Forceful Evacuation in Gangchen Monastery’ http://www.tchrd.org/publications. The incident is cited in ‘Dolgyal Shugden: A History: The Real Story behind the Shugden Cult’s Campaign against the Dalai Lama’ by the Dolgyal Shugden Research Society, published by Tibet House, New York, US, 2014, distributed by Hay House, http://www.amazon.com/Dolgyal-Shugden-The-Research-Society-ebook/dp/B00KSP5K20/. The same book also reports that similarly, in the autumn of 2005, the monastery of Labrang in Gansu province received an unsolicited proposal from Gangchen for him to fund the construction of a new dormitory for its monks. The offer was accompanied by generous personal donations to the monks themselves. However, the proposal was conditional: in order for it to happen, the monastery would have to agree to the construction of a Shugden shrine within the monastery. Despite pressure from local government officials charged with ‘supervising religious affairs’, the offer was ultimately refused. (TibetInfoNet (31st May 2006) New details on the Ganden Incident http://www.tibetinfonet.net/content/update/20)
 ‘False Panchen’ is the term the majority of Tibetan exiles use to refer to the Chinese candidate, who was recognised by the government after the arrest of the then five year old child the Dalai Lama had recognised in 1995. Gedhun Chokyi Nyima’s whereabouts is still not known, 20 years later, despite requests from numerous governments and official representatives to meet him in order to be assured of his welfare.
 From the book ‘Dolgyal Shugden: A History: The Real Story behind the Shugden Cult’s Campaign against the Dalai Lama’ by the Dolgyal Shugden Research Society, published by Tibet House, New York, US, 2014, distributed by Hay House, citing Z Yangzoin (July 2005) Lama Gangchen and his Self Healing Therapy, China Tibet Magazine, http://www.tibetinfor.com/english/zt/people/..%5Cpeople/200402004511164405.htm
 ICT report, January 28, 2015, http://www.savetibet.org/communist-party-officials-punished-for-supporting-dalai-lama/