The Dalai Lama was met by hundreds of Buddhist protesters on Monday as he visited the British Army town of Aldershot in UK. Protesters accused the Dalai Lama of lying in his teachings, of abusing basic human rights and of religious discrimination. They accused him of exploiting his celebrity status to further his own personal and political ambitions.
‘Stop Lying,’ Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama was met with hundreds of protesters holding placards that ask him to ‘stop lying’ and that brand him as the ‘false Dalai Lama.’ As he makes his speech to an audience of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers, the protesters were loudly chanting outside.
The protesters identified themselves as members of the International Shugden Community or ISC. In a leaflet distributed during the protest, ISC described the Dalai Lama as the worst dictator of the modern day. Their hate is rooted on Dalai Lama’s ban of worship to their deity called Dorje Shugden.
ISC said that the Dalai Lama has forcefully removed all Tibetan Shugden practitioners from Tibetan communities and is continually performing various actions to expel all other Shugden practitioners from Buddhist communities across the world. The group said the Dalai Lama has banned the worship of the Shugden deity for his own political gain.
The Dalai Lama justified the ban by saying that the worship of the deity harms his life, Tibetan people and Tibetan independence. However, these are all baseless claims, according to the ISC.
With the ban of the Shugden deity, non-Shugden practitioners have become extremely angry with Shugden practitioners. Those who worship the Shugden have been expelled from Tibetan society, humiliated, intimidated and threatened. Shugden worshipers were dismissed from their job and were refused basic services.
Dalai Lama, the Corrupt Politician
In another leaflet distributed by the ISC, they described the Dalai Lama as “first and foremost a politician.” Far from being the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama “uses this position as a veil to conceal his true actions and intentions, exploiting his celebrity status to further his own personal and political ambitions.”
“There is a vast body of well-documented evidence proving that away from the glare of the international media the Dalai Lama is a ruthless and corrupt politician who uses intimidation, humiliation and banishment to suppress those who do not abide by his authoritarian edicts,” the leaflet reads.
ISC are “Chinese dogs”
The group called The International Campaign for Tibet has accused the ISC as players of Chinese propaganda against the Dalai Lama.
“The protesters are from an extremist religious group that is aligned with the political agenda of the Chinese government in Tibet to undermine the Dalai Lama and enforce allegiance to the Chinese Communist party,” Kate Saunders, the communications director for the International Campaign for Tibet, told The Guardian.
“This systematic campaign against the Dalai Lama and deepening oppression threatens the very survival of Tibetan religion and cultural identity,” Saunders said.
A group of ten UK Buddhist organizations has also penned an open letter accusing ISC of “aggressive misleading and unethical behavior.”
“The UK Buddhist organizations signed up to this statement express their respect and support for his holiness’s stance on promoting wider religious harmony between the religious traditions and on promoting mutual respect and admiration between the Buddhist traditions,” the alliance said in a letter obtained by The Guardian.
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