Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dalai Lama arrives in Sydney

From The Sydney Morning Herald

He arrived in Sydney this morning.

Members of the Western Shugden Society, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, were chanting "Dalai Lama, stop lying" and "Dalai Lama go away".

The society, which followed the Nobel Laureate across the United Kingdom and Germany, accused the Buddhist leader of suppressing their religious freedom and of being a religious dictator.

"The Dalai Lama has come to Australia to talk about love and compassion but he is not practising what he is preaching," a spokeswoman for the group, Kelsang Lhachog, said.

"In India, thousands of innocent monks have been expelled from their monasteries, supporters denied food and travel visas, families ostracised and temples destroyed because of this man.
"We must demonstrate because the Dalai Lama has refused to engage with us."

The protestors cries were met with jibes from a handful of those attending the event.

One audience member accused the protestors of being paid by the Chinese government.

Others attempted to shout over their cries.

"It's sad that these people have been sucked into supporting Djore Shugden,'' one Dalai Lama supporter, Karma Phunstok said.

"This is a peaceful man, they should not be protesting.''

Hundreds of Dalai Lama supporters were pouring into the Sydney Superdome past the protesters.

They were subjected to weapons searches with metal detectors before being allowed past the two metre-high steel security fence.

A member of the Sydney Tibetan Community, Lobsang Lungtok, said the protests were disrespectful to the Dalai Lama, who was simply in Sydney to lead five days of meditation teachings.

"It is their political right to protest but we will not engage with them," Mr Lungtok said.

"His Holiness has advised us not to face off with them and we will abide by his wishes."

The Shugden Society are worshippers of a Buddhist deity known as Dorje Shugden, who has been denounced by the Dalai Lama as a heretic.

This has led to a bitter division between the two groups, with members of the Shugden society claiming that they have been ostracised in Tibet and across the West.

No comments: