Saturday, June 28, 2008

More accounts of human rights abuses of Dorje Shugden practitioners in India

The problem is still spreading.

Please see the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable and Religious Society website for more information.

Journalists researching the ostracism are intimidated at Otty Tibetan market, May 22, 2008
Two independent French journalists visited Otty, in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, to interview the families of Shugden devotees, who told them their stories of discrimination and human rights abuses. At 6 pm, the journalists went to the Tibetan market where Shugden devotees and non-devotees used to sell clothes together. (The story of how the Shugden devotees have been ostracized by the others in the market has been documented here, along with many other reports of discrimination).

The journalists questioned the officer there about the ostracism being experienced by Shugden devotees. Because the officer denied that Shugden devotees have any problems, the journalists later brought a Shugden devotee to the office and pointed out that there is indeed a problem.

The officer got angry and said: “Why do you question us? You must question the Tibetan representative in Bangalore and the Dalai Lama.” The office was then surrounded by Tibetan men and women – some of whom tried to snatch the journalists’ camera and smash it on the ground. They threatened to beat the journalists, who immediately fled to the nearby police station for protection.

After that, a meeting was convened in the office. Shugden devotees are now in great stress, scared about what will happen to them after the meeting.

Indians helping the journalists carry their luggage lose their jobs, May 28, 2008
At the time when the two French journalists received intimidation at the hands of Tibetans in Otty on May 22, there were two Indians employed to help carry their luggage. The Tibetans of Otty Tibetan market demanded that the employers fire the Indians from the market on the mere charge that they had helped the journalists. So they have lost their jobs and cannot work with the Tibetans at the market again.

Dorje Shugden practitioners barred from public temple, May 28, 2008
Shillong is a city
in Magalaya State, North India, where over a hundred Tibetans run restaurants and shops. There is a temple built by public funds for the purpose of prayer services and social gatherings. This year, Sera-jay monks have been managing the temple. When Shugden families went to the temple as usual to make prayers and have a picnic, they found the temple locked. When the Sera-jay monks were asked the reason for the temple being locked, they replied that they have signed and sworn not to share religious or material contact with any Shugden followers. These innocent Buddhist parents and children have therefore been barred from the publicly funded temple.

The oath-taking continues in the Tibetan settlements, June 25, 2008
The signature and swearing campaign is currently being conducted in two different Tibetan settlements in North India, Deradun and Lakenwala. Tibetans in the refugee camps are made to sign an oath that:

  • He/she will never worship Shugden
  • He/she will never share material or religious ties with Shugden followers

As the Dorje Shugden devotees in India say, "Thus this disease is still spreading and being exported, flying in the face of the Delhi High Court Case and international demonstrations."

1 comment:

shugdenusa said...

Dalai Lama’s statement miss out the most important. Look at what I found.
This is not a purification of religion this is a religious prosecution, In the name of purification of the religion. Garuda, if Communist China has anything to do with this issue than it must be with religious prosecution which is going on and not with asking for religious freedom, just use your common sense.
Urgent Statement for Press and human rights organizations
May 2, 2008
Today we would like to request the attention of all those who believe in peaceful coexistence of all faiths and beliefs in this world, and particularly the attention of the free democratic mass media and human rights organizations.
Unfortunately the Tibetans who practice Buddhist deity Shugden are being persecuted by the Tibetan Government in Exile. We have no other choice but to express the following heartfelt words of truth, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama is most unbelievably causing us immeasurable grieve through forcefully impeding our religious faith, taking away our human rights, and inciting repression against our minority.
Since many years from now, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and our Government in Exile have not let us, the devotees of deity Dorjee Shugden, to live in freedom and peace, by spreading manifold false allegations against us, to an extent of accusing us of receiving financial assistance from the Chinese without any evidence. Accusing own people who have different beliefs and thoughts of being on the side of the enemy is tactics of totalitarian and autocratic governments to control their citizens’ views and minds.
On the 9th of January of this year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared: "Dorjee Shugden devotees are supported by the Chinese and therefore there is no need for them to be in exile, they can go back to Tibet (under Chinese rule)”. On the same day he also called for: “holding an open referendum, to decide if the majority of the Tibetans want to coexist with the devotees of the deity”. This is an invitation for open segregation in the Tibetan society, under the disguise of practicing democracy. To hear such statements from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who we regard as our most compassionate leader and who is also known and respected in the world as a champion of peace, is deeply heartbreaking for all of our people. Furthermore, because of His Holiness’s position and influence, his statements become government policies, and therefore have great consequences. These statements from His Holiness’s position, undermine our fundamental rights: our right to exercise freedom of religion, right to peaceful living, and right to equal opportunity; they denote an obvious contempt of the devotees of the deity; they implicate a heavy accusation for which there is no ground at all. These statements have great potential to cause communal violence in the society and as a result, we, members of Tibetan Community, and our family members have been exposed to ostracism and violence.
As responsible Tibetans, we are embarrassed to disclose this situation to the world, and wish we did not have to expose this side of His Holiness to the world, but we have been segregated and suppressed in the Tibetan society in exile for over a decade now that we have no choice but to appeal to the world to help us live in peace.
Our very actual emergency situation arose following a new activity of the exile government, put in action on the 9th of January 2008, aimed at implementing a final and complete discrimination of the minority group of those faithful to the Dharma. As a follow up to the speech of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile, Samdong Rinpoche, asked the abbots of the monasteries to mandate the process of “cleansing” the monasteries of the worshippers of the banned deity. This is a clear order for segregation and exclusion of the Shugden devotees from the Tibetan society. Consequently the abbots of the monasteries made each individual monk stand, in front of the assembly of monks, and declare obedience to His Holiness on loudspeakers and deny coexisting with the worshippers of the banned deity or declaring otherwise. This was designed to greatly humiliate the worshippers of the banned deity. Only about 10% of the monks dared to stand up for their faith, and 90% of monks who did not dare to stand up for their faith, had to declare obedience to His Holiness, for the fear of consequences in the present monastic set up. Some monks chose to leave monasteries to go back to Tibet not knowing what torture they may have to face from the Chinese government. The above 10% monks who stood up for the faith were successfully segregated. In Ganden monastery, an announcement was circulated by the prayer festival committee which not only forbid the devotees from participating in the prayer festival but also from making offerings. In Sera Mey monastery the common kitchen was closed down since January 25th because hundreds of monks, who are devotees of the banned deity, refused to give up their faith. This is designed to break their strength by making their daily living a difficult one. Incidents of violence towards Shugden devotees were taking place in the past as well: an attack on Ganden Shartse monastery in South India by thousands of monks and laymen damaging properties, 14 people being wounded. A case of beating up of one nun in Tibet being left naked in the street to die who fortunately survived. There were attempts of arsons of Shugden devotees. These are just a few of many more incidents involving violence and discriminations towards Shugden followers.
Now in spite of the crisis in Tibet the Tibetan Government in Exile keeps its policy of segregation its own people. The segregation and ostracism are not just confined to the monasteries, it is enforced among the lay people in Tibetan communities under the presence of the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Each of the lay member of the community, above 18 is made to stand before the picture of the Dalai Lama and take an oath pledging that he or she would cut all ties with the Shugden devotees. The oath taking proceeds with offering of white scarf to the picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The oath taking process is also enforced in the Tibetan Children's Village in Bylakuppe, South India. Those students whose parents refused to take oath are severely segregated in the school as the rest of the students are advised by the staff of the school not to have social relations with them. These students are emotionally and psychologically abused by the school community.
Now segregation is starting in all Tibetan communities including North America.
The ban on Shugden by the Dalai Lama is causing the feelings of sadness, hatred, and disunity everywhere in the Tibetan community. The Shugden devotees are undergoing immense emotional, social, psychological and financial hardships.
Being concerned by such terrifying dangers and tensions rising in our communities, we appeal for help and protection from all those who cherish peace, harmony, freedom and truth.
Please, find attached the Demand letter that had been sent to the Tibetan Government in Exile (see the attached file).
Please, contact the following people for throwing more light on the issue of segregation and human rights abuse in the Tibetan society in exile.

Delhi, India

Chonzey Sherab

Telephone: 0091-9818822877

Mr. K. Dorjee

Telephone: 0091-9911852612

Bylakupee, South India

1 Geshe Thupten Kunsang,
Telephone: 0091-9980001116

Mundgod, South India

1 Geshe Lobsang Jamyang
Telephone: 0091-9980599417

2 Serkong Choedak
Telephone: 0091-9880546447
1 Mr. Tenzin
Telephone: Cell: 0041-792632462, Home: 0041-219236224

2 Ven. Mrs. Kelsang Pema,
Telephone: 07717-209418

Kathmandu, Nepal

1 Gan Jangchup
Telephone: M: 00977-9841610370, H:00977-1-4270254

2 Mrs. Lakpa
Telephone: Mob: 00977-9851095246

Ven. Kalsang Thupchen
Telephone: 1-845-6994591 Office: 1-845-856-9000

Telephone 718-244-6462

Venerable Prime Minister Samdong Rinpoche
The Kashag
Tibetan Government in Exile
Gangkyi. district Kangra
Dharamsala. HP. India

May 2, 2008
Your Excellency,
We are extremely saddened and horrified by the official segregation and ostracism that are taking place in Tibetan communities in exile. It is appalling that religious persecution, segregation and ostracism is officially enforced under the Representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Buddha of Compassion, the Nobel Peace Laureate, the believer in democratic principles, the symbol of peace and non violence in the international stage.
The Shugden society, USA, has maintained a very low profile till now hoping that His Holiness and our government in exile would realize the negative socio-political consequences of banning of Shugden practice and that this issue would quiet down without us having to actively embarrass the Tibetan Government in exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We, as Tibetans have been enduring the discreet ostracism since 1996 because we did not want to tarnish the image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama especially in the western world. More importantly we did not want the Chinese government to have one more allegation to add to the list against His Holiness.
Following the speeches of His Holiness and your official statements in Mundgod, (also seen in the March 10th statement of the Kashag, the Cabinet, on the Shugden issue), a systematic "SEGREGATION" began to take place under the abbots (appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama), and Representatives of His Holiness in the Tibetan settlements.
This process is no different from the very practices of the Chinese Communist Government in its indoctrination of its people and the people of occupied Tibet.
The Tibetan public, too scared of being labeled as "Shugden practitioners" or "Shugden sympathizers", followed the required procedures out of fear. Each lay member of the Tibetan community in Bylakuppe is made to stand before the public and His Holiness's picture, repeat the officially written oath pledging to cut all ties in life with the shugden practitioners. The oath taking procedure ended with the offering of a white scarf( khata) to the picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
It is reported that this oath taking is and was enforced also in Tibetan schools and that the staff of the school asked the students not to mix with the children who are related to the to Shugden practitioners. These children face social ostracism in the school set up.
In conclusion, we believe that this path is a serious mistake. We assert:
1. As Tibetans we are entitled to the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, beliefs, and right to live peacefully as provided in the Constitution of Tibetan Government in Exile.
2. In order to use our rights, we are demanding from His Holiness and the Tibetan Government in Exile:
a) Immediately lift the ban on Shugden practice and the religious persecution of its practitioners.
b) Stop the systematic process of segregation in Tibetan communities in exile, which has led to the social and psychological torture of, not only the adult practitioners, but also children in the Tibetan schools.
September 2nd, 2008, is the Tibetan democracy day, and we want the answer by then. If you do not respond to us by then we assume that you are going to continue with the segregation and religious persecution.
Thus far the Shugden Society USA has not organized protest demonstration against His Holiness and our Government in exile because as Tibetans we do not want to divert media attention from the Tibetan independence movement and Human rights issue in Tibet. After September 2nd, 2008, we are going to systematically organize campaigning against this abuse. We have no other choice but to stand up for our right.

Shugden Society, USA