Over 400 Tibetan and western Buddhist monks, nuns and other practitioners who have traveled from 16 countries are gathering this weekend to stage an impassioned protest against the Dalai Lama at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, where he is scheduled to give a five-day teaching. The demonstrators hope to bring the attention of the West to the hidden, intensive persecution by the Dalai Lama of thousands of Tibetan-exile citizens who practice a 400-year old mainstream tradition of making prayers to the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden.
Through his power as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile and with political motive, the Dalai Lama has imposed an aggressive, forced ban on this practice (which he himself engaged in for over 40 years), claiming these prayers harm his personal health and the cause of Tibet.
Buddhist nun Kelsang Pema, spokesperson of the Western Shugden Society (WSS), an umbrella organization made up of Shugden practitioners from many Buddhist traditions, explains:
"Since this enforced ban by the Dalai Lama is causing so much spiritual, emotional and physical harm to practitioners both in India and now in the West, and for years he has refused to engage in dialog around this issue, we have no choice but to ask for the help of fair-minded citizens of the West to rectify this inhumane action by engaging in demonstrations and discussions with the Press."
"The Dalai Lama is coming to Lehigh University to talk about love, compassion and tolerance, but the great irony is that as a political and supposed religious leader he does not practice these himself. In India, because of his personal political agenda, thousands of monks have been segregated within or expelled from monasteries without resources, supporters have been denied food and travel visas, families are being ostracized and segregated within their communities, and countless Shugden Temples and statues destroyed."
"The only aim of the WSS is to have this immoral ban lifted so that millions of innocent people throughout the world can continue with their spiritual life without harassment or fear. Should we expect any less from this supposed man of peace?"
From Press Release Web