Letter from Shugden Society USA
September 2nd 2009
Today we would like to bring to the attention of all those who believe in peaceful coexistence of all faiths and beliefs in this world, and particularly the attention of the people who believe in freedom of religion and human rights.
Today, September 2nd is The Tibetan Democracy Day, but the irony is that we the Tibetan people do not have true democracy due to the policies of the Tibetan government in exile, under the powerful guidance of the Dalai Lama , that undermines our Rights to Religious Freedom as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other international conclaves. We, The Dorjee Shugden practitioners, must commemorate the date of September 2nd to create a global awareness of our plight.
On the 9th of January 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared that "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, whom we regard as our most compassionate leader and who is known and respected around 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 accusations for which there are no ground at all. These statements have great potential to cause communal violence in the society and as a result, we, the followers of this deity, and our family members have been victims of ostracism and violence.
In reference to the letter to the prime minister of the Tibetan Government in exile, Samdong Rinpoche and The Dalai Lama, dated April 25, 2008, we had appealed to the Tibetan government to enforce our demands within the deadline of September 2nd, 2008,
Our Demands were:
·To entitle us to the fundamental rights of freedom to speech, beliefs, and the rights to live peacefully as guaranteed in the Constitution of Tibetan Government-in-Exile and Democratic countries.
· To lift the ban on Shugden practice and the religious persecution of its practitioners.
·To stop the systematic process of segregation in the Tibetan communities in exile, that has led to the social, psychological and physical torture of Shugden practitioners.
As our demands were time and again blatantly ignored, and in addition to the plight:
· The Tibetan government in exile continue to ostracise and segregate the Shugden practitioners from the rest of the Tibetan society.
· All the Tibetan media including the Voice of America (Tibetan Section) and the Radio free Asia, instead of standing up for the democratic principles, promote further segregation and ostracism of the Shugden devotees.
· Hundreds of monks, who worshipped Dorjee Shugden, were ostracised and expelled from the monasteries. As a result, a new wall at Ganden monastery in Southern India was built in March 2008 to segregate the Shugden worshippers.
·Monks who worshipped Shugden were denied medical services from the health clinics in the Tibetan communities in exile.
·Students, whose parents worshipped Dorjee Shugden, were ostracised in schools system.
· The idols of the Dorjee Shugden deity, destroyed in places like Lhasa, Central Tibet, South India and Kathmandu.
Due to such violation of our fundamental human rights, we are left with no clear options but to stand up for our rights. From this date onwards, we will implement the following campaign measures until our democratic rights to practice our religious rights are established:
· Being proactive by using various media to create the awareness of our plight.
· Organise and gather petition and submit to various concerned authorities and organisations.
· Organise systematic demonstrations.
Following are few of the recent incidents of violence towards Shugden devotees:
1) In July 2008, wanted posters of several monks involved in the Western Shugden Society protests appeared in Queens, New York. Al Jazeera reported about the wanted posters saying, "No Shugden worshipper has ever been charged or investigated for terrorism and yet the monks that continue to worship Shugden remain victims of name and shame."
2) An attack on Gaden Shartse monastery in South India by thousands of monks and laymen resulted in 40 people wounded and properties damaged.
3) In 1997, a nun in Tibet, was beaten up and left naked in the street to die, who fortunately survived.
4) In Clement town, there was also an attempt of arson on a Shugden devotees family’s house.
5) In July 29th 2009, the Tibetan section of Radio Free Asia, with intention to turn the general Tibetan people against the Shugden devotees, demonised the Shugden devotees of being responsible for the abductions of Tenzing thakpa, Woeser rinpoche's father and a 13 year old boy along with few goats and sheep in Markham. In reality, Woeser rinpoche's father and a 13 year old boy were victims of flood and Tenzing thakpa was seen alive and well, travelling in Lhasa and India.
These are just a few cases from countless incidents of atrocities involving violence and discrimination towards Shugden followers.
With best regards,
Shugden Society USA