Thursday, May 13, 2010

Persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners continues at Tibetan Camps and Monasteries

Notice on walls at Tibetan Settlement Camp 3 from the "enemy-defeaters"

To Devotees of AvalokiteĊ›vara

In Camp no. 3, near the mustachioed Amdo's restaurant, a shop owned by a family of camp 4, they are Shugden worshipers, thus you all are strongly recommended not to walk in or buy anything from this shop.

signed: the group of enemy defeaters

(See more.)

Note the irony of these terrible messages, which are basically saying:

"To the supporters of Avalokiteshvara, you are encouraged to cause suffering to others in the name of discrimination and religious intolerance. Thank you for your attention."

When did 'compassionate Buddhists' make it their duty to harm others? What a crazy, hypocritical world the Dalai Lama's shameful ban is creating.

Meanwhile, some more news from Shar Gaden Monastery and the nearby Tibetan Camps from an American visitor:

Hello Friends,

The monks here have just finished their exams and tomorrow the much anticipated results are to be announced. There has been much talk about how excellent all the monks performed. Everyone seems to be very excited to hear who will receive the top honors. Currently I am teaching 4 classes a day in basic English as well as private lessons in my free time...and I am loving every minute of it.

Every night I walk to the Tibetan camp 2 and visit with the only family there that has remained loyal to our precious protector. This family of one mother, her brother and 4 children has suffered unbelievable hardships due to the Dalai Lama's policies. They have had their house stoned as well as the constant harassment by all of their neighbors.

The first night walking there I was greeted by almost every Tibetan I came across. However, word must have spread because the very next night no one would even make eye contact with me much less return my greetings. How sad. This Tibetan family has been dealing with this abuse for years...and they don't get to go home to America in six months like I do.

I will be posting much more about this brave family and our courageous monks as the days go by...I am just now starting to get the taste of what things are like here.

You can follow his blog here.

Many people think that because Shar Gaden and Serpom monasteries exist, the monks now have a home and there's no problem. In fact, some supporters of the Dalai Lama have gone as far as to say that there is no ban because these monasteries exist so that the monks are obviously free to practise Dorje Shugden. However, the everyday reality is quite different. In both Shar Ganden and Serpom, reports indicate that the persecution and segregation ordered by the Dalai Lama continues in full fledge.

Dalai Lama, give religious freedom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Court case against the Dalai Lama concludes: no victory, no defeat either

Due to the on-going persecution of Buddhist adherents of the four centuries-old practice of the protective Buddha Dorje Shugden by Tenzin Gyatso, aka the 14th Dalai Lama, and his "Central Tibetan Administration" (CTA), following a ban of that religious practice, the Dorje Shugden Devotees' Charitable and Religious Society took the brave step of filing a Petition to the Delhi High Court, New Delhi, India in 2008.

On 5 April 2010, after more than two years of struggle, the Petition was finally dismissed by Justice S. Muralidhar on technical grounds.

The major reason cited for denying jurisdiction was location. The government of India pointed out that this court has no territorial jurisdiction over a dispute. As they are located in Dharamsala, the state government is to investigate the allegations against the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile. Indian government does not recognize the so-called Tibetan government in exile.

Justice Muralidhar pointed out:

"It is however clarified that the dismissal of this petition will not preclude any individual member or members of the [Dorje Shugden Society] to seek appropriate remedies as may be available to them in law" before the police in Karnataka and its state government.

It was further stated that worshippers of Dorje Shugden have a right to freedom of religion as enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution.

Predictably, the website of the Central Tibetan Administration on April 20 claimed this as a victory for them, falsely stating on their website that “Justice Muralidhar's decision had the effect of closing the doors on the possibility of similar complaints in the future.” In fact, Justice Muralidar clearly stated that by dismissing the case in its present form he would not express any opinion on the merits or demerits of the case, and he clearly pointed out in paragraph 12 of the Order (as mentioned above): "It is however clarified that the dismissal of this petition will not preclude any individual member or member of the Petitioner No. 1 Society [i.e., the above named Dorje Shugden Society] to seek appropriate remedies as may be available to them in law before the appropriate forum…".

The court noted that the Shugden Society's harassment and maltreatment accusations had not yet been lodged in a formal complaint to the local police authorities. This has led the CTA to take the Justice’s comments out of context, stating that the Petition had been dismissed due to 'vague averments' regarding cases of harassment and persecution against Shugden devotees. The actual order in fact reads that they were vague statements because "the criminal law remedies available to the Petitioners has not been availed of by them" (para 8), i.e. the victims. This of course is likely due to intimidation and fear of further persecution.

Despite the CTA propaganda, it is clear from studying the judgment that there was no victory, but nor was there a defeat. The dismissal was mainly for two reasons. (1) The Justice did not see a territorial jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court pointing towards the law and order institutions of the States of Himachal Pradesh (the seat of the Tibetan leader) and Karnataka (the site of the large Tibetan settlements Mundgod and Bylakuppe). (2) He mentioned the lack of records in the local police files due to the absence of complaints by victims of the Dalai Lama's actions.

This ruling in fact lights the way for future court cases in the coming years to be tried in the appropriate state forums, especially as and when individual victims garner the courage to make official complaints to the local police and the records of those complaints pile up. As the persecution continues and monks are still expelled en masse from their monasteries, there is sadly no shortage of evidence to bring against the Dalai Lama and his CTA.

As the Dorje Shugden Society said on April 22:

"There is no question of win - lose here. The dismissal of the case is disappointing. On the other hand, this experience has given us a second chance to approach it in a better and more efficient way. Moreover, it also implies that collaboration and fraternity are priorities. Also, our lawyer said that the Society can file a Suit and individuals who are affected can file individual Petitions. The society tried its best according to its ability. Of course the society is poorly funded. But this is not end of our struggle for religious freedom, human dignity and equality, since our cause is just. And it goes without saying that those who walk on the path of truth often face challenges. Despite hindrances we ought to make effort that no one live through the deprivation of their basic rights, and pledge to promote love, compassion and tolerance in lieu of merely preaching them."