Thousands of supporters of the Dalai Lama shouted and spit at a group of demonstrators belonging to a Buddhist sect which claims the Tibetan spiritual leader is persecuting its members. The incident happened outside Radio City Hall as thousands of Tibetans and Nepalese Americans were coming out of a lecture conducted by the Dalai Lama. The situation is confusing at this point because some of the demonstrators were waving money in the air as though to offer the view they had been paid by Chinese agents to stage a protest against the Dalai Lama. However, leaders of the Western Sugden Society(WSS) insisted they were angry at the ban placed by the Dalai Lama against certain forms of prayer which he termed “just spirit worship.” The Tibetan leader insisted “99 percent of Tibetans follow my practice. A small portion worship this spirit.”
The WSS insists the Dalai Lama end the ban on their form of worship since it is causing “spiritual, emotional and physical harm” to its adherents. They point out the Dalai Lama for years was engaged in this form of prayer but then claimed it was wrong.
Frankly, we of this blog are unable to sort our way through the complexities of this religious dispute. Readers who are interested can access the WSS website as well as that of the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese government continues its stonewalling policy of denying there are any problems in Tibet rather than admitting mistakes were made and they will be addressed in the future. Such an approach would be welcomed by the world as evidence China is pursuing the path of democracy. Instead, Quan Bo, of the Chinese Mission to the UN in Geneva, once against insisted Tibet enjoys peace and prosperity under the benevolent rule of China. He insisted the Tibet issue was neither a religious or human rights one, but arose out of dissident groups which endeavor to create an independent Tibet. Bo was particularly upset at the “biased comments” of other delegates who were trying to transform the debate into one dealing with human rights.
According to Bo, “the progress and achievements made in Tibet are facts that cannot be written off by lies and libels.” As always any deaths were attributed to the “Dalai Lama clique” which wants an independent Tibet.
No one denies that many feudal aspects of Tibet life have been changed by China, no one denies there is now a more sophisticated system of education, but fundamental issues of human rights require Tibetans to made their own decisions and certainly most want the return of the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese government is so concerned in proving to the world the Dalai Lama is part of some grand conspiracy aimed to obtaining independence for Tibet, it is incapable of ever actually listening to the words of the peaceful leader of his desire for autonomy within the nation of China. Once again Chinese official sources claim the Dalai Lama is on a global tour aimed at pushing the idea of a “China threat” to the West. China insists, “some forces want to use Dalai clique to put greater pressure on China” by internationalizing the Tibet issue. It is upset the “Dalai clique” wants an investigation into events of the March riots in Tibet. The bottom line, according to Beijing, is that “after five decades of life in exile, the Dalai clique has learned how to cater to the West by flaunting human rights, peace, environment protection and culture, among others.”
Perhaps, there is another way to examine the issue of spending half a century in exile. Perhaps, the Dalai Lama seeks to achieve peace for his people and some form of protection of their cultural values within the greater context of life in a Chinese nation. Perhaps, there is no “clique,” but only frustrated people seeking to reconcile their desires for a peaceful resolution of issues.