Australian Sangha Association statement regarding protests at the teachings of HH the Dalai Lama
The ASA wishes to express its dismay at the conduct of robed members of the New Kadampa Tradition, Western Shugden Society and associated organizations during the teachings given by HH the Dalai Lama on 11-15 June 2008 at Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia.
The Dalai Lama’s teachings were attended by over 6000 people who came to be inspired by the peaceful and harmonious message of Buddhism. Instead they were met by a large, organized group of protesters dressed in monastic robes shouting slogans. Noisy public demonstrations such as these are not appropriate behaviour for monks or nuns and have brought Buddhism in this country into disrepute.
The ASA recognizes there is a difference of opinion with the Dalai Lama on various issues. It is the right of NKT and WSS members to disagree with the Dalai Lama’s opinions but their disagreement should be expressed in a peaceful, respectful and reasonable manner.
Therefore, in the spirit of Dharma and in accordance with Buddhist principles the ASA would encourage the NKT and WSS protesters to request forgiveness from the Dalai Lama for their behaviour and in future to conduct themselves with humility and restraint.