The final point he makes is that the Dalai Lama is often accused by the pro-Shugden side as suppressing freedom of religion. “This accusation makes no sense,” states Dr Hill. “The Dalai Lama is not head of any state; he has no military or police at his command; he has no political jurisdiction over which he can exercise suppression.” – Prof. Dr. Nathan Hill in The Foreigner
You might have noted that there appeared some questionable press articles during the Australia tour of the 14th Dalai Lama – especially by The Guardian, The Sidney Morning Herald, and The Age – who gave ISC spokes person Nicholas Pitts / Kelsang Rabten – a platform for his strange allegations without consulting any independent academic expert. In a way, its the naïvety and lack of responsibility and care of these media that give so much space to a controversial fringe group that uses Scientology-tactics to misinform the public, allowing them to abuse their media platform as a means to attack their perceived enemy.
However, if you are interested in a well researched newspaper article about the Anti Dalai Lama protesters and the Shugden controversy, since 2008 it is Foreign Policy which has published the most thoroughly investigated article. How could this happen? Because the journalist did not allow himself to be carried away by time pressure, lack of expertise or sensationalist greed etc. but instead he took time to investigate the topic carefully and in depth. Journalist Isaac Stone Fish spoke with all sides and he relied on an academic expert of contemporary Tibetan politics, Robert Barnett (Columbia University):
- Meet the Buddhists Who Hate the Dalai Lama More Than the Chinese Do
Followers of Dorje Shugden say the Dalai Lama is a “Muslim” who “associates” with Nazis. – Foreign Policy
It is quite sad to see – once again – that also during the Dalai Lama’s Australia tour most of the media lack time and effort to do their work and that the press team of the Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama appears to be not very effective to get out sober information and to really correct the wrong claims by addressing them directly.
However, here is a funny video comment by the “China Uncensored” YouTube-Channel, that gives the visual summary and an appropriate comment to the ISC claims which scientists called more or less “non-sense” and Foreign Policy called “absurd”:
Update June 12, 2015
ABC News posted two well investigated articles ‘Zealous’ supporters of minority Buddhist sect target Dalai Lama and Explained: Who are the Shugden Buddhists criticising the Dalai Lama? for which they interviewed Dr. David Templeman, a Tibetan history scholar at Monash University’s Asia Institute and Professor John Powers from the Australian National University who corrected the ISC claims and put the whole issue into perspective.
Update December 2015
Part four of Reuters investigates “The Long Arm of China” covers the Shugden controversy and the role China plays in it, “Special Report: China co-opts a Buddhist sect in global effort to smear Dalai Lama”. The investigative article was written by David Lague, Paul Mooney and Benjamin Kang Lim. They sought among others the expertise of Robert Barnett, Elliot Sperling and Thierry Dodin.
Update June 12, 2016
Here you can find an explanation why The Age and the Sidney Morning Herald might have reprinted the propaganda article by Nicholas Pitts (Kelsang Rabten): Fairfax prints Chinese propaganda – ABC Media Watch.