We warmly welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the UK and wish him a safe and pleasant tour!
STATEMENT BY EX NKT FOLLOWERS
(NEW KADAMPA SURVIVORS) ON THE DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
Kelsang Gyatso, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, a modern, western Buddhist group, first encouraged his students to attack and defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his views on the Tibetan protector worship known as ‘Shugden’ in 1997.
Since then his followers, using various front organisations such as ‘The International Shugden Community’ (ISC), have protested against the Dalai Lama using loud noise and abusive and offensive language misrepresenting his role within the democratic Tibetan exile community and ignoring the status of Tibetans as refugees. Tensions around the Shugden issue have been dying down in the Tibetan communities in India since 2008 when Shugden monastics were given properties and land previously owned by the larger mainstream Gelugpa monasteries.
Kelsang Gyatso’s students stand beside Tibetans with proven connections to Chinese interests who are happy for His Holiness to be maligned. Protesters try to interrupt His Holiness and make him difficult to hear. They do not display any fear in stating their views even though they say that speaking out puts them at risk. Their requests for dialogue have been met.
Ex NKT followers, by contrast, are frequently silenced by legal threats and anonymous defamations when we have simply tried to clarify what we know to be our own valid experience. Academics, newspapers and publishers have also been threatened. Most ex NKT only wish to rebuild their lives outside the group in privacy and tranquillity. In this context, speaking publicly is too distressing; our vulnerabilities become too exposed to minimisation, ridicule and shaming.
As the founder of the NKT has not been seen in public since 2013 and we know the NKT to be unethical in its treatment of its followers in many ways, we seriously doubt the intentions behind the current protests against His Holiness; ISC campaigns have often been proved dishonest and illogical. Further clarification can be found in our declaration.
We would like to express our sadness at the behaviour of our previous companions who we understand to be misinformed and we wish His Holiness the Dalai Lama a safe and pleasant stay in the UK.
Ex NKT (New Kadampa Survivors) and Supporters
September 10th 2015
- September UK visit of Dalai Lama: statements on anti-Dalai Lama protests from British Buddhists and Tibetan Community in UK (2015/09/10)
- [Updated] Statement Of UK Buddhist Organisations Re: Protests Against His Holiness The Dalai Lama By The International Shugden Community/ New Kadampa Tradition (2015/09/10)
- Statement Concerning the Cult of Dolgyal Shugden by Tibetan Community in Britain (2015/06/12)
Information by acknowledged academic authority
- Notes on the Shugden protests by Robert Barnett
- Protests against the Dalai Lama over Dorje Shugden – An interview with Robert Barnett
- The Dorje Shugden Conflict – An interview with Thierry Dodin
Press coverage with a critical or an enlightening approach (chronological order)
- The readers’ editor on… Buddhism and organised lobbying – The Guardian / Observer
- ‘Extremist’ sect threatens protests against Dalai Lama during UK visit – The Guardian / Observer
- ‘Zealous’ supporters of minority Buddhist sect target Dalai Lama – ABC NEWS
- Explained: Who are the Shugden Buddhists criticising the Dalai Lama? – ABC NEWS
- Meet the Buddhists Who Hate the Dalai Lama More Than the Chinese Do – Foreign Policy
- Relentless: The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Steel – Newsweek
- Shugden followers forcefully bang drums – Sidetrack Attack on the Dalai Lama – Neue Züricher Zeitung
- The Followers of a Wrathful Buddhist Spirit Take on the Dalai Lama – VICE
- Angry White Buddhists and the Dalai Lama: Appropriation and Politics in the Globalization of Tibetan Buddhism – Tricycle
- Elderly Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of Controversial Deity – RfA
- Another Tibetan is Jailed For Discouraging Worship of a Controversial Deity – RfA
- The Dalai Lama Gives New Yorkers A Lesson On Wisdom As Opponents Protest Outside – The Huffington Post
- 6 Things You Should Know About the Anti-Dalai Lama Protesters – The Huffington Post
- Concerning The Current Wave of ‘Protest Demonstrations’ Against His Holiness the Dalai Lama – The Huffington Post
- Here’s why demonstrators are trolling the Dalai Lama’s US tour – GlobalPost
- Breakaway Buddhists take aim at the Dalai Lama – PRI’s The World
- Group to protest Dalai Lama talk at Princeton next week – The Daily Princetonian
- Distance from Dalai Lama protests among differing opinions – The Foreigner