Correcting misinformation spread by the anti-Dalai Lama Protesters

Is the Dalai Lama Refusing a Dialog with the Shugden Followers?

At a conference at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies in the summer of 2014, New Kadampa ‘monk’ and International Shugden Community spokesperson Mr Rabten claimed,

“We have tried to have dialog on this [Shugden issue] with the Dalai Lama and his representatives for nearly twenty years… So even though they’re not here, maybe this is a step in that direction, who knows?”

Similarly, in 2008 an NKT front group website claimed,

“Because the Dalai Lama refuses even to acknowledge our correspondence, let alone enter into meaningful dialog, we are left with no alternative but to organize protest demonstrations”

This claim, that the NKT/ISC want a “dialog” and the allegation that the Dalai Lama refuses to acknowledge their request, is recurrent in ISC propaganda distributed to the international media.

The UK Office of Tibet did offer to meet representatives from the New Kadampa front organization, the “Shugden Supporters Community” during their demonstrations against His Holiness in London in 1996. At the last moment however, the NKT/SSC pulled out of the proposed meeting without any explanation. Since then, the NKTs various front groups have written to the Dalai Lama and his representatives sporadically, purportedly to request “dialog”.

At the 2014 conference mentioned above, Mr Rabten read out a prepared ISC statement which stated:

“…to resolve this issue, we would request that everyone…. ask the Dalai Lama to accept the following four points…”

In 2008, referring to the same four points, another NKT front group wrote,

“We the Western Shugden Society ask you to accomplish four things:….”

And again, in 2008 Mr Clausen, NKT senior and New York Representative of the “Dorje Shugden International Coalition” wrote to His Holiness saying:

“…. we request Your Holiness, please accept our petition and sign the attached Declaration.”

These communications do not so much request “dialog” as demand compliance.

The website of the Western Shugden Society declared:

“We will continue to organize demonstrations to coincide with the Dalai Lama’s schedule until he agrees to our requests.”

One letter concludes with the following demand:

“Do you accept these four points? We require your answer by the 22 April 2008, signed and delivered by registered post to….”

Representatives of the Dalai Lama did in fact meet with Mr Clausen in Geneva in 1996. However, as with each subsequent interaction with His Holiness’ representatives, Clausen simply offered a list of conditions for His Holiness to accept unconditionally.

In summary, contrary to their claims, the NKTs various front groups’ initial requests for “dialog” were met, but have not been subsequently, since it became clear that these requests for dialog were nothing more than lists of demands.

The Dalai Lama then, is not rejecting out of hand the protesters’ demands for “dialog”. In not acceding to the protesters’ demands, he is simply refusing, as any sincere person would, to be bullied out of redressing the divisive effects of Dolgyal Shugden worship.