Correcting misinformation spread by the anti-Dalai Lama Protesters

UPDATE: NKT/ISC Refuse Dialog Offer

Previously, we reported here how the NKT/ISC falsely claim the Dalai Lama refuses to enter into dialog over the Shugden issue, whereas since 1996 their offers of dialog have rather been a re-issuing of the same list of uncompromising ultimatums that the Dalai Lama must accept unequivocally. Having encountered this same stance at every subsequent juncture since their first meeting with an NKT senior in Geneva in 1996, neither the Dalai Lama nor the Tibetan Administration have seen any reason to repeat such encounters.

Nevertheless, in December 2014 NKT/ISC seniormost figures were contacted with the offer of a concrete proposal to bring to an end the suffering Shugden devotees were allegedly experiencing, by removing instances of  discrimination from the public arena [see here and here].They were asked for substantial, up to date evidence of any discrimination (the medical center “no admittance” sign photograph their press pack contained was 15 years old) so that any instances could be rectified. The offer was conditional however. It asked that, if all instances of alleged discrimination were removed, would the NKT/ISC cease their demonstrations. This offer was made directly to NKT founder Kelsang Gyatso, his seniormost representatives, messrs Elliot, Foley and Pitts-Rabten, and receipt acknowledged by the latter.

The NKT/ISC were asked to respond by January 5th 2015, but no response was received. The deadline was then extended, but this time with the caveat that a lack of response would be taken as confirmation that neither did they wish to accept the offer nor enter into meaningful dialog over the issue. Again, no response was received.

In mid January 2015, a final communication with the NKT/ISC stated,

“I have contacted all relevant persons involved in this issue… and each has expressed an interest in how we proceed. In the spirit of reconciliation therefore, I would like to say that along with others, I am deeply saddened by your lack of response…. this is a genuine offer to help resolve this difficult situation. It would be a great shame, for instance, if this olive branch were to be transformed into yet another opportunity for critics of the NKT/ISC to attack and condemn them, and would severely diminish the significance of this substantive offer to resolve this long-running impasse, not to mention reducing severely the credibility of your own position.”

No response to this offer to finally resolve the Shugden issue has ever been received.

In a letter to the head of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in 2014, ISC spokseman Mr Foley stated that the purpose of the NKT/ISC’s demonstrations was “to build harmony within Tibetan society”, and to restore “human rights“.

In contradiction, in late 2014, answering campaign claims from the NKT/ISC that the Dalai Lama is in reality “false”, “the worst dictator in the world”, and secretly “a Muslim”, Columbia University Professor of Contemporary Tibetan Studies, Robbie Barnett wrote that these slogans and appeals to human rights have:

“…little or no historical or factual foundation… no connection whatsoever to human rights issues, and [are] morally repugnant and offensive… it represents a decision by them and their leaders to revive an earlier legacy of extreme and aggressive sectarianism within Tibetan history, which is associated with the promotion of acute division, bitterness, and violence. This aspect of the Shugden campaign is certain to provoke conflict and enmity within the Tibetan community, and most observers will understandably conclude that it was and is designed to do so.

The reader must decide for themselves whether the NKT/ISC’s decision not to enter into dialog and end their demonstrations in return for an end to the alleged discrimination against Shugden worshipers within the Tibetan exile community supports Mr Foley’s claims or Professor Barnett’s.