(This is Part- 4 of the series on India-China Relations. Part-3 was published on July 17, 2020 : Oppose US Moves To Drag India-China Conflict Into Its Indo-Pacific Strategy.)
“The CIA goal was never independence for Tibet. In fact, I do not think that the Americans ever really even wanted to help.They just wanted to stir up trouble, using Tibetans to create misunderstandings and discord between China and India. Eventually they were successful in that” : Gyalo Thondup (GT)
(Quoted by Manoj Joshi, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)
The above lines are from The Noodlemaker of Kalimpong (2016), a “poignant memoir,” as Joshi calls the autobiography of GT.
GT (born 1927, now 93), is elder brother of Dalai Lama. He has been the key political functionary on behalf of Dalai Lama, from 1950s when he was the key CIA’s points-man, to this day. He was a key associate in CTA, the government-in-exile of Tibet State, headed by the Lama, created by US in association with India, which sustains the CTA now.
The story is not past, but still ongoing : In fact, even for future CIA the planned with GT “for your next incarnation.” Alexander Norman in his seminal biography, The Dalai Lama: An Extra-ordinary Life (2020) wrote:
When CIA program came to an end, its Operations Director told GT “please arrange for your next incarnation to be PM of a country where we can do more to help you!” noting that he had been extra-ordinarily successful in obtaining both material and political support from US” (livemint.com Feb 22,2020. Excerpts from the Book.)
The key successor,the political incarnation, the PM ( later called the President) of CTA, is Lobsang Sangay (43), a US citizen who was given higher education and trained in US for 16 years. And US, India and the camp are bent on creating a next incarnation of Dalai Lama.This has become a bone of contention. They had earlier selected a boy, who however went missing, and is now a graduate and employed in China. The US connection is deep and long:
He (GT) had stayed, for two years from 1947 April to1949 summer, with KMT Chief Chiang Kai-shek family and was “groomed for his role” by him; had been educated there by a tutor. Based on a book (2006) by Thomas Laird : The Story of Tibet : Conversations with Dalai Lama, Wikipedia says. It adds: India’s IB Chief BN Mullik had told him, post-1962 war, that India supported Tibet’s “eventual liberation.”
GT had met Deng Xiaoping in 1979, and made several official visits to China in 1990s and said peaceful settlement is the only way. After all his political life experiences of 70 years, he wrote they are “using Tibetans to create misunderstandings and discord between China and India.”
Dalai Lama (then aged 82) himself , tired and retired, came into a conciliatory mood, favoring India-China friendship. Responding to questions by reporters at an event in Mumbai said (PTI, August 14, 2017):
“In 1951, a 17-point agreement was signed between the Local Government of Tibet and China (PRC) for peaceful liberation of Tibet. Today China is changing and has become a country with the highest Buddhist population. They (India and China) should go back to ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’ again.”
It is a Communist government but Buddhism is widely accepted, he said. “Earlier, the Dalai Lama used to be the head of spiritual and political movements in Tibet, but in 2011, I totally retired from politics. It was a way of democratising the institutions, because it had some feudal elements in it,” said the 14th Dalai Lama.
This was what Dalai Lama said in Mumbai not long ago (PTI, August 14, 2017). It may be noted that he was party to the 1951 agreement which he later spurned at the behests of US. Tibet of their choice is nowhere in sight.
But that conciliation is not liked by hawks in various camps, in India and USA. So he succumbed to pressures once again, and reverted to his role as a tool in their hands. Now they want to use him even in his old age, and pursue their anti-China strategy in the name of Buddhist Diplomacy.
Tired and “retired” in 2011, he handed over the reigns to successors, “while still remaining a figure-head.” The powers that be are making arrangements of transition, for a post-Dalai Lama scenario.
Thus both Lamas were tools in the hands of hegemonists, regional and global. They still want to use the Dalai Lama as a “geo-strategic asset.” Buddhist Diplomacy fits in there.
And that mission is still on. Buddhist diplomacy is one of its forms.
We shall go into that in this Part-4 of the series.
“Setting up Buddhist Alliance in countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia would be fruitful. India should think about passively helping Tibetans to organise protests when Chinese leaders visit India”, he added. Talking about the worries of China, he said that three Ts bother China the most: Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen, Trade. (By exploiting them, we can) bring them to their knees,” Gokhale concluded.
At the Indian International Centre in Delhi, November 21, 2019. Photo by Tenzin Choejor. Revisiting ‘One China’ policy and allied issues are being discussed in such recent meets. China accuses Dalai Lama as a splittist, and indulging in politics.
Backing Gokhale was Jayadeva Ranade, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and present day President of Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, who said: We are entering a delicate status with Dalai Lama’s advancing age. Dalai Lama’s advantage is to be taken for two reasons…”
Jayadeva Ranade’s words carry weight : He retired from service in 2008, was a former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and a former diplomat who worked in China , Hong Kong, USA etc. He is a specialist in matters related to China, intelligence and security, and is a Member of NSA Board.
Nitin Gokhale, is a “media entrepreneur, a strategic analyst”, author of several books, who had reported and wrote on NE insurgencies, Eelam war, is a visiting faculty for several Defence Colleges, and IB’s Intelligence School (stratnewsglobal.com).
These are among India’s hawks who are advocating a rash and rabid policy shift against China. See more of them below. They were speaking in a webinar organized in the context of recent India-China face-off along LAC, just three days before the June 15 physical clash in the Galwan valley, in Ladakh sector.
It was not merely academic, as can be seen below:
India’s one China policy may not be permanent feature amid Beijing’s aggression–Experts at a Webinar, June12. That was the perception as reported by Economic Times(ET), June 13, 2020.
The arguments of Nitin Gokhale revolved largely around Taiwan and Tibet. ..India is on the verge of a policy change towards One China Policy towards Taiwan…
On Tibet, he said that not only the Dalai Lama but the CTA and the Tibetan Government in Exile should be provided greater visibility amongst the media, academia, and government events/meetings.
On Tibet, Ranade noted that the Dalai Lama’s old age meant India needed to expand its Buddhist links with the Tibetans and strengthen the relationship.
“China does not have a good track record on Buddhism. We need to build up our own Buddhist religious sites…We need to prevent China from building the Buddhist circuit connecting Lumbini (in Nepal !) with China through aerial connectivity.”
Arvind Gupta ..suggested that India should be supporting Tibet and try that the Dalai Lama should be given a higher position and more visibility in India’s political circles. He is former deputy National Security Adviser of India and now director of Vivekananda International Foundation …
(See for more on this: Indian Hawks Join Hands With US Vultures Against China, published as part of this series on India-China relations, on June 16.
The other experts at the webinar were : Seshadri Chari, of RSS who was editor of Organizer, its weekly magazine, presently Secretary-General of Forum for Integrated National Security; and Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, senior fellow at Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
“Are we ready to give nuclear weapons to Taiwan?”
The dangerous and expansionist mind-set was made more explicit by others:
Sheshadri Chari of RSS argued that India should never accept the ‘One China’ principle as propounded by Beijing…He suggested things about Xinjiang and Uyghurs which, we can see, amount to fishing in troubled waters and exploiting Islamic terrorism there. Anti-Muslim tirade launched post-Sept 11, in the name of countering terrorism and its promoters is thus played down when it comes to China. In the webinar,
Abhijit Iyer-Mitra gave food for thought by flagging a couple of questions including – are we ready to give nuclear weapons to Taiwan? Can we support Taiwan strategically? Can we support the democracy movement in Hong Kong? Can we recognise Taiwan? Can we support Uighurs? Can we support Manchuria and Inner Mongolia? Can we support the minority rebels in Mongolia? Can we sell them weapons?
Nuclear weapons go together with Buddha, and against China in India! That is our Buddhism. It may be recalled Indira Gandhi regime conducted a Nuclear Test on 1974 May 18, and it was code-named ironically Smiling Buddha. Raja Ramanna, then BARC Chief, messaged to her : The Buddha has finally smiled. And Vajpayee regime repeated it, Pokhran-2, on 1998 May 13; he had written a secret letter to US President Clinton (later revealed by US) hinting that the device was meant to counter threat from China. After 1962 war, the LAC was by and large peaceful, and “not a bullet was fired for the last 45 years” as acknowledged by India. But India regards China as a threat and embraces war monger US.
Exploring policy options, he (Abhijit Iyer-Mitra) suggested developing “Intelligence cooperation with Taiwanese, who have excellent counterintelligence capabilities and brilliant technological intelligence.” ( India already has such deals with the notorious Mossad of Israel, we may add. ) He also recommended diverting Chinese attention to the South China Sea and other borders by providing resources and support to countries like Vietnam and Philippines, who are ready to take on China.
“Tibetan Freedom struggle is the original Made in India struggle”
“Join anti-China global platform… Revise of ‘One China’ policy…” RSS voice Seshadri Chari, now a member of the National Executive of the ruling BJP, wrote on this separately recently, in Organiser, 2 June, 2020, of which he was a former editor, even as India’s military-level peace talks with China commenced. “There are signs of an anti-China global platform emerging but New Delhi would be advised to wait and watch its progress before committing to be part of it. And the Tibet card is only one of them.”
Many of these experts are associated with RSS or pro-RSS agencies, and close to the present regime, it can be seen. It may be noted the CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay had visited Nagpur and conferred with RSS Chief Mohan Bhagvat on August 6, 2018, and discussed the “strategic significance of Tibet and CTA.” Bhagvat said “India and Tibet are one family” and pledged his support to highlight Tibet issue (tibet.net).
May20th saw a Indo-Tibet Summit-2017 held by Sangh Parivar where Sangay the Chif guest said : “Tibetan Freedom struggle is the original Made in India struggle”..and will win; “India would be co-author” of that history.(tibet.net).
RSS leader Indresh Kumar, addressed in Delhi a National Convention on Tibet, on Sep 23, 2019, along with CTA Chief Sangay, and said “China’s goonda gardi (hooliganism) wont last, and Tibet will be free”… and “Dalai Lama will go to Potala Palace in Lhasa.” (Deccan Herald 2019 Sep24, and CTA website). It is a clear violation of Panch Sheel.
Earlier Dalai Lama was invited to inaugurate the First World Hindu Congress in Delhi, where 50 countries were represented, on Nov 21, 2014, soon after NDA-1 came to power, and he shared platform with Bhagvat and VHP Chief Ashok Singhal.
Now the focus is clear: The webinar was explicitly on “Revisiting ‘One China’ policy: Economic and Political Options for India: Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan, and Xinjiang.”
“India should rethink and revise its ‘One China‘ policy and exploit the geographic, ethnic, and economic fault lines within the Asian giant, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, the experts said” as per the report.
Defence.Capital is a specialist journal that “tracks the business and politics of India’s growing defence, homeland security, aerospace and maritime trade and market, to provide you the most accurate, quality news at the right time.”
…(This is ) “an exciting time for the industry in India. India is estimated to spend $250 billion till 2027 on military procurement alone that would make it one among the world’s top arms buyers over the next decade.” It covers big players, Indian and foreign, as also MSMEs.
Content for this website will be provided by seasoned correspondents in defence, homeland security and allied sectors.
Ironically Buddhist diplomacy is discussed in a platform related to war industry,where big powers call the shots, along with their junior Indian partners. “India should rethink the one china policy and exploit China’s fault-line”, experts suggested. That is Buddhist diplomacy.
They seek a Buddhist Alliance, but want “to prevent China from building the Buddhist circuit connecting Lumbini with China.” Such is their commitment to Buddhism ! Lumbini is in Nepal, and India wants to do that ! Nepal has been complaining of pressures from US lobbies to impose Indo-Pacific Strategy on it. Is this not, Nepal has been asking, expansionism and Big Brotherly attitude ?
India opened the defence sector to private sector years ago during UPA regime itself. But indigenous industry did not take off till now. 70 to 80 percent defence acquisitions were being imported from Russia, and more recently from USA Israel France UK etc. With all nationalistic clamour about of secrecy of security, defence sector is opened up, welcoming 100 % FDI. All security talk thus is aimed at only Pakistan and China, which itself is meshed up with western MNCS.
“Buddhist diplomacy”, and that using Dalai Lama, is doomed to fail
Dalai Lama had said, “all others in the world…Christians, Hindus and Muslims treat him well…but his own Buddhist Brotherhood does not treat him well.” (Reuters, April 2, 2015).
Why is this so?
Firstly because many see him, based on his life for the last 60 years, as a notorious political monk who was on the pay-rolls of CIA, and served war-monger USA, and who never condemned US wars that killed millions, including Buddhists of Vietnam and Indo-China between 1955-1975; and millions more in the later phase, most of them Muslim countries.
Secondly he belongs to one minority school. Like all religions, Buddhists are also divided by different schools or cults, and have no Pope-like authority. Those who know the Sunni-Shia bitter divide between countries and peoples, including in India – more so in UP which is witness to communal clashes between them – can understand the problems.
China (including Taiwan) had once a big Buddhist population, which is of Mahayana school, the biggest (65 % plus of world-wide Buddhists). Mahayana has its influence in entire Asia, including Japan. Then comes Theravada Buddhism (30%) mostly in South East Asia, Vietnam, Srilanka, Myanmar. The remaining schools add up to 5 % including Dalai Lama’s Vajrayana Buddhism, a small denomination mostly of Tibetans.
The combination of the above two factors ( pro-US politics and anti-China activities, and Vajrayana being a minority school) alienated him further. He was more a factor of division than of unity. Significant contradictions – sometimes the frictions led to physical violence too – between different sects within Tibetan Buddhists made him weaker:
The Tibetans have the idea of identifying rebirths of previous spiritual leaders in their next life as a young child…This is a very unusual idea among Buddhists, because Buddha discouraged attempts to find out about your previous life…though it’s not prohibited…Tibetan Buddhism is the only branch that has this idea of reincarnations…
The Dalai Lama in 2019 stated, while talking about his successor, that after his death he is likely to be reincarnated in India…thus a religious belief became an issue of political contention : Seeking to exploit it in their favor, the US and India have been insisting that China should have no role in it. Traditionally Beijing had to approve that.
Merchants of death, aided and abetted by US, discussing Buddhist diplomacy!
Similar meetings and advocacy preceded and followed this webinar.This has been the thinking in a section of Indian Establishment, aided and abetted by USA, though there are some ups and downs due to President Trump’s erratic and inconsistent talk. Such and similar views are being actively promoted, through writings, think tanks, seminars etc. as part of pro-US and anti-China politics which are being unleashed in a Blitz-like propaganda offensive.
This US connection and their thinking can be understood from articles by those on their payrolls. carnegieindia.org, a branch in Delhi opened in April 2016, of a leading American think tank, focused on security and strategic studies, roping in local experts headed by C. Raja Mohan. It has lucrative openings for researchers, says its website, but “is not able to provide information on possible external sources of funding” …
Let us have a look at one such piece that reveals the mind of India and US. It has little to do with Buddhism and is part of Indo-Pacific Strategy of US as is clear below:
Jayadeva Ranade, wrote in March 17, 2017 an article, Buddhism: A New Frontier in the China-India Rivalry, in carnegieindia.org ( words added are in parentheses):
For both China and India, Buddhism is a useful enhancer of cultural soft power. The religion has, over the past decade, increased in importance for India as New Delhi tries to re-energize the religious tradition and integrate it into the country’s cultural strength…
Communal politics are thus extended into foreign policy, even as Ranade acknowledges some significant historical as well as current facts :
… Buddhism, which China has begun describing as an “ancient Chinese religion” and allowing its citizens freedom to practice, is especially significant for China in preserving domestic social stability…in Tibet (TAR) etc…
For their part, Chinese emperors historically considered Tibet a part of China. (thus,we may add : it is not Communist China that grabbed Tibet.)…
Beijing is keen to have the fourteenth Dalai Lama return to China before his death as a symbolic recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet…
Apart from the Dalai Lama, China, incidentally, hosts the Panchen Lama, the second highest ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as 870 rimpoches (also known as tulkus or living Buddhas)…
The main monasteries of these four sects are all, however, located in Tibet.
It was further pointed out in Part-3 of this series:
Tibet, with a Tibetan population of 6.3 million, has over 1700 religious sites, 46000 resident monks and nuns; millions visit Lhasa to visit and worship Buddha. Norbulingka, UNESCO World Heritage Palace in Tibet completed a survey of 13700 ancient books a year ago.
Tibet has over 80 air routes and 2.7 million tourists, 50 % up over previous year; it included 40000 foreigners, Jan to April (2018 May) report. Foreigners of course need a permit to visit remote areas and mountains. Human and Religious Rights violation in Tibet is thus a bogey. It is an alibi for interference by US.
From the above, one can infer that charges of suppression of Buddhism in Tibet of China are false. Tibet is a stick to beat China with, just an alibi for intervention by hegemonists. Dalai Lama is a handy tool in all this; despite his declaration of retirement as Head OF CTA, and despite his old age, he continues to be an instrument of the imperialists. Then Ranade says:
Buddhism has provided a quiet but resilient foundation to India’s centuries-old cultural links to countries in South, Southeast, and East Asia. India is the birthplace of Buddhism, and the religion is part of India’s spiritual heritage.
It was pointed out, in a humorous tone, by late revolutionary poet Jwalamukhi that poor, non-violent Buddha was hounded out of India, ruled by kings blessed by Hindu Gods, all of them wielding weapons. People are be-fooled with false talk of a non-violent heritage of India, thus cheating them from the Right of Self defence, he said.
It needs to be further pointed out that the small sections of (neo) Buddhists in India, most of them Dalits, continue to be discriminated against and oppressed. Is this also, one should question, part of India’s spiritual heritage?
Ranade explained in his 2017 March article how India is already practising Buddhist diplomacy :
“In November 2011, with assistance from the Indian government, an organization called the Global Buddhist Congregation (GBC) helped” to organize a Convention in Delhi. “Roughly 900 patriarchs, supreme patriarchs, and high-ranking monks” attended, “making it one of the largest gatherings of Buddhist leaders since the time of King Asoka (268–232 BCE)” …As an outcome of the conference, the International Buddhist Confederation (IBF)was established…
(IBF we can see is a rival to…) World Buddhist Forums (WBF) of China that met in Fujian Province in 2006; in 2009 in Wuxi (in Jiangsu Province) , in Hong Kong April 2012, and again in Wuxi in 2015…
How this IBF Buddhism is used for politics, he reveals:
On occasion, Tibetan Buddhism has drawn attention to the ongoing border dispute between China and India…(visits by leaders and monks to Arunachal Pradesh are all related to that.).. China is especially sensitive to Indian political figures and the Dalai Lama visiting this state, which it claims is part of China.
(Let alone China, Dalai Lama did not recognize, until 2008, Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, i.e., for 50 years after his arrival in India. He said it is part of Tibet, itself a part of China. Taiwan India’s new found ally, does not recognize it even now.)
Since Modi took office in 2014, the Indian government has made Buddhism an element of its bilateral diplomatic efforts, which have been particularly noticeable with Mongolia and Japan. He visited Japan in August 2014…and in November 2016; Buddhism was mentioned in the joint statement…
In September 2015, for example, the IBF, the (RSS-linked) Vivekananda International Foundation, and the Tokyo Foundation put together a joint Buddhist and Hindu three-day conclave on conflict avoidance and environment consciousness…
(actually it was meant to promote conflict with China; earlier Dalai Lama advised to use “environment” against China.)
Buddhism also factors into India’s diplomacy with Mongolia. It is worth noting that since the Mongol ruler Altan Khan first conferred the title of Dalai Lama …in the late 16th century, subsequent Dalai Lamas have looked to the Mongol rulers for support.
Mongolia’s unique link to the Dalai Lama lends special significance to PM Modi’s visit to Ulaanbaatar in May 2015.
(Mongol empire was there…so Dalai Lamas’ history was such; only empires changed. The anti-China pivot, and poltics of incarnation are unconcealed,in all this. see below.)
Mongolia’s special link with the Dalai Lama has, at times, complicated the country’s relations with China.In November 2016, for instance, Mongolia welcomed the Dalai Lama despite stern Chinese warnings not to do so. The Dalai Lama pointedly utilized the four-day visit to exercise his religious authority by approving and authenticating the identity of the tenth incarnation of the third-highest ranking lama of Tibetan Buddhism, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, who now resides in Mongolia.
(Dalai Lama is unwelcome to many, in Asia and the West, as we shall see later.)
By comparison, other countries in Asia—including Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam—that have strong links to Buddhism have not permitted a visit by the Dalai Lama. Myanmar and Vietnam, though strongly Buddhist, follow the Theravada tradition and are especially careful of Beijing’s sensitivities about the Dalai Lama.
(Dalai Lama was confined to India. After US made up with PRC in later 1970s, he was asked and funded to travel abroad…and anti-China activities were intensified, China objecting to them.)
Since Dalai Lama began travelling abroad around 1980..China reacted to his actions and labeled him a “separatist.” Since 2007… China has been pressuring foreign leaders and governments not to officially receive the Dalai Lama….Beijing has toughened the policy in the past couple of months to oppose meetings with the PM of CTA ( a US citizen and Dalai Lama’s officially declared political successor.)
The Dalai Lama issue has also, since 2007, begun figuring more prominently as a bone of contention in interactions between India and China at the official Track I and unofficial Track II levels.
(It has been a main hurdle; some commented that recent face-off was related to India using Tibet card, and to Ladakh being separated from JK – China protested at that time – and handled directly by Delhi. Kashmir has an undeniable international dimension, observers pointed out.)
There are major reasons for increased Chinese concern. Beijing believes that what it deems to be hostile foreign forces will use the Tibetans to stir up trouble inside China. Beijing wants to avoid having a situation in which there are two Dalai Lamas, like the situation that exists in the case of the Panchen Lama…
China persists with its efforts to persuade the fourteenth Dalai Lama to return to spend his “last days” in his “motherland.”
Not all Buddhists, not even all Tibetans, agree with Dalai Lama and his politics
Reincarnation issue is therefore pressed by US and India, and they do not want Dalai Lama to go back, though he himself expressed the desire to go back.
…China invited prominent Tibetan Buddhist monks known to be Shugden practitioners, or otherwise critical of the Dalai Lama, to the sixtieth anniversary celebrations (of Tibet liberation)
China has consistently favored the Kagyu sect, which is numerous in western Tibet; in Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and Sikkim in India; and in Bhutan. ..the Drukpa Kagyu Rimpoche in Ladakh, who has made little secret of his differences with the Dalai Lama and has been urging supporters not to flock to the Dalai Lama when he is in Ladakh or participate in the Dalai Lama’s teachings…
The Sakya Tibetan Buddhist lineage and its sub-sects control Lumbini, Buddha’s birth place. China proposed a $3 billion plan to develop Lumbini….In 2013, the Buddhist Association of China, whose vice-president is the Beijing-selected Panchen Lama, announced plans to take over coordination of the Lumbini project…. The Nyingmapa and Kagyu sects also accept Beijing’s contentions and claims.
China has serious apprehensions that what it refers to as hostile foreign forces, an oblique reference to the United States and India, may use Nepal as a base to create disturbances inside Tibet… China has specific interest in Lumbini, the birth place of the Buddha, which lies in Nepal just across the border with India…
US CIA and India had indeed used them against China, it is well known. Nearly 20,000 Tibetans, plus those of Tibetan origin reside in Nepal, in the northern fringes of Nepal bordering Tibet. But Dalai Lama has not been welcome in Nepal, at least for decades now, also because of differing sects.
Renewed contest in Nepal and efforts to impose Indo-pacific treaty on Nepal, the building of a new road, the cartographic trouble with Nepal, the toppling games there… should all be seen in that context.
See 5-part series on India-Nepal relations in countercurrents.org. Part-5, June 2, 2020, focuses on US hegemonic role in Nepal, as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at undermining People’s Republic of China.(Provide link)
Additionally, there are many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries strung across the entire length of the Indo-Himalayan belt that exercise almost unmatched influence on the local populations in their jurisdictions. Monasteries like Hemis in Ladakh and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh own considerable property and large tracts of land. The latter could at some stage become a nettlesome issue in negotiations between India and China. (They were part of Tibet, were disputed areas. A Tibetan flag was hoisted by Lobsang Sangay in one such area. See Part-3 with a related photo.)
Credible reports indicate rivalries within the Dalai Lama’s office have grown.Gaining quiet momentum among foreigners(Tibetans outside India)… is the view that India-based, or Indian Tibetans, are grabbing all political power …
Buddhism is an intrinsic part of India’s spiritual heritage. India’s outreach to countries in Southeast Asia will be reinforced by Buddhism…
If China is “allowing its citizens freedom to practice”, why should anybody quarrel about it ? They don’t want to leave the old Lama alone…they want to perpetuate exploiting Dalai Lama, then aged 82 for their own ends?
The present Dalai Lama’s advancing age underscores the increasingly crucial and time-sensitive issue of who will identify his reincarnation…
See also :
– Dalai Lama turns 85 today and 60 years of that he served US imperialism, operating from Indian soil, playing havoc with India-China Relations, published on July 6,2020.
– Tibet, Dalai Lama and USA, a detailed article by this author and published last year, by countercurrents.org, April 30, 2019, brought out much about him and his US-CIA links.
Hundreds staged demonstrations against the Dalai Lama in US, UK, Australia
Reuters published a report along with this photo on 2015 Dec. 21. Stop Lying, Give Religious Freedom are among slogans shouted.
The Big media of India claims to be free and independent, and repeatedly blames that China has no such media. But media in India is free only to serve imperialism and its agents : in this case they suppress reports against Dalai Lama, who served US for 60 years of his life.
They published scores of reports, even if belatedly, against fake Swamis and fraudulent Babas, but never against the fake monk who lived in India for 60 years doing things that are illegal and unconstitutional, including heading a government-in-exile (CTA) against a neighbour, apart from indulging in violence.
Even when they were part of wikileaks, or even when sensational and can enhance their TRP ratings, they suppressed such news, obviously under pressures from the Establishment. They did not publish such reports by leading western agencies too, including by Reuters, AP, AFP, the Guardian, Newsweek.
It is to the credit of countercurrents.org that it published detailed reports that revealed the true face of the fake monk who served imperialism.
It is rare to find any news against Dalai Lama in India, which hosts and backs him as an anti-China instrument. International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), is a pro-Dalai Lama advocacy group, well-funded by the West and India, harping on human rights for Tibetans. But there are serious protests against Dalai Lama himself, blaming him of suppression of religious freedom of Tibetan sects in India and abroad.
Economic Times, 27 July 2016, published one such rare report, even if with its own comments, about anti-Dalai Lama factions in India and abroad :
The Indian authorities, in recent times, have been worried over ‘Dorjee Shugden Tibetan’ sect based in Bylakuppe and Mundgod (Karnataka) and running a global campaign against Dalai Lama, authoritative sources informed…”
The Serpom Monastic University at Bylakuppe and Shar Ganden monastery in Mundgod are among the main centres of the Dorje Shugden sect in India….
The Dalai Lama had to witness demonstration by the members of the Dorje Shugden sect during his visits to the UK and the US. Hundreds of western Shugden practitioners have staged demonstrations against the Dalai Lama, most recently in 2015 in Cambridge, and 2014 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Washington DC, Oslo, Rotterdam, and Frankfurt…
An year earlier on June 13, 2015, the Observer newspaper (UK) published an article mentioning protests, but critical of these factions, blaming them as an Extremist sect:
Followers of NKT and International Shugden Community (ISC) responded furiously (to the Observer news story) and en masse [the 300+ written complaints they received was actually a record], denying that they were extremist. Many demanded that the Observer apologise for bringing the name of the NKT into disrepute and demanded an apology…The Observer responded by launching an internal inquiry….
Protesters bore signs reading “Stop lying!” and “Hypocrisy,” according to another report by AFP (Protest when Dalai lama turned 80). False Dalai Lama, Fake Dalai Lama, Give Religious Freedom are among the slogans seen on placards at different places. India hosted such a Dalai Lama, a fake monk, for 60 years at US behests. Hence the thanks by US to India.
ISC spokesmen say Dalai Lama “imposed a ban on the traditional and mainstream Shugden Buddhist practice, resulting in suffering and human rights abuses” for lakhs of people worldwide. “We want him to stop lying: it’s horrible, it’s obviously untrue and it’s created an atmosphere of hatred towards these people...“ particularly for the past 20 years, says a 2015 report, quoting them, blaming the Lama of coercion.
reuters.com Dec. 21, 2015 futher reported:
Tibetan and foreign protesters say the demonstrations are organized by an umbrella group called the International Shugden Community (ISC), registered in USA, and “they are fighting purely for religious freedom and deny China plays a role in the demonstrations.”
“NOISY PROTEST: Wherever the Dalai Lama travels these days, devotees of the Dorje Shugden sect accuse him of being a religious bigot. On July 9, 2015 protesters gathered outside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center where the Dalai Lama was speaking.” – REUTERS/Paul Mooney.
When asked for a clarification, Chinese Foreign Ministry said the Dalai Lama was practicing “religious tyranny….The 14th Dalai Lama has in recent years used all sorts of means, including violent terror methods, to force certain people to abandon their religious belief.”
“Shugden protesters are having an impact. Coverage of the Dalai Lama’s visits in the US, Europe and Australia now regularly includes accusations from Shugden spokespeople that he is a religious bigot with no right to speak for Tibet.”
The protests have become so strident that the Tibetan spiritual leader has been alerted by U.S., Indian and other intelligence agencies…as per a briefing document reviewed by Reuters…it reported that the U.S., Dutch and Swiss governments had tightened security during the Dalai Lama’s recent visits. The memo makes no allegations of a Chinese government role in the security threat.
“Buddhist Brotherhood does not treat me well” : Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama the Buddhist monk with global influence, can be used by India with Buddhist diplomacy : This is another myth cooked up by the pro-US lobby. He is neither a great monk, nor has such global following, as built up by US and Indian media; he can only continue to be a religious garb for dirty imperialist ends.We shall examine a few examples.
He had said, “all others in the world…Christians, Hindus and Muslims treat him well…but his own Buddhist Brotherhood does not treat him well.” (Reuters, April 2, 2015)
Curious ? But that is from the Horse’s Mouth, so to say. But why? There are different factors, historical, political, religious(cult-related).
Buddhists are mostly in Asia, concentrated in Eastern Asia, including Vietnam. If one recalls the world, more so Asia, of 1950 to 1975…the period of a most aggressive war by US, also a most heroic war against US imperialism, the Vietnam war, things will be clear.
That was a war (1950s to 1975) that witnessed two to four millions of Vietnamese (and lakhs of Cambodians and Laotians) being killed by the super power USA. People across the world, more so Asia, and including lakhs of Americans came into streets opposing that war.They included lakhs of Buddhists too, including in Vietnam itself.
Dalai Lama was not part of the anti-war movement. Instead he allowed being roped in by USA and its CIA, notorious in the eyes of people.
About 40 percent of world population ( USSR, China, East Europe, North Vietnam and N.Korea etc), came to be ruled by communist and socialist forces by early 1950s. (South) Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma…At such a time, he joined hands with the war monger US as against communists.
In the later period also, Dalai Lama did not condemn the genocide US indulged in against many Muslim countries.
In the above background Let us see his standing in some Buddhist countries.
Dalai Lama is unwelcome in most Buddhist countries, Why ?
Cultural and cult differences among Buddhists (from birth to death) keep Dalai Lama away. He commands little influence in countries with different politics, aggravated by his pro-US politics. See below:
Thailand : Only extreme minority of Thai people know who Dalai Lama (of Vajrayana Buddism) is as Thais are in a different tradition of Theravada Buddhism … It is not about whether he is worth the revering or not, but whether Thai people actually know about him in the first place…say Thais and ask : As a religious leader, why should the Dalai Lama participate in politics? Why do they persist in splitting the motherland?
In 1993, he was given a 24 hour visa by a reluctant Thailand, under US pressures to attend a political event, to protest the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Srilanka : He is unwelcome in Srilanka, with Theravada Buddhism, irrespective of the regime there. Srilanka denied him a visa to attend 2550 Birth Anniversary of Buddha in 2006 … He said he wanted since childhood to visit a Srilankan temple housing a relic of Buddha’s tooth and Mahabodhi (a descendant of the tree)…but he could not do it.
Nepal:When Dalai Lama turned 84, the communist government rejected requests for celebrations by his supporters, reported reuters.com, July 7, 2019. Fact is even earlier regimes, including those led by Nepali Congress, were wary about him. In fact, GP Koirala regime handed over to China a young Tibetan refugee who had been living in exile in India…In May 31, 2003, Nepal under King Gyanendra had similarly deported 18 Tibetan refugees to China.
An estimated twenty thousand Tibetan refugees now live in Nepal..(they came after Dalai Lama fled in 1959). But Nepal stopped accepting additional Tibetan refugees in 1989, newyorker.com reported, December 28, 2011.Nepal has been weary with anti-China activities of the Dalai Lama camp.
Kathmandu pledged to endorse Beijing’s “one-China policy” (which decrees that both Taiwan and Tibet are “inalienable parts of Chinese territory”) and to prohibit “anti-Chinese activities” within Nepal. Activities deemed unacceptable include gathering for prayers on the birthday of the Dalai Lama and displaying the Tibetan flag.
Myanmar: Dalai Lama expressed a desire (irrawaddy.com, 2011 December 6), to visit Burma but is unwelcome there. Myanmar has nine schools or cults officially recognized as Theravada Buddhism. But doesn’t revere him or Tibetan Buddhism…knows little about Dalai Lama… who could not visit Myanmar. He was not welcome there. Same is the case with many South East Asian countries with Theravada Buddhism.
After independence, 1954–56, Myanmar invited other Theravada branches from eight countries and cross checked the texts…Theravada Buddhism doesn’t recognize out of tune and inconsistent text especially written by later years. Myanmar doesn’t have tradition of looking for the reincarnation of a religious leader, like Tibetans.
He said in a 1984 interview he had wanted, in 1959 March, to be exiled to Burma, which (led by Primier U Nu) however was not ready to receive him. Thus he is not welcome in Burma for decades.
Taiwan: One would expect Taiwan, predominantly Buddhist, that views China as its enemy should welcome him. But he was not welcome there until 1997, almost 40 years after he settled in India, and the second time in March 2001, both times amid protests by people who are wary of his anti-china and pro-US politics…So his visit was ostensibly“to promote Buddhism”.
His last Taiwan visit was in 2009, again amid protests. The then President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou “allowed him in but did not meet him…Ma refused his entry several times after his last visit in 2009,” Reuters reported 2016 Sep 14. Ma’s successor Ms.Tsai Ing-wen, was re-elected in Jan 2020, the Lama greeted her, but he was not allowed to visit Taiwan. In all these 60 years since he arrived in India, he could visit Taiwan only three times. All at the instance of USA for its strategic ends, and not as a Buddhist.
Right now it is repeating : Taiwan recently said that it backs India.But it continues to treat, like Dalai Lama until 2008, Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, a part of China it claims to represent. All this is part of its pro-US and anti-China politics.
Then he is seen more as a politician and an embarrassment. Bhutan’s case is more explicit.
Dalai Lama’s close associate, his brother, was accused of a plot to murder Bhutan king
Bhutan : It is a Buddhist country by Constitution, closest to India (and Dharamshala ) geographically and politically, but Bhutan has been at loggerheads with Dalai Lama for decades.
Bhutan’s foreign and defence policies were always controlled by India thanks to an unequal treaty Bhutan, the protectorate of India, has been imposed with. India inherited that from the British and wields it till date, despite Bhutan’s desire for its annulment.
In spite of that, the Buddhist monk could NOT visit Buddhist country with 75 % (Vajrayana) Buddhist population, 23 % being Hindus.
And one reason is the alleged conspiracy by Dalai Lama camp in plotting the downfall of Bhutan’s successor, in which a representative of the Dalai Lama was supposedly involved.
Gyalo Thondhup (GT), his elder brother and chief political associate, a leader of CTA, was accused of an assassination plot in 1974 of the Bhutanese young king…. GT allegedly conspired with the king’s mistress, Yanki ( a Tibetan woman). Since that time Bhutanese Government has kept a weary eye on the activities of the refugees.
( For more see: indiatoday.in, December 30, 2014 )
The New York Times ( June 2, 1974) had then reported of “some speculation that the plot had been intended to create a springboard in Bhutan for Tibetan activity against China.”
30 men were arrested accused of the plot. The Bhutan govt. issued a detailed Bulletin and accused “ Tibetans led by GT , then in Darjeeling, had planned to kill the young king to gain control of Bhutan. No other reason was given… ”
The govt said it is part of a series of plots to kill the king. (NYT)
In April 1964, a Prime Minister of Bhutan was murdered. The role of Yanki ( a Tibetan woman) was suspected also in that.Foreign hand was ruled out by the Bhutan’s court.(The Telegraph, 2011 Dec 3. Based on documents de-classified by MEA)
Darjeeling (in Bengal) was one Headquarter of the Tibetans trained and funded by CIA against China. Nixon’s China Deal ended hopes of future support by US, and Tibetans were in desperation. A major part of Bhutan’s population had Tibetan ancestry.
Citizenship issue : “Dharamshala is fomenting discontent in Bhutan”
The intrigues of the Dalai Lama camp continued till date:
“Bhutanese officials accuse the Dalai Lama’s establishment in Dharamsala of fomenting discontent in their otherwise peaceful country…Bhutanese officials contend that for almost 20 years,(says a report of Jan 1979; 20 years since 1959, when Dalai Lama arrived), the Tibetans have enjoyed all the privileges of citizenship without having to switch their allegiance to Bhutan, which insists that the Tibetan refugees there take on Bhutanese citizenship, which Tibetans refused to accept…
Bhutanese officials… say the officials of Dalai Lama were creating difficulties for the Tibetans, even though the refugees had almost joined the mainstream of life in Bhutan and a majority of them had accepted Bhutan as their future home…The Dalai Lama’s establishment would also prefer that they stay stateless, with their allegiance to His Holiness…
Bhutanese fear that any united militant minority with extra territorial political links could be the catalyst for any political instability which Bhutan can ill-afford…
Bhutan has been trying to break the Tibetans up into small groups and disperse them around the kingdom. Officials say that this would ensure that they would not become pawns in any future power game.
They also say that they have no objection to the Tibetans maintaining religious ties with the Dalai Lama…But any kind of political ties between the Tibetans and Dharamsala were unacceptable to the Bhutanese Government. It has, therefore, rejected Dharamsala’s request to keep contact with the Dalai Lama’s office…
(indiatoday.in January 31, 1979. updated December 30, 2014)
Recent face-off was a rare incident along an LAC where “not a bullet was fired in 45 years”. As PM himself said “there was no intrusion”. “Differences in perception” about LAC must be resolved through negotiations, which have commenced and progressed too, as stated officially, after talks between Foreign Ministers on July 5, 2020 :
Both agreed “that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquility” are essential… “and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.” (mea.in)
The negotiations must be led to a logical, peaceful conclusion.
PM Modi should decide whether India should go the way he decided together with Xi Jinping, in Wuhan and Chennai. That is the path for an Asian Century led by India and China. He travelled that road from his Gujarat days as CM, when he Gujarat entered into many win-win agreements with China.
Or would he like to be pushed around by hawks and jingoists inside and outside India, inside and outside the BJP ?
“Buddhist diplomacy”, and that using an aged and worn out Dalai Lama, is a cover for and part of anti-China strategy of hegemonists, global and regional. It is a costly and futile Great Game that has sapped the super powers themselves. It harms interests of India and its people. It is doomed to fail.
Would Modi like to be part of the problem or the solution?
(The author is a media person.)