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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Letter: Dalai Lama's acts don't match words

July 13, 2008

The Morning Call (PA, USA)
July 12, 2008

I was saddened to read Lehigh University Chaplain Lloyd Steffen's
July 8 op-ed column encouraging and furthering the myth of the Dalai
Lama. Many people wish desperately to believe in a Shangri-la figure.
However, as Mr. Steffen pointed out, most people who celebrate him
know very little about him. They are quick to use his sound bites
without checking if his actions correspond. They do not.

Here are a few examples. In the 1950s, the Dalai Lama was the
unelected ruler of Tibet. He ran a feudal society in which more than
90 percent of the population was serfs. His government imposed
draconian punishments on people, and there were no public schools or
hospitals.From the 1950s to 1974, the Dalai Lama was on the payroll
of the CIA. Why?

Mr. Steffen says that the Dalai Lama's message is, "Stop doing
business as usual." Sadly, the Dalai Lama continues his unethical
business as usual. Most currently, he is persecuting Tibetan exiles
who practice a mainstream tradition of making prayers to the Buddhist
deity Dorje Shugden. Where is his tolerance? The Dalai Lama has for
years refused every request for dialogue with the Shugden community.

That is why people from 20 countries will demonstrate outside his
lectures, including in Bethlehem. I will be one of them.

There are millions of Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide. Since
April, 2008 peaceful demonstrations against the Dalai Lama's
religious persecution and refusal of dialogue have already occurred.
Still, he will not talk.

Yes, his words can be beautiful. In truth, the Dalai Lama is a
chameleon who makes religion his own political agenda.

Kelsang Pema
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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