By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, May 24: The largest pro independence group of the Tibetan Diaspora has condemned the protests against the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama by a group reportedly belonging to an international followers of ‘shugden deity’, which the Tibetan leader distanced himself from in early 70’s for "strong sectarian overtones" and "a history of contributing to a climate of sectarian disharmony" among the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Tibetan Youth Congress called upon the general Tibetan public to remain vigilant, attentive and cautious.
TYC said that accusations made by the Shugden followers against His Holiness Dalai Lama not allowing religious freedom and calling him a liar, false lama etc are extremely ridiculous and baseless. The TYC further said the Dalai Lama has never banned the worship of Dorje Shugden and that the Dalai Lama has advised against the propitiation of the Dholgyal for the larger cause of harmony among sects. "Attacking the Dalai Lama with unsubstantiated claims only provoke Tibetans who revere and love their leader."
The followers of Dorje Shugden allege that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile violate religious freedom, discriminate them and cause obstruction to their right to live in India and travel abroad.
The Tibetan government denies the allegations saying it is open to any investigation of instances. The Tibetan leader says the very existence of separate monasteries of Shugden followers in the premises of other major Tibetan monasteries in southern India shows that they are not banned.
The youth group further said that any attempt to “defame” the Dalai Lama will not be accepted and that Tibetans stand united behind its spiritual leader.
TYC also urged concerned authorities to step up the Tibetan leader’s security during his visits around the world and create awareness among general public about the matter.
The Tibetan leader denounces the worship of Dorje Shugden as "spirit worship" and fears that the propitiation of it might degenerate the "rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism" into "mere propitiation of spirits."
During the last parliament session, Tibetan Parliament in exile unanimously passed a five-point resolution against the worship of Dorje Shugden.
Another pro-independence group, Tibetan National Congress, based outside of India, also condemned the allegation against the Tibetan leader. “It is disheartening to see fellow Tibetans consort with the enemy against their own people, especially when we are at a critical juncture in Tibet’s history, as Tibetans inside Tibet are making the ultimate sacrifice of self-immolation to expose the hollow legitimacy of Chinese rule in Tibet and the unbearable pain and anguish under which the Tibetan people live,” a statement from the TNC said.