COMMUNIST PARTY STOOGES?: Protesters at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Sunday
THE POPULIST: The Dalai Lama is in town today, and appeared at the Kimmel Center during the lunch hour. Instead of an oasis of calm and spiritual awakening, the pavement outside was the scene of rage and tears. Vocal protesters, cordoned off by the police to the south of the Center, held placards reading “the Dalai Lama is lying.” One man held a bullhorn and led the group of 40 in jeers. The group consisted mostly of Caucasians, including women with short-cropped hair dressed in saffron-and-crimson monk-like garb, Chinese and Chinese-Americans.
Patrons attending the appearance slowly filed in due to the presence of metal detectors and security guards searching for weapons, a powerful reminder of the emotional discourse and loaded issues that continue to surround the Dalai Lama and Tibet. It was an incongruous setting. The Kimmel Center, palace of the arts, temporarily transformed into a temple of spiritual awakening at $75 a ticket. In turn, the appearance incited more politics, hurt and anger that most Kimmel performances, even thought the 14th Dalai Lama professes “compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline.”
A large group of Tibetans and Tibetan-Americans, dressed in traditional garb, became enraged by the anti-Dalai Lama protestors. Several women erupted in tears. Some Tibetan patrons quickly made “Paid for by China” signs adorned with arrows directed at the group, and waved them at a phalanx of cameras while yelling at the anti-Tibet group and telling everyone they could find that the group were “phonies put up and paid for by the Chinese.” MORE
MORNING CALL: [The protesters are from the] Western Shugden Society, which arrived Saturday and continued its protest Sunday. Instead of focusing on the conflict with China, that group protests the Dalai Lama’s rejection of a traditional Tibetan Buddhist deity. MORE
THE WESTERN SHUGDEN SOCIETY: The purpose of this website is to expose the hypocrisy of the Dalai Lama who presents himself as a champion of human rights and defender of religious freedom while inflicting terrible human rights abuses on his own people and interfering with the religious freedom of thousands and thousands of people around the world. The site is presented by the Western Shugden Society (WSS), an ad hoc coalition of Dorje Shugden practitioners from many different countries. MORE
WIKIPEDIA: Dorje Shugden (Tibetan: ????????????????; Wylie: rdo-rje shugs-ldan), “Vajra Possessing Strength” is a Deity in Tibetan Buddhism, especially its Gelug school. Dorje Shugden’s precise nature — enlightened tutelary deity (Yidam) and emanation of the wisdom of all enlightened beings, bound Dharma protector (Dharmapala) or a malevolent force (known derogatorily as “Dhol-rgyal”) is disputed among adherents of Tibetan Buddhism. The practice of Dorje Shugden was banned by the 14th Dalai Lama, and this has led to ongoing segregation in the Tibetan community in exile and disharmony amongst Western Buddhist centers.