A new French documentary, filmed in India, about the Dalai Lama’s persecution of Shugden practioners was posted online today. The documentary captures the Dalai Lama on video saying; “These monks must be expelled from all monasteries. If they are not happy, you can tell them that the Dalai Lama himself asked that this be done, and it is very urgent.” It also gives outsiders a glance at what life is like now for Shugden practitioners in India. They are not allowed into any of the shops or even the hospitals. The documentary clearly states that this ban effects 4 million people.
Although many good points are made in this documentary, it portrays a very distorted view of what Shugden practitioners are like. The documentary tells about the murders of Lobsang Gyatso and his two attendants in Dharamsala in 1997, and how the Tibetan Government linked these murders to the Shugden Society. However, it doesn’t explain that there was never any evidence to support that Shugden Society was involved in these murders.
On March 2, 1997, the Shugden Society released a press release, which refuted the allegation that the society was involved in any way in the murders. The five leaders of the Dorje Shugden society were then released from Dharamsala and returned to Delhi the next day. There is still no evidence of their wrong doing.
The documentary includes an interview with the Tibetan Prime Minister, professor Samdhong Rinpoche, telling many lies. “The Shugden and the Chinese are obviously allies,” “Their cults all over the world are financed by the Chinese”. He adds that “people are afraid of Shugden violence. They are like terrorists, they will stop at nothing, everyone knows this.”
It is amazing that he could tell so many lies in so few sentences. There also is no evidence to support the claim that Shugden practitioners and the Chinese have any kind of alliance. The evidence they provide in the documentary is a photo of a Shugden lama who they think has been to China three times. But they don’t even provide any evidence that this lama has been to China. Much less that he has any kind on alliance with the Chinese government.
It is probably true that many Shugden practitioners are more frightened of the Dalai Lama and his Government than the Chinese Government. However, the majority of Tibetan Shugden practitioners seem to wish for Tibetan independence, as well as, religious freedom.
One journalist interviewed at the end of the documentary hit the nail on the head when asked how taboo it is to criticize the Dalai Lama in India. “If you critcize the Dalai Lama you are judged to be a Chinese spy and someone who goes against the cause of Tibet” she replied.
Maybe this documentary will break the trail for more journalists to go into India to document the Dalai Lama’s persecution of Shugden practitioners. Hopefully, the next group of journalists will take more time to actually investigate the claims made by the Dalai Lama and his government.
The French Documentary: The Dalai Lama’s Demons