Our assessment of the Shugden issue

We, the organizers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Norway in 2014, are being asked about our assessment of the issue of the «Shugden controversy». We are asked this because a large group of «traveling protesters» of Shugden worshippers has landed in Norway and intend to launch verbal attacks on the Dalai Lama while he is here.

Our discussion is limited to the information that we have received from various parties, plus what we have found via web search.

The Buddha has said that we should be flexible of mind, and investigate for ourselves rather than to blindly accepting the truth presented by others.  We have tried to ignore that the attacks on the Dalai Lama are made in a confrontational and insulting style, and look at the merit of the claims made with an open mind.

These are our current views:

1.       The claims related to systematic human rights violations against the exile Shugden worshippers are not credible.  No independent journalistic source has been found to support these claims, and our network inside the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala tell us that these claims as baseless.  Furthermore, the claims have been brought before independent human rights bodies, such as Amnesty International, who have investigated and dismissed them.  However, there seems to have been some examples of individuals attacking Shugden worshippers or denying them access to public locations or jobs.  We have not been able to find out whether or not these actions have been properly investigated and dealt with, as they should.

2.       The claims that laws have been passed banning Shugden worshippers from e.g. government jobs, hospitals, schools and monasteries are false.  We have asked representatives of the Shugden movement to provide references to the laws and articles they are referring to, and not received any such information.

3.       The Tibetan parliament in exile is walking a dangerous path in strongly taking sides in the religious controversy.  In a recent resolution, the Tibetan parliament has moved that it: «Further recognises also the Dolgyal [Shugden] followers and others – whose have caused grave harm to the faith and polity of Tibet under the Chinese government’s ploy and in violation of the law of Karma – as criminals in history.»  Even thought this resolution has no legislative effect, and even though some Shugden followers haveresorted to violent tactics such as murder, we feel that this resolution does not adequately discriminate between criminal actions and personal faith issues.

4.       The claims that the Dalai Lama is suppressing religious freedom are based on a misrepresentation of the concept of religious freedom. The claims that the Dalai Lama is suppressing religious freedom is based on three facts:

a.       The Dalai Lama is actively advising people to stay away from the Shugden practice, because in his view it fosters sectarianism, replaces the rational approach of Buddhism with spirit worship, and because it harms the unity of the Tibetan people.

b.      The Dalai Lama asks people who practice Shugden worship not to attend his teachings.

c.       Monks and nuns who practice Shugden worship are not welcome to dwell in monasteries and temples that follow the Dalai Lama’s guidance.

In our view, the Shugden group have misunderstood the concept of religious freedom.  The Dalai Lama has no obligation to hide his religious views or to accept all students, regardless of their actions.  To the contrary, it is a matter of His Holiness’ religious freedom that he be allowed to chose what religious practice to recommend or refute, which students to accept and what religious conditions apply to people who want to dwell in the monasteries under his direction.

In general, we feel that the claims raised against His Holiness are originated and voiced in a way that is neither constructive, respectful nor honest.  There seems to be an echo chamber of Shugden chat rooms, blogs and institutional websites that repeat and amplify generalizations based on a few, isolated incidents.  We are very sorry that some Shugden people have decided to spend their time and resources to try and discredit a great spokesperson for peace with harsh words and unreliable accusations.  We wish them and everyone else inner peace and peace with the world around them.

HH Dalai Lama in Oslo, May 2014!

We have the great pleasure to announce that the Dalai Lama is coming to Oslo in May. He comes at the invitation of Karma Tashi Ling, Nobel Institute and The Norwegian Tibet Committee at the occasion of 25th anniversary of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

This we are going to celebrate big, but with only five months to prepare for his visit, we need many volunteers who want to help. If you want to contribute you can already send us an email at info@tibet.no.

The program is not set, but we expect that it will be possible to see and hear the Dalai Lama on 8th and 9th May. More information about the program and tickets will arrive via email, Facebook and website www.dalailama.no.

Seminar 8th October

Censorship: The great (fire) wall of China

Date: Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Time: 17:15 until 19:00

Place: Auditorium 3, Eilert Sundts hus, Blindern, Oslo

The seminar will focus on the current situation of internet censorship in China. How does the largest growing economy in the world handle the increasing number of internet users?
The Chinese government is spending a huge amount on internet censorship. Is the use of the internet a way to monitor citizens opinions?
Does the degree of censorship vary from one place in China to another? Is it for instance more open and relaxed in Beijing than it is in Tibet? How does the use of internet in China affect civil life, citizens and the CCP?

The panel:
– Torbjørn Færøvik, Author and historian
– Mette H. Hansen, PhD in China Studies, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo
– Dechen Pemba, blogger

Moderator: Heidi Fjeld, associate professor

The seminar will be held in English.
The event is free and open for all!

Hosts:
Den norske Tibet-komité, SUM – Centre for Development and the Environment and SAIH-Blinder

Tibet film evening on 7th feb.2013 with three Tibetan films

Human Right and Human Wrong Film Festival Oslo 5-10 Febouary

OSLO DOCUMENTARY CINEMA AND HUMAN RIGHTS HOUSE OSLO

The Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival (HRHW) is organised by The Human Rights House Oslo and Oslo Dokumentarkino (the Oslo Documentary Cinema). The first version of the festival was organized in December 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration.

Tibet film evening on 7th feb.2013 with three Tibetan films

HRHW 2013, Norwegian Tibet Committee and Voice of Tibet welcomes you to a whole evening packed with interesting films and discussions.

The evening will entail several movies and a debate about the situation in Tibet and Tibetans in exile. Every film will be followed by discussion with panel and audience. Members on panel are Ngawang Choephel (Director for Songs in Tibet), Chungdak Koren og Øustein Alma. We look forward to seeing you at Cinemateket February 7.

PROGRAM:

Tibet Night part 1: Two films and debate at 5pm.

Tibet Night part 2: Film Tibet in song at 9pm.

All the events will take place at Cinemateket/ Filmens Hus, screening rom “Lillebil”. Cinemateket is located at Dronningens gate 16.

Tibet Night Part 1: Film no. 1: LEAVING FEAR BEHIND

(Dhondup Wangchen, Tibet 2008, 23 min)

The filmmakers travelled thousands of miles in Tibet, asking and filming what ordinary Tibetans really feel about their situation, about China and about the Dalai Lama. The answers are frank and powerful. The filmmakers were arrested after finishing the film.

Tibet Night Part 1: Debate: TIBETANS: ENJOYING HUMAN RIGHTS – OR VICTIMS OF CULTURAL GENOCIDE?

Chinese authorities say that the Tibetans are living happy and prosperous live fully enjoying religious, cultural and social rights and freedom of expression. On the contrary the Tibetans claim that “Everything Tibetan” is under attack and call China’s repressive policies “cultural genocide”. Whom are we to believe – and what is the real situation in Tibet right now?”

Tibet Night Part 1: Film no. 2: THE SUN BEHIND THE CLOUDS (80 min)

(Ritu Sarin and Tenzin Sonam, Tibet 2009, 80 min)

This film is a potent update on 50 years of Tibetan struggle. The Sun Behind the Clouds looks at China’s occupation of Tibet from the perspective of the vocally secessionist Tibetan youth, and from that of their spiritual leader H.H. The Dalai Lama.

Tibet Night part 2: TIBET IN SONG

(Ngawang Choephel, Tibet 2009, 86 min)

Cinemateket/ Filmens Hus kl 21.00

In cooperation with the Norwegian Tibet Committee and Voice of Tibet.

Tibet – a cultural genocide? Tibet in Song is a heartbreaking tale of cultural imperialism, exploitation and resistance. The film provides a raw and uncensored look at how China aims to transform Tibetan culture. The film is giving voice to Tibetans engaged in the fight for their cultural heritage and speaking out against Chinese policies.

Ngawang Choepel was sentenced to 18 years in prison for making this film. He was released after six years of relentless protests from, among others, Amnesty International and his own family. Tibet in Song is a heartening tale of cultural exploitation and resistance, including Ngawang’ own imprisonment for filming folk songs in Tibet, and ends with a look at Tibet today, a country still plagued by Chinese brutality, yet still willing to fight for the existence of its own cultural heritage.

The film celebrates the traditional Tibetan folk music and encompasses a harrowing journey into the past fifty years of cultural repression inside Chinese controlled Tibet.

Introduction and Q&A with film director Ngawang Choephel.

MEDIA ADVISORY 21.05.2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

Dalai Lama speaks at rally “Europe for Tibet” on 26 May at Vienna’s Heldenplatz

Subtitle:. Along with H.H. the Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Admin- istration Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, the former French Minister for foreign affairs will address the „European Solidarity Rally for Tibet“

Vienna – On 26 May 2012 the “European Solidarity Rally for Tibet” will be held in Vienna, at Heldenplatz. At the rally, H.H. the Dalai Lama and the recently elected prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay will be addressing the participants to the rally.

The reason for the rally is the escalating human rights situation in Tibet, which has deteriorated massively recently. At the rally, well known human rights advocates will be speaking out on political issues. The participation and speech of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will mark the highlight of the rally.

Barbara Stöckl, a renowned austrian anchorwoman will be the Emcee for the event. The rally will be initi- ated by a speech from former political prisoner Yeshi Dolma, who spent six years in a Chinese prison. Bernard Kouchner, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-founder of “Doctors Without Borders”, will also be giving a speech. Following politicians and famous supporters will also address the rally: Madeleine Petrovic (Green Party Austria), Eva Lichtenberger (Greens Member of Euro- pean Parliament), Matteo Macecci (Tibet Intergroup, Italian Parliament), Francesca von Habsburg, Bianca Jagger (international human rights lawyer) and Prof. Heinz Nussbaumer.

Bernard Kouchner says that the people around the world and especially in Europe need to send a strong signal of solidarity to the Tibetan people. Tibet and the Dalai Lama need the solidarity of Europe.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Tibetan musician Loten, Tenzin Ngingthatsang, the German rapper Curse and Harri Stojka.
The complete program is available on our website (http://www.europefortibet.com).

Accreditation:

We appreciate your interest and request your online registration at the following address:

http://europefortibet.com/medien/

Important information:

* Start of the rally at Heldenplatz: 14.30 hours  End of the rally: 19.00 hours

* Speech of H.H. the Dalai Lama: 16.00 hours

We will be happy to provide you with personnel who can provide information about Tibet. We appreciate and welcome any publicity regarding the announcement of the rally.

Contact:

Matthias Schickhofer
Tel: +43 699 11 29 71 84 Tel:
Media – Europe for Tibet matthias.schickhofer@supportingchange.org

Tenzin K. Losinger
+41 (0) 79 209 51 37
Media – Europe for Tibet medien@europefortibet.com

Invitation to a meeting with John Kamm 15 November

John Kamm is an American businessman and human rights campaigner active in China since 1972. He is the founder and chairman of The Dui Hua Foundation, based in San Francisco with an office in Hong Kong. Kamm was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Best Global Practices Award by President Bill Clinton in 1997 and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President George W. Bush in 2001. In September 2004, Kamm received a MacArthur Fellowship for “designing and implementing an original approach to freeing prisoners of conscience in China.” Kamm is the first businessman to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

Read more on the Dui Hua site.

We invite to a meeting with John Kamm 15th  November at. 14:30.

The theme for the day is:  business and human rights.

Location:

Human Rights House 5 floor
Kirkegata 5, 0153 Oslo
Welcome!

Demonstration in Oslo, 2nd November 2011

TIBET IS BURNING!
SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE TIBETAN NATION!

JOIN US!

Protest against China’s policies in Tibet.
2nd November is a global demonstration to engage the world’s community against China’s oppression of the Tibetan people.

Tibetans in Tibet requires respect for exercising their religion in freedom.
This freedom is suppressed by the Chinese authorities.
Now, oppression gone so far that nine young Tibetans and a nun have set fire to themself in protest since March this year. Previously, over 300 monks were kidnapped and no one knows where they are.
Support the Tibetans in their protest against the Chinese oppression and politics and their demands for respect for human rights and the Dalai Lama return to Tibet.

Demonstration: 2nd November, Wednesday
15.30 hrs Eidsvoll Plass in the front of The Parliament
16:30 demonstration in the front of the Chinese Embassy
(Tuengen all 2, metro station Vindern)