Top image caption: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent surprise visit to Mongolia has left serious repercussions for the Mongolian people, which the Mongolian leadership has had to take significant steps to mitigate.

The Mongolian people are hurting. In a few relatively short years, the mineral-rich country has gone from being Asia’s next golden child to an awkward binge drinking and debt-ridden teenager with behavioral issues. The government does not have enough money to pay its own staff and the proud Mongolian people are resorting to all manner of ways to pay for goods and services including antiquated barter. And all this is before a public debt and fiscal commitments totaling $4.3 billion become due in 2017.

A bailout was imminent to stop the Mongolian economy from disintegrating and the government was in the midst of negotiations with China, who is the biggest buyer of Mongolia’s commodities and its main investor. This Asian tiger was also the provider of a $2.3 billion currency swap in 2009 that staved off Mongolia’s economic meltdown then. Clearly China is important to Mongolia and has been a friend to the landlocked nation.

But His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Mongolia forced a change and dampened hopes of big brother China coming to Mongolia’s aid again. What is curious is why the Mongolian people would invite the nemesis of the Chinese government for a visit precisely at a time when they have to be extra friendly with the economic juggernaut that is China.

What is even more telling is why the Dalai Lama would agree to be hosted at such a time when he was fully aware that his visit would impair the very pivot that the Mongolians desperately need to turn their economy around. A week after Ulaanbaatar welcomed the Dalai Lama, China imposed what is essentially a blockade preventing Mongolian trucks from crossing over its borders. Things are now bleaker than ever for Mongolia. The Dalai Lama’s visit as it turned out was neither kind nor wise.

Again we witness what many nations of the world have realized for some time now – there is only ruin in the wake of supporting the Tibetan ’cause’, especially now, namely because overt friendship with the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is seen by China as taking the side of what China regards as a ‘separatist’. Also because as Ugyen Gyalpo, the regular columnist of The Tibetan Sun notes, Tibetan politicians are only interested in seeking out what benefits them without further calculating much else.

So it didn’t matter if the Dalai Lama’s visit plunged the Mongolians deeper into despair as it was never their concern. This would also explain the recent assertion by the CTA’s Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, that India should prioritize the Tibet issue above India’s own national interest and cross-border issues matters with China.

Mr. Tsend Munkh-Orgil, the Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs (left) with his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi

Ultimately, the Tibetan government’s self-seeking ways have backfired. As China lodged their complaints over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia, the Mongolians reacted by banning the Dalai Lama from ever visiting the country again. The Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsend Munkh-Orgil confirmed in an official statement picked up by news agencies around the world that the Dalai Lama will henceforth be barred from entering Mongolia even if the purpose of the visit is purely spiritual in nature. In particular, the Minister stressed that all recognitions and enthronements of Mongolian lamas, especially that of His Holiness the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa, the highest ranking Gelugpa lama in Mongolia, should be purely a Mongolian affair and without the interference of the Dalai Lama.

And with that, another door closes to the Dalai Lama not only as a figurehead for the Tibetan struggle but also with the Dalai Lama as the main influence of Buddhism in Mongolia. Ironically, as a result of the Dalai Lama’s visit to their country, the nation most associated with the rise and sovereignty of the Dalai Lamas has joined the increasingly loud chorus of nations that have picked China over the Dalai Lama.

After 57 years of struggle the ‘Tibetan Cause’ is no more than a romantic notion and a simple and facile way for liberal governments to boost their public relations image. The reality is none of the governments, including India, that appear to be in support of the Dalai Lama has ever denied that Tibet is a part of China.

After all, the liberal West countries that seem to be behind the Tibetan struggle to gain independence were not always benevolent masters, and have built their nation’s wealth and status on the backs of natives who had their homelands brutally annexed and their people treated as savages, to be denied their own identity, culture and religion. Even today those who condemn China’s human rights record have much of their own unresolved atrocities to explain away. Who would dare now to brazenly accuse China of the same acts, especially in light of the fact Tibetans in exile have little (if anything at all) to benefit its supporters? An honest examination will lead anybody to conclude that there is little to benefit from a close relationship with the Tibetan leadership, whether economically, politically or ethically.

The Dalai Lama’s government (the CTA) has over-played the sympathy card which they exploited for over half a century. In the same time, China rose from the ashes of Mao’s destructive rule and became not merely an economic superpower but also a competent ally in a complicated and globalized world. And if the Dalai Lama and his exiled government’s eyes have been trained on seeking out opportunities that benefit only themselves, how then can they begrudge anyone from doing something similar in seeking China’s friendship to advance their own well-being?

With Mongolia’s announcement that they recognise a One China policy, and they have banned the Dalai Lama from further visits to their country, Tibetans in exile are today left with few competent friends. These few remaining friends are now vital given the CTA’s gross ineptitude to manage its own affairs in a time frame within which many nations have won independence. The Dalai Lama should now realize that he is left with only one card to play: to reunite all Tibetans he had previously disenfranchised, for example the Jonangpas or the Karma Kagyu practitioners who are in support of the Karmapa Thaye Dorje, as well as Dorje Shugden lamas who before his religious apartheid, were spiritual powerhouses.

They remain influential and are bound tighter by the common religious oppression they face. In the 20 years since the Dalai Lama’s ban on the Dorje Shugden practice, these lamas have spread around the world and have built impressive networks of followers transcending politics, borders and socioeconomic stratum. The most prominent Tibetan Buddhist centers in the world today are built by Shugden lamas and most are still managed by lamas who have kept their faith in the deity the Dalai Lama prohibited and in so doing, weakened the Tibetan state immeasurably. There are 4 million Shugden practitioners in the world that the Dalai Lama and CTA can tap into, to be goodwill ambassadors of the Tibetan issue. And as doors close to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader must now call for the repair of bridges necessary for all Tibetans to be reconciled but to do that, he must first abolish this woeful religious ban.


Global Media Coverage

December 18 to 21, 2016

Ц.Мөнх-Оргил Хятадаас уучлалт гуйж, Далай ламыг дахин урихгүй гэдгээ амлажээ

Click to enlarge. Source:


Fox News World

Mongolia says Dalai Lama will not be allowed future visits

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The New York Times

Mongolia Says Dalai Lama Will Not Be Allowed Future Visits

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Mongolian FM: Firmly supports One-China principle

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Mongolia Vows No More Dalai Lama Visits After China Turns Screws

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The Indian Express

Will never let in Dalai Lama again: Mongolia

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Global Times

Mongolia not to allow future visit by Dalai Lama

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Global Times

Mongolia government expresses regret over Dalai Lama’s visit

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The UB Post

The controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama’s visit

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Greater Kashmir

After inviting Beijing’s wrath, Mongolia says will never let in Dalai Lama again

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Star Tribune

Mongolia says Dalai Lama will not be allowed future visits

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Mongolia concedes to China’s pressure, vows not to invite Dalai Lama again

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Mongolia may default in 2017 without urgent foreign funding, warns Eurasia

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  1. Harold Musetescu

    December 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    The Dalai Lama’s karma continues.

  2. Pema

    December 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    The Dalai Lama’s image is heavily damaged because of the recent visit to Mongolia. Mongolia was in heavy difficulties already before the Dalai Lama’s visit and was in negotiations for a $4.2 Billion loan from China. Since the Dalai Lama’s recent visit all negotiations were stopped. I guess this was the only way to keep the discussions open.

    May this be the turning point for the Dorje Shugden ban to come down. The Tibetans should be united instead of fighting against each other!

  3. James P

    December 22, 2016 at 4:57 am

    On one hand, it is sad that HH Dalai Lama can’t visit Mongolia in future to spread Dharma and give initiations. But on the other hand, the relevant parties who get involved in “pushing” HH Dalai Lama to go into Mongolia is not very smart because it has triggered some very bad consequences.

    I am not praising China, but China has the power to twist the arm of Mongolia into something like this, and Mongolia can only blame himself for getting into this s**t.

    On the other hand, CTA is not sending any support to Mongolia for getting them into this trouble. Just as CTA has done in the pass, they only care for themselves, and no one else. Such a bad example set by an administration who claimed to have strong base in Buddhism.

  4. Sascha

    December 22, 2016 at 8:50 am

    HHDL and CTA only take care of themself and their people and culture that is wisdom and compassion, the faults and karma of others are not the fault and karma of HHDL and CTA.

    Because conciousness is wisdom and compassion, by cultivating wisdom and compassion or conciousness (dignity/dharma) all nations like mongolia have the chance to cause and effect freedom and wellbeing for themself that is also benificial for all other nations around the world.

    When we look at all nations around the world that don’t cultivate wisdom and compasion we not only can see alot more problems and criminality but unfortuneately also extremism, terror and war and this is not only a problem for those nations itself but also for all other nations as well because everything is interdependent. Just look at the situation in syria and how bad it effects also other nations because everything is interdependent.

    So it is important to cultivate wisdom and compassion not only for yourself but also for all other people/nations around the world.

    All nations that cultivate wisdom and compassion are very benificial for all other nations because wisdom and compassion can’t effect other nations in a harmful way at all. So we can and should protect all nations that have cultivated wisdom and compassion. We can learn alot of nations that have cultivated wisdom and compassion!

    To be clear, to fight against wisdom and compassion cultures like tibet, like socialists did and do, is a support for criminality, extremism, terror and war because only with wisdom and compassion we can prevent and overcome causes of criminality, extremism, terror and war that is rooted in ignoring non-duality.

    HHDL and CTA only want to continue with cultivating wisdom and compassion for the tibetan people and all people of all nations around the world, so they are not only thinking in a wise way for themself but also for all other nations around the world of the present and future.

    HHDL and CTA also want to cause and effect freedom and wellbeing for mongolia and want to help mongolia to cultivate wisdom and compassion for the freedom and wellbeing of mongolia.

    We have conciousness, we have dignity, we can use this to prevent and overcome crimiality, extremism, terror and war for ourself and all other nations, we can prevent and overcome suffering and causes of suffering. We all can do this because we all have conciousness/dignity that is wisdom and compassion.

    So china can and should support HHDL and CTA to cultivate dignity/wisdom and compassion, this is very helpful and benificial for china itself and all other nations around the world.

    Hitler was fighting against dignity, chinese socialists also fight against dignity. Left socialists only support right socialists with their fight for socialism and against dignity, just think about it that by fighting against dignity/wisdom and compassion you are also responsible for criminality, extremism, terror and war in the world because everything is interdependent!

    So please don’t practice socialism but cutlivate your identity that is wisdom and compassion.

    May mongolia be blessed with wisdom and compassion and the teachings of non-duality spread in mongolia in all directions for the benifit of mongolia and all nations around the world.

  5. Sukhbatar

    December 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Will Tibetan in exile of Dharamsala help Mongolia now? Will Lobsang Singi help Mongolia now? Or just keep silent and not care?

  6. Carol McQuirree

    December 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Because of the Dalai Lama’s visit, so much problems arose for Mongolia. Mongolia is really suffering now. What happens now? Sounds self defeating. Is the Dalai Lama going to speak up and help Mongolia now?

  7. SabrinaS

    December 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    It is indeed sad that the famous “Holy Man” who epitomises Compassion is brought down to such low state of affairs. However after 60 years in exile, the Tibetans refugees are still no closer to going home to Tibet/China. During their exile, the world had been more than generous towards them, with India giving them use of land for 99 years without interference in CTA rule, the US given sponsorship of millions per year (last I know was USD19 millions), etc. If the Dalai Lama and CTA had been politically savvy, instead of clinging on to their outdated feudal system, they could have had strongly negotiated with China when they were the “darlings” of the Western world and had their strong support. CTA should have converted their rule to one that care for their people secularly rather than depend just on their religious loyalty. The mistakes that CTA makes are illogical and unbelievable especially when it has been lead by Western educated Sikyongs, the latest being Dr. Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard graduate.

    By declaring a ban on the Protector Dorje Shugden practice, the Dalai Lama and CTA effectively reduced their support base. True Shugden Lamas and practitioners will not be giving up this 400 years old practice given by their Gurus as it will mean breaking samaya with their Gurus, irregardless if they are alive or passed on. Keeping a clean samaya with the Guru is the very foundation of Tibetan Buddhism. If the Dalai Lama and CTA had thought to seal their power with the ban, thinking this diminishes the roles of prominent and influential Shugden Lamas, then they are very wrong. With the ban, Shugden Lamas who had faced abuses and threats on their lives, moved away to other parts of the world, thus creating new Buddhist Centres/Monastries and spreading the lineage teachings including that of Dorje Shugden. These Lamas taught without being involved in political activities except to request for the ban removal. Now the Dalai Lama/CTA followers are the minority as Shugden practitioners increases worldwide. And on top of everything, the Shugden Lamas are on good terms with China as they are non-political and not considered threats.

    Now with the latest consequential negative effects faced by Mongolia due to the Dalai Lama’s visit and subsequent ban on any future visit to pacify China’s ire, the world will take this as lesson learnt. I am quite certain that many countries will be leery of allowing the Dalai Lama’s visit to their countries as most are looking to working with China due to the potential ludicrous trade agreements. CTA is loosing their only trump card “the Dalai Lama”‘. CTA should have been smart and be less arrogant in assuming their darling status will remain. Being Buddhists, they now understand impermanence, at least I hope so. With President elect, Donald Trump stepping into office in January, 2017, will the sponsorship status remain the same. How will CTA survive if he cuts their sponsorship?

    CTA really need to play smart now more than ever, to stop all the propaganda, overt or otherwise, against China and reunite all Tibetans with the lifting of ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Having 4 million Shugden practitioners behind you and powerful Shugden Lamas who are friends with China will certainly help you in your quest for dialogue with China. I am sure sponsorship from China can’t be any less than that of the US and the “cherry on the icing”, you may be allowed back into Tibet/China. Isn’t this a more attractive option? Be wise, CTA. Be indecisive any longer and you may lose this opportunity as well.

  8. loden

    January 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

    don’t hurt the fame of the dalai lama

  9. jean-jacques Lauture

    January 3, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I think the ban of Dorje Shugden has not been fair.

    Gautama, the spirit continutation of the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokitevara, Chenretzig would never have perpetrated such ban, or commit such mistake occurring on its 14th HHDL incarnation.

    Buddha mind is a spirit of compassion, truth and continuity. If there is something we have to believe, the minimum is to believe in that continuity in all life and universe as well as the capacity to go beyond the human contingencies.

    The HHDL escape has been helped by the Dorje Shudgen empowered clairvoyants, Is it a fair way for recognition of what belong to whom, what are the real power of the awakened incarnated, and how karma can be sublimated?

    This is also true that China is the country with the most numerous Buddhist in the world and if these Buddhist are not of the HHDL freedom of belief is increasing and therefore all Buddhist schools should have their place to reflect all Buddha faces, with cannot anymore be only limited with only one face representing East, South, and now also West and North.

  10. Alexandra

    January 4, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Stop claiming Dorje Shugden people is Chinese spies and taking money from China. CCP money is what EVERYONE wants.

    Maybe it’s time CTA wakes up and realize that every country in the world is “kow tow-ing” to China these days. Your cries for Free Tibet is soon to be a dream that remains a dream. The best thing to do is make friends with CHINA already.

  11. Camillia

    January 9, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Good question! Why would the Mongolian government agreed to host Dalai Lama knowing very well it will not goes well with China and why would Dalai Lama agreed to visit considering he is fully aware that his presence will pivot the trade talk between Mongolia and China. A plausible explanation could be that Dalai Lama is using his last ounces of influence to test water with China. Which mean that there is possibility of further alignment between Dharamsala and Beijing. It will be a win-win for both; the Dharamsala government is stateless, penniless and lacking in global support; the Beijing is ambitious to put the One China puzzle together and show a good human-rights-happy-family picture. Each has a prize to gain for getting back together, for a lack of better words. Let’s just do it amicably, instead of dragging it till world’s end.

  12. Tenzin Sukmey

    January 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Dalai Lama middle way never working but he still have no solution whole tibet poeple suffer

  13. Tenzin Paljor

    January 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    The Shugden groups can dare defy the Dalai Lama because they don’t have a country. The Tibetans are scattered all over the world and they have their various power basis from their various countries. I’ve spoken to Ms. Dhardon Sharling about this. If all the Tibetans were back in Tibet, they would have no chance to defy the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama’s government would crush them into silence. How dare they defy the Dalai Lama. Democracy is not for the backwards and illiterate Tibetans. They need a strong, smart and able ruler like the Dalai Lama and his ministers to tell them what is good or bad for them. The Dorje Shugden practice should be banned completely from the Tibetans and Tibetan nation because it is a harmful practice. And no religious freedom should be allowed to let this Dorje Shugden religion arise. In history, many other harmful religions were suppressed for the good of mankind. Shugden should be suppressed and all people who practice him should be forced to give up the practice.

  14. Tenzin Paljor

    January 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Everyone should go and take a picture with the Dalai Lama and post it. It will boost ‘business’. It’s made me look really valid and more people trust what I am saying simply because I have my picture taken with the Dalai Lama. I’ve roped in Carole MccQuirre and gang to do the same things. You see because I am from East Germany and we don’t believe in any sort of religious freedom. Whatever the regime in the past told you to do, you do it without question. The Shugden groups should not be allowed to practice their religion because the Dalai lama says so. We shouldn’t question the Dalai Lama or defy him. After all he is not human but a god. So if Dalai Lama says don’t practice Dorje Shugden, just follow along without question because why should there be religious freedom. The populace are too stupid to see what religion is good and what is harmful.

  15. Carol McQuirre

    January 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I agree with you Paljor. The Tibetans do not need democracy, but a strong firm hand to tell them what to do. They are not like we educated English people who can handle and know what to do with democracy. The fact that Tibetans have no real elected leaders and the leader is really the Dalai Lama for the last 60 years is good news. Tibetans cannot elect their own leaders. When the Dalai Lama dies, we wait for him to reincarnate back and take over again because he is the only leader that can handle Tibetans.

  16. Sherabz

    February 1, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Dorje Shugden ban for over 20 years is seemed like an ideal opportunity for the lamas to spread the dharma around the world. The implementation of Shugden ban has raised awareness about unfairness and inequality towards the Shugden practitioners and many others that have the relation with Shugden.

    Now, HH Dalai Lama is being barred from entering Mongolia even for the purpose of spirituality for the future. In addition, all recognitions and enthronements of Mongolian lamas would be carried on without the interference of HH Dalai Lama. From this instance, I personally believe there are more countries will follow the same like Mongolia’s practice. And this is the right time for CTA to consider the Tibetan issue about the ban of Dorje Shugden.

  17. Elibuchen

    March 19, 2017 at 11:06 am

    The Dorje Shugden ban, has split the Tibetan for the longest times,splitting Tibetan strength and unity. Some of the biggest Buddhist organisations are of Gelug order and they relied strongly on Dorje Shugden.

    Hope the Dalai Lama and CTA will make the right choices, as options and choices are getting limited for them day by day. As shown by Mongolia and many other nations across the world, who have trade relations with China, they have turn their backs on the Dalai Lama, more will do so in the coming days with China growing in strength day by day.

  18. Sierra

    April 21, 2017 at 4:03 am

    May the Dalai Lama, in all his wisdom practice the Middle Way, as taught by Buddha Shakyamuni and resolve this great divide within the Tibetan community. May there be peace for the 2 Karmapas, the lifting of the ban of Dorje Shugden and the acceptance of the 11th Panchen Lama. Let not the Dalai Lama be shamed by being shunned or banned by more and more countries due to political and economic reasons.

  19. Dondrup Shugden

    July 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

    If the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia is based on the fact that His Holiness and CTA only look out for opportunities that only benefit them then the visit to Mongolia is a sure case of miscalculation.

    Result had been a belittling of the status of His Holiness for Mongolia to ban His further visits is and a slap on CTA’s face. Mongolia throughout the historical relationship with Tibet had been such that the Mongol rulers designed and supported the designation of the Dalai Lama.

    Now everything is over. As suggested by the writer, the next best thing is for the Dalai Lama and CTA to reunite all Tibetans, reasons are very clearly stated.

    To lift the ban on Dorje Shugden and reinstate the disenfranchised members of the Karma Kagyu sect who support Karmapa Thaye Dorje. It is really that simple.

    United we stand, divided we fall!!!!!!

  20. Sunita Khabir

    July 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Mongolia’s time to wake up. By siding with the Dalai Lama and Tibetans, what does anyone get? Of course Mongolia will lose out. They will not side with Tibetans anymore. Better to side with China. Swallow your Mongol pride as you need China but China does not need you. Better be good to China. You can’t wrestle out of this one.

  21. Pattie S.

    July 31, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    The Dalai Lama should not travel to countries that he knows will damage that country’s relations with China. China is a chief economic power and many countries would benefit from a relationship with China. If Dalai Lama knowingly travels those country at the expense of their economic benefit with China, that would not be very shrewd as it will backfire. Eventually that country will have repercussions with China and ban the Dalai Lama anyways. Dalai Lama should consider carefully where he travels in order to not damage the country’s economic relationship with powerhouse China.

    Dalai Lama should do his best to extend the olive branch to China and become friends. Dalai Lama should not antagonize China in any way for the sake of his people. Mongolia really suffered tremendously after the visit of the Dalai Lama. CTA never reached out to help Mongolia.

  22. Ida Russo

    August 3, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Tibetans always make trouble wherever they live. They will not live quietly and appreciate the bigger economic goals of their host country. Many countries have a economic need to be friends with China as the cold war with China is thawing out. But Tibetans will never understand this. The needs of the 6 million Tibetans to them outweigh the needs of the rest of the 7 billion persons on this planet.

    When the Mongolians suffered from their economic troubles, not a word, help or responsibility taken by Tibetan leadership. They just use you.

  23. TseringD, Delhi

    October 29, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Nechung is ZUMA 👎 before I m think he is one of d best when I m watch dis video By Geshe Dorjee la but now I m think is not d truth n he is lie to Tibet people we r not back to Tibet yt Chithue Tenpa Yarphel la tq for talk about truth of Nechung . I m watch to this video many time la n after I hear you talk I m not belief to Nechung

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