Is this the beginning of the end? Since Trump took office, the American embassy in Delhi, India has stopped accepting the Tibetan yellow book as a valid travel document. The yellow book is an identity document and refugee passport issued by the Indian government to the Tibetans. Tibetans use this book to travel abroad or as an identity document signifying they are refugees. With this new policy, it means that over three decades of America accepting the Tibetan yellow book have come to an end.

These days, no matter how strong a Tibetan’s accompanying documents are, the second they present their yellow book to the visa officer in the US embassy, their application is immediately rejected and instantly returned to its Tibetan bearer. Our Tibetan source went to the American embassy in Delhi with his own yellow book to confirm this for himself. He said it is because the US government knows what the Tibetans have been doing. That is, most yellow book holders travel to the US and upon arrival, throw away their passports and apply for asylum. Young Tibetan girls have intentionally overstayed and gotten married to American men, while young Tibetan guys have intentionally overstayed and ended up working in restaurants and other menial jobs.

As a result of America closing their doors to the Tibetans, more Tibetans are aiming for Europe which is still easier to get into compared to America, but it is not as easy as before.

Nowadays, to get to Europe, it costs Indian Rupees 24 lakhs (approximately US$36,000) which is paid to agents in Delhi. These agents help Tibetans to acquire fake Indian passports, which they then present to their connections in various embassies to get a visa to get to Europe. On top of that, Tibetans are no longer able to fly directly into Europe as they risk rejection at the immigration counters. Instead, they have to go a long, roundabout way unlike before. First, Tibetans on their fake Indian passports travel to Bangkok. They remain there for 15 days, where they throw away their Indian passport and another agent gets them a Thai passport. They use this to travel to Turkey where they remain for another few days, before traveling to Greece. After spending a few days in Greece, they travel to Spain. Once they are in Western Europe, it becomes easy for them to travel anywhere else and many of them end up in France. The entire journey takes about one month to complete, whereas in the past they could have flown from India directly to France. Some Tibetans who do not have enough money to complete the journey, find themselves stuck in Turkey or Greece until they can raise the funds.

To fund this journey, many Tibetans, especially the older ones, are selling their homes in the settlements. If they have enough money, the whole family goes; if they do not have enough money, they send just their children. This exodus from the settlements is the result of Tibetans losing hope and confidence in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala). Tibetans are worried about what will happen when His Holiness the Dalai Lama passes which could be any time now. They feel that the Indian government might kick them out or force them to become Indian citizens. Now with China and India becoming closer, the Indian government is starting to snub the Dalai Lama and Tibetans; even while the Dalai Lama is still alive, more restrictions are being placed on him and Tibetans. Faced with such an uncertain future in India, Tibetans these days want to either return back to Tibet, or leave for Nepal or Europe. In the past, this list would have included America but even America has now become off-limits for Tibetans because the Trump administration does not like how Tibetans sneak into the US as they have been doing for decades.

If Tibetans are unable to get to Europe, then they will try Canada, Australia, etc. Our sources tell us that the emigrating Tibetans will keep trying anywhere until they find a place that will accept them. In the worst case scenario, they will go to Nepal because Nepal has more freedom. They say it is not because the Nepali government gives them more freedom, but because it is out of the control of the CTA. Worse comes to worst, if all else fails, then they will apply for Indian citizenship. Apparently, most Tibetans in the Tibetan settlement in Shillong, India have given up their Tibetan refugee card and are accepting to be Indian citizens. They do not want to be subjected to the CTA any longer.

So it is very clear that Tibetans in India have lost hope in securing Tibet back. For over 60 years, the Dalai Lama has promised them that they will return to Tibet but people are not believing this anymore. This can be very clearly and obviously seen in the Tibetan schools. In the past, the schools would be full of Tibetan children and the school administrators turned down enrollment applications from children of other nationalities. These days, there are very few Tibetan children and the classrooms are filled with Nepali, Ladakhi and Indian children. The CTA even keeps a few special classes full of Tibetan children to be used as a “show unit” to raise funds. In Dharamsala, the main Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school now has such low attendance rates that they combine the Tibetan children into a few classes to show off to foreign aid workers and tourists to continue to seek refugee aid for schools. They do not want to show foreigners who give aid that school attendance has dropped dramatically; if these foreigners see there is a reduced need for aid due to smaller classes, it may result in the CTA losing financial aid which they are afraid of. Tibetans are famous for living off free foreign aid by tugging at the heart strings of foreigners, feigning lives as impoverished refugees in order to gain their sympathy. The fact is that things in Tibet have improved dramatically and many Tibetans now prefer to stay in Tibet. They are no longer crossing over into India and joining the Tibetan settlements; in fact, knowing life in Tibet is better, many Tibetans in India have returned to Tibet. The Tibetan government-in-exile do not want people to know this as this does not reflect well on them at all. It means they have not done their job well, because Tibetans are leaving and new ones are not coming anymore.

At the Tibetan government-in-exile (CTA) in Dharamsala, things are not any better. The CTA has been posting flyers asking Tibetans to join and work for them because they have lost many of their staff and very few people want to work in the Tibetan government because they are embarrassed by all the corruption, scandals, failures, in-fighting and general failure to achieve their goal of getting a free or autonomous Tibet back. Many Tibetan government staff have quit and left, and the remaining staff are finding it hard to replace these people.

Nechung had wrongly and dangerously advised His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to remain in Tibet during the political turmoil of 1959. Had Nechung’s advice been followed, it is likely that the 14th Dalai Lama would have been harmed. Instead, the Dalai Lama followed Dorje Shugden’s insistent advice that the Dalai Lama leave Tibet immediately for India. Nechung has given advice to Dalai Lama on many occasions that has been wrong. In 1985, Nechung told Dalai Lama that everyone will return to Tibet within five years. Dalai Lama announced this to the large crowd gathered for Kalacakra in Bodhgaya and obviously it was wrong. Everyone was so happy but unfortunately Nechung was wrong.

So Tibetans in India are definitely not doing well. All of the failed prophecies from Nechung, promises from the Dalai Lama and scandals of the Tibetan government-in-exile have made Tibetans lose hope, pushing them to emigrate from India as quickly as possible. Our Tibetan source in Delhi said the media often reports that there are 80,000 to 90,000 Tibetan refugees in India but in reality, the number is much lower. The 24 Tibetan settlements throughout India are quiet these days, especially with many Tibetans selling up and going abroad or returning to Tibet. In Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla Tibetan settlement for example, the population is roughly 30% Tibetan with the rest of the people being Indian or Nepali.

Even the older Tibetans, who are the traditional bastions of loyalty to the CTA, are losing confidence in the Tibetan leadership. These days, they are saying that the CTA do not do anything except create problems. Once a year, when the Tibetan Parliament and Cabinet meet in Dharamsala, the older Tibetans have learned to anticipate problems and issues arising from the meetings. There is always one issue or another that crops up at these meetings, that creates problems for the people. This year, for example, was the anti-Sikyong protests. So the older Tibetans are saying that the CTA meets once a year to stir up trouble for all the exiled Tibetans. Furthermore, older Tibetans in Majnu Ka Tilla are saying that the CTA has not given them anything; instead, it is Tibetans who have to give to their government, who only take and take. The older generation recognize that everything they have comes from their own efforts with no assistance from their government.

Compounding this pervasive feeling of hopelessness and frustration is the fact there are very few tourists visiting Dharamsala nowadays, and the hill town has fallen very quiet. It has gotten so bad that to raise funds and bring in tourist dollars, the CTA is making His Holiness the Dalai Lama easily accessible. Even ordinary Tibetans can see that the Dalai Lama has been giving audiences and spending time with basically every foreign group that travels to Dharamsala. First, it was the Mongolians and then the Danish, and so on. This is because if tourists know they are guaranteed an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama if they go to Dharamsala, more tourists will go there and therefore spend money there. Basically the CTA have been parading His Holiness the Dalai Lama around to raise money. It is sad it has come down to this.

On several occasions recently, it was very noticeable that the Dalai Lama has been getting extremely tired from all the travelling that the CTA arranges for him.

The CTA have not been helping matters by refusing to give up their underhanded tactics. Recently, the Indian Home Ministry were extremely unhappy with Samdhong Rinpoche because he does not follow their procedures and is very sneaky. Apparently Samdhong Rinpoche was arranging for the Dalai Lama to visit the border of Tibet but was sneaky in the arrangements and kept the government in the dark. The Indian government came to know of his plans and were furious. After this incident, the India government started monitoring the top CTA leaders’ movements more closely. This is not the first time we have heard of this. Recently Samdhong Rinpoche secretly visited China to meet with the Chinese government without the approval of India. When questioned, he lied and said he did not visit China. It became a big debacle because while Samdhong Rinpoche was incommunicado (because he was in China), Lobsang Sangay clearly confirmed that Samdhong Rinpoche did visit China. Samdhong Rinpoche however, denied it. Samdhong Rinpoche and Lobsang Sangay came out of the debacle looking silly because they both ‘work’ for the same exiled Tibetan government; although they are counterparts handpicked to represent His Holiness the Dalai Lama, they cannot coordinate their information so that it matches.

It seems that at every level, things are going from bad to worse for the Tibetan leadership who have spent 60 years bringing their community to ruin. Instead of empowering Tibetans to become self-subsistent, they taught Tibetans to become totally reliant on foreign aid and handouts by playing the role of poor refugees. Instead of focusing on making progress in their political goals, they encouraged violence, in-fighting and drove a wedge between their people to keep themselves in power, so they could exploit their vulnerable community for financial gain. The hopelessness that the Tibetans now feel cannot be blamed on anyone else but the CTA, who as the government are solely responsible for their people’s welfare. What we are witnessing today is simply the culmination of six decades of karma which the CTA accumulated by destroying their people’s unity and future. If the CTA thinks that the situation will improve, they are sorely mistaken. Things will not soon improve because the CTA are the same as they have always been and so this is merely the beginning, with no end in sight.

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  1. Angry and disgusted Tibetan

    April 24, 2018 at 9:18 am

    There are so many things the Tibetan govt is hiding from outsiders because they want to keep collecting the aid money to enjoy for themselves. Every Tibetan knows this and keeps quiet not to hurt or offend the Dalai Lama. But more Tibetans will speak up. 😒

    Tibetan govt in exile cannot speak up against Dorje Shugden anymore to distract the public from their wrongdoings. Now they will have to humble down because the Indian govt is supporting them less and snubbing them.

  2. SabrinaS

    April 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    It is so shameful that the Dalai Lama, the emanation of Avalokiteshvara, could be reduced to such sad state of affairs. Someone to be revered as a “Living Buddha”, now a puppet to entice tourists? If this is the case then what value does CTA holds?

    After 60 years of such generous donations/sponsorships from sympathisers, the Tibetans In Exile could have accomplished so much but due to the selfishness and self serving policies, only the top enjoys the luxury but the rest are kept in state of poverty to fit the image of “refugees”. They could have nurtured such a strong bastion of Buddhist practitioners to fortify their position but instead used the Dalai Lama’s holy image on such petty money generating schemes. Instead of uniting their people to build up their strength in (Tibetan lineage of) Buddhism which attracts worldwide spirituality with wisdom and compassion, the Leaders chose instead to segregate and divide their people by placing a ban on the 400 years old authentic practice of Dorje Shugden as distraction to their failures in delivering the promised return to Tibet. Now with the tide changing, instead of working against China, the Tibetan Leaders should be seeking ways to work towards Dalai Lama’s wish of autonomy. All wasted chances. Instead of relying on Nechung’s prophecies, I think they would have done so much better asking for Dorje Shugden’s advices which had always been proven accurate. Not only did the Tibetan Leaders lose a country but now they lose their people too.

  3. Tenzin Tsundue

    April 25, 2018 at 12:36 am

    USA doesn’t accept Tibetan refugees any more
    Since Trump took office, the Tibetan yellow book has not been accepted by the American embassy in Delhi. No matter how strong a Tibetan’s accompanying documents are, the second they present their yellow book to the visa officer, their application is rejected. A friend of mine went to the American embassy himself to confirm this.
    He said it’s because the US government knows what the Tibetans have been doing i.e. go to the US and throw away their passports, and apply for asylum / young Tibetan girls overstay and get married to American men / young Tibetan guys overstay and work in restaurants, etc.
    As a result, more Tibetans are aiming for Europe which is easier to get into compared to America, but it is not as easy as before. Nowadays, to get to Europe, it costs Rs24 lakh (approximately USD36,255.51). On top of that, they can’t fly directly into Europe anymore and have to go a long, roundabout way.
    First, Tibetans get a fake Indian passport and travel to Bangkok. They remain there for 15 days, where they throw away their Indian passport and another agent gets them a Thai passport. They use this to travel to Turkey where they remain for another few days, before traveling to Greece. After spending a few days in Greece, they travel to Spain. Once they’re in Western Europe, it’s easy for them to go anywhere else. Many of them end up in France.
    The entire journey takes about one month (whereas in the past they could have flown from India directly to France). Some Tibetans who don’t have enough money to complete the journey, find themselves stuck in Turkey or Greece until they can raise the funds.
    Many Tibetans, especially the older ones, are selling their homes in the settlements to fund this journey. If they have enough money, the whole family goes. If they don’t have enough money, they send just their kids. Basically, they have lost hope and confidence in the CTA, and are worried about what will happen when His Holiness the Dalai Lama passes. They feel that Indian government might kick them out, force them to become Indian citizens, etc.
    If they can’t get to Europe, then they try Canada, Australia, etc. They will keep trying anywhere until they find a place that will accept them. In the worst case scenario, they go to Nepal because Nepal has more freedom. This is not because the Nepali government gives them more freedom; the Tibetans feel that Nepal has more freedom because it is out of the control of the CTA. Worse comes to worst, if all else fails, then they will apply for Indian citizenship.

  4. Samten Lhamo

    April 25, 2018 at 2:08 am

    It sure looks like both China and India are determined to achieve successful reconciliation, something that will mark a new milestone in the history of India-China relations. This will continue to impede the Tibetan leadership’s attempts to spew anti-China rhetoric and propaganda. India already began its clampdown on the Tibetans in March, when they banned key Tibetan events, including cancelling celebrations marking the Tibetans’ 60 years in exile, which were going to be held in Delhi.

    India changed her strategy after recognising that a hard-line approach with China did not work. Rather, there is much more to gain if Asia’s two giants come together for the common goal of mutual benefit. If all goes well, India may even be the one cutting a deal with China to allow the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet. After all, the Tibetan leadership in-exile have failed miserably in making progress in this regard. Nonetheless, we know for sure that India will no longer tolerate nonsense from Tibetans in-exile that would jeopardize their relations with China any further.

    India’s Modi to visit China this week as rapprochement gathers pace
    Ben Blanchard
    BEIJING (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China this week for an informal meeting with President Xi Jinping, as efforts at rapprochement gather pace following a testing year in ties between the two giant neighbors.
    The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said the two would meet on Friday and Saturday in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
    “Our common interests far outweigh our differences. The two countries have no choice other than pursuing everlasting friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development,” Wang told reporters after meeting Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in Beijing.
    “The summit will go a long way towards deepening the mutual trust between the two great neighbors,” he added. “We will make sure that the informal summit will be a complete success and a new milestone in the history of China-India relations.”
    Modi has sought to re-set ties after disputes over issues including their disputed border with Tibet and other issues.
    The discussion with Wang was to prepare for the informal summit, Swaraj said.
    “It will be an important occasion for them (Modi and Xi) to exchange views on bilateral and international matters, from an overarching and long-term perspective with the objective of enhancing mutual communication,” Swaraj said.
    The Asian giants were locked in a 73-day military stand-off in a remote, high-altitude stretch of that boundary last year. At one point, soldiers from the two sides threw stones and punches.
    The confrontation between the nuclear-armed powers in the Himalayas underscored Indian alarm at China’s expanding security and economic links in South Asia.
    China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative of transport and energy links bypasses India, apart from a corner of the disputed Kashmir region, also claimed by Pakistan, but involves India’s neighbors Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives.Modi’s previously unannounced Wuhan trip is even more unusual in that he will visit China again in June for a summit in Qingdao of the China and Russia-led security grouping, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which India joined last year.
    It is almost unheard of for foreign leaders to visit China twice in such close succession. Xi is also extending Modi the rare honor of a meeting outside of Beijing, which almost never happens unless there is a multilateral summit taking place.
    Modi’s nationalist government has reversed course on its relationship with Beijing apparently after realizing its hard line on China was not working.
    Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who lives in India and who China considers a dangerous separatist, is also facing the cold shoulder.
    In March, India issued an unprecedented ban on Tibetans holding a rally with the Dalai Lama in New Delhi to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the failed uprising against Chinese rule.
    Other areas of disagreement remain however between Beijing and New Delhi.
    China has blocked India’s membership of a nuclear cartel and it has also been blocking U.N. sanctions against a Pakistan-based militant leader blamed for attacks on India.

  5. untomable

    April 25, 2018 at 4:29 am

    When you finished read this post, you will totally hopeless to CTA, feeling sad about our own people cannot take care our own people but making a lot of disharmony …… and hopeless

  6. Tsering Wangyal

    April 27, 2018 at 8:47 am

    The beginning of the end for Tibetan leadership in India.

    The Dalai Lama and Tibetan govt in-exile better be on the alert now. For years they have met politicians, organizations and private individuals while talking negatively about China and painted an ugly picture of China wherever they went to get sympathetic votes and more free aid in dollars. It didn’t work, as the whole world wants to be China’s friend now, even the Indians. Tibet was no Shangrila and the reason they even lost their country back in 1959 was due to their own ineffective and corrupt leadership. It’s their own fault. For the last 60 years living Tax free in India they have still not secured their country back. It shows their lack of abilities and ineptness. Now Prime Minister Modi has landed in China to meet the powerful President Xi. One of the agendas to be discussed is the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in India. Definitely China will work something out with Modi against the freeloading Tibetan refugees. High time too. Many Indians on social media have called for the Dalai Lama and Tibetans to return home as they have overstayed their welcome in India. Why should India stick their necks out any further for the useless Tibetans? That is how the Indians have rightly complained.

    Now with Modi getting closer to China and President Xi, this spells doomsday for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans. For years the Tibetans have been meddling in Indian politics and insulting China and now the day of reckoning is near. The Tibetan govt in-exile are corrupt, useless, self-serving, schismatic and hateful. For years they have spoken against Dorje Shugden practitioners, segregating them and inciting violence against them in India. Now their karma has returned. The Tibetan govt in-exile likes to call Dorje Shugden pracitioners ‘Chinese spies’ and the funny thing is now the Dalai Lama is nearly begging China to return to Tibet/China. Who is the Chinese spy now?

    Now the Dalai Lama and his exiled govt better keep quiet about China and be humble. They better remain silent on the unjust treatment of Dorje Shugden people and ‘allow’ religious freedom. They are losing power and losing support fast. Now the time has come they will have to swallow their own bitter pills they so happily doled out to others previously. Tibetan govt leaders better keep quiet and be humble now. The Tibetan govt in-exile should not have segregated Dorje Shugden people. Now Dorje Shugden people should go and become friends with China and return to Tibet to live also. The Dalai Lama wants to return to Tibet so bad but China does not want him. Too bad. India does not want him either. Too bad. Should have been friends with Dorje Shugden people in order to have more support in the hundreds of thousands. They should not have made trouble. Too bad the Tibetan leadership is so corrupt. So narrow minded, they trampled on their own people’s religious rights. Now we will see who wins. The Tibetan leadership or Dorje Shugden. I have a feeling Dorje Shugden will win.

    PM Narendra Modi arrives in China, his goal clear: Bridge the trust deficit
    The Chinese President has not hosted any leader in an “informal summit”, which is how the Xi-Modi meeting has been described. In fact, Xi is travelling out of Beijing to central China to spend over two days with the Indian PM, the first time he is extending such a gesture to a visiting foreign leader.
    Written by Shubhajit Roy | Wuhan (china) | Updated: April 27, 2018 8:07:29 am
    Past midnight Thursday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in this picturesque city of lakes, parks and gardens along the Yangtze river, the big question that followed him was this: Can he bridge the trust deficit with China, and its powerful President Xi Jinping?
    The answer, The Indian Express has learnt, could possibly lie in a new “modus vivendi”, an arrangement for two conflicting sides to co-exist in peace, that the two leaders will work on over the next two days.
    “The modus vivendi, which was reaffirmed and arrived at during (then PM) Rajiv Gandhi’s 1988 visit, has frayed considerably. It has been felt on both sides that it needs to be reframed,” sources told The Indian Express.
    Officials feel the 1988 framework to develop bilateral relations in all spheres, while carrying out border negotiations without any use of force, has outlived its utility.
    “China has now emerged as a hegemonic power and has been stepping on our toes repeatedly. We are competing with each other everywhere, from South Asia to Africa, from Southeast Asia to Indo-Pacific. There is a realisation that both sides have reached a tipping point,” sources said.
    The Chinese President has not hosted any leader in an “informal summit”, which is how the Xi-Modi meeting has been described. In fact, Xi is travelling out of Beijing to central China to spend over two days with the Indian PM, the first time he is extending such a gesture to a visiting foreign leader.
    The two leaders have met at least 10 times over the last four years, but this will be their first meeting since Xi has been re-elected, with the Constitutional limit for a presidential term done away with.
    “There has been a lack of strategic trust between the two countries, and this summit will be looking at repairing that damage and how to move forward,” sources said.
    “Wuhan was recently named China’s happiest city…we hope to give some happy news about the summit,” a Chinese official told The Indian Express.
    Modi will meet Xi at about 3 pm Friday at the Hubei provincial museum. The two leaders will head for a one-on-one meeting at the premises and also tour the museum together.
    Later, a structured meeting between Modi and Xi, with six officials on each side, will be held at the museum premises. The two sides will then move to the State Guest House, a palatial complex in the heart of the city along the East lake, where the leaders will meet once again accompanied by the officials. Modi and Xi will again meet for dinner at the guest house Friday evening.
    This structured delegation-level talks is the first indication that the “informal summit” is being crafted in a calibrated and choreographed manner.
    Some of Friday’s meetings will be attended by senior officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. But Saturday will see the two leaders meeting mostly in a one-on-one format, including a “lakeside walk” and a “boat-ride”. The leaders will also travel on a ferry, where they will “discuss issues over a cup of tea”.
    Ahead of his departure for Wuhan, Modi said, “President Xi and I will exchange views on a range of issues of bilateral and global importance. We will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of the current and future international situation. We will also review developments in India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.”
    Sources said the talks will not be on “specific issues” but “the future direction of the relationship”, including concerns and sensitivities such as the China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor, Belt and Road Initiative, listing of Masood Azhar and India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. From the Chinese perspective, the Tibetan issue and how India handles the refugees are key questions.
    Preparatory work on the new arrangement has been taking place since last September, when the two leaders met in Xiamen on the sidelines of the BRICS summit and wanted to talk “in detail”, but could not due to paucity of time.
    In Wuhan, Modi was received by Chinese Vice Foreign minister Kong Xuanyou at the airport.
    Indicating the mood within the Chinese leadership, a commentary published in China Daily, a media outlet run by the ruling Communist Party of China, carried the headline: “Summit may herald Century of Asia”.
    In the piece, Fu Xiaoqiang, research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, wrote: “Of course, Xi and Modi will also address each other’s concerns, but they are not likely to indulge in strategic distrust and geopolitical competition by ignoring the necessity of strengthening win-win cooperation.”
    Incidentally, a part of the Wuhan State Guest House complex houses Mao Zedong’s summer villa by the lake side, which is now open to visitors. Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, has also hosted Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore during his tour of China 94 years ago to engage with writers, poets and intellectuals.

  7. Karma bhu

    April 27, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Did His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognize the wrong Karmapa?

    The Karmapas and Sharmapas are spiritually inseparable. Both are fellow holders of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage, a spiritual tradition that predates the lineage of the Dalai Lamas by over 200 years. They are also responsible for the recognition of each other’s reincarnations. However, in 1992, Tai Situ recognized a Karmapa candidate different from the candidate chosen by the Sharmapa. He effectively overrode centuries of tradition amongst the four Karma Kagyu regents. Tai Situ went ahead and enthroned his own candidate without the Sharmapa’s approval, and received the Dalai Lama’s approval. Therefore, the Dalai Lama may have endorsed the wrong Karmapa.

    Due to the Dalai Lama’s endorsement, the Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala acknowledged Tai Situ’s candidate, Ogyen Trinley, as the 17th Karmapa, hosting him at the Gelug lineage’s Gyuto Tantric monastery. They even side-lined the Sharmapa’s candidate, Thaye Dorje. The world’s media were also misled to believe that “the Dalai Lama’s Karmapa” is the sole and legitimate candidate for the position. Until today, thanks to the Tibetan leadership, there is no end in sight to the rift that the Karmapa issue caused within the Karma Kagyu tradition. This long-standing feud occurred because of the Tibetan leadership’s political interference in spiritual matters.

  8. Sharling Dhardonite

    April 27, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Attention Sharling Dhardon and Lobsang Sangye of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala,

    India and China getting closer and Tibetan leadership has been sidelined because of this situation. You will have less support now to keep on your bad works and corrupted methods.

    1. Too bad you have been speaking about Dorje Shugden negatively along with creating websites and producing books against this practice. You have made the Dorje Shugden people suffer for two decades. Now this suffering is coming to an end. You will lose your support base to keep abusing people because of their religion.

    2. You claim you are democratic. What democratic govt will print books, make websites and speak against any religious path and segregate the people due to religion as you have done? You are not democratic. You are not decent human beings at all.

    3. You have not accomplished anything for the welfare of the Tibetan people in India and they are all escaping to USA, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and Nepal. You have failed and are you not ashamed? How can you still hold your positions and hurt your own people? Tibetans in India are running away. Your schools are empty, no new Tibetans joining the monasteries, you cannot find new staff for your government in Dharamsala.

    You have divided your people using the Dorje Shugden issue and now your karma is coming back. India is ignoring you.
    You better keep quiet, humble down and regret what you did. All the thousands of Dorje Shugden followers could have been your friends and supporters and you alienated them with your undemocratic policies. Too bad.

    In the future you will not be able to talk about Dorje Shugden and wherever you go people will look down in disgust at you and point at you and know you are the culprits of destroying the unity of the Tibetan people. For the rest of your life, you will have the stigma of your corruption and you will have nowhere to hide your face. You will be hated for the rest of your lives.

    You know there is nothing wrong with practicing Dorje Shugden but you spoke against him to further your political career by appearing to be in the right camp. Truthfully you are not monks, nuns or scholars to know anything about Dorje Shugden. You know nothing of Buddhism. You should just keep quiet. Who do you think you are ordering people and monks around regarding their spiritual practice?

    You both will live to see how the Tibetans will hate you, scorn you and admonish you. You will have nowhere to hide for the rest of your life because you will be seen as hated criminals. Shame on you. People will know what you did for the rest of your life.

    You should not have created problems for the peaceful practitioners of Dorje Shugden. They all still remain in peace and will pray for you both but too bad you have divided the people who could have been your friends. Too bad you ruined your reputations for the sake of money and power.

    Dorje Shugden practice will grow in the near future and continue to grow. You will see. You cannot fight a protector. You are just mere corrupted humans.

  9. Palden

    April 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    His Holiness on Why a Woman Should Be Very Attractive to Be a Candidate for the 15th Dalai Lama

    How come a spiritual leader is commenting on the value of women based on their looks? This is not funny, not intelligent and not politically correct. It is wrong. It is debasing and makes people lose respect for a monk such as Dalai Lama for talking about human beings in this manner.

  10. phyag na rlangs pa

    April 27, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Everyday, the world becomes a smaller place for His Holiness because of the CTA’s poor governance, this is so sad.

    French president Emmanuel Macron: Meeting the Dalai Lama would spark ‘crisis’ with China

    From Tibet Sun / AFP
    Washington DC, US, 26 April 2018

    French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday rejected the prospect of meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying doing so without consulting Beijing first would trigger a “crisis” with China’s government.

    Macron, speaking at a town hall with George Washington University students in the US capital at the tail end of his state visit, said he met in Paris with the “very inspiring” exiled Tibetan spiritual leader when Macron was a candidate.

    “Now I’m president of the French republic. If I meet him it will create indeed a crisis with China,” Macron said.

    And doing so “without any precondition,” just to send a signal to China, would be “useless and counterproductive,” he said.

    “Is it good for my people if I have a sort of countermeasures coming from China” as a result of the meeting? “For sure no.”

    But Macron, fresh from a rare address to lawmakers in the US Congress, also opened the door for deeper engagement on the issue.

    “If France could be useful in order to fix the situation between the Dalai Lama and his people, and China, I will do my best,” he said, adding that he perceives “some early signals” that Chinese President Xi Jinping may be open to addressing the issue.

    “I hope so for China, I hope so for the Dalai Lama, I hope so for Buddhist people,” he added.

    Beijing accuses the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of seeking Tibetan independence through “spiritual terrorism.”

    The Dalai Lama says he seeks only greater autonomy.

  11. phyag na rlangs pa

    April 27, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Also this. It’s blatantly clear that Lobsang Sangay, Dhardon Sharling and the rest of the CTA goons care nothing about Tibetans or Tibetan culture. Their Americanisation of Tibetans-in-exile for favouring US funding MUST STOP!

    CTA Applying Double Standards on Tibetans Seeking Indian Citizen?
    February 24, 2018

    According to an article from a Tibetan professor, the Tibetan government in exile is alleged to be seemingly applying double standards over the issue of Tibetans seeking Indian citizen. The JNU professor accused in the article that the Central Tibetan Administration while favouring Tibetans seeking citizenship in the West, it does not favour Tibetans seeking Indian citizenship.

    “The government-in-exile seems to be applying double standards. On the one hand, it has been encouraging Tibetans living in other countries, especially those in the West, to take up the citizenship of their host countries and labels them as Tibetan Ambassadors to distant lands. On the other hand, it does not favour Tibetans in India adopting Indian citizenship. This double standard is creating disquiet and division among the Tibetan community in exile.” writes Dr. Yeshi Choedon in an article on IDSA.

    Following the failed Tibetan uprising against the Chinese invaders in 1959, thousands of Tibetans followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into refuge in India. Under the support of Indian government, the Tibetan administration then led by His Holiness developed separate Tibetan settlements and schools across India, enabling the preservation and propagation of the distinct Tibetan culture and traditions in exile over the last sixty years!

    However, since the Delhi high court ruled in favour of an India born Tibetan refugee seeking Indian passport, the government of India has okayed Tibetans to seek Indian citizenship as per the Indian Citizenship Act (Amendment) of 1986 which allows for the acquiring of Indian citizenship by anyone born in India between January 26, 1950, and July 1, 1987. However, Government of India further notified those Tibetans to give up all the privileges as refugees, essentially robing off their right to dwell in the Tibetan settlements across India, rendering them homeless once again!

    According to the article, CTA had maintained a neutral position in all this, it has also been known to have actively discouraged Tibetans seeking Indian citizen. It also argues that while India eased the process of foreign travel for Tibetan refugees in India recently, in an effort to discourage them from applying for Indian citizenship, such a policy could also enable Tibetans to migrate abroad, rendering the Tibetan settlements in India abandoned, ultimately weakening the Tibetan struggle.

    “Another issue to ponder is whether those Tibetans who migrated to other parts of the world surrendered the house and field allotted to them in the Tibetan settlements in India and whether those getting a pension from the Tibetan government-in-exile surrendered their pension once they started getting pension and allowance from their new host countries. As the Government of India, through its four conditions, is proactive in depriving all these facilities and privileges to those Tibetan refugees applying for Indian citizenship, it requires to consider this issue as well.” the article added.

    The Unintended Consequences of India’s Policy on Citizenship for Tibetan Refugees
    February 23, 2018

    Most Tibetan refugees arrived in India after the failed revolt against Chinese rule in March 1959. After the defeat of the Tibetan army at the Battle of Chamdo and the signing of the 17 point agreement of May 1951 set the stage for China’s occupation of Tibet, the Tibetan Government did make attempts to adjust to the situation. However, the unrest started after the realisation that China was satisfied not just with the occupation of Tibetan territory but was aiming at the systematic destruction of Tibetan civilization and its complete sinicization. A full-scale national uprising against China’s rule erupted on 10 March 1959, but it was crushed by Chinese military might. This event led to the flight of the Dalai Lama and around 8000 Tibetans, seeking refuge in India and other neighbouring South Asian countries.

    The uniqueness of Tibetan refugees is that they sought refuge not only for personal safety but also for the preservation and protection of their culture and religion which was under relentless attack in their homeland under China’s rule. Out of the total Tibetan diasporic community of 128,944 worldwide, around 94,203 are currently based in India. Unlike many other refugee-hosting countries, India did not adopt the policy of integrating Tibetans into mainstream Indian society. Rather, it facilitated the preservation and promotion of their distinctive culture, tradition and identity by setting up separate Tibetan settlements in various parts of India, established separate schools for the Tibetan children and allowed the functioning of the Tibetan government-in-exile to manage their affairs. Most of the Tibetan refugees in India are residing in 39 major and minor settlements, and are involved in either agriculture or agro-industries or handicrafts for their livelihood. There are also many Tibetan refugees living outside these settlements.

    The Government of India has given autonomous power to the government-in-exile to manage Tibetan settlements and schools in India. With the generous support and assistance of India and international aid agencies, the Tibetan refugees in India have not only attained self-sustenance but also successfully reconstructed their social, political and religious institutions in exile. Due to these achievements, Tibetan refugees are considered the ‘most successful’ refugee community in the world.

    Today, three generations of Tibetan refugees are living in India. The first generation comprises mainly of those who came from Tibet in the 1950s and 1960s. The second generation are between 20 and 50 years old and were mostly born and educated in India. And the third generation is that of children of school going age.


    Although Tibetan refugees are successfully rehabilitated and resettled in India, they are confronted with a series of new challenges. Some of the challenges have emanated from the very success of the rehabilitation and resettlement policy. Two such problems are: 1) educated but unemployed Tibetan youth, and, 2) difficulties of travelling abroad for studies, visiting relatives and other social engagements.

    The unemployment problem of educated Tibetan youth is the offshoot of the remarkable achievement of transforming a largely illiterate society (in the modern sense of the term) to a fully literate society within two generations. According to the Second Tibetan Demographic Survey of 2009, the general literacy rate is 79.4 per cent, and the effective literacy rate is 82.4 per cent. As the number of Tibetan youth with a graduate degree has increased, the government-in-exile could not employ them all in its establishment. The youth do not wish to follow the older generation’s occupation of sweater-selling or running small shops in seasonal Tibetan markets in Indian cities. They are confronted with the challenge of finding employment according to their qualification and skill. According to the Second Tibetan Demographic Survey, over 17 per cent of the total workforce population is unemployed or underemployed.

    Their status of statelessness disqualifies Tibetan youth from many job opportunities in India. Further, any economic activities outside the Tibetan settlements encounter uncertainty and insecurity as Tibetans neither have the right to own businesses or obtain a licence to engage in business activities nor are allowed to own or buy land. Further, they are not entitled to secure bank loans. The number of unemployed youth has increased over the years with many of them succumbing to drug addiction in the absence of gainful employment.

    Another major challenge relates to acquiring travel documents for travelling abroad. Tibetans wish to go abroad to meet their relatives or to study or for the purpose of running the monasteries spread over various parts of the world. The Government of India issues an “Identity Certificate” (IC) for Tibetans in lieu of a passport for travelling abroad. Apart from the long and complicated process of procuring the IC, they are also required to apply for a permit to exit the country as well as for re-entry so that they could come back to India. Tibetans with this travel document have encountered problems with immigration officials at various airports as many officials are unfamiliar with this kind of travel document.

    Issue of Indian Citizenship

    Due to the practical problems of getting jobs and earning a livelihood as well as difficulties in travelling abroad on an Identity Certificate, the issue of Tibetans applying for Indian citizenship has gained currency in recent years, especialy after the enactment of the Indian Citizenship Act (Amendment) of 1986 which allows for the acquiring of Indian citizenship by anyone born in India between January 26, 1950, and July 1, 1987. The amendment has made a large section of the second and third generations of Tibetan refugees eligible for Indian citizenship.

    Although there are no formal restrictions imposed by the Tibetan government-in-exile on Tibetan refugees seeking Indian citizenship, it has actively discouraged them from taking this step. There is also a strong feeling amongst the Tibetan community that taking Indian citizenship would weaken the Tibetan movement and tantamount to giving up the hope of a Free Tibet. As a result, they condemn those of their compatriots who have adopted Indian citizenship. But, there are still many Tibetans who would like to take up Indian citizenship for the practical reasons mentioned above.

    In 2010, when an India-born Tibetan woman challenged India’s Ministry of External Affairs in the Delhi High Court for denying her an Indian passport, the court ruled in her favour. When there was no change in the Government of India’s stand despite the court ruling, another case was filed in the court by a Tibetan man in September 2016. Once again, the court ruled in his favour. This time, the court directed the Ministry of External Affairs to treat all Tibetans who meet the criteria for citizenship by birth as Indians and issue them Indian passports. This became the Government of India’s policy from March 2017. However, the Government soon added riders to this policy in June 2017. It listed the following four conditions for Tibetans seeking Indian citizenship: 1) they are required to get their Registration Certificate (RC) and Identity Certificate cancelled; 2) they should not be staying in designated Tibetan refugee settlements; 3) they should submit an undertaking that they no longer enjoy the benefits offered by the Tibetan government-in-exile; and, 4) they should submit a declaration that they no longer enjoy any privileges, including subsidies, by virtue of being RC holders.

    The government-in-exile has officially adopted a neutral position on this development. Its president, Dr Lobsang Sangay, stated that “The decision to apply for Indian or any other country’s citizenship is a personal choice. If you are eligible, you can apply. The Tibetan administration has no right nor does it intend to interfere in a person’s fundamental rights.”

    The conditions imposed by the Government of India and the neutral position adopted by the Tibetan government-in-exile have put the Tibetans in India in a dilemma. It amounts to requiring them to leave their homes in the Tibetan settlements where they were born and grew up, and become homeless once again. The fact is that Tibetans desire to take Indian citizenship for the purposes of career, livelihood, and ease of travel abroad. That is, they wish to take Indian citizenship for instrumental purposes rather than because of disaffection towards the Tibetan freedom movement or any policy difference within the Tibetan community in exile.

    The government-in-exile seems to be applying double standards. On the one hand, it has been encouraging Tibetans living in other countries, especially those in the West, to take up the citizenship of their host countries and labels them as Tibetan Ambassadors to distant lands. On the other hand, it does not favour Tibetans in India adopting Indian citizenship. This double standard is creating disquiet and division among the Tibetan community in exile.

    The latest policy of the Government of India is aimed at easing the regulations on Tibetan refugees for travel and study abroad. It has been reported that this new policy was also aimed at discouraging Tibetans from applying for Indian passports. Although this move might discourage Tibetans from applying for Indian passports, it would, however, make it easier for them to leave the Tibetan settlements and migrate to other countries. Once they manage to go abroad, many of them would try to get, if not citizenship, at least residential permits. This has been the everyday practice among Tibetan refugees to date. Once they manage to become residents or citizens in Western countries, they would get pension or allowance from the host governments. Thus, while India’s easing of regulations on travel abroad may dissuade Tibetan refugees from applying for Indian passport, there is no way to stop them from becoming citizens of other countries. So the question to ponder is: how does this serves the Tibetan national movement and preservation of Tibetan civilization.

    Another issue to ponder is whether those Tibetans who migrated to other parts of the world surrendered the house and field allotted to them in the Tibetan settlements in India and whether those getting a pension from the Tibetan government-in-exile surrendered their pension once they started getting pension and allowance from their new host countries. As the Government of India, through its four conditions, is proactive in depriving all these facilities and privileges to those Tibetan refugees applying for Indian citizenship, it requires to consider this issue as well.

    Policy Options

    It seems to be obvious that the four conditions for acquiring Indian citizenship as well as the new regulations to ease the travel abroad of Tibetan refugees could have a negative consequence in terms of dismantling Tibetan settlements which are nerve centres for the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization. Further, the notion that acquiring Indian citizenship would dilute the Tibetan movement is not a convincing argument as the Tibetans in other parts of the world have retained their Tibetan identity and commitment to the Tibetan cause intact despite adopting the host countries’ citizenship.

    The government-in-exile needs to take a proactive role in assisting Tibetans who desire to acquire Indian citizenship for livelihood and other instrumental purposes. From the long-term perspective, it makes sense to preserve Tibetan settlements intact, as the Tibetan diasporic communities all over the world regard India as their ‘second homeland’. Many of the second and third generations of Tibetans were born and raised in these settlements in India. Tibetans abroad not only keep in regular touch with their relatives in India but also visit their former schools and institutions in India. They also come for pilgrimage, visiting not only Tibetan monasteries and different Buddhist sites in India but also to reconnect with their memories of the life they spent in these settlements. So, for the preservation of the Tibetan civilization as well as for the sustenance of the Tibetan freedom movement, it makes eminent good sense to keep the existing Tibetan settlements intact and maintain the vibrancy of the community in these settlements alive. Given all this, the hands-off policy of the Tibetan government-in-exile on the citizenship issue is untenable.

    For its part, the Government of India needs to rethink its four conditions as well as the relaxation of rules with regard to Tibetans travelling abroad. India has invested nearly six decades in these Tibetan settlements and in the preservation of the Tibetan civilization in general. The rest of the world, especially the Buddhist communities in various parts of the world, appreciates the Indian contribution in making the Tibetan refugee a most successful refugee in the world. To improve the conditions of Tibetans in these settlements, the Government of India needs to redouble efforts to implement the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy of 2014 which it adopted in consultation with the Tibetan government-in-exile. The Government of India could project these thriving Tibetan settlements at the international level as a model for post-conflict reconstruction of war-devastated societies and try to project its expertise to acquire a greater role in United Nations’ post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding activities with local ownership. In effect, both the Government of India and the Tibetan government-in-exile need to adopt a long-term perspective and rethink their policy towards Tibetans acquiring Indian citizenship.

  12. C. Yoder

    April 28, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Time has proven the CTA put no effort to bring their people back to the homeland, failed to take care of the welfare of their people and give zero contribution to India. Tibetan people in exile are so disappointed with empty promises made by CTA and schism created by their own government who called themselves democratic. People are tired, mentality and physically depressed and desperately looking for a way out.

    While the Dalai Lama is getting older, more and more people are leaving Tibet in exile because they do not see future and do not have faith in CTA taking care of them when the Dalai Lama has entered clear light. When Tibetan people in exile people are seeking opportunities to become other nationality, it says a lot about how terrible and unreliable the CTA is.

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