Smear: NKT wishes to harm and destroy the Dalai Lama
Truth: This is not true. The Dalai Lama is not our enemy. Harming other living beings goes against the teachings of Buddha and every precept in the Kadampa tradition. Our only enemies are the delusions in our minds, such as ignorance, anger and attachment. Dorje Shugden practitioners like those in the NKT are simply asking the Dalai Lama to stop harming himself and others by suppressing religious freedom. We have never expressed a single malicious intent toward him. We only ask of him that he practice what he preaches (tolerance, respect for differences, unity in diversity, etc.) by lifting his ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden.
On the other hand, Geshe Kelsang has received many abusive letters and death threats from Tibetan organizations and individuals since the 1990s. Here is an example of a letter asking for the Tibetan government in exile to use their authority to stop these, as it appears they were indirectly responsible for organizing them.
Office of HH the Dalai Lama,
PO Mcleod Ganj,
Dharamsala 176 215,
Dist. Kangra, H.P.
30 October 1997
I am writing on behalf of Manjushri Buddhist Centre, the home of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Spiritual Director of this Centre and the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT).
As you know, Geshe Kelsang and the Centres within the NKT engage in the practice of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. In 1996, in response to requests for help from Dorje Shugden practitioners in India, British practitioners spoke out against the ban on this practice imposed by HH the Dalai Lama. Practitioners from this and other Centres took part in peaceful demonstrations, including one during the visit by HH the Dalai Lama to England in July 1996.
These actions were taken solely to uphold the basic human right of freedom of religious practice. There was no intention to engage in political action, nor to undermine the movement for a free Tibet. Nor was there any threat to the personal safety of HH the Dalai Lama or anyone else.
Since this time Manjushri Centre has received many abusive letters from Tibetans, letters which contain both implicit and explicit threats to harm Geshe Kelsang, including direct threats to kill him. We are extremely concerned about these threats, and have passed the letters to the police.
We know that there is a lot of misinformation that misrepresents Geshe Kelsang and the NKT. We understand that the threatening letters have been written by people influenced by this misinformation.
Geshe Kelsang is not the leader of the Dorje Shugden Devotees Charitable & Religious Society in Delhi, and although the NKT supports their aspiration for the basic human right of freedom of religious practice, there are no formal links between this Society and the NKT.
It is clear from the identical wording in many of the threatening letters that they have been written as part of an organised campaign within Tibetan communities, in India and elsewhere. Although the letters do not come directly from the Tibetan government in Dharamsala, they all come either from Tibetan organisations supported by the Tibetan government, or from Tibetan individuals. Some of the letters indicate that the writers have felt pressured into joining this campaign, and many indicate that copies have been sent to Tibetan government offices.
We have been told that the Office of HH the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala has written to every Tibetan organisation strongly criticising Geshe Kelsang and the NKT. We believe that in this way the Tibetan government indirectly organised the campaign of abusive letters, which has culminated in threatening letters of a criminal nature. It is therefore clear that only the Office of HH the Dalai Lama has the power to stop this flow of letters.
For this reason, we are writing to request you to use your authority and take all necessary steps to stop the letters, advising the Tibetan people responsible for them that the letters are passed to the police. We urge that you stress to all Tibetan organisations and individuals that they must not contemplate violence of any kind towards Geshe Kelsang, the NKT or anyone else.
We assure you that although we hold different views from HH the Dalai Lama concerning the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, we ourselves of course totally reject violence, at all times respecting the law and maintaining attitudes of peace, harmony, tolerance and respect. Please use your authority to restore harmony and respect between Tibetan people and the NKT.
Thank you for your consideration and assistance in this matter.
AR Tyson, Administrative Director
cc: The Office of Tibet, London, UK
The Tibet Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland
The Office of Tibet, New York NY, USA
Thubten Jigme Norbu, Bloomington IN, USA