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Dalai Lama works against peace and Buddhism

2012-12-21 18:02

The New York Post, a US tabloid, recently became the target of harsh criticism for publishing the photograph of a man about to be struck by a subway train on its front page. The newspaper and the photographer were criticized for being "too insensitive and sensationalist", showing how highly the majority of the people across the world regard life.

Therefore, it is baffling to see some people praising the Dalai Lama clique for inciting some Tibetans to commit self-immolation in Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces. By encouraging and coercing some Tibetans to burn themselves alive and then using the photographs and videos in the propaganda campaign to split the Tibet autonomous region from China, the Dalai Lama and his followers have shown how immoral and inhuman their designs are. What they have done is much worse than the New York Post and deserves nothing but condemnation.

The Dalai Lama was initially silent about the self-immolations by Tibetans, but later he let spread the notion that there was nothing in Buddhism that forbades suicide and the self-immolators should be considered "brave heroes".

The Dalai Lama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but he is working against peace. As Losang Gyaltsen, vice-chairman of the Tibet autonomous region, said at the recent 18th Party Congress: "The Dalai Lama's clique sacrifices human lives for its hidden political objectives."

Police in Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai are trying their best to prevent Tibetans from committing self-immolation and detaining people, including monks, who encourage them. Any attempt to coerce a person to commit a suicide or take another person's life are crimes in China, just like they are in other countries.

Investigators have found a striking similarity among the self-immolation cases: Most of the self-immolators had shouted separatist slogans such as "Free Tibet" before setting themselves on fire.

As the so-called spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama has not condemned the loss of life, and his silent consent has instigated Tibetan separatist groups to propagate that "their (those who burn themselves to death) actions and personal information and pictures will be passed on to India (where the Dalai Lama lives "in exile" since fleeing China in 1959) and be distributed abroad so that their families would be acknowledged and honored."

To encourage people to commit self-immolation, Tibetan separatist groups offer their families "compensation" after their death. As a result, some misguided people have turned their "sacrifice" for a "leader" who is using them to achieve his personal goals into a farce.

In the Aba Tibetan autonomous county of Sichuan, two people fled their hometown in August to escape the coercion of Lorang Konchok, a monk, to commit self-immolation. The two returned home only after the monk and his nephew Lorang Tsering were apprehended.

To seduce or force others to commit a suicide is not only against the law but also against one of the five essential edicts of Buddhism, which says that life is to be respected in all its forms.

The Dalai Lama compares present-day Tibetan inhabited areas as hell on Earth where ethnic genocide is being conducted, and his Western supporters, who see him as a saint, assume it to be the truth. The fact is pre-liberation Tibet, under the Dalai Lamas, was a place where slavery, poverty and illiteracy were rampant.

By accusing the Chinese government of wrongdoing and citing the self-immolations as evidence of Tibetan "desperation", the Dalai Lama is trying to fool the international community. And even some ordinary Chinese citizens, including Han people, think Tibetans are fighting for their rights. This is disinformation campaign at its worst.

What should one think of a 14-year-old illiterate boy who committed self-immolation? Could he read the political and social situation and then decide to take his life? Or did he act under the pressure of adult troublemakers? The answer is obvious.

True Buddhists do not kill any living being, and that includes themselves. Killing is the gravest sin in Buddhism. Buddhists pray every morning for even the ants they might inadvertently trample during the day.

While I was living with a Tibetan family, I saw a cockroach and prepared to kill it. But the head of the family stopped me, saying: "All life has the right to live." In another Tibetan home, I saw four mice crossing a room on a wire hanging from one side to the other with family members not even bothering to scare them away, let alone try to kill them. This respect for life, not suicide, is the true teaching of the Buddha.

When the Dalai Lama remains silent on self-immolations instead of condemning them (one call would be effective), even some of his devout followers and sympathizers feel confused. So, should the West still support the Dalai Lama and his inhuman designs?

The author is a Canadian scholar based in Beijing.

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