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The Kalachakra Buddhist festival has a special place in the hearts of Tibetan Buddhists and has played an important historical role in the exchanges between the Tibetan and Han peoples.
But this year's assembly from Jan 1 to 10 in Bodh Gaya in India- where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment - was not a religious gathering, it was a political show staged by the Dalai Lama and his clique in the name of Tibetan Buddhism.
Every night before the assembly started, the organizers screened so-called documentaries about the Dalai Lama's achievements and "Tibetan independence" in order to instill the political message of the "Tibetan government-in-exile".
Members of the Dalai Lama clique also promoted their message in the local community in a bid to create a favorable environment for the Dalai Lama's separatist message. The radical secessionists of the Tibetan Youth Congress volunteered to serve the Dalai Lama and promote "Tibetan independence" during the preparations for the assembly.
The Dalai Lama's real intentions were clearly exposed in his sermons as he diverted his talks from religion to "the freedom of Tibetans in Tibet" .
The assembly was filled with sermons instigating hatred, terror and extremism and the self-proclaimed "government-in-exile of Tibet" irresponsibly declared that it admired the spirit of the Tibetan people who committed suicide by self-immolation. To my surprise, some activities during the gathering also tried to justify and glorify self-immolation. For instance, the Tibetan Musicians Union staged concerts from Dec 31 to Jan 2 to commemorate the so-called martyrs' heroism. The whole process was emotionally charged and aimed at inciting people to follow the "noble" cause of self-immolation. Clearly the "government in exile" disavows Buddhist teachings and has no respect for life.
The extremism they constantly preach is fundamentally against the spirit of Buddhism.
The newly selected so-called leader of the "government in exile", Lobsang Sangay, for example, sought to instigate ethnic hatred by claiming that Tibetan people have no autonomy because they are not Han people.
Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has been trying his best to portray himself as the sole leader of Tibetan Buddhism and unite all sects of Tibetan Buddhism under his banner, those that are unwilling he seeks to suppress. For example, since 1996 he has sought to suppress the Buddhist Guardian, Gyaiqen Xudain, sect with the excuse that the beliefs of this sect will harm believers' spiritual well-being and the cause of "Tibetan independence". He has even instigated attacks on Gyaiqen Xudain temples by Tibetan separatists and persecuted those who believe in the Buddhist Guardian. In the assembly on Jan 5, the Dalai Lama openly required all Tibetan Buddhists choose between him and the Gyaiqen Xudain.
The development and stability of Tibet rely on the joint endeavors of all ethnic groups in China. Taking advantage of the assembly to instigate ethnic hatred or incite extremism for political purposes is against the tradition of Buddhism and the interests of the Tibetan people.
The Dalai Lama and his followers should stop using Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan people to carry out their separatist agenda in pursuit of their lost feudal power and privileges. Instead they should safeguard the Buddhist tradition of peace and respect for life that has been passed down through the centuries.
The author is an assistant researcher of China Tibetology Research Center.
(China Daily 03/28/2012 page9)