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Misrepresentation of Rangzen Activists

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Monday, Sep 13, 2010
One Comment

It is very sad and shocking to watch the video of Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche expressing his perception of Tibetans who support Rangzen (independence) for Tibet. By no means are loyalty and allegiance to His Holiness the Dalai Lama diminishing amongst those who advocate Rangzen for Tibet. This is a serious and blatant misrepresentation of those people. Rangzen activists are not the enemy. The Constitution of Tibet and now the Charter of Tibetans in Exile provide Tibetans certain rights which include freedom of speech. Democracy is nurtured and sustained by reason, and reasonable people can disagree on policy matters without being labeled a ‘more dangerous than the Chinese Communist or Shugden followers.’

When policy disagreements arise as it relates to the future of Tibet, the solution is not to question the loyalty and allegiance of those people. If leaders like Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche see the utilization of the freedom of speech by the Tibetan populous as an attack on His Holiness then Democracy does not exist in our community and the Tibetan Government in Exile’s (TGIE) claim that Democracy is in practice is completely false. The advocates of Rangzen are growing stronger in Tibet and in our exile communities, so the Kalon Tripa’s attack on Tibetan voices for independence is in direct conflict with the democratic values TGIE claims to have. Rather than blaming Rangzen advocates of misconduct, Rinpoche should be celebrating the diverse political views that exists in our community.

I would urge Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche to be more open and tolerant of opinions different from the official policy. I would ask him to have more faith in his own people who do not subscribe to the Middle Way approach.  On my part, I am completely loyal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and  the Tibetan government in exile but I do not agree with the Middle Way approach. But this difference should not black list me, as diverse voices in our community must be allowed to exist and the voice of the majority should determine its political thrust.

The alleged Tibetan newspaper in India that asked people “which of two, His Holiness and democracy is more important” is not worthy of an answer, the question is a provocative to create mischief. Democracy is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s gift to the people of Tibet and if we the people made it an enduring system of government we will have proved worthy of that gift. If difference of opinion on a policy issue determines ‘loyalty and allegiance’ then we have destroyed the most precious gift of all, democracy.

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