“(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country”
- Article 21, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations (1948)
“Urges States to ensure that their constitutional and legal systems provide full guarantees of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief,”
- Article 2, Elimination Of All Forms Of Religious Intolerance, United Nations Resolution 48/128 (1993)
In a fair society there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion, laws would enshrine this essential principle of civilised society. Sadly, due to the Dalai Lama’s efforts within the Tibetan exile community, not only is there such discrimination, but the discrimination itself has been enshrined in law.
In the wake of the Dalai Lama banning Shugden practice, the Tibetan Exile Government’s Department of Health wrote to all it’s staff. Their letter, dated 18 April 1996, includes the following:
‘If there is anyone who worships Dorje Shugden they should repent the past and stop worshipping. They must submit a declaration that they will not worship in the future. In case there is anyone who doesn’t abide by the addresses of His Holiness to give up Shugden worship […] such person should submit their resignation. There is no other alternative for such person.’10
A Constitution that enshrines discrimination
In July 1996, article 63, clause 2 of the constitution of the Tibetan Exile government was amended to:
‘The Presiding Judge of the Judiciary Commission and the two juries, should, in addition to being Tibetans, should not be a worshipper of Dorje Shugden…’11
German documentary highlights the discrimination against Shugden practitioners in the Exile Government and how discrimination has been enshrined in the Tibetan exile constitution.
Senior Tibetan politicians callously acknowledge the discrimination against Shugden practitioners.
“The Dalai Lama’s opposition to Shugden became louder in 1996 when the CTA prohibited the Shugden practice among all CTA officials and the entire monastic population that stood under its supervision.”
- Dr Stephanie Roemer, The Tibetan Government-in-Exile: Politics at Large
Make a list of their names
The letters banning the practice of Shugden sent out by the Private Office of the Dalai Lama conclude with the following chilling instruction:
‘In implementing this policy, if there is anyone who continues to worship Dhogyal now, make a list of their names, house name, birth place, class - in case of students, and the date of arrival in the case of new arrivals. Retain your original, while sending us a copy of that list. Please share our responsibility and submit a clear report on the implementation of this circular.’12