In August 1996, a group calling itself ‘The Secret Society of Eliminators of the External and Internal Enemies of Tibet’ made public its death threats against the two young incarnations of highly realized Tibetan masters:
‘Anyone who goes against the policy of the government must be singled out, opposed and given the death penalty … As for the reincarnations of Trijang [the Dalai Lama’s own Spiritual Guide] and Zong Rinpoche [another great Tibetan spiritual master of the Gelug Tradition], if they do not stop practising Dolgyal and continue to contradict the word of H.H. the Dalai Lama, not only will we not be able to respect them, but their life activities will suffer destruction. This is our first warning.’340
These two young incarnate lamas were subsequently forced into hiding.
In an interview with the Dalai Lama appearing in the November 1997 issue of the American magazine Mother Jones, Robert Thurman asked the Dalai Lama:
‘The loss of your own nation to China has been used as an example of the futility of non-violence and tolerance. When is something worth fighting for?’
In his reply the Dalai Lama said:
‘… if the situation was such that there was only one learned lama or genuine practitioner alive, a person whose death would cause the whole of Tibet to lose all hope of keeping its Buddhist way of life, then it is conceivable that in order to protect that one person it might be justified for one or ten enemies to be eliminated—if there was no other way.’341
Following the Dalai Lama’s words ‘for one or ten enemies to be eliminated’, and mistakenly believing that Shugden practitioners worked with the Chinese authorities, in February 1998 posters of the ‘Ten Most Hated Enemies of the Dalai Lama and Tibet’ were circulated throughout Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal. Prepared by the Research and Analysis Wing of the Department of Security of the Tibetan exile government, they were complete with photographs and biographical information, and encouraged Tibetan people to kill these ten innocent Dorje Shugden practitioners. Since first published, this list has been distributed to Tibetan communities throughout the world.
The ten individuals listed included highly respected spiritual masters, both in the Tibetan settlements and in the West, and they had been so identified only because they openly encourage the practice of Dorje Shugden.342
The individuals identified in the posters were listed in the following order:
1. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche [Founder and Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union, which has over 1,200 Buddhist Centres and branches worldwide. He is the author of twenty one authoritative and highly acclaimed books on Buddhism covering every aspect of the path to enlightenment.]
2. Geshe Dragpa Gyaltsen (Chime Tsering) [General Secretary of the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi, India].
3. Lama Gangchen Tulku Trinlay Yorphel Rinpoche [Spiritual Director of Gangchen Kunphen Ling Buddhist centres throughout the world].
4. Gen Chatring Jampel Yeshe [President of the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi, India].
5. Lama Serkong Tritul Rinpoche [Abbot of the Gelugpa Buddhist Centre in Singapore and of the Chinese Gelugpa Society in Taiwan].
6. Tseten Gyurme [a well known supporter of Dorje Shugden practitioners].
7. Tenzin Chodak [a Dorje Shugden practitioner living in the UK, who spoke out against the ban at demonstrations in London in 1996].
8. Dr. Losang Thubten [a scholar who advises the Dorje Shugden Society, and who had already been attacked and severely injured, on November 7th 1996].
9. Geshe Konchog Gyaltsen [Vice-President of the Dorje Shugden Society in Delhi, India].
10. Kundeling Lama Losang Yeshe Rinpoche [Abbot and Founder of Atisha Charitable Trust and Monastery in Bangalore, India and Spiritual Director of Buddhist centres in Italy and the Netherlands].
With regard to this issue, the International Shugden Community holds that by publishing this list the Dalai Lama and his ministers have given explicit encouragement to Tibetan people to kill the ‘one or ten enemies’ listed; and declares that if in the future any of these ten people is killed then the International Shugden Community will automatically recognize the principal perpetrator to be the Dalai Lama himself and will pursue necessary investigative and legal action to ensure his eventual conviction under criminal law.