Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tibetan Monks' Suicide Mission - marginal sect's interpretation of Buddhism and politics

Monks from Kriti monastery have burnt themselves to send a message to Beijing.  They are said to be close and sympathetic to the exiled Dalai Lama and the controversial anti-government Kriti Rinpoche.

Self immolation is unheard of in Tibet until recently. It is also discouraged in Buddhist teachings.

It is assumed that His Highness condones such behaviour. Tibetan monks are willing suicide burners to pressure Beijing.

It is a reminder of inferno monks during the Vietnam War which caught media attention. But it was the cost of the war that led to the withdrawal, not protests.

Majority of Tibetans are now enjoying a higher standard of living, modern universal multilingual education and  temples receive huge amounts of funding from the government as well as other ethnic followers of Tibetan Buddhism. The cultural genocide charges levelled against Beijing by the Dalai Lama could not be proven or substantiated. Instead, exiled Tibetans have lost much of their cultural heritage compared to their cousins living in mainland China.

The Dalai Lama has been accused of human rights abuses, nepotism and hypocrisy by the Western Dorje Shugden. But victims endured discrimination and harassment and had not resorted to burning themselves to seek attention.

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