I found an article on the internet today, Through the Eye of Dorje Shugden Buddhists in which the author has compiled a number of resources on the Dorje Shugden controversy.
I was struck by one contribution in particular from James Burns, a great unsung hero of the 1998 internet debate on the newsgroup alt.religion.buddhism.tibet:
Burns explained his feelings in a post on Sept. 15, 1998:
“In the UK how would you feel if you were not allowed to travel abroad because you are a Buddhist?
How would you feel if you were not allowed to hold a legal, government or medical post because of your religion?
How would you feel if your children and relatives were banned from attending state schools?
How would you feel if someone was sick in your family but you were frightened to ask for medical help because people would find out what your religion was?
How would you feel if people boycotted your business or profession just because you held certain beliefs?
How would you feel if your relatives and friends were encouraged to spy on you and report what you did just because of what you believed?
How would you feel if people came into your house uninvited and removed those things that you held most sacred?
How would you feel if you lost your pension and state benefits just because you were a Buddhist?
How would you feel if, on the same basis, your UK citizenship was removed?”
Burns concludes his post with a question for the person who he was replying to:
Is this shocking enough for you Mike?
It is shocking. What is so, so sad is that nothing has changed in ten years. This was the experience of Dorje Shugden practitioners in India in 1998 and it still is.
How can anyone who has compassion read this, realize that this is what Dorje Shugden practitioners are going through in India and not be moved to stop it?
Is the Dalai Lama made of stone?
How can he be the Buddha of Compassion, much less a Buddhist leader when he is directly responsible for this terrible suffering?
In another post, James writes:
“The people on this newsgroup who continue to support the Dalai Lama’s efforts in persecuting a section of his own people are a disgrace to Buddhism and to humanity. Such people are not Buddhists. If they were then they would do what they could for those in distress. The sectarian and fundamentalist attitudes that these people complain of can most clearly be seen in their own ranks. The right of all people to enjoy freedom of spiritual belief and practice must be universally proclaimed. Where such freedoms are not to be found it must be condemned with the utmost energy. Tyranny in any disguise must be recognised for what it is and firmly opposed.”
Dalai Lama, please give religious freedom.