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Donít praise hypocrisy

by DR ONG HEAN TEIK, Penang, Malaysia, The Buddhist Channel, April 17, 2008

IT is disappointing that the Star Two on April 15 (published on the Buddhist Channel, April 16) reproduced a Los Angeles Times article which is a highly biased misrepresentation of the Tibetan situation.

It is clear that the Dalai Lama is not a simple Buddhist monk as he has styled himself in the title of his book.

Unlike the Buddha who gave up a kingdom for spiritual pursuits, the Dalai Lama wants to be the supreme leader running Tibet, deciding on their education, cultural practices and way of life.

When he was in charge in the 1950s, slavery was prevalent in Tibet, with the rich noblemen and religious institutions owning all the wealth of the country. Serfs had no education and no future.

It is a wonder how those in the United States who champion liberty and human rights can support someone who wishes to rule over serfs, both as king and god.

How can Americans whose Constitution clearly separates the powers of state from religion unashamedly support those who are pursuing the very opposite?

The pictures of well nourished monks and well kept temples in Tibet are a testimony of the support the Chinese government showers on the Tibetan population.

A poor society like Tibet is not able to maintain institutions like the Potola and the very large number of monks requiring upkeep.

Yet instead of pursuing meditation and goodness, these monks then lead a riot, attacking passers-by, burning shops and schools and end up killing the innocent. Which part of the Buddhist scriptures are these monks following?

If the Dalai Lama is a man of peace, why does he not restrain his violent supporters and loudly condemn their actions?

If he indeed accepts Chinese rule over Tibet, why does he keep meeting American and European politicians?

If he indeed supports the Beijing Olympics, why does he encourage demonstrations against the Olympic torch run? How can the press praise such hypocrisy?

Together with pictures of Tibetan temples and monks in China, pictures of riot police and a bloodied monk in Nepal are printed. Isn't this a crude attempt at misrepresenting the conduct of the Chinese police?

After the looting and racial massacre in Lhasa, security officers seeking to restore peace and arrest the guilty are deemed to be conducting a crackdown.

On the other hand, in Los Angeles in 1995, after the Rodney King riots, the police department were said to be restoring order and normality! Is this fair and objective reporting?

It is highly inappropriate to reproduce such a provocative article on Tibet just six days before the Olympic torch is due to pass through Kuala Lumpur.

Tibetan demonstrators in London and Paris had physically attacked flame carriers, even targeting a young girl in a wheelchair. We should not make the task of our Malaysian security personnel and flame carriers more difficult.

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