By Tsering Passang, GATPM, London; 22 April 2023
Media houses worldwide are on the firing line after running a false story based on a “doctored” video clip clearly masterminded by CCP agents, which insinuates that the Dalai Lama is a “child abuser”.
Followers of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama are not going to forego this unprecedented level of baseless allegation against their spiritual leader until media houses issue public apologies for their shortcomings, including the absence of investigative journalistic work given the serious nature of the allegation.
This past week, the Tibetan diaspora and followers of the Dalai Lama worldwide have been demanding public apologies from media and celebrities for their misreportings and accusations on this serious charge against their spiritual leader. They demand the media to put the record straight by taking corrective action and issue an apology.
Earlier today, in the far flung of north-eastern India, Tawang – home to over 100,000 Monpas, at least 10,000 took to the streets to rally support for their spiritual leader Dalai Lama who is 87-years old.
The Tawang Rally on 22nd April was organised by ‘We Stand With His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Committee’, which comprised of at least 15 NGOs and civil societies including ATDSU, AMSU, AAPSU, MMT, WWA Tawang, Senior Student Leaders, Bazar Secretaries, Ex. Monpa Student of TCV, CST Schools, Monyul Society Tawang, WASV, NGOs, Massage Keaying Budmay Gonpa Welfare Society (Pungteng), Monks & Nuns & People of Monyul Tawang.
The mass protesters marched from Chamleng, Tawang Monastery to the Parade Ground in the heart of Tawang town centre. In addition to calling for a media apology, the people of Tawang are now considering legal actions taken against those who engaged in defaming their spiritual leader. They chanted “Long live His Holiness” and “We Stand with His Holiness”. A social media posting reads: “Their defamation has seriously hurt the sentiments of millions of Buddhist people and His Holiness followers. The message is Loud and Clear till Justice is served. The Indian Buddhist people will continue to fight.” The organisers were going to submit a Memorandum to their MPs Shri Kiren Rijiju and Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.
Thupten Jampa, a native of Tawang, who now lives in London, told this author: ”The people of Mon Tawang and Tibet have enjoyed a long historical relationship over many generations especially that we share the same Buddha Dharma and our culture. And then there is the close relationship between the Dalai Lama Institution and the Monpas, especially the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, who was born in Mon Tawang. As it is the case of a true spiritual bond between the Lama (teacher) and his disciples, whenever there are baseless allegations and lies spread, the disciples are bound to speak up and defend their Lamas. Baseless allegations must not be tolerated. This is what happened in Tawang today.”
Earlier in the week, massive protests were held in Ladakh, Sikkim and Darjeeling, the foothills of the Himalayas in support of the Nobel Peace laureate. In Ladakh, the authorities even banned concerned Indian media houses from covering the forthcoming G20 Summit. They also banned those celebrities from filming work in Ladakh, who made serious baseless allegations against the Tibetan spiritual leader. Some celebrities started issuing apologies for their ignorance, misunderstanding and hurting the sentiments of the Tibetans and other Buddhist communities.