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Protests in Basel Calling on Dalai Lama to "End his Hypocrisy and Religious Persecution"
Basel (ots) - Over 500 protestors from the International Shugden Community, including many Swiss Tibetans will demonstrate against the Dalai Lama during his visit to Basel, accusing him of hypocrisy, sectarian intolerance and persecution.
Demonstrations: Sat/Sun, 7th/8th Feb, 8:30am-4:40pm, St. Jakobshalle, Basel
The protesters claim the Dalai Lama forcefully banned people from making prayers to the popular Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden. They state he is responsible for an aggressive persecution campaign affecting millions of people worldwide and resulting in suffering and human rights abuses, including segregation practices. For example, signs refusing entry and services to people of Shugden faith have gone up in shop windows, restaurants, and medical facilities.
This was documented by Swiss Public Television, 1998 (1) and AlJazeera, 2009 (2). The protestors say that this persecution remains firmly in place today.
In an October 2014 interview with Public Radio International, Prof. Robert Barnett, of Columbia University, confirmed the existence of an official prohibition of Shugden prayers by the Dalai Lama himself. Barnett told PRI "that Shugden practitioners in the Tibetan exile community have faced persecution." (3)
The ISC says that at least 60% of Tibetans who emigrated to Switzerland were from Shugden families and that the effects of this persecution is being felt on Swiss soil. Aachu Gelek a Swiss Tibetan attending the demonstrations said "The Dalai Lama's people say there is no ban, no discrimination. I have lived through this discrimination. I know it is true. It is the Dalai Lama who lies."
The ISC state that they are not funded by nor have any links with China.
1. SF 1: "Bruderzwist" http://youtu.be/EACFQrTalXw 2. AlJazeera, 'The Devil Within' http://ots.ch/nUQWd 3. Bell, Matthew. PRI's The World http://ots.ch/Gzzqp
Valentina Schweizer: +41 79 531 3159