The Dalai Lama was accused of being behind religious conflict in
Gandain Monastery near Lhasa by local mayor Norbu Dunzhub on
Tuesday who said it was "another attempt to sabotage the unity of
Seventeen lamas burst into a chapel in Gandain Monastery on
March 14 and tore down two clay statues of protective deities
claiming they were "evil spirits" and began fighting with six
worshippers at the scene.
The destruction of the statues was a criminal act and a
violation of the Regulations of Religious Affairs, said Norbu,
adding that local authorities had taken legal action against the
"It is by no means an isolated and accidental event," he
"At face value it is an internal affair within a monastery but
on a fundamental level it was provoked by the Dalai clique whose
purpose is to stir up conflict between different sects of Tibetan
Buddism and thus sabotage the unity of Tibet," said the mayor.
The exiled Dalai Lama has on several occasions denounced one of
the deities, Dorje Shugden, a god worshipped by a sect of
In the 1970s he warned his followers not to worship Shugden
because it was detrimental to his spiritual health and to the cause
of the Tibetan people.
In 1996 he imposed bans on the deity's worship at two Buddhist
ceremonies. Early this year the Dalai Lama ordered his followers to
pressure or verbally attack lamas of Gandain and Sera Monasteries
whom he believed were still worshipping the deity against his
"What the Dalai Lama has done violates the religious freedom of
believers," said Zhang Qingli, acting secretary of the Tibet
autonomous regional committee of the Communist Party of China.
Lamas in the Sera Monastery have defended the deity by saying it
has existed and been worshipped for a long period in the history of
Tibetan Buddhism. The statue's destruction violated Buddhist
Conflict among different sects should be resolved peacefully and
the incident at Gandain Monastery was shameful for Tibetan
Buddhism, said a lama from the monastery. He declined to be named.
The incident showed the pro-independence policy of the Dalai
clique had changed little, said Norbu.
(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2006)