462Fwd: Chinese try to stop Dharma Teaching in Mumbai
- Sep 22, 2005
CHINESE TRY TO STOP DHARMA TEACHING IN MUMBAI
WE ONLY WANT TO HEAR THE DHARMA
The Dharma Rain Centre, a recently formed organization was today advised and pressured by the Deputy Consul-General of China at Mumbai to cancel a public meeting being organized by the Centre, A group engaged in promoting the understanding of various spiritual traditions, including Buddhism.
Though it is unconventional to address a Press Release in the first person, I am afraid that this is the only way in which I, the founder-member and Secretary of this organization, can do justice in narrating the unconventional, unwarranted, illegal and shocking interference by a senior member of the Chinese diplomatic corps of China, in the affairs of a private organization in India, and thereby in the way Indian citizens conduct themselves in their religious, social and political life.
When the Deputy Consul General Mr. Song, rang me up on my cell phone as I was on my way out of Mumbai on a retreat, I thought he was genuinely interested in knowing details about the public talk that the Ven. Geshe Lhakdor-la, (a senior and experienced Tibetan Lama, official translator to the Dalai Lama and Director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives) is scheduled to give on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 6.30 pm at the Rama Watumall Auditorium in the K.C. College premises. His topic is Combining Head and Heart: Wisdom and Compassion in Tibetan Buddhism. However, having verified who he was speaking to, he bluntly said he wanted us to cancel the program as this was political interference in the affairs of China.
Despite all my efforts to convince him that this was not a political topic or a political meeting, he insisted the speaker had close ties with the Dalai Lama who was using India as base for anti-China activities. At this point, I had to politely remind him that this was India, a democratic country unlike China, and we had every right to conduct any meeting, religious, political or otherwise. I reminded him that the Dalai Lama was one of the worlds most respected leaders, and as an Indian I was proud that India had given him sanctuary and the opportunity to save his countrys religion and culture, despite its illegal occupation by China.
Mr. Song then decided to take a more personal angle and asked me what was my relationship with the Friends of Tibet (India).
It will be recalled that last year, as a result of similar interference and pressure by the Chinese embassy and consulate, the Asian Film Festival was forced to withdraw a retrospective section on Tibet, from the films screened. At that time, I was the spokesperson for Friends of Tibet and he was obviously referring to that. I reminded him that I was the same person who had spoken to the BBC (The World Today) about that disgusting and obnoxious episode. I have informed him that we support not only Friends of Tibet, but all Tibet activists around the world. We may not always agree with everyone but we shall always defend their right to say what they wish and the manner in which they wish to say it.
We call upon all freedom loving individuals and organizations to protest this extra-territorial influence and diplomatic license that the Chinese diplomatic corps here in India is deluded into thinking it possesses.
I have suggested to Mr. Song that instead of wasting his time and energy with activists like me, and bullying and terrorizing small organizations like the Dharma Rain Centre and the Friends of Tibet, he should quickly get round to negotiating with the Dalai Lama and maybe then we can all sing a different Song. A song of Universal Responsibility and World Peace.
And of course, the meeting is on. Do come in large numbers.
Mr. Song is also invited. If you wish to speak to him and convey your feelings his telephone number is 022- 56324304.
With loving kindness and compassion for all, especially those who trouble us the most,
For Dharma Rain Education Society,
Aspi B. Mistry.
(Cell No: 98204-91350)
September 21, 2005
DHARMA RAIN EDUCATION SOCIETY
4A, Cleave House, 90, Wodehouse Rd
Colaba, Mumbai- 400 005.#######
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