By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 6 April 2016
The Security Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration Dongchung Ngodup Tsering resigned from his post on Wednesday on moral grounds.
“I resigned because of the serious statements expressed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the two State Oracles,” said Tsering to journalists.
He stated that there was no pressure on him from any quarter to tender his resignation, and that he quit his office purely on moral grounds.
“I feel that I am not able to bear the responsibility of my position under these circumstances.”
It is the second resignation by ministers in Sikyong Sangay’s cabinet in less than two months. Dicki Chhoyang resigned as the Information and International Relations minister at the end of February.
Led by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and Speaker Penpa Tsering, the top brass of the CTA consulted the State Oracles Nechung and Tsering Chenga, during which the Oracles showed displeasure at the present leadership.
The two top leaders were given a humiliating dress-down by both the Oracles.
A grainy video circulated on social networking sites showed a wrathful Tsering Chenga hurling handfuls of sacred grain in the faces of both Sikyong and Speaker.
Nechung in his decree asked both the leaders to apologise personally to the Dalai Lama for their mistakes (mostly likely from the just-concluded Tibetan general elections in which they were accused of harping on trivial issues such as factionalism, and ignoring the important issues).
Nechng also said that there is no other way than the ‘middle-way approach’ to resolve the Tibetan issue.
Both the deities have said that they cannot guarantee the life span of the Dalai Lama if the Tibetan people and their leaders are not observing his wishes.
Nechung is the principal protector divinity of the Tibetan administration and the Dalai Lama. It is consulted to assist in governmental decision-making on pressing matters of state. The tradition of Nechung Oracle goes back for a few centuries.
The Dalai Lama lambasted the current Tibetan leadership for the worsening state of affairs within the Tibetan society, particularly the health in the settlements, during the 100th anniversary of Men-Tsee-Khang on 23 March.
Sikyong Sangay addressed the Dalai Lama’s statement in the exile Tibetan Parliament, explaining that he has been working on various development projects, and will put special efforts into the field of health as suggested by the Dalai Lama.
Sangay said in his concluding remarks in the Parliament on 1 April that an apology was not required as the Dalai Lama has issued such statements in the past as well.
Dongchung Ngodup Tsering joined the Central Tibetan Administration as an assistant Office Secretary at the Department of Security in 1977. He was promoted to serve as the department’s Secretary in April 1993 and continued to served in that capacity till 2001.
In 2007, Samdhong Rinpoche appointed Tsering as the Security Minister in his cabinet, and he was re-appointed as the Security Minister in 2011 in the cabinet of Lobsang Sangay.
Lobsang Sangay was re-elected recently as Sikyong. His current term finishes in a few months.
Dongchung Ngodup la is a man of integrity and service. For him His Holiness the Dalai Lama is everything for Tibet and Tibetans. He will never do anything that will upset HH and that will defame Tibetan people. Ngodup la’s resignation shows that something’s not right in Sikyong Sangay’s Kashag.
He must have endured a lot, I am sure. He wouldn’t do or take such a step unless there’s something big.
Looks like the immediate cause of his resignation was after his suggestion to counter a chitue’s baseless accusation against HH was ignored by Sangay. Kagyu chitue Tenpa Yarphel attacked Umaylam as useless and not supported by the majority of the Tibetans. He further said that Kashag has no power as long as HH is there. He implied that HH imposed Umaylam on Tibetans, and that Kashag powerless.
Ngodup la suggested Sangay to counter Yarphel’s baseless accusations, but Sangay ignored his suggestion, and never said a word against those allegations.
For Ngodup la, that kind of accusation is way beyond one could tolerate, but Sangay did. It is common knowledge that HH has never forced anyone to follow what he has suggested. It’s up to the people to decide, and Umaylam is accepted and practiced by the majority of Tibetans from their own understanding and choice.
Sangay need to think and act in the interest of the majority of the Tibetans rather than siding chitue’s like Yarphel who hail from Kham region, trying not to offend them for his own scheme of matters.
Nechung has helped us in the past and proved to be a reliable friend. Those non-believers can do what they like and nobody is forcing them to either believe or consult Nechung.
The majority of Tibetans are believers and we will continue with this glorious tradition. Recent University graduates having no knowledge of advanced spiritual matters should refrain from making bad comments. Tibetans are not fools and we will certainly not consult Nechung without reasons. Please come up with convincing arguments based on scientific explanation why the practice of consulting Nechung should be stopped.
Please can you enlighten us how Nechung has helped us in the past? Because if you’ve read all the comments below, you can see some people have asked pertinent questions regarding our Tibet cause, and specifically about HHDL’s security breach especially since Nechung is supposed to be HHDL’s bodyguard. Where did it help? I agree Nechung is not harmful or anything like that but the lower spirit world is just a reflection of where we are here as humans on this earth. And the lower spirit world is all that we have access to given our low mass consciousness. They have human like personality and same desires and to have control over people and act like they know what they’re talking about etc. I don’t claim to have advanced spiritual knowledge or anything like that, but this kind of thing can lead to spiritual distortions and i just felt the need to speak out what little i know. I hope i’m not offending anyone as that is not my intention.
I think that the onus lies on your shoulder to give “scientific explanation” to these unscientific activities. How have these oracles proven to be helpful? Please cite some examples with data. On one hand it is said Buddhism is all about following the teachings of the Buddha, on the other hand you there are these seemingly ritualistic dramas of the oracles.
The best thing that we can do to protect our sacred democracy is to ignore the Nechung and Tsering Chenga all other Sungmas. These Sungmas, if given some space in our politics they will take us back to the 18th century.
To Kasur Dongchung,
A real act of service to the Tibetan people would be if you stayed within the system and tried to change if. Giving up or quitting is cowardly and frankly does not achieve anything for his holiness or the Tibetan people.
If however you want to make statements on what exactly transpired during LS term that has led to the degradation of men tse khang as an institution, and what you would have done differently, then I would be singing a different tune.
The blame game needs to stop. As a young Tibetan I already feel a little disillusioned by a lot of petty drama that has gone down. I do believe we should hold LS accountable, but these old politicians need to stop being so passive-aggressive.
While profoundly respecting and honoring Honorable Donchung Ngodup’s resignation from his cabenet position, I feel that it has become even more crucial and necessary to give his best knowledge and guidance to the security of His holiness as warned by the protectors. I dont see any moral reason to resign this time before the impending term of his Kalon. Any way that is his freedom. This has only send out negative signal to Tibetans in and out of Tibet. It didn’t help at all.
It is high time for Tibetans to separate religion from politics and vice versa. In my opinion LS is doing fine in spite of high expectations from the general public.
The oracle thing is nothing more than a scarecrow used by high lamas to maintain their influence on people. I even doubt if they are really in trance or are they acting when performing strange things. If these dramas are not stopped, the day is not far when our democracy will disappear as easily as it appeared before us.
If these oracles knew so much, why do we have to have democracy, or to spend so much money for election … they can make their divine appointment of our PM and ministers. We have been fooled many times throughout our history.
Lets be human, make mistakes, learn from mistakes and move forward! Forget these oracles … if these so-called oracles are omniscient, they should have warned HH against going to Peking to make submission to unite Tibet with motherland (CHINA) in 1956.
“Nechung in his decree asked both the leaders to apologise personally to the Dalai Lama for their mistakes (mostly likely from the just-concluded Tibetan general elections in which they were accused of harping on trivial issues such as factionalism, and ignoring the important issues).”
This is a sweeping and rather presumptuous assertion. Who knows what misdemeanours displeased Nechung?
I find it presumptuous that someone, who from the name i assume is an Inji, makes any assumption about the opinion of someone who is Tibetan and presumably much closer to a complex culture and events than, i assume, us Injis could ever be.
But what do i know?
First of all I would like to convey my deepest respect to Kasur Ngodup la for his lifelong service and dedication towards Tibetan and the Tibetan people. Kasur Ngodup la’s resignation is a sign of his loyalty towards His Holiness and the people of Tibet. The untainted reputation of Kasur Ngodup la will always be in the hearts of the Tibetan people. Sikyong’s constant lies and bullying tactics have compelled Kasur Ngodup la to tender this resignation unwillingly, otherwise a civil servant like him would never resort to such extreme measure. This resignation is a big message to Sikyong and his supporters that there is something wrong… there is a big mistake which we need to understand, to learn, and promise not to repeat in the future.
Despite his failed policies, he gave birth to the cholkha shenkok in us Tibetans. Friends have become foes and brothers have become enemies. During this Sikyong’s reign, people who rant Rangzen have resurrected (Rangzen Rolang). This time, unlike before, all Rangzen Mukhbahurs were elected as Chitues. Tsewang Rigzin from Minnesota, who is known all over the community for hurting the feeling of His Holiness was elected as North American Chitue. Who would have imagined that this person, who is solely responsible for the division with Tibetan Youth Congress and the only TYC president who challenged His Holiness, would be elected to represent over 20 thousands Tibetans in North America? People like Tashi Namgyal la, who has dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the Tibetan community, the one who is ardent follower of His Holiness, the one who know no difference amongst Amdo, U-Tsang and Kham, was ridiculed by Sikyong during chitue meetings and Sikyong’s supporters have harassed this Lhaksam-chen ki shung-shab Tashi Namgyal la. Karma stuck on this Sikyong with His Holiness’ speech during Men-tse-khang centenary celebration, Ka-lung from Nechung and Tsering Chenga, and the latest being the wrath of nature or the incident of Mundgod soccer stadium, which this Sikyong used to garner votes from the innocent people of Mundgod. This wrath of nature is a lesson not only for Sikyong but to these innocent, yet foolish people of Mundgod.
This is a dark age for we Tibetans. If unity needs to be restored, if peace needs to prevail, if His Holiness needs to stay long, if people in Tibet need to be happy, if CTA needs to be functioning property, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay needs to resign immediately.
Democratic process has no room for interference from spirits. What were these spirits doing when dolgyal people came and murdered Ven. Lobsang Gyatso and his monks nearby HH’s residence. The CTA leadership has full authority to stay in power even if certain people resign childishly. There is no need for apology. The two candidates fought the election according to the constitution with sincere wish to serve our cause. It is the nature of politics to have bit of rough and tough at times if not always. Where does it say in the constitution that we have to give in to the wrath of spirits and resign disgracefully. Not staying in to finish the term is irresponsible, especially as the minister for security. By the way, we know from our history that poisoning and murder were common occurrences around the appointment of regents and recognition of Dalai Lamas. It never was Shangrila, never will be.
So, basically you’re saying that we should disregard the vote of the majority (because it isn’t to your personal liking) and kowtow to the blabber of an unenlightened entity from the 4th dimension and hardly knows better than us? I’m sure the Sikyong and the speaker and the rest (Mentsee Khang, Health dept etc) have no problem apologizing to His Holiness as HH is rightly upset and HHDL always expects us to do better and better. But, please give me a break. This is leading to some kind of scare tactic and not helpful at all. Lets not feed into Nechung’s scare tactic. Thank you and Long live His Holiness and the Tibetan people.
A meaningful sign of understanding to the public would be Sikyong appointing PT into his team. For Tibet I wish them both all the best for their united future.
Tibetan people’s democratic mandates can and should no longer be negated by Sungmas. We are in the 21st century and must look forward to a future Tibet governed by our children. Let’s all learn to accept majority decisions and support the re-elected Sikyong. Kalons may leave in mid-term for reasons of their choice and caliber, but these should not be given any more significance than their pronouncements in public.