"A classification system used to categorise humans into distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation.”
Racism can be defined as:
“The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”
When a group of people are labeled according to a certain religious belief or affiliation and their access to public services, jobs, livelihoods and social freedoms are denied or restricted on the basis of this belief or affiliation this is racism.
Proof that the Dalai Lama lied
During an interview with DBTV in Norway the Dalai Lama lied on camera when talking about the religious ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. The interview took place on 7th May 2014 at the Nobel Institute in Oslo where the Dalai Lama was attending the 25th Anniversary celebration of his Nobel Peace Prize.
Outside protesters had gathered to demonstrate against the ban, which led to the interviewers asking the Dalai Lama about the protests and the ban. He said:
"They blame on me, I banned. I never sort of used, I never sort of make a decision banning, banning."
"So those people who received sort of teaching from me, you see they, they want to follow my style. So therefore I also you see make clear if you worship that spirit then don't receive my teaching because then differences, so only that I mentioned. Otherwise you see no question of banning."
"I think you should investigate who telling lie."
So according to the Dalai Lama he never made a decision banning Dorje Shugden practice, all he has ever said is that if you practice Dorje Shugden you shouldn't attend his teachings.
Is that true?
In 1996 the Tibetan Parliament passed a resolution about Dorje Shugden practice stating, “In sum, the departments, their branches and subsidiaries, monasteries and their branches that are functioning under the administrative control of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile should be strictly instructed, in accordance with the rules and regulations, not to indulge in the propitiation of Shugden."
After this resolution was passed letters were sent throughout government departments telling people that they had to stop their practice of Dorje Shugden or resign from their jobs.
Additionally the constitution of the Tibetan government was amended in accordance with this resolution. In particular Article 63 was changed to state, "The Presiding Judge of the Judiciary Commission and the two juries, should, in addition to being Tibetans, should not be a worshipper of Dorje Shugden"
More recently there were a series of mass expulsions and forced conversions that took place throughout the Tibetan state monasteries in South India. As Rebecca Novak, an author of 6 books on Tibetan Buddhism and culture stated, “Shugden practitioners gradually became social pariahs. Shopkeepers refused to sell to them, and landlords refused to rent to them. In 2008 the Tibetan leadership ordered the monasteries in South India to purge their populations of Shugden devotees. Monks who had formerly lived like brothers were now forbidden to talk to one another.”
Monks in the state monasteries were forced to either swear an oath in front of the head abbot that they will abandon their practice of Dorje Shugden from that time forth, or they were told to pack their bags and leave.
That's significantly more than the Dalai Lama 'mentioning' for people not to attend his teachings. It is making people destitute and denying them access to a public service because they choose not to follow the Dalai Lama's orders. It is also against the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular Article 18(2) "No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice."
So the question of whether the Dalai Lama lied in this interview hinges on whether these decisions could have been made without the Dalai Lama's knowledge or consent.
Who controls the Tibetan government?
In 2003 the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government (CTA) Samdhong Rinpoche gave a rare insight into the inner workings of the government and its power structure by explaining:
"His Holiness is the head of the government, as well as the head of state. So whatever the government decides, the decision is made and implemented in the name of His Holiness. His Holiness has the final authority to make any executive decision.
If we propose anything as advice to His Holiness the convention, the tradition is that the advice of the Kashag [Cabinet] is not binding on His Holiness. He has his free will to take any decision and that would be binding on the Kashag."
He went on to explain that every resolution of Parliament has to be approved of and agreed by the Dalai Lama before it can be passed.
As Tsewang Phuntso of the Tibetan government summed up, "The Dalai Lama is and always has been the head of state and all executive power is vested in him."
So if we are to believe the Dalai Lama's statement from his interview in Oslo we have to also believe that he was unaware of the 1996 resolution of Parliament, that he was unaware of people being forced to resign from their jobs, that he was unaware that the constitution of his government was changed, that he was unaware of mass expulsions and forced conversions throughout the state monasteries, and that at no time was he ever involved in those decisions.
It is completely impossible for that to be the case because in Tibetan society the Dalai Lama is the supreme authority. No change to the constitution, no government resolution and certainly no mass expulsion throughout the monasteries could ever be undertaken without his express consent.
So when the Dalai Lama said in the interview that he never made a decision banning the practice of Dorje Shugden he was telling a stone cold lie. It was his decision to approve the resolutions of Parliament which banned the practice amongst government employees and monasteries. Likewise it was his decision to approve the forced conversions and mass expulsions from monasteries in South India in 2008 which was ordered by the Tibetan leadership.