"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.
Why would the Dalai Lama lie?
It is clear that the Dalai Lama's public reputation is based on his wholesome values of human rights, peace, love and tolerance. He often attends human rights events and speaks publicly about harmony and religious freedom.
So if he were to admit that the Tibetan government is implementing a ban on a religious practice he would have to explain why.
It seems that the Dalai Lama would then be forced to admit that he told people they must stop practising Dorje Shugden. He would have to admit that he agrees with the ban and with the religious discrimination imposed by the CTA.
It would suddenly make it difficult for him to then publicly tell people to respect all religions.
It would also make it difficult for him to be taken seriously when he talks of Chinese human rights violations when he himself supports human rights violations by his own government.
In short he takes the politician's way out of uncomfortable situations - he avoids answering the issue directly and when pressed he simply lies. Not exactly what you would expect from a Buddhist monk, but not a huge surprise for a politician.
So it's easier to lie, smile, laugh and confuse the whole situation with Buddhist debate about doctrinal differences. After all which politician or journalist will be prepared to debate with the Dalai Lama about Buddhism?
For as long as the Dalai Lama keeps the debate focussed on religion he doesn't have to answer questions about what the CTA are doing and why he has told them to do it.
He doesn't have to explain why people were told to leave their jobs in the government, he doesn't need to explain why people were stopped from receiving teachings in their monasteries, and he doesn't need to explain why the Tibetan Parliament has passed a resolution branding people as 'criminals' because they practice a prayer that prior to 1996 was considered to be just fine.