Group protests Dalai Lama's event in San Francisco

A group accusing the Dalai Lama of religious persecution and human rights abuses protested outside his event in San Francisco.
February 22, 2014 6:24:07 PM PST
The Dalai Lama is in the Bay Area for a series of receptions and talks. The Tibetan spiritual leader arrived at SFO Friday for the first of three events. But not everybody welcomed him Saturday in San Francisco.

The Dalai Lama wrapped up his event at Davie's Symphony Hall late Saturday afternoon. But during the entire speech inside, protesters were across the street.

More than 100 members of the international Shugden community chanted for hours. They accuse the Dalai Lama of religious persecution and human rights abuses.

Those who follow the Shugden practice of Buddhism claim the Dalai Lama has publicly denounced their traditions and beliefs.

Meantime, inside the event Saturday, attendees said the Dalai Lama actually addressed the issue and the protesters.

"His whole piece is they really don't understand the issues and he'd be happy to be in dialogue but they're not well educated about what they're saying and I think that's true," Nancy Haugen said.

"He's enforced that through his powerful speech and actions and he's enforcing it and people then are thrown out of schools, can't get jobs in the government, can't enter banks, can't have a regular life," Buddhist nun Kelsang Lekma said. "They're excommunicated from their exiled communities."

The Dalai Lama's motorcade drove past the protesters after leaving Davies Symphony hall Saturday afternoon.

He will speak at similar events Sunday in Berkeley and on Monday in Santa Clara.

And the protesters promise to be at all of those events as well.


Load Comments