A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed- R. Dulmaa
Thursday, April 03, 2008.
Being the “spiritual brothers and sisters” of Tibetan people and sharing history of faith in Tibetan Buddhism, one cannot but notice how unusually quiet has Mongolia been in response to the recent overwhelming wave of pro-Tibetan protests around world.Theoretically, it is not hard for Mongolians to resonate with anger and frustrations of Tibetans having ourselves tasted the bitterness of political oppression on religious rights during Communism. Moreover, the “cultural genocide” that Dalai Lama sees taking place in Tibet has in a lesser form once appeared in Mongolia as well, when Russian military, schools, shops were ubiquitous. In this period, Buddhist temples were emptied, monks prisoned or killed and the general message was “Buddhism is bad for you.”The recent years nevertheless saw some form of religious revival from the Mongolian side. The Dalai Lama, on the other side, has expressed much faith in the future of Buddhism in Mongolia. In fact, he said that Buddhist teachings can truly flourish in a democratic country—Mongolia being referred. His faith in Mongolians is supported by his numerous visits to Mongolia in the last few years. Even in his public talks in America, he calls out for Mongolians in the audience.
During his Mongolia visits, thousands flock to receive a blessing from him and equally many rush to monasteries on special occasions such as the Tsagaan Sar celebrations. Mongolia’s political figures are also seen there flaunting their best deels, showing off khadags and offerings.
And yet even when non-Buddhist heads from Europe and America are admonishing China, where have all the devoted Mongolians gone? Where are the outspoken parliament members? Where are temple heads? Where is the media? Ironically, even the Chinese community in Mongolia has issued a statement supporting the Tibet crackdown.
As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend in need.
The Dalai Lama perhaps has put too early and too much hope on Mongolia’s political maturity. R.Dulmaa is a graduate student at the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California at Berkeley.