Dalai Lama defies protesters to open Aldershot Buddhist centre
29 June 2015
From the section Hampshire & Isle of Wight
The spiritual leader faced protesters who were chanting ‘Dalai Lama stop lying’
The Dalai Lama defied protesters as he opened a Buddhist community centre.
The demonstrators, who are Shugden Buddhists, chanted “Dalai Lama stop lying” as he arrived at the complex in Aldershot, Hampshire.
In response, the Dalai Lama said he had turned away from the Shugden form of Buddhism because it had denied him “religious freedom”.
He blessed the site, which includes a monastery and is billed as the UK’s first Buddhist community centre.
The International Shugden Community accused the Dalai Lama of “religious persecution”
The development is located in Aldershot as the area was identified as having the largest population of Buddhists in the UK, and has strong links to the Gurkhas and Nepalese community.
Centre spokesman Damar Ghale said they were “deeply honoured” by the visit of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
A spokesman for the International Shugden Community said there were more than 700 protesters campaigning against “religious persecution”.
They say the Dalai Lama has suppressed their form of Buddhism.
Supporters for the Dalai Lama mounted a counter-protest.
Hampshire Police declined to confirm how many protesters were involved.
Source:: BBC world news feed