06/20/2012, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA - CHINA - TIBET

Korean Buddhists against Beijing: "You have politicized religion"

Joseph Yun Li-sun
The Buddhist Jogye Order, one of the oldest and most respected in South Korea and in the world, attacked the Chinese delegation, which left the 26th conference organized by the Friendship of the Worldwide Buddhists in protest against the presence of the Tibetan delegation: "Now they must apologize."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The largest Korean Buddhist organization has asked China to issue an official apology for having forced the ouster of the Tibetan delegation from the 26th Fellowship of World Buddhist Conference, held in Yeosu from June 11 to 16. According to the Buddhist Jogye Order, one of the oldest and most respected in the world, Beijing has "politicized" a religious event "without understanding its true meaning."

The 17 monks and representatives of the Chinese Buddhist world left aprubtly two days before the end of the meeting. A spokesman of the organization confirmed that, to accomodate the Chinese protests, yesterday Fellowship officials had asked 3 Tibetan delegates to leave the work sessions: "The Chinese demand was accepted by the Secretary General of the group. It was an embarrassing decision." Among the delegates was the former Prime Minister of the Tibetan government Samdhong Rinpoche, a personal envoy of the Dalai Lama.

The Order defined the boycott of the event "a disrespectful and unpleasant move. The Chinese delegates have put their political agenda first and were lacking in respect and consideration for an event that instead is purely religious. We demand that Beijing offer a sincere apology for what happened, and promise that such a thing will never happen again." 

 

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