Are Buddhsist Racist

Read my one & only interview in the New Statesman

What is Racism?


Race can be defined as:

"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.

Media Coverage

Initially this page was created to document some of the coverage of the Dalai Lama's US tour, where the protests against his ban received a tremendous amount of coverage in the mainstream media.

It has now been updated with coverage of protests in Germany, UK, Australia, Copenhagen, Switzerland, and Washinton DC outside the National Prayer Breakfast.

As usual the media coverage is a mixed bag. Several of the stories contain the usual myths, and inaccurate reporting, however there are some rare gems amongst them. To read the 7 common myths often misreported in the media about this issue click here.

Below you will find a chronological list of the media coverage from the web along with a brief summary or review as to its accuracy. The list is by no means exhaustive, but should help to illustrate that for the Dalai Lama and his fans the issue of his continued persecution of Dorje Shugden Buddhists is one that quite simply will not go away.



Fresh from their success in achieving mainstream coverage in the US again, the protesters are hot on the heels of the Dalai Lama as he continues to celebrate his never ending birthday.

This coverage is in stark contrast to their breakthrough coverage in Hamburg in 2014 which kick-started their journey into the mainstream media. The protests are being widely reported throughout hundreds of German outlets (with a little help from DPA), with some people asking why the Dalai Lama teaches about conflict resolution but can't seem to apply it to this situation.

14th July

Fascination and protests - Frankfurter Rundschau (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Frankfurter Rundschau devoted a double page spread in their print edition to the subject of the protests and the Dalai Lama's visit. On the whole their coverage of the issue has been excellent. This article covers the issue sensitively and with balance. It avoids any of the pejorative language the Dalai Lama's press team have been pushing the German media to use and approaches the subject with an open mind. It also includes a mention of one of the protesters that was being assaulted by the Dalai Lama's supporters before the undercover police stepped in. Good, well written and mature, so it gets a well deserved 4.5/5.

Your enemy, the best friend - Frankfurter Allgemeine (Indy Score: 3/5)

Fairly typical coverage in this article that lauds the Dalai Lama as some icon of peace, despite the hundreds of protesters that he refuses to enter into dialogue with. The article manages to include prominent coverage of the protests but doesn't develop any of the obvious threads in the story. Bland and unchallenged so it gets 3/5.


13th July

Three perspectives on the Dalai Lama - Journal Frankfurt (Indy Score: 5/5)

This article gets full marks for it's sensitive, balanced and unbiased reporting. Perhaps what makes the difference here is that the author is Nils Bremer, chief editor of the Journal, but more appropriately a political scientist. It's his prior understanding of the political dimensions to the conflict that help to shape the article. Rather than being swayed by the celebrity pomp and ceremony he gets to the heart of the issue and presents it clearly to the reader. A well deserved 5/5 for this coverage.

Hundreds demonstrate against the Dalai Lama - Frankfurter Rundschau (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Georg Leppert's article in FR is superb. It gives a good balance of coverage to the various protests and counter-protests that greeted the Dalai Lama and gives an in-depth look into the ISC issues. It features comments from a Tibetan protester called Sonam along with some details about the signs used to discriminate against Shugden Buddhists in the exile community. A very responsible approach to a difficult and sensitive subject so it gets 4.5/5.

Protests accompany the Dalai Lama in Frankfurt - DPA (Indy Score: 4/5)

This is a Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) syndicated piece. DPA are the largest press agency in Germany and their articles are re-published in hundreds of national, regional and local outlets. The link above is to the DPA piece in Die Welt, one of Germany's largest national newspapers. It's interesting that the article leads with the protests rather than the Dalai Lama's activities. It also raises the main point of the protests, includes a photo of one of the protest banners, and avoids any pejorative or prejudicial language, so it gets 4/5. It is widely re-published in Bild, Focus, FR-Online, Berliner Zeitung, MSN News, FFH Radio, Fuldaer Zeitung, and many more.

Dalai Lama sees Europe as a model - Die Welt (Indy Score: 4/5)

This article covers the Dalai Lama's trip in great detail and gives considerable coverage to the protests. It's interesting to note that the Dalai Lama has brought Lobsang Sangay, his Prime Minister, with him for the first time on one of his tours. It would seem that the protests must be getting to him if he has to bring Lobsang along. His presence however failed to deflect Die Welt's attention from the protesters. There is also mention of the press conference where the Dalai Lama again referred to Dorje Shugden as an "evil spirit" which he worshiped for 40 years. None of those present seemed to pick up on this anomaly though. If the Dalai Lama has been worshiping an "evil spirit" for half his life then either the spirit isn't evil or it isn't effective. Instead they ignore this hole in his argument and concentrate on more pressing matters such as selfies. This gets a 4/5 from me as it again shows the major outlets are starting to move away from just accepting whatever the Dalai Lama says without question.

Enlightened being - Frankfurter Rundschau (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

It's an interesting piece from FR that attempts to look at who the Dalai Lama is and what the reasons are for the protests in a punchy, staccato question and answer style. It's a brave attempt to summarise a complex situation that spans Tibetan religion and politics and for that reason I wanted to give it a 4/5. However, although it correctly refers to the Dalai Lama's ban towards Shugden Buddhism it fails to mention the social aspects such as the segregation of Shugden Buddhists from mainstream exile society. It also uses pejorative language in places, so for those reasons it gets a 3.5/5. A valiant attempt, but one that ultimately fails to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Dalai Lama urges co-existence of people - Echo Online (Indy Score: 3/5)

Fairly matter-of-fact coverage in this piece which talks of the Dalai Lama's visit to Frankfurt and the protests he faced. It briefly mentions one of the main issues behind the protests but doesn't go much further. For that reason it gets a straight-forward 3/5.

The Dalai Lama & the EU - Deutsche Welle (Indy Score: 3/5)

This article by DW would have scored 3.5/5, but it was marked down for the use of pejorative language by referring to Shugden Buddhism as a cult. This is the language used by the Dalai Lama's press team and is highly pejorative, intended to dismiss the protests rather than address the issue. Despite this slip DW presented the main issues of the protests clearly. 3/5 for this one.

The Dalai Lama in Wiesbaden - Weisbadener Tagblatt (Indy Score: n/a)

This one is a photo gallery of the Dalai Lama's visit which includes several photos of the protests mid-way through. As it's not an article it gets n/a.


12th July

The Dalai Lama comes to Wiesbaden - HR Online (Indy Score: 4/5)

About one third of this article about the Dalai Lama's visit is devoted to the subject of the protests. It provides an overview of the main issues behind the protests which provides a good balance to the main aspects of the article. The piece features prominently on the homepage of HR Online which should help to ensure the subject of the protests reach a wide audience, overall a good 4/5.

Dalai Lama visit to Wiesbaden - Allgemeine-Zeitung (Indy Score: 1/5)

A poor effort from Allgemeine-Zeitung who just repeat the misinformation from the Dalai Lama's media pack without bothering to check it or get counter comments from the ISC. They didn't even feign an attempt at providing any balance so it gets a justifiably low 1/5.


US Birthday Tour

It seems like the Dalai Lama's birthday has been ongoing for the past month, but this tour sees his actual birthday take place on July 6th in California. Public events are planned in California and New York, complete with International Shugden Community (ISC) protests.


9th/10th July

Buddhists protest Dalai Lama's New York visit - Reuters (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This is a video article by Reuters that has been widely syndicated, most notably on Yahoo News, Australia's, AOL, One India, Atlanta Journal, Bangkok Post, and the New York Times. The coverage features comments from 3 spokespeople from the ISC protest group, 2 of whom are Tibetans. The Tibetans give first hand experience of the effects of the ban within the exile community. A well researched and presented piece by Reuters so it gets 4.5/5.

Dalai Lama celebrates birthday - United Press International (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

Primarily this article covers the celebrations in New York with Nancy Pelosi. It does however include the protests and gives two paragraphs at the end of the piece to their main issues. It also includes an embedded tweet from them. It only scores 3.5/5 from me because it lacks depth and doesn't follow up on the protesters claims.

The Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations - Huffington Post (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

This unusually honest piece by the Huff Po gives an insight into the realities of the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations behind the somewhat misleading headlines of other outlets. Mara Shapshay mentions the protesters whilst also explaining the event was not sold out, with many empty seats. She also explains the Dalai Lama failed to pull in any celebrities of worth with his line up resembling a selection of washed up has-beens more akin to Dancing with the Stars. I'm frankly surprised this one got past Arianna and is well worth a read to see the effects the protests appear to be having on the Dalai Lama's credibility with Hollywood. I couldn't go higher than 3.5/5 given the coverage of the protests didn't warrant it. An entertaining read nonetheless.

Dalai Lama celebrates 80th birthday - New York Post (Indy Score: 2/5)

The NY Post article only gives a brief mention of the protests at the end of this short stub but credit is given for avoiding any derisory or pejorative language. Just a 2/5.


7th July

Dalai Lama discusses climate change at UC Irvine - ABC (Indy Score: 4/5)

This article is in addition to newscast coverage of the protests on ABC. It's well balanced, avoids any pejorative language and gives space for the ISC spokesperson to raise the main issues behind the protests. ABC also noted that the protests were peaceful. On the whole a deserving 4/5.

Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations amid protests - The Inquisitr (Indy Score: 3/5)

The protests get a modest mention in this piece however it's interesting to note that The Inquisitr refers specifically to the Dalai Lama outlawing Shugden Buddhism in the 1990's. It seems that the media is now acknowledging the ban exists more and more since the BBC Newsnight interview. This one gets a healthy 3/5.


6th July

Dalai Lama celebrates in Irvine - NBC (Indy Score: 4/5)

NBC's coverage includes an extract from the newscast which featured some of the protesters. The article covers quite a lot of the issues behind the protests. It also includes a link to the 2009 Al Jazeera report that showed the Dalai Lama had banned the practice and the effect of the ban on the exile community. It still surprises me that given the wealth of evidence showing discrimination exists the media still seem unable to ask the Dalai Lama why he isn't doing anything about it. It seems the BBC are still ahead of the US media in tackling the Dalai Lama about the ban. This gets a deserved 4/5.

Dalai Lama's Birthday celebration - LA Times (Indy Score: 4/5)

Building on yesterday's article it features a bit more coverage of the protests and the reason for the Dalai Lama's ban, namely advice he received from an oracle. Due to the increased coverage this one gets a 4/5 and again shows the US media are being careful to responsibly cover the issue by avoiding pejorative language or dismissive approaches.

Protesters greet Dalai Lama visit to UC Irvine - CBS LA (Indy Score: 4/5)

As with the LA Times, CBS builds on its initial coverage of the protests from yesterday to offer a slightly more in depth piece. Again credit is due for their balanced approach especially given the pressure the International Campaign for Tibet and the Dalai Lama's people are putting on the media to ignore the protests. Another well deserved 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama turns 80 amid 3 day celebration - Newsweek (Indy Score: 4/5)

It's refreshing to see Newsweek approach the issue much more responsibly than they did previously. This article includes a photograph of the protests along with a paragraph about them. It gets 4/5 because they also correctly report that the Dalai Lama outlawed the practice in the 1990's. It seems that the term from the BBC Newsnight interview, which the Dalai Lama sought to justify rather than deny, seems to have been picked up by the US media. It's good to see the issue being addressed in the correct terms for a change.

C-list celebrities, protesters and MC Hammer - OC Weekly (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

A humorous take on the rather odd birthday celebration for the Dalai Lama. The OC Weekly covers a few aspects of the protests but doesn't really make any attempt to raise the main issue behind them. Fair and funny but a bit too superficial so it gets 3.5/5.

Why Thousands of Buddhists protest Dalai Lama - Think Progress (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

I think the headline writer got their sums wrong with this one, it should have been hundreds, but I doubt the ISC will be unhappy with it. It's well balanced and features a quote from one of the protesters, so it gets a 3.5/5 from me.

Dalai Lama Birthday protests - Press Trust of India (Indy Score: 3/5)

Similar to the AFP piece from yesterday this article is written by India's major news agency and covers the protests briefly along with the main issue behind them. The link above is to the Indian Express version of the article and is likely to have been republished in several hundred of PTI's 500 member outlets. This scores a balanced 3/5 from me.


5th July

Dalai Lama's Birthday celebrations draw protest - Agence France-Presse (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

The Dalai Lama's marathon birthday celebration has just begun and already the media is including protest coverage within articles about the celebrations. This piece by Agence France-Presse (AFP) is widely distributed worldwide and has already been republished in the Economic Times in India (as linked above). It's well balanced and details the hundreds of protesters and their main issue. On the whole it gets a 3.5/5 from me. Also published in Bangkok Post, The New Age, ZeeNews, The West Australian, NDTV, Yahoo News. It's only just been released on the wire in the past hour or so, so you can expect that list to grow considerably.

Dalai Lama marks 80th Birthday - LA Times (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

The main focus of the article as you would expect is about the Dalai Lama's celebrations but it gives significant space to the protests mid-way through. It's not too detailed but credit is given for avoiding any pejorative language and addressing the issue with responsible balance. This one gets a 3.5/5.

Thousands turn out for Dalai Lama's birthday - CBS LA (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

A short article that nonetheless manages to cover the main issue behind the protests and also a quote from one of the ISC spokespeople. For balance CBS also include a counter-quote from a member of the Dalai Lama's representatives. Short but sweet, it gets 3.5/5.


4th July

Dalai Lama BBC Interview - BBC Newsnight (Indy Score: 4/5)

Filmed on 29th June this was screened on UK national TV on 3rd July and became available online on 4th July, hence it features in this section. This scores highly due to the fact that Emily Maitlis asked the Dalai Lama very directly about Shugden Buddhists being outlawed in the exile community (26:08 min). The Dalai Lama failed to answer the question and instead talked about the protesters. Unfortunately Emily didn't press him on it and instead allowed him to get away without answering her question. I can't help but feel that Jeremy Paxman would have persisted and held the Dalai Lama to account. Nonetheless it shows the growing appetite the mainstream media have for answers on this topic. It gets a well deserved 4/5 from me.


3rd July

Dalai Lama Celebrates 80th Birthday With California Summit - AP (Indy Score: 3/5)

The Associated Press are first out of the stalls in the US media to draw readers attention to the protest aspect of the Dalai Lama's latest visit. In this widely syndicated article they also mention the UK demonstrations and the main issue behind them. The link above is to the New York Times version of the AP piece and it has also been carried in most major national and regional US outlets. A healthy 3/5 for this one. Again this is widely republished in several hundred outlets in the US and overseas including The Miami Herald, Yahoo News, ABC News (US), New Zealand Herald, Daily Mail (UK), NBC, FOX News, CBS News, The Washington Times, Los Angeles Daily News, San Francisco Gate, Connecticut Post, Sun Herald, Monterey Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Stamford Advocate, New Jersey Herald, The Washington Post, myFOXla, Las Vegas Sun, Houston Chronicle, and many more.


UK Visit Coverage

29th/30th June

Dalai Lama defies protesters to open centre - BBC News (Indy Score: 4/5)

As an indication for how mainstream this issue has become it was featured on the BBC news website as well as the local BBC TV coverage. This article is concise but at least it offers a balanced presentation. 4/5 for this one due to the fact it also takes into account the TV newscast coverage as well.

"False Dalai Lama, stop lying" - ITV News (Indy Score: 4/5)

Again this score reflects not just the online coverage but also the ITV newscast coverage which presented a balanced look at the protests. This article includes some footage of the protests which give a sign of the sheer size and scale of them. Hampshire police confirmed over 600 protesters were present from the ISC. This article combined with the newscast gets a 4/5 for balance and content.

Dalai Lama met with 'sectarian' protests - Guardian (Indy Score: 4/5)

It's nice to see the Guardian present a more balanced coverage of the issues behind the protests. However no-one seems to be asking why the Dalai Lama refuses to tell people to stop the discrimination and segregation. It's absurd given that he talks about tolerance. A healthy 4/5 for the Guardian.

Protest group targets Dalai Lama - Press Association (Indy Score: 4/5)

Continuing their excellent coverage of the protests the UK based Press Association produced another well balanced factual article. The link here is to the British Telecom news site, however as before this is re-published in almost every major local and regional outlet throughout the UK. A well deserved 4/5 for this article and overall PA gets a 4.5/5 for their whole coverage of the UK protests.

Dalai Lama faces protest in Britain - Associated Press (Indy Score: 4/5)

In a remarkably surprising twist the Associated Press have covered the UK protests and syndicated a concise summary worldwide. The link above shows the AP article on FOX News' US site, but it is also re-published in several major outlets. Even though it is short AP provides a balanced summary and this gets a good 4/5 given the international mainstream traction the protests have now accomplished. Also published in over 800 outlets worldwide including Salon, Napa Valley Register, Columbus Telegram, Miami Herald, The News Tribune, Newsday, The Kansas City Star, The Washington Post, San Francisco Gate, Yahoo News, New Jersey Herald, The New York Times, New Zealand Herald, ABC News (US), and The Republic.

Hundreds protest Buddhist leader - International Business Times (Indy Score: 4/5)

I'm not too sure how most Buddhists feel about headlines like this claiming the Dalai Lama to be the leader of Buddhism, but the article itself is a good presentation of the issues surrounding the protests. A healthy 4/5 for the IBTimes.

Breakaway Buddhist sect holds protest - Press Trust of India (Indy Score: 4/5)

PTI is the single largest news agency in India and includes over 500 newspapers. This article is syndicated widely by them and the link above is to the Economic Times publication of it. It covers the main issues of the protests but also indicates that this issue is now gaining significant traction throughout India. A healthy 4/5 from me for this one.

Hundreds protest against Dalai Lama - Agence France-Presse (Indy Score: 3/5)

It's a short syndicated piece from AFP that briefly covers the main points of the protests and counter arguments. It gets a 3/5 and as it's AFP this will be widely circulated throughout the UK and worldwide, such as Channel News Asia, The Hindu and German outlet Zeit Online.

Dalai Lama met by protesters - Eagle Radio (Indy Score: 3/5)

On the whole the article does cover some of the main issues behind the protests but it lacks balance and any sort of critical follow up. Again it raises the serious question of why the Dalai Lama refuses to condemn segregation and discrimination in the Tibetan exile community. A modest 3/5 for this one.

Glastonbury 2015: Dalai Lama and ISIS - Independent (Indy Score: 3/5)

Kudos to the Independent again for raising the issue of discrimination in the exile Tibetan community. While most outlets seem to think singing Happy Birthday is newsworthy the Independent don't let him off the hook that easily. Last 2 para mention in the article, so it gets a fair 3/5.

Dalai Lama returns to cheers and protest - getHampshire (Indy Score: 1/5)

Unsurprisingly poor coverage from a local rag. It seems Mr Chapple doesn't agree with the concept of free speech in the UK. It's such an inconvenience when the issues facing persecuted exile Tibetans get in the way of privileged westerners and their Buddhist pop icon. Also it appears that Kate Saunders is now one of the Dalai Lama's official spokespeople which would seem to be a conflict of interest with her role as communications director for the International Campaign for Tibet. A poor article which rightly deserves a 1/5.

Buddhists protest over visit by Dalai Lama - Demotix (Indy Score: n/a)

This one's a selection of images from a photojournalist present at the event. Nice shots but scores n/a as it's not an article.


27th June

Glastonbury 2015: China issues strong warning - Independent (Indy Score: 3/5)

A continuation of yesterday's PA and Reuters coverage of China's comments. However the final section of the article covers the protests and segregation in the Tibetan exile community. Nice to see the Independent keeping up the pressure on the Dalai Lama regarding the ban. An ok 3/5 from me.


26th June

The strange case of the anti-Dalai Lama protesters - New Statesman (Indy Score: 5/5)

I might just be a little biased with this one since it includes an interview with me but it is a great article. Very well balanced and researched by Barbara Speed who had a massive hill to climb in terms of learning about the subject. Thorough and accurate, so it gets full marks 5/5.

Dalai Lama's appearance angers Chinese government - Mirror (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

No surprise here since China are always angry about anything the Dalai Lama does. Other than the obvious this article also features the protests and comments from a Tibetan protester. Nice to see the Tibetans being quoted in the UK press - he certainly doesn't pull any punches. A good 4.5/5 for this national coverage. Also re-printed in many local and regional newspapers.

Glastonbury appearance sparks security fears - Guardian (Indy Score: 4/5)

Another good piece from the Guardian (national coverage) which links the UK protests to articles it covered about the recent Australian protests. MP Tim Loughton seems overly concerned about the danger posed by tambourine wielding protesters which is a little odd. 4/5 for this one.


25th June

Buddhists to protest over alleged human rights abuses - Independent (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

The Independent is the first major UK national newspaper to break cover and report on the planned protests. This article looks at both sides of the issue and cleverly avoids the use of any pejorative language. The only thing missing is that Matt Dathan didn't question why the Dalai Lama refuses to ask people to stop discriminating against Shugden Buddhists. Other than that it's a great article, well positioned on the homepage of their website, and earns a deserved 4.5/5.

Aldershot prepares for Dalai Lama return - get Hampshire (Indy Score: 2.5/5)

The only significant inaccuracy in this regional newspaper's coverage is that they state the NKT will be protesting. Whilst many members of the ISC are from the NKT they are 2 distinctly separate entities. Other than that it's tame coverage in an article that's more focussed on the Nepalese Buddhist community. A steady 2.5/5 for this one.

The A-Z of Glastonbury - BBC (Indy Score: 2/5)

The Dalai Lama gets a mention in this BBC roundup of Glastonbury and so do the protests from the Shugden community, which is quite unusual for the BBC. This piece makes the list because it shows how far the protests have now penetrated into mainstream media. This is definitely an issue that will haunt the Dalai Lama until he starts to take steps to resolve it. Shame they put Aylesbury instead of Aldershot, but it still gets a 2/5 from me.


21st June

It's a week before the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give his first talk in the UK at Glastonbury and already the media is warming up with some coverage of the planned protests.

Dalai Lama to face counter protest - Daily Mail (Indy Score: 4/5)

The Press Association in the UK leads the way with coverage of the planned protests. This article summarises the main issues behind them along with some comments from supporters of the Dalai Lama. Oddly 10 UK Buddhist organisations have issued a statement against the protests claiming to represent UK Buddhism. All 10 are groups that follow the Dalai Lama or have him as their patron - hardly independent. There are over 1,000 Buddhist groups in the UK so why 10 of the Dalai Lama's groups claim to speak for all UK Buddhist Organisations is a little unclear.

Also published on Yahoo News, Express & Star, Telegraph & Argus, Western Daily Press, Belfast Telegraph, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bicester Advertiser, News Shopper, Kingston Guardian, Chorley Citizen, Cotswold Journal, Hillingdon Times, The Star, Stourbridge News, Ledbury Reporter, The Northern Echo, Brentwood Weekly News, Tewkesbury Admag, Ealing Times, The Weekly News, South Wales Argus, Bromsgrove Advertiser, British Telecom, Dorset Echo, Littlehampton Gazette, South Wales Guardian, Malton Mercury, Halifax Courier, Hartlepool Mail, Durham Times, Free Press, Haringey Independent, Evesham Journal, Lancashire Evening Post, Banbury Cake, Darlington Advertiser, Isle of Man Today, Bridgwater Mercury, Daventry Express, Buxton Advertiser, Asian Image, Campaign, Burnham Weekly News, Newmarket Journal, Lancashire Telegraph, Harborough Mail, Mid Devon Star, The Gazette, Bournemouth Echo, Halstead Gazette, Witney Gazette, The Messenger, Hereford Times, Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, Clacton Gazette, Stroud News, Shropshire Star, Keighley News, Basildon Recorder, Warrington Guardian, Northwich Guardian, Maldon Standard, Hampshire Chronicle, Wear Valley Advertiser, Falmouth Packet, St Helens Star, Preston Citizen, Worcester News, St Albans Review, Darlington Times, Tivy-Side Advertiser, Northamptonshire Telegraph, Essex County Standard, Crewe & Nantwich Guardian, Ryedale Gazette & Herald, Wimbledon Guardian, Richmond & Twickenham Times, Bridport News, Southend Standard, Droitwich Advertiser, Penarth Times, Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Epsom Guardian, Harrogate Advertiser, Wirral Globe, Bolton News, Basingstoke Gazette, Andover Advertiser, Ilkley Gazette, Swindon Advertiser, Blackpool Citizen, Yeovil Express, Oxford Mail, Westmorland Gazette, Surrey Comet, Prestwich & Whitefield Guide, Dorset Echo, North Yorkshire Advertiser, Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen, Brighton & Hove Argus, and so the list goes on. As this is a syndicated Press Association article you can safely assume that it's been republished in most local and regional media titles in the UK which equates to widespread national coverage.


Australia Tour Coverage

Building on their incredible successes in Copenhagen the International Shugden Community (ISC) protests have reached a key turning point in Australia. As soon as the Dalai Lama landed in Sydney there was wall to wall coverage mentioning the protests - that has never been seen before. The media usually only cover the protests after the initial 'feel-good' arrival pieces.

In addition coverage has gained traction Internationally. In the UK some of the most popular tabloid and broadsheet press have also covered the protests. Running scared the Dalai Lama even brought Richard Gere with him to Australia, but that hasn't stopped the media taking the protests seriously.

This is sure to be a key battleground and one of the most exciting tours so far - be sure to stay tuned for updates of the latest coverage.



My apologies for dropping the ball with daily updates for the Australian coverage. Overall the coverage was hugely impressive throughout all levels of the mainstream media. Here are just some of the highlights.

Buddhists protest Dalai Lama in Brisbane - ABC (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

A good, well balanced article from ABC which looks at the issues behind the protests. ABC also contacted the Dalai Lama's team in Australia who failed to respond to requests for comments. Good and even handed so a 4.5/5 from me.

Dalai Lama creates religious hatred - WA Today (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This one's a video report consisting of an interview with one of the International Shugden Community's spokespeople. It's interspersed with footage of the protests and manages to cover an incredible amount of the topic. If you want a good overview of the subject this is the one to watch 4.5/5.

Not everyone loves the Dalai Lama - ABC Radio (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This is a great feature from an early morning breakfast show in Brisbane that consists of spokespeople from both sides presenting their case. Not only does it give a good opportunity for balance but also shows quite clearly that the Dalai Lama's representatives have no answer or explanation for the allegations of discrimination and segregation. You can hear them struggle to put a Chinese spin on the events - a well deserved 4.5/5.

Dalai Lama must answer tough questions - Brisbane Times (Indy Score: 4/5)

This is an opinion piece written by one of the spokespeople for the International Shugden Community. As you would expect it covers the main issues the protests hope to highlight and asks why the Dalai Lama refuses to discuss the subject. Originally it appeared here in the Sydney Morning Herald and here it's been re-printed in their sister title the Brisbane Times. 4/5 for this one.

Putting a dollar value on the Dalai Lama - SBS The Feed (Indy Score:4/5)

Although not directly related to the protests this feature shows that once the media begin to question the Dalai Lama things often don't add up. This looks at the amount of money his tour has raked in and where it goes as none of the revenue is ever subject to tax. The organisers of the tour refused to comment. This gets a 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama's spokesman dismisses protests as 'cult' - The Guardian (Indy Score: 4/5)

Due to the high level of coverage of the protests in the mainstream media the Dalai Lama's representatives were forced to issue a statement. As usual it didn't refute the protest issues, but used pejorative language to dismiss them. In this piece the Guardian applied some effort to look into both sides of the issue.

In Brisbane Dalai Lama lead multi-faith prayer - UCA News (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

A short but balanced piece that covers the multi-faith event and contrasts it with the protests taking place. Ironically the only faith excluded from this event was Shugden Buddhists. A 3/5 for this piece.

Dalai Lama's visit attracts protests and praise - The Guardian (Indy Score: 3/5)

It's a fairly pleasant video summary of the Dalai Lama's tour with significant coverage given to the protests. Somewhat unusual choice of background music given the topic though, it felt like being in an elevator with a narrator on Mogadon. 3/5 from me for this one.


4th June

Protesters call on Dalai Lama to end persecution - Guardian UK (Indy Score: 4/5)

A fantastic piece carried in the UK by the Guardian (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize) which gives balanced coverage to the protesters issues and also the Dalai Lama's prior responses to them. It's good to see that the coverage is now zeroed in on the issues at the heart of the protests. This one gets a 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama protesters gather in NSW - Mail Online (Indy Score: 4/5)

The Daily Mail is one of the biggest tabloids in the UK and its online version is hugely popular, so it's a good sign to see this piece by the Australian Associated Press being carried. It gives huge weight to the issues behind the protests and a good deal of space and time to their spokesperson. This gets a 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visit sparks protest - Sky News (Indy Score: 4/5)

A surprising show of support from Rupert Murdoch's Sky News in Australia which gives a short but prominent roundup of the protest issues. As mentioned before this level of coverage about the protests in the mainstream media so early on in the Dalai Lama's visit is unheard of. This Sky News piece aptly demonstrates that the protests are rapidly gaining traction. The one gets a 4/5 from me.

Protesters gather at Blue Mountains - SBS (Indy Score: 4/5)

Again a short but prominent piece based on the Australian AP's syndicated coverage. As before this gets a 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama, Richard Gere arrive as Buddhists plan protest - SMH (Indy Score: 4/5)

The Sydney Morning Herald has a behemoth reputation both throughout Australia and internationally which gives you some indication of the level of penetration the protests are now getting into the mainstream media. Not even the presence of Richard Gere could distract the SMH from the tough issues the protesters raise. Good on ya SMH - 4/5 from me. Reprinted also in the Blue Mountain Gazette.

Not everyone happy Dalai Lama in Oz - NineMSN (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Great piece which covers not just the issues behind the protests, but also feedback on how peaceful they've been despite the CTA's usual rhetoric. Also includes some comments from the Dalai Lama where he talks of the equality of all humans, quite ironically. This one gets a 4.5/5 from me.

Dalai Lama arrives in Sydney - ABC News (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This article is split into two distinct sections to cover both the feel-good arrival angle and also the protest angle. It gives a good deal of space and prominence to the issues surrounding the protests and also a nice photo of some of the protesters in action. A healthy 4.5/5 from me.

Dalai Lama begins Australia tour with Richard Gere - Business Standard (Indy Score: 4/5)

This piece has much shorter coverage of the protests and the issues surrounding them. Normally it would rate a 3.5/5, but this gets a 4/5 because the Business Standard hasn't been swayed by the presence of Richard Gere, they still focussed on the protest issue which shows just how powerful the story has now become.

Where is your inner Zen? - Daily Mail UK (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Mail Online had previously carried the AAP syndicated piece but now they've included the protest angle into their main story which features prominently in the main entertainment section of their website. As mentioned previously the Daily Mail is one of the largest mainstream tabloids in the UK and its online entertainment section is widely read throughout the UK, especially in the media. This article shows the huge traction that the protest issue is now getting worldwide and doesn't bode well for the Dalai Lama's forthcoming visit to the UK. This one gets a worthy 4.5/5 from me.

Man at airport unimpressed with Dalai Lama - 9News (Indy Score: 3/5)

This one is more of a fun piece about someone in the airport pushing Richard Gere out of the way. However it does go on to cover the protests briefly, so it gets a 3/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visits Blue Mountains - Yahoo 7 News (Indy Score: 4/5)

This one is an excerpt from the TV newscast regarding the Dalai Lama's visit. As such it's pretty short, but contains the essential information and some comments from one of the ISC spokespeople. It gets a 4/5 from me.

It's raining stars in Sydney - Perth Now (Indy Score: 2/5)

The article in itself is fairly short and given it's in Perth it only gives the briefest of mentions to the protests. As such it's only a 2/5 from me for this one. Also republished in the Daily Telegraph. Perth Now also carries the AAP & Telegraph piece entitled Buddhists protest Dalai Lama's Sydney visit which is a more extended look at the protests.

Buddhists protest Dalai Lama's Sydney visit - Courier Mail (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Based in Brisbane the Courier Mail give a considerable amount of space and time to the issues surrounding the protests. It leads with the topic and only later mentions Richard Gere at the very end of the article. The Australian media are showing more interest in the protests than Mr Gere - perhaps the Dalai Lama should have brought a more current star with him? This one gets a healthy 4.5/5 from me.

Why would anyone hate the Dalai Lama - New Daily (Indy Score:1/5)

No protest coverage would be complete without at least one sloppy, inaccurate article that could have been written by a CTA press officer themselves. As the title suggests the author views any protest against the Dalai Lama as based on hate, so with that kind of stupidity the rest of the article isn't going anywhere great. The only saving graces are the parts of the piece written by the Australian Associated Press. Sloppy and stupid, so it only gets a 1/5 from me.

Rival Buddhists protest Dalai Lama - AFP (Indy Score: n/a)

It's a short video of the protests with a very short comment from the ISC spokesperson. No real commentary or explanation so it gets an n/a.



Copenhagen Visit Coverage

Special Mention

Is the Danish Government wise not to meet the Dalai Lama? - DR P1
(Indy Score: Landmark)

DR is Denmark's national broadcasting corporation and is their oldest and largest electronic media enterprise. P1 is the main radio station and is renowned for providing in-depth reports, debates and news. This interview was conducted on the 'Debat' programme and also featured current Danish MPs Zenia Stampe who is a member of the Social Liberal Party, Nikolaj Villumsen of the Unity Party, and Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. All of whom are due to meet with the Dalai Lama on Thursday along with 12 other serving MPs.

This is a landmark moment for the ISC since this is the first time that politicians serving in any Western Parliament have appeared in the media alongside an ISC spokesperson. It also marks significant coverage of the issue during a highly respected prime-time national feature.

The coverage was excellent, allowing enough time for an in-depth presentation of the main issues behind the controversy, including religious apartheid, as well as an explanation as to why the media is often misled about the realities of life in the Tibetan exile community.

During the discussion Zenia Stampe admitted, "I don’t know much about this suppression in the Tibetan Exile Community we are hearing about. That we also have to look at." Whether she will have the courage to raise the issue when she meets the Dalai Lama remains to be seen. However knowing the feckless nature of most politicians they'll just be keen to try and get selfies with him to try and raise their profiles slightly above the gutter.

This coverage marks a real turning point in the controversy and is bound to place additional pressure on the Dalai Lama and his exile leadership to begin to address the issues within his own community. Due to the major significance of this coverage it gets a special mention and 'Landmark' rating from me.


11th Feb

Dalai Lama: Is there anything to criticise? - Radio 24/7 - (Indy Score: 5/5)

In another example of excellent reportage from the Danish media, Radio 24/7 looked at the issues behind the protests in this discussion with a spokesperson from the ISC. It addressed why people demonstrate, what coercion is used in the exile community to force people to give up their Shugden practice and what discrimination exists for those who refuse. It presents a good in-depth examination of the situation and as such receives a well earned 5/5 from me.

Demonstrations against the Dalai Lama - Kristeligt Dagblad - (Indy Score: 4/5)

Sporting his usual ridiculous hat the Dalai Lama looked more like 'Where's Wally' than a serious religious figure. It's a technique he has perfected, the lovable buffoon, but this article pulls no punches in it's presentation of the issues and reasons behind the protests.

The world's cleverest man - Dagbladet Information - (Indy Score: 2/5)

The article begins with an unusual praise to the rhythm of the demonstration outside the press conference and then proceeds with a somewhat jaded view of the conference itself. It's worth noting that most of the press who spoke to the Dalai Lama seemed nervous and in awe of him as if they were meeting someone from Hollywood. This should help readers understand why the Dalai Lama rarely gets asked difficult questions and is never challenged on his answers. Rasmussen explains this by revealing he wants to be made to feel special by the Dalai Lama, so it's hardly the basis for a challenging press event. He also differs from me in his transcription of some of the Dalai Lama's responses. To see my own summary of the conference click here. Unfortunately most of the press seemed more interested in taking a selfie with the Dalai Lama than getting to the bottom of why there were people protesting outside the event.

Dalai Lama visits Denmark - Demotix - (Indy Score: N/A)

Just a selection of images from the Demotix photojournalism site, some of which feature the demonstrations.


10th Feb

For some Buddhists Dalai Lama is an oppressor - Dagbladet Information - (Indy Score:5/5)

This is quite a remarkable article on the whole. It's apparent that Lasse Skou Andersen has invested a considerable amount of time in researching the background for the article and really tries to present a clear, concise and balanced overview. Dr Nathan Hill is one of the sources and I'm pleased to see he admits that discrimination exists. A tremendous article that although it contains a few flaws, it is one of the best I've seen in a while. A well deserved 5/5 from me.

Protesters accuse Dalai Lama of bigotry & persecution - Politiken - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Politiken is one of Denmark's key daily broadsheets and the coverage in this article is excellent in its depth and breadth. Rather than just reporting the presence of the protesters Nanna Martensen takes the time to interview several of people protesting. Her approach allows readers to connect with the protesters and understand some of the issues surrounding the controversy, especially the issues of discrimination and human rights.

Dalai Lama arrival greeted in Copenhagen - - (Indy Score: 2/5)

Just a brief story in Avisen about the Dalai Lama's arrival in Copenhagen where he was greeted by a handful of protesters outside his hotel. It's a re-print of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) article which has been widely syndicated. Nothing too in depth, although it does feature on the front page of Avisen's website. It is also re-printed in Dagbladet Information, Kristeligt Dagblad, and Jyllands-Posten.


9th Feb

Demonstrations against "hypocrite" Dalai Lama - Copenhagen Post - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This marks a surprisingly strong stand in the Danish media ahead of the Dalai Lama's visit to the country. The article gives considerable space to several of the issue behind the protests and also addresses the point that it is a human rights issue, not a religious one. The only thing missing is the lack of comment from the Dalai Lama's representatives.


Switzerland Visit Coverage

7th/8th Feb

Note: There is a surprising lack of coverage in Swiss media about the Dalai Lama's visit. Most national outlets have opted to run small agency pieces, so the coverage of the protests is also somewhat lacking. It's very unusual for the Dalai Lama to attract such little coverage, especially in a country with such a large Tibetan population. I don't know why there is such little interest in him here, but it is in marked contrast to his visit to Washington earlier in the week.

7vor7 Telebasel - (Indy Score: n/a)

Unfortunately my Swiss German isn't very fluent, so I'm not going to attempt to offer a review of this coverage other than to say it was on Telebasel's main TV News broadcast and featured as the top story.

Dalai Lama draws protests - Swissinfo - (Indy Score: 3/5)

It's a good clean article that covers the issues behind the protests fairly and with balance. The usual misinformation from the Dalai Lama's PR team denying any ban exists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, so nothing new there.

The Dalai Lama visiting Basel - 24 Heures - (Indy Score: 2/5)

Like many of the outlets covering the Dalai Lama's visit 24 Heures seems to shy away from giving him much attention, consequently the coverage of the protests is also minimal.

Catch Enlightenment - Tages Woche - (Indy Score: 1.5/5)

There are a few nice pictures in this article which make up for the disappointing lack of depth. Tages Woche seem only interested in skimming the surface of the story without delving beyond the presence of protests.

Is the Dalai Lama's visit inconvenient? - BZ Basel - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Although not directly about the protests this is an interview with Guy Morin of the Basel government. In the interview he's asked about the protests and anticipates that they would be peaceful, otherwise for any violence to break out would be contrary to the principles of Buddhism. Nothing in detail, but it shows the level of awareness within the media that the Dalai Lama is now met with protests wherever he teaches.

Children should learn ethics, not religion - MSN - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Just a brief mention in this coverage about the protests, nothing of great detail, so only a low 1/5 from me. It's the SDA agency's coverage so it will no doubt be widely syndicated throughout Switzerland.


6th Feb

Lectures and Protest - Badische Zeitung - (Indy Score: 3/5)

A short piece from the Swiss press agency SDA which is re-printed under syndication to BZ. It's short but manages to cover the main key points behind the protests without falling into the quagmire of religious debate.

Dalai Lama Stop Lying - Neue Zurcher Zeitung - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Neue Zurcher Zeitung's article falls foul of the religious doctrinal issues that the Dalai Lama often uses to distract from the human rights issues inherent within this controversy. Unfortunately Oliver Fuchs never seems to focus on the human aspect of people being denied jobs, healthcare and other basic human dignities. It's a shame that he allows himself to be so easily drawn away from the nub of the issue into the sidelines of doctrinal debate.

The Dalai Lama lodges in Basel - 20 Minuten - (Indy Score: 3/5)

20 Minuten offer an unusual presentation of coverage of the forthcoming protests by including its coverage within a sidebar to the main article. It's short and sweet coverage, just the details which appear to be a lift from a press release, no further investigation or comments.

Dalai Lama weekend events - Basellandshaftliche Zeitung - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Just a minor mention in the last paragraph of this article about the forthcoming protests. Nothing special but then again nothing inaccurate.


US National Prayer Breakfast Coverage

National Prayer Breakfast Protest - FOX Network DC - (Indy Score: 5/5)

In this segment FOX News decided not only to focus on the protest issues during their Prime Time morning news slot, but also broadcast a live interview with one of the ISC spokespeople. A courageous decision from a network not averse to covering controversial subjects. It presented a well balanced overview of the key issues of segregation and discrimination.

Obama, Dalai Lama attend National Prayer Breakfast - ABC News - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

ABC's coverage of the protests sought to balance comments from both the protesters and the anti-protesters. Interestingly the people objecting to the protests didn't refute any of the issues of discrimination and segregation but rather objected to people exercising their first amendment rights. Short but balanced coverage from ABC.

Protesters show up for Dalai Lama in DC - CBS News WUSA9 - (Indy Score: 4/5)

CBS's coverage started much earlier than ABC and FOX and was somewhat skewed towards the issue of whether the Dalai Lama would meet with Obama. However they did cover the issues of discrimination and segregation to a degree. On the whole well balanced and fair coverage from CBS.

Rival rallies greet Dalai Lama in US - Agence France-Presse - (Indy Score: 4/5)

A very short video segment from French press agency AFP covers both the protesters and anti-protesters outside the Prayer Breakfast. AFP's segment provides some insight into the issues behind the protests and is intentionally short as it's a segment for syndication, so you can expect this one to travel far beyond the US.

Tibetans say Dalai Lama suppresses religious freedom - Vocativ - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Vocativ's coverage provides a fairly bland but factual read sprinkled with a few cheap puns. It's nothing exciting nor investigative, but at least they managed to avoid the usual pitfalls of covering this issue.

Dalai Lama's US breakfast invite to anger China - The Scotsman - (Indy Score: 0/5)

Poor coverage from The Sctosman which despite using an image of the protesters goes on to completely misrepresent the reason for their protest. Sloppy work.


World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates Protest Coverage

Dalai Lama in Rome, Buddhists Protest - Il Fatto Quotidiano - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

This article consists of a 3 minute TV segment which gives a fantastic depth of coverage (as far as I can tell), detailing the main points of the conflict from the POV of the protesters. It would have scored a full 5/5 if it had also included some coverage of the Dalai Lama's spokesperson to explain their position on the issue, however they were unavailable for comment, so there wasn't much Il Fatto could do about that. A great piece nonetheless from one of Italy's biggest daily papers.

Romina Power Accuses the Dalai Lama - Corriere Della Sera - (Indy Score: 4/5)

In a surprising twist the Corriere Della Sera (one of the oldest national daily papers in Italy) has covered the issue of the Dalai Lama's persecution of Shugden Buddhists on the front page of its Sunday edition. Rather than covering the demonstrations it instead focusses on Romina Power's criticism of the Dalai Lama about this issue. Romina is a well known celebrity in Italy and this will certainly increase the media pressure on the Dalai Lama to explain his position on the ban and discrimination. Great exposure for this issue, so Corriere gets a 4/5 from me. (the online version is here)

Buddhists Demonstrate in Rome Against the Dalai Lama - ANSA - (Indy Score: 4/5)

Further the ANSA's initial offering after the first demonstration they have now updated and extended their article and included a total of 15 photographs from the protests. As the Italian equivalent of the Associated Press it's highly likely that this coverage will be reprinted in regional titles throughout Italy as well as further afield. A good selection of images accompanied by an accurate portrayal of the issues behind the protests means this ANSA piece scores 4/5 from me.

Update: As expected ANSA's coverage has already been widely reprinted throughout Italian and foreign media including, Giornale Di Brescia, Libero, Mister-X,, Scoopnest, Anygator, L'Arena, Corriere Della Sera,, La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno, Gazzetta Di Parma, Notiziario Italiano, Tiscali, with more to follow...

Dalai Lama Protesters Stage Demonstration in Rome - Global News - (Indy Score:4/5)

This piece is a short interview with an ISC spokesperson at the first demonstration in Rome. Although only 55 seconds long it's a tight, clean presentation of the main elements of the issue. The downside here is that only one side of the issue is presented. A counter view from the Dalai Lama's representative would have balanced this more. Nevertheless this receives a strong 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama in Rome - Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - (Indy Score: 4/5)

A surprisingly in depth article from AGI's China branch which looks at various angles of the protests ahead of the Nobel Summit. There's a good balance of views, including Jean-Pierre Cabestan's unusual attempt to try and discourage AGI from covering the protests by saying that they are a distraction from the main story. This one gets a 4/5 from me for the depth and variety of angles that AGI have considered.

In Rome Protests Against the Dalai Lama - In Dies - (Indy Score: 4/5)

A medium length article that covers the protests and the issues around them. It also includes a reference to Dr. Barnett's PRI interview and comments from an ISC spokesperson. Unfortunately it doesn't include any contrasting views, so it is a little limited. I know the Dalai Lama's representatives were practically impossible to find and comment in Rome, so it does limit the scale of reporting opportunities. It still gets a hearty 4/5 from me though.

Dalai Lama Challenged - Romagna Noi - (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

This article covers the main issues behind the protests and interestingly contrasts the Dalai Lama's closing speech with the protests against his own intolerance of Shugden Buddhists. It's short, but gets a 3.5/5 for the extra little touch of contrasting the Dalai Lama's words and actions.

Protesters Occupy the Streets of Rome - Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - (Indy Score: 3/5)

It's an ok article, but it feels as if it's just been written from a press release - no investigation, no counter views or comparisons. AGI is a fairly major news agency in Italy, so it's a little disappointing that their article wasn't a bit more punchy. It's a syndicated piece, so you can expect this to be reprinted throughout Italy. Only a 3/5 from me as I expect a bit more effort from AGI.

Dalai Lama Protests - Mediaset TG24 - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Short and to the point, this article covers the protests and the lack of dialogue from the Dalai Lama. Not the best picture of the Dalai Lama, and maybe an over estimate of the number of protesters, but still a fair 3/5 from me.

The Dalai Lama is Challenged in Rome - Italia Post - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Short but sweet, this article summarises the main issue behind the protests and also highlights the reason for protesting - namely that the Dalai Lama refuses to engage in any dialogue over the issue. A fair 3/5 from me for this piece.

In Rome Buddhists Challenge the Dalai Lama - Il Messaggero - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Although this article gives a significant amount of space to the protests it contains some of the usual inaccuracies from the Dalai Lama's camp. The classic being the Dalai Lama's assertion that Amnesty International investigated the issue of Human Rights violations. In truth Amnesty International never investigated the claims at all because they fell outside of their remit. However despite the obvious errors it still gives considerable coverage to the issue, so it gets a balanced 3/5. Not bad for the most popular daily newspaper in Italy.

Dalai Lama in Rome, Between War & Peace - Il Secolo XIX - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Il Secolo haven't carried much coverage about the Dalai Lama's latest trip to Italy, however they have included a photograph and write up of the protests in this photo gallery. It's once again quite short, but covers the main facts behind the protests, so it gets a 3/5 from me.

Buddhists Protest Against Dalai Lama - ANSA - (Indy Score: 3/5)

This is just a short article which covers the demonstrations in Rome along with a photo of one of the protesters. Due to the small size of the piece it doesn't go into too much depth, but that's to be expected for this one. ANSA is the largest and most respected news agency in Italy and one of the leaders amongst world news agencies, so you can expect this article and image to be reproduced throughout Italy and further afield.

Buddhists Against the Dalai Lama - Openmag - (Indy Score: 2/5)

Almost too short to even be considered an article, this piece has a couple of pictures along with some footage of the protests. The author could have managed a few more words, so it only gets a 2/5 from me - a bit of a lazy piece.

Shugden Buddhists Hold Protest in Rome - Demotix - (Indy Score: n/a)

This is a selection of photographs taken from the second day of protests in Rome and although it carries a descriptive paragraph it's more about selling the images than covering the issue, so it's an "n/a" for this reason.

Members of ISC Protest Dalai Lama - Yahoo News - (Indy Score: n/a)

This entry is an Associated Press (AP) photo accompanied by a paragraph of text, so it doesn't really qualify as an article as such. Having said that it will probably be picked up from the wire and reprinted elsewhere.

More coverage to follow...


US Fall Tour Coverage

Special Mentions

AP Weekly News Calendar - New Zealand Herald - (Indy Score: Impressive)

Following on from the shock news earlier this week where I discovered the New Zealand Herald was covering the protests via the Associated Press (AP), it seems the Boston protests also get a mention in AP's weekly calendar. News of the protests and the reasons for them is no longer sidelined, they are now attracting a lot of media attention, even from the other side of the world - Impressive.

Dalai Lama speaks at Alabama Theater - New Zealand Herald - (Indy Score: WOW!!)

If you thought this story had legs just in the US media you're in for a shock. This article, although a re-print of the Associated Press (AP) story, has found it's way to the other side of the world and landed in the Middle Earth of New Zealand. That's right, it's traveled a whopping 8,000 miles to let our Kiwi friends know about the issues behind the protests that the Dalai Lama is facing. It's impossible to rate this out of 5, so it just gets a WOW!! from me.


2nd November

NYC Protesters say Dalai Lama rejects their Buddhist sect - Bloomberg - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Here we see Allyson Versprille from Bloomberg (the first of the Majors) covering the protests in NYC. Given the stature of Bloomberg they give an impressive amount of space to the issues and also find room for the counter-claims from the CTA. It's refreshing to see a renowned outlet that has the heart to cover the issues rather than just reporting on what comical hat the Dalai Lama decided to wear today. A hearty 4.5/5 from me for this piece. It will no doubt be syndicated internationally so watch for further updates on this one.


31st October

Breakaway Buddhists take aim at Dalai Lama - Public Radio International - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

So far Matthew Bell's article for PRI is the best coverage of the issue in Boston I have read. He takes the time and space to cover both sides of the argument delving that little bit further than most other journalists, helping to add a bit more depth than is usual. Interestingly Columbia University NY offers a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism for this piece, which is Robert Barnett, rather than the usual candidate, Robert Thurman. However we still see that Barnett is reading from the press notes of the Tibetan government in trying to dismiss any human rights issues in much the same way as Thurman does. Nevertheless it's a very balanced article that covers much of the key issues, as such it's a 4.5/5. It's also been syndicated to in Seattle.

Dalai Lama speaks at Boston Hotel & MIT - Boston Herald - (Indy Score: 4/5)

This is today's Associated Press (AP) syndicated article covering the days events for the Dalai Lama and his protesters - not to be confused with yesterday's. This is a greatly improved article by AP and certainly their most in-depth coverage of the issue. Bearing in mind that AP produce small articles for wide syndication they devote a lot of space to the issues behind the protests. They also include counter claims from the Dalai Lama supporters. The only thing stopping this from getting 5/5 is the brevity of the piece, which is to be expected for AP articles. Nevertheless this gets a strong 4/5 from me. Expect this article to be syndicated widely, as it's already in The Washington Times (with video), WHDH7 News, WCVB5 News, San Francisco Gate, Greenwich Time, Daily Reporter Indiana,, The Berkshire Eagle,, Portland Press Herald.

Dalai Lama speaking at Boston Hotel & MIT - Boston Herald - (Indy Score: 3/5)

This is a re-print of the Associated Press (AP) article that was widely syndicated yesterday, however the Boston Herald have gone with this as an initial opening for today's coverage of events. As before it still gets a 3/5. It's also re-printed on, WCVB5, Daily Journal,


30th October

Dalai Lama speaking at Boston Hotel - San Francisco Chronicle - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Now the Dalai Lama and his entourage of protesters have reached Boston it seems that the Associated Press (AP) is giving the reasons behind the protests a little more coverage. It was a sad day for Boston with the loss of their much loved ex-mayor Thomas M. Menino, so coverage of the Dalai Lama dropped off the radar today. This gets a respectable 3/5 from me.

Dalai Lama speaking at Boston Hotel & MIT - Associated Press - (Indy Score: 3/5)

Again this is the syndicated Associated Press (AP) article which usually travels far and wide. So rather than an entry for each re-print they are listed below as and when I find them. So far AP had given considerable coverage to the protests, they have not just mentioned them, but given some reasons behind them. They've also consistently covered them every day the Dalai Lama has made a public appearance, so now the protests are well known in the media. As above these articles score a 3/5 from me:

The Houston Chronicle, The Albany Times Union, The Recorder, Madison Press, Washington Times...

Dalai Lama's arrival raises controversy in Boston - Boston Herald - (Indy Score: 3/5)

This 43-second video covers the quick points and counter claims. It's nicely balanced, but too short, so it gets a fair 3/5.

Here's why demonstrators are trolling the Dalai Lama - Global Post - (Indy Score: 2.5/5)

An interesting piece with a pejorative headline from Matteo Pistono in Washington. As well as journalism, Matteo sits on the Executive Council of the Rigpa Fellowship, founded by Sogyal Rinpoche of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Nyingma tradition is one that strongly dislikes the practice of Dorje Shugden, so it is a little surprising that Matteo chose not to disclose this detail at any point in his article. Usually in the interests of full disclosure a journalist would explain that their view may be tainted by their own interests and activities - Matteo decided not to. However, despite the obvious lack of independence in his writing he does concede that Tibetan government employees are banned from practicing Dorje Shugden, and that segregation and discrimination occurs in the Tibetan exile community, so on the whole I give this a middling 2.5/5.


28th October

Dalai Lama visits Princeton University - NJTV News - (Indy Score:5/5)

In this segment which lasts just over 3 minutes NJTV reporter Lauren Wanko gives considerably time and attention to the issues of segregation and persecution of Dorje Shugden Buddhists. She contrasts this with the Dalai Lama's public talk in Princeton and the statements on his official website. This scores a full 5/5 from me for its breadth and depth despite the time limitations of the segment.

Protesters rally against human rights violations - - (Indy Score: 5/5)

Amy Reynolds serves up superb article that covers the issues of segregation and discrimination faced by Tibetan Dorje Shugden Buddhists. She balances the piece perfectly with comment from both protesters and counter protesters. It's a great article accompanied by a colorful and dramatic photo gallery. As such it gets an impressive 5/5 from me.

Protesting the Dalai Lama - Weld for Birmingham - (Indy Score: 5/5)

In this article Cody Owens goes into a lot of depth to present multiple angles from both sides of the Dalai Lama controversy. He gives time and space to the protesters to air their viewpoints as well as several of the counter protesters. There is an especially powerful part where he quotes Sonam Lama's personal experience of discrimination within the Tibetan exile community. Not only in depth, accurate and independent, Cody's work is also an engaging and enlightening article on the topic. If only I could give it more than 5/5.

Amid protests Dalai Lama remains jovial - Daily Princetonian - (Indy Score: 3.5/5)

Personally I'm very happy to see that the Daily Princetonian have improved the accuracy of their coverage of this issue. In the latest piece Chitra Marti has taken the time to try and understand both sides of the conflict. However Chitra stops short of asking how the Dalai Lama will resolve this, instead moving onto his teaching from this morning. It's a fair attempt and a great improvement from their previous piece, so for me it gets a 3.5/5.

Dalai Lama at Princeton University - - (Indy Score: 3/5)

A nice little background piece that introduces the's live reporting from the event. Nicole Mulvaney gives a good mention to the key issues behind the protests bearing in mind it isn't the focus of the story. It's a good start and gets a fair 3/5.

Thousands attend Dalai Lama event at Princeton - MY9NJ - (Indy Score: 2/5)

This is a short piece which is a re-print of today's Associated Press (AP) coverage. Nevertheless it still manages to encompass more points than some NJ outlets which sent staff to report from the event. So far AP have covered every day of protests from Alabama to New Jersey and you can expect that this AP article will be syndicated throughout the US and possibly even Internationally. Because the article manges to touch on the key issues behind the protests this gets a respectable 2/5.

Thousands attend...........Princeton - Philadelphia Inquirer - (Indy Score: 2/5)

This is the same AP re-print as above, so gets the same score - 2/5.

Thousands attend Dalai Lama event at Princeton - Associated Press - (Indy Score: 2/5)

Yes, you guessed it. This article has done the rounds and is already spreading far wide. So rather than give an entry for each instance the following list gives you some idea of the wide ranging appeal of this story. Each title links to the AP article re-print.

San Antonio Express-News, Fort Mill Times, The Washington Times, Newsday, Press of Atlantic City, Burlington County Times, Yahoo News, San Francisco Chronicle, NBC Philadelphia (with video), South Carolina Enquirer-Herald, Bucks County Courier Times, NewsTimes, Houston Chronicle, Greenwich Time.

Thousands attend Dalai Lama....... - The Trentonian News - (Indy Score: 1.5/5)

Oddly this features as the main story on the Trentonian's website, but it's just a straight re-print of the AP piece above. It does have a colourful photo gallery, but this scores less than the MY9NJ AP piece simply because the Trentonian are way too lazy. If you were at the other side of NJ I can understand using an AP article, but when you're as close as Trenton, there's no excuse - so a lowly 1.5/5 for this one.

Dalai Lama addresses 4,000 in Princeton - Asbury Park Press - (Indy Score: 1.5/5)

It's a fairly bare bones piece that never really delves into the issues surrounding the protests. Oddly they seem to give more commentary to the Dalai Lama's fondness for pulling beards. A mediocre 1.5/5 from me for this coverage.

Dalai Lama calls on students to seek peace - Princeton Packet - (Indy Score: 1.5/5)

A disappointingly weak article from Philip Sean Curran at the Packet. It skims the platitudes of the Dalai Lama's talk and never goes into much detail about the issues behind the protests. For me it's a lazy 1.5/5.

The world is inter-connected - Newsworks - (Indy Score: 1/5)

This article briefly mentions the protests and the reason behind them. Not much investigation, so only a lowly 1/5.

Jaffe morning briefing - NJTV - (Indy Score: 1/5)

A brief mention about the Dalai Lama's visit and the protests he faces, so just a brief 1/5 from me.

Dalai Lama to Princeton students - - (Indy Score: 1/5)

This article focuses on the content of the Dalai Lama's talks at Princeton, and since the subject of the protests has been covered extensively in another article this one barely mentions them. The only point of note in relation to the protests was that they could be heard throughout the Dalai Lama's talk, which surprised me as I thought they would have taken a break while the crowd were inside. A modest 1/5 for this one.


27th October

The duality of the Dalai Lama's visit - Birmingham Business Journal - (Indy Score: 5/5)

Of all the coverage of the visit to Birmingham, Ryan Phillips article is without doubt the best. His sensitive and balanced approach to the subject demonstrates a high degree of impartiality and openness of mind. He takes the time and space to cover all aspects of the issue without any preconceptions or judgments. A superb piece of first rate journalism, without doubt this scores a well deserved 5/5.

Dalai Lama and US gun control - CBS 33/40 - (Indy Score: 3/5)

A short and sweet piece by Larry Miller of CBS which uses the gun control line as a segue into the wider topic of the Regions Field event. Here we see CBS continuing to up their coverage of the protests and the issues behind them, giving a respectable amount of space to Rebecca Gauthier bearing in mind the shortness of the article. A healthy 3/5 from me and a tip of the hat to CBS for finally pulling their finger out with coverage of this issue.

The Dalai Lama's visit - 1070 WAPI - (Indy Score: 3/5)

An interesting podcast released today from the Matt Murphy show on 1070 WAPI. He only briefly touches on the protester shouting at the Dalai Lama in the theater and some of the protesters claims, yet he is the only journalist in Alabama to have asked any questions about the finances of the event. In particular where the money goes, who profits from it and what it costs the city. Beacuse of Matt's daring to raise questions no other journalist in Alabama wanted to his podcast gets a respectable 3/5 from me.

Dalai Lama to visit Princeton University - Newsworks - (Indy Score: 0.5/5)

This article is plagued with inaccuracies due to Bill Hangley's apparent lack of adequate background research. As often happens when journalists rely on a religious professor as their main source the article falls into the trap of doctrinal discussion. This completely ignores any of the central issues of segregation and discrimination within the Tibetan exile community, hence it gets a scraping the bottom of the barrel 0.5/5 from me.


26th October

Protests in Birmingham continue today - - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Ana Rodriguez presents a very graphic and comprehensive coverage of not just the protests but the key issues behind the protests. have been leading the way all weekend with responsible and accurate coverage of these issues and I tip my hat to them for that. They have taken a bold and worthwhile position on the subject that has sometimes prompted better coverage from other outlets. The only reason this article fails to get a full 5/5 from me is that it doesn't present any of the counter-claims or justifications from the Dalai Lama's side, so it lacks a proper investigative feel. But once again have surpassed themselves, a well earned 4.5/5.

Protester disrupts Dalai Lama at Alabama Theatre - - (Indy Score: 3/5)

First off I'll apologise to Greg for not rating this one higher - the reason is simply because this article only deals with the issues as a side point. The main focus of the article is about the Dalai Lama's teaching that was interrupted by a protester who started shouting. It is unclear at this time whether the protester was connected to the International Shugden Community, but it gave Greg the opportunity to re-visit the subject. Once again haven't shied away from the issues and Greg trod the delicate path of balancing the protests with the Dalai Lama's views. Ideally I'd like to have seen a more in depth contrast and justification for each side's views, but it wasn't in the remit of this piece, so a modest 3/5 from me.

Dalai Lama wraps up visit to Birmingham - WIAT 42 - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Poor coverage in this piece, it devotes more attention to someone shouting from the audience than any of the issues of religious bans or segregation. Unfortunately it portrays the Dalai Lama as a promoter of religious harmony rather than looking at any evidence to the contrary. A poor 1/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visits Alabama church - Christian Today - (Indy Score: 1/5)

A slight re-working of the Reuters article on the Dalai Lama's visit to 16th St Baptist Church yesterday (even though it was published today), which is at least more novel than just re-printing it. However it only briefly mentions the issues behind the protests, so it's a weak 1/5 for me.

Dalai Lama speaks at Alabama theater - Tuscaloosa News - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Tuscaloosa News carry a re-print of today's Associated Press (AP) article, which puts them ahead of FOX10. Unfortunately the AP story only briefly touches on the protesters and gives as much coverage to someone shouting from the back of the theater as it does the actual issues of the protests. A lowly 1/5 from me for this one.

Dalai Lama speaks in Birmingham - Sun Herald - (Indy Score: 1/5)

A short, concise piece that unfortunately once again gives more prominence to the fact someone shouted at the Dalai Lama in the theater than any of the issues the protesters are trying to draw attention to. Because this is so brief and lacks any real detail it only gets a 1/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visits Birmingham amidst protests - FOX 10 - (Indy Score: 0.5/5)

Strangely FOX 10 not only chose to just run with the re-print of the Associated Press (AP) article, but they also chose to run it a day late. It seems the AP article has traveled far and wide this weekend, and proved to be a reheated left-over for FOX 10. Just a 0.5/5 for me as there is only a brief mention of the issues in the AP piece and it's late.

The Dalai Lama at Regions Field - Birmingham Business Journal - (Indy Score: 0.5/5)

This is just a photo gallery from the event which features some of the protests, no commentary at all, so only a lowly 0.5/5 from me for this one. Pretty, but lacking substance.


25th October

Dalai Lama UAB visit draws hundreds - - (Indy Score: 4.5/5) (Updated)

Jesse Chambers newly updated article is a much better read, offering more insight into the issues behind the protests. He also strikes a good balance between both aspects of the protests and counter-protests, which is no easy task. On the whole are racing ahead of the other outlets in their mature and independent approach to covering this issue. As a result this article has skyrocketed to an impressive 4.5/5 from me. (Updated)

Dalai Lama's visit brings protests - Fox News - (Indy Score: 4/5)

In a short but fact-packed piece Fox News capture the impressive sight and sound of the protests whilst also managing to cover the issues of the ban, discrimination and segregation. It's a good attempt, but a little too short to really get into much of the subject, so for that reason this gets a fair 4/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visit sparks protests - CBS 46 Atlanta - (Indy Score: 4/5)

This is a syndicated broadcast of the above Fox News coverage. However what makes this interesting is that it appears on CBS Atlanta, showing just how far and wide this story is traveling. Already it's crossed the state boundary and its appeal continues to grow. Because there is no added content this gets the same 4/5 as the Fox News review above.

Protesters accuse Dalai Lama of discrimination - Alabama's 13 NBC - (Indy Score: 4/5)

It's good to see that coverage of the issues behind the protests is now reaching main Saturday Night News programming on NBC. Again it's short coverage but it does touch on the main points of segregation and discrimination, so it's a fair 4/5 from me. (Note: NBC haven't published a clip on their main site as yet, however the International Shugden Community have uploaded a clip to their YouTube channel. You can view it here)

Dalai Lama visits Alabama church - Reuters News Agency - (Indy Score: 3/5)

It's ironic in this coverage that the Dalai Lama claims there is no wealth gap in Tibet and there are no billionaires. In some respect that is true because he is the Tibetan billionaire and he lives in India (click here for details). Good mention of the issues behind the protests, but again lacking any challenge of the Dalai Lama's blatantly inaccurate claim that there is no ban. Even Tibet House US admit there is a ban now. So for that reason a modest 3/5 from me.

Dalai Lama visits church - MSN News - (Indy Score: 3/5)

This is a straight re-print of the Reuters article on the protests and the issues behind them. It therefore gets the same review and score as the above Reuters piece - 3/5.

Anger Brings Violence - - (Indy Score: 2/5)

A disappointing article from Greg Garrison based on today's group press interview. Although the article mentions the protests that were taking place it was unfortunate that Greg felt unable to challenge the Dalai Lama about the ban on Dorje Shugden Buddhists within the Tibetan government and the segregation caused by his actions. Ironically the interview took place in the 16th St Baptist Church and although parallels were drawn between the protesters outside and the US Civil Rights movement, Greg couldn't connect the dots, but chose simply to accept the Dalai Lama's usual lines. For that reason it only gets a 2/5 from me. No investigation and no challenge to the stock answers.

Dalai Lama draws protests - ABC 33/40 - (Indy Score: 2/5)

Again a short and sweet segment on the daily news bulletin which covers some of the points. It's good to see ABC covering this rather than just trying to boost ticket sales for the Dalai Lama's events, but again it doesn't offer much of an insight into the issues and fails to mention anything about the ongoing segregation. Come on ABC, you can do better than this - a very below par 2/5 from me. (Note: ABC haven't uploaded the footage of the segment, so the link above goes to ABC footage on the International Shugden Community YouTube channel)

Dalai Lama begins weekend visit - Montgomery Advertiser - (Indy Score: 1.5/5)

A fairly bare bones piece which appears to be lifted mostly from's extensive coverage. On the plus side it addresses some of the key issues behind the protests but doesn't go into any greater detail. For that reason a lowly 1.5/5 from me for this piece.

Dalai Lama weekend visit to Birmingham - Tuscaloosa News - (Indy Score: 1/5)

There are two irritating aspects to this article, firstly you have to register to see it online and secondly it's just a re-print of todays Associated Press (AP) release. The AP at least explain briefly the issue behind the protests, but that's taken from the article. So both Tuscaloosa News and the AP are being way too lazy, hence it's only a 1/5.

Dalai Lama begins visit to Birmingham - 48 - (Indy Score: 1/5)

Again it's just a straight re-print of the AP article above. At least with WAFF you don't have to register to read it. It still only gets a 1/5 from me though.

Dalai Lama begins visit in Alabama - CBS Atlanta - (Indy Score: 1/5)

The AP article is traveling far and wide this weekend. It is nice to see that it's been taken up by outlets throughout Alabama and Georgia. Still only a 1/5 though.

Dalai Lama's weekend visit - Washington Times - (Indy Score: 1/5)

It's the trusty AP article again, but what's interesting is that it's traveled as far afield as Washington. As above it's a 1/5, no bonus for distance I'm afraid.

Dalai Lama visit - ABC 33/40 - (Indy Score: 0.5/5)

This is again a straight re-print of the AP article as re-printed by many outlets in Alabama. For ABC though it demonstrates either a laziness to covering the issue of the protests or an intentional disregard for them. An outlet the size of ABC should be applying more effort to informing the public rather than just promoting the ticket sales of the Dalai Lama - so they barely scrape through with a 0.5/5 from me.


24th October

Dalai Lama's tour begins in Birmingham - Waay.TV - (Indy Score: 1/5)

This is basically a reprint of the Associated Press (AP) release about the Dalai Lama's visit. Short, to the point and not very exciting or investigative. It does mention the protests but it doesn't mention the issue at the heart of this subject, so only 1/5.

Dalai Lama visiting Birmingham - The News Courier - (Indy Score: 1/5)

As above this is a re-print of the Associated Press (AP) release.

Dalai Lama's visit and extra security - - (Indy Score: 1/5)

An unfortunately weak piece about the heightened security measures in place for the Dalai Lama's visit. They mention that the Dalai Lama will be met by hundreds of protesters but do not mention the reason why or the issues. Very lackluster, so a 1/5 from me.


23rd October

Dalai Lama may be met by protesters - Princeton Packet - (Indy Score 2/5)

This article focuses on the subject of the protests rather than the issues behind the protests which is a little disappointing. In my opinion the protests are eye-catching, but the real story is the Tibetan exile community who are suffering segregation and discrimination. So whilst this is an accurate piece it could focus more on the issues at hand, for that reason it only gets a 2/5.

Group to protest the Dalai Lama - Daily Princetonian - (Indy Score 0/5)

If it was possible to give a minus score this article would get it. It's filled with woeful inaccuracies and shows the author couldn't even be bothered to use Google. It also contains a correction that says the Dalai Lama has no power to ban Dorje Shugden practice - completely missing the point that it is the practitioners who are banned from working in the Tibetan government and experience segregation in the community. So this piece gets a face-palming 0/5.


22nd October

Why do people want to protest - - (Indy Score: 4.5/5)

Unusually this article is one of the more accurate and in depth looks at this issue in the mainstream media. It features interviews with ISC spokespeople and representatives of the Dalai Lama. Because of its in-depth and balanced approach this scores a mighty 4.5/5.

Dalai Lama & Magic City Classic - - (Indy Score: 3/5)

This story covers the high level of police coverage expected for the weekend of the Dalai Lama's visit. This story gets a 3/5 because although it is factually reporting the issue it simply lifted one or two paragraphs from a press release. There's no real exploration of the issue, just the fact ma'am. So whilst not inaccurate it's also not very investigative.


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