The Buddhist organization International Shugden Community, known for its global anti-Dalai Lama protests, has announced it will disband and cease all demonstrations. According to Reuters, the group posted a statement on their website on March 10 saying the International Shugden Community (ISC) will dissolve, along with its online presence.
In December, a Reuters investigation exposed that China had long been financially backing the group in order to discredit the Dalai Lama and co-opt Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Tseta, a monk and former member of the ISC told Reuters that he had been paid by China to organize Shugden events overseas. China’s involvement in the group’s activities stems from a long history of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s vilification of the Tibetan spiritual leader.
His Holiness told a Reuters reporter that he was aware of the group’s decision to disband, but that he didn’t know the reasoning behind the dissolution. He added that Reuters’ investigation of the group had been “very helpful.”
Shudgen has led protests against the Dalai Lama at events around the world for years, claiming His Holiness and his teachings to be “false.” Western recruits of the sect have followed His Holiness to speaking engagements across North America, Europe and Australia.
The ISC worships the deity Dorje Shugden, or Dolgyal, who is seen as a protector amongst the sect’s followers. His Holiness has outwardly expressed his disapproval of revering this particular deity, believing it to be a negative spirit.
The group’s official statement of its termination closes with “May everybody be happy.”