Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

The Dalai Lama



Photo: ATC

The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso is a global leader, teacher and philosopher, promoting human values and working towards finding a peaceful resolution of the Tibet-China conflict.

Born in a farming family in eastern Tibet in 1935, he was recognised at a young age as the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. His life and that of his nation changed when Tibet was invaded by China in 1949.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama was forced to escape into exile in India after an uprising in Lhasa ended in a brutal crackdown. He has since led the Tibetan struggle from his exile base in Dharamsala, where he built one of the most resilient refugee communities with its emphasis on education, democratic reforms and preservation of Tibet's rich culture.

In his efforts to find a resolution of the Tibet issue, the Dalai Lama for many years has advocated for a Middle Way policy, that seeks genuine autonomy for Tibetans under the Chinese government.

In 2012, the Dalai Lama handed over all his political responsibilities to an elected leadership in exile, ending the four-century tradition of Tibet's political and spiritual leadership by the Dalai Lamas.

The Dalai Lama remains the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

Visit the Dalai Lama’s website for more information.

For details on the Dalai Lama's visits to Australia,check out Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd.



In recent years, small groups of protesters from the International Shugden Community have organised demonstrations against the Dalai Lama during his visits to Australia and many western countries.

ATC is concerned by these protests as they undermine the work of the Dalai Lama, who has dedicated his life to promoting human values and religious harmony and preserving Tibet’s Buddhist culture.

The activities of the Shugden protestors have been a source of concern for Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism worldwide. In particular, to the Tibetans inside Tibet who struggle to save their culture, language and identity under difficult circumstances.

We believe the Dalai Lama himself is best placed to explain this issue, and encourage all to read his statements on his website here

In December 2015, Reuters published an indepth report on the Shugden demonstrators, and their connections to the Chinese Communist Party.

Further reading

1. Statements by the Central Tibetan Administration

2. The Dalai Lama and the cult of the Dolgyal Shugden - By Robert Thurman

3. Notes on Shugden protests - By Robbie Barnett

4. 6 things you should know about the anti-Dalai Lama protestors - By Tenzin Dorjee