From anonymous reader:
“On Sunday, 8 January 2017, we have witnessed the most disappointing and saddening event in our entire journey of 30 years with SGM. We are not here to accuse or bad mouth anyone but to put on records of what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.
When we arrived at IPA at 9.30am for the All Leaders Meet (“ALM”), a group of leaders has gathered at the IPA front porch. Some of the leaders has been demoted to members and were denied entry into the IPA hall. The demoted leaders were given short notice through phone calls and WhatsApp. This form of communication was not formal and there was no official letter given either. Especially in these current sensitive times where any demotion/dismissal must be handled with care and with proper procedures. The demotion would be announced at the ALM on that day. Common sense would state that the demotion will formally take effect after it has been announced during the ALM.
We escorted a YWD to IPA. This YWD was one of the leaders being demoted and we have known her for many years. At the green carpet before entering the hall, she was blocked by two (2) Women senior leaders. One of the Women leader has already tailed her from the shoe rack.
Didn’t Ikeda Sensei always remind us to protect YWDs? We couldn’t see that protection on that day. What we could see was the Women leaders blocking and stopping this YWD from entering the IPA hall. What this YWD asked was for her to attend her final leaders meeting and to hear the formal announcement of her demotion. No matter how she requested and insisted to be let into the meeting, the only answer she get was “Sorry, you are not a leader, this meeting is only for leaders”. When we asked what are the procedure and guidelines for dismissal and that it is wrong if the dismissal has not been done in according to proper procedure, the only answers that we received were also “She is not a leader, this meeting is only for leaders”. No matter what questions was asked, the same answers were repeated over and over again. A normal person being put under such situation where she has been rejected, has been denied her rights, has been pushed aside and where no explanation whatsoever was given for the injustice treatment except for the repetition of “You are not a leader, this meeting is only for leaders” – this would push a normal, patient person to their limits.
When faced with so many wrongs and injustice, a raise in one’s voice at that very moment is probably the most reasonable emotional reaction possible. The YWD began to raise her voice so that she could be heard and to defend her rights. She fought back her fear and tears with so much courage.
Is position important to her? No. But, the chance to clear her names from any false accusation, the chance to defend herself, that is more important.
A few other women leaders joined and encircled the YWD. Not only they could not ease the situation but some even put up some sarcastic remarks.
We looked around for help and support. No one dared to approach us and no one dared to come forth to speak a word of justice for the YWD. It seemed that on that very moment there was no law, no humanism, no mentor and disciple spirit…… it felt so cold, so ruthless, so hypocrite, so isolated. It is definitely not the SGM that we grew up in.
We have no right to blame those bystander. They will have their own reasons to justify their actions with conscience.
At last, a senior Woman leader came to hug the YWD and to calm her. However, we were disappointed again as after what has been said and done, the YWD was still standing outside. Advise were given to the YWD not to create a scene, but then who was creating a scene by rejecting the YWD rights and stopping her from entering the meeting without fair justification.
Why are the Top leaders so afraid to let her to go in? Was the Top leaders afraid that she will ask questions and defend herself from the wrongful dismissal? If the Top leaders has done no wrong, why are they afraid to let her go in, afraid of a young woman division?
What was the real intention SGM wanted to demote her? Was it because she had the courage to express her thoughts and opinions which were not favourable to SGM Top leaders? Was it because she asked questions during meetings and seeked clarification on transparency and governance issues? Since when SGM had become such authoritarian organization where no questions were welcome especially if it touches on sensitive issue of financial and the integrity of the Top leaders?
How can SGM talk about humanistic philosophy when it is not practicing humanism and compassion towards its own members? How can SGM promote peace when it is not at peace with its own members?
For more than 2 hours the YWD just stood there with the 2 women leaders acting as gate barrier. Furthermore, several Gajokai were guarding the wooden door nearest to where the YWD stand. There was no way the YWD could enter.
Finally an agreement was formed whereby GD has agreed to meet her and her comrades after the ALM and gave a fair explanation to them. However, GD did not honor the promise.
My partner who has been supporting and trying to escort the YWD inside, went into the ALM meeting. Right after the announcement of names of the demoted leaders, she courageously stood up and shouted objection. She shouted again and again, afraid that the Top leaders could not hear her. She started to move towards the front. She wanted to speak up on behalf of those comrades who were outside the IPA and who were denied their rights to enter and defend themselves. She has to stand up for them. She has to stand up for justice. However, a comrade calmed her down as no one would listen to her. As she was leaving the IPA with tears and emotion, she never regretted what she stood up for. She has done her part and it needed a lot of courage to just stand up and object what is wrong. And she did it alone in a hall packed with leaders. This is the true disciple of Nichiren Daishonin.
As Gandhi once said “There is a higher court than the courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”
To this YWD and to my partner, I salute you. Your courage, your determination, your righteousness brings out the cowardice, the ugliness and the unjustness of SGM Top leaders.
A quote from Gandhi dedicated to those justice comrades:-
“Many people, especially ignorant people want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you.
Never apologise for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time.
If you are right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.””
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