Why were pictures of the Dalai Lama removed from shrines?

About the photos of the Dalai Lama, in NKT Dharma Centres we do not put his photos on the shrines or public areas indicating that he is not our Guru, but there is no other negative attitude in this action. Individually people have freedom to do as they wish. (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, 16 November 1997)

Lama Yeshe was the general spiritual director of Manjushri Centre, while I had the responsibility of organizing the daily programmes. We were both very happy to have the picture of HH the Dalai Lama on the shrine because we hoped that the people of Manjushri and HH Dalai Lama would develop a good spiritual connection and relationship. Many times we invited the Dalai Lama to come to Manjushri Centre, although we both knew, even then, that he had rejected the practice of Dorje Shugden. We assumed it was not his real intention because we found it difficult to believe that he really wanted to destroy the practice of Dorje Shugden.

So for a long time we continued to practise Dorje Shugden and kept faith in the Dalai Lama. Then later the situation deteriorated because he intensified his ban on Dorje Shugden worship. I heard that he said in public that “those who practise Dorje Shugden cannot be my friend.” Then my mind gradually changed, especially as we received criticism from people who were saying that Manjushri Centre had broken its guru devotion to the Dalai Lama because of our continued practice of Dorje Shugden. As his picture was on our shrine, people believed that he was our root guru, on the other hand because we practised Dorje Shugden people thought we were against the Dalai Lama. Due to this contradiction we received a lot of criticism. In order to resolve this contradiction and to show that the Dalai Lama is not our root Guru we removed his pictures. This is how we came to remove the pictures of HH Dalai Lama. (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, talk.religion.buddhism, 19 December 1997)