Karmapa's cash links should be fully probed: Dalai Lama

Jan 30, 2011

Category: Police Raid Jan 2011

BANGALORE: The investigations into the source of unaccounted currency seized from the monastery of the Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorje, at Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh should be thorough, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said Sunday.

"There should be a thorough investigation into the cash dealings of the Karmapa. As he is an important Lama, he has a large number of disciples, including many from China," the 14th Dalai Lama told reporters here on the margins of a public meeting.

Noting that the 17th Karmapa was an important Lama with a huge following, the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner admitted that there was some negligence on part of Dorjee in handling the money, which he receives from his followers the world over.

"The Karmapa also needs money, which he gets from disciples and others. As there has been some negligence in handling it (money), the case has to be investigated," the Dalai Lama said after delivering a discourse on "Finding Happiness in Troubled Times" at the National College grounds here.

The eminent Buddhist monk, originally known as Tenzin Gyatso, however, declined to comment on the seizure of unaccounted foreign and Indian currency to the tune of Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million) Jan 27 and the subsequent raids by the police.

"Police and the authorities concerned are looking into the case. I don't have details as I am here (in Karnataka) since Saturday," the spiritual and temporal head of the Tibetan community said.

Earlier, denying any link between China and the Karmapa's activities in India, the exiled leader agreed that the cash recovered from the monastery, including foreign and Indian currency, should have been deposited in banks and accounted for.

Possession of so much foreign currency could put the Karmapa, who is a refugee in India, and his aides in trouble under the Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act (FEMA).

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu School, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived in the Gyuto Tantric monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala - the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.



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