Money donations, meant to buy land: Karmapa

Jan 31, 2011

Category: Police Raid Jan 2011

As the 17th Karmapa was questioned on Sunday morning by central agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate, in Dharamsala over unaccounted foreign currency, New Delhi is cautious in its response to the Dalai Lama’s defence of Ugyen Trinley Dorje.

Top government sources said Dorje’s questioning began at 10.30 am and he maintained his innocence claiming that the unaccounted money came in the form of donations from his followers and was being used to purchase land for the monastery.

Enforcement agencies are expected to file a case under violation of foreign exchange rules against the accused as nearly Rs 7.5 crore in suitcases, including 11 lakh Chinese Yuan, has been recovered from the monastery in Dharamsala.

In spite of having been recognised by the Dalai Lama after Dorje dramatically escaped to India from Chinese custody in Tolung Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet on December 28, 1999, he has been under watch by Indian agencies as a section of the security establishment is wary of his motives regarding the Rumtek Monastery and his links with Beijing.

Dorje and his mentor Tai Situ Rinpoche have been given a diplomatic passport by the Royal Bhutanese government and the former travelled to Hong Kong in 2009 and held meetings with Chinese officials.

There are two other claimants to the title of 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, head of Karma Kagyu sect, including Trinley Thay Dorje, who was anointed by Shamar Rinpoche, in Okhla Institutional Area, Delhi in early 1990s. Due to this confusion, New Delhi has banned entry of the 17th Karmapa to Rumtek, the official seat of Kagyu Sect head, as treasures of gold, money and the Black Hat are stored there for the rightful contender. The matter is being contested in the Sikkim High Court.

However, talking to The Indian Express, representatives of the Tibetan government in exile defended the Karmapa and said he had nothing to do with the Chinese communist government. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa will do nothing to harm Indian interests or violate the Indian laws... the unaccounted cash seized is just donations from his followers,” said a top Tibetan official.

Dalai Lama favours thorough probe
Bangalore: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday called for a thorough probe into the seizure of foreign currency worth around Rs 7.5 crore from the offices of a trust backed by the Karmapa. “There should be a thorough investigation. He (Karmapa) is an important Lama,” the Dalai Lama told reporters here. “Karmapa has many devotees including from China... some money would have naturally been received by him... there has been some negligence... better now have a thorough investigation.”



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