Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators
Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times
Shimla, January 30, 2011
First Published: 16:13 IST(30/1/2011)
Last Updated: 17:23 IST(30/1/2011)
Karmapa asked 50 questions, denies allegations
As investigations progressed, sleuths on Sunday quizzed 17th Karmapa-Ogyen Trinley Dorje at his transit home in Gyuto Tantric monastery to trace source of huge stacks of foreign currency amounting to nearly Rs 8.5 crore recovered during two days of raid at his office.
Team of sleuths from Una district arrived at Gyuto Tantric monastery to quiz Karmapa about the foreign currency, particularly the 13 lakh Chinese Yuan bundles that were neatly packed. Additional Superintendent of Police, Gopal Krishan Kapoor, handed over a set of 25 questions to Karmapa. The questioning that started at 12:45 pm concluded at about 2 pm. “Right now all we can say is that we are not satisfied with information that we had been provided with if need be we could put more questions to the Karmapa, “ASP KG Kapoor told battery of curious newsman at premises of Gyuto Tantric Monastery. Police officials maintained that Trinley Dorje had denied any information pertaining to currency notes from 25 countries found at office of his aide Rabgay, Choesang, who had delivered money to Ashotosh and Sanjog of local businessman KP Bhardwaj for purchasing the land.
Karmapa maintained that all the money found during raids was part of offerings made by his devotees and accounts branch of office was responsible for maintaining records. Karmapa is said to have told sleuths that instead of seeking details from him, they should question the local businessman KP Bhardwaj, who sold them chunk of land.
Though police sleuths refrained from sharing details of questioning but maintained they had sought information about the money trails and land deals that had been struck by Karmae Garchen Trust headed by 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
In an interesting turn of events that followed simultaneous raids at Gyuto Tantric monastery and complexes of a local businessman KP Bhardwaj, during past three days, the 17th Karmapa on Sunday prior to being questioned huddled with his lawyers to chalk out a strategy. Supreme Court Lawyer VK Ohri, Naresh Mathur and former Mongolian ambassador to India Karma Thupten attended meeting.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje made a dramatic escape from Tsurphu in Tibet, at the age of 14 and reached Dharamsala in January 2000 taking Indian intelligence by surprise. Karmapa supporter Karma Thupten former Mangolian supporter held a press conference at Dharamsala to clarify that 17th Karmapa had no links with China. “It is wrong to say that Karmapa had any ties with Chinese” said Karma Thubten, adding that Karmapa had come to India since he was under pressure from China to recognize Gyaltsen Norbu as the reincarnate of 10th Panchen Lama appointed by the Chinese communist regime which rejected the boy Gedun Choekyi Nyima as next re-incarnate recognized by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Karmapa supporters clarified that the Ogyen Trinley Dorje had come to India 11 years back to seek spiritual guidance from Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama, even as traditionally, institutions of Karmapa and Dalai Lama had remained opposed to each other.
So far police have arrested five people in connection with money recovered from SUV that was intercepted by the local police on January 26 at the barrier at mehatpur in Una. With Karmapa aides Rabgay Choesang, Sanjog and Ashotosh in Police custody, police on Saturday arrested Bank manager DK Dhar and local businessman Kul parkash Bhardwaj.
Tibetan Community Unite in Support of 17th Karmapa
London: Tibet's spiritual and political leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has come out in open to support 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee. "Karmapa has been receiving offerings from disciples from all different parts of world including China. The money is the sum of those donations. This is not a reason to question his credential", His Holiness said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his solidarity with His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, following a raid by Indian police at his monastery, Gomp Tsering. The police seized Rs 7 crore worth of donations and arrested a senior aide to the Karmapa, Rabjaychojan (also known as Shakti Lama). The money seized was in a variety of currencies, including a large amount of Indian rupees and Chinese yuan, which has led to speculation of illegal activities by the police.
Asked about the seizure, Karma Chunyappa, Deputy General Secretary of the Karmapa, asserted that the financial dealings of the monastery were transparent.
"Our lineage and His Holiness the Karmapa enjoy the love, trust and faith of millions across the world. We have a rich history of public service made possible through financial dealings that are entirely transparent. We will certainly answer all the questions that the press and public have but for now we request you to allow us to concentrate and comply fully with the investigations that are underway," the Karmapa Office of Administration said in their statement.
Penpa Tsering, speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has also expressed his solidarity with the Karmapa during these troubling times. He said that the money recovered was collected through huge donations offered by the followers of all over world and such offerings could not be refused as being a Buddhist spiritual leader. He said that the trust was not aware about the legal implications of keeping foreign currency with them so the Trust would now seek legal services from experts. He denied that there was any conspiracy angle in the case. The issues arising out of this matter to denigrate the reputation of Gyalwang Karmapa are completely baseless.
The Indian press, both printed and televised have used this incident to accuse the Karmapa of having links with the Chinese government and today the Karmapa's office issued a statement "categorically" refuting these allegations, calling them "grossly speculative".
"We categorically deny having any link whatsoever with any arm of the Chinese government," the statement said, adding, "any suggestion that these offerings were to be used for illegal purposes is libelous". The police have already questioned the Karmapa, along with many of his aides and followers.
An aide of the Karmapa, who did not wish to be named, said the money was from the monk's followers and that he had no role in its management. "All this money has been accumulated over the years, offered by devotees, followers of the Karmapa. The Karamapa's officials have clear-and-up to date records of the funds," he told AFP.
Tibetans in exile and Buddhist followers around the world have been visibly disturbed by the latest news, and say that the media speculations against their religious leader being a Chinese spy is "ridiculous" and unnecessary "sensationalism".
"We Tibetans are not traitors as some television channels are trying to portray; we have immense faith in our religious leaders from whom we learn virtues, not sins. And portraying our leader as a Chinese spy and traitor while the investigation is still going on is not responsible journalism," said Thupten Tsering, a monk at a local monastery in Dharamshala.
The investigation is on going and as subsequent raids and police question are set to continue, there seems little let up to the shell-shocked Tibetan community.
Shimla/Dharamsala, Jan 30 (PTI) A Dharamsala-based businessman and a bank manager have been arrested in connection with seizure of foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5 crore from the offices of a trust backed by the Karmapa who has denied any Chinese links and said the charges were "grossly speculative".
Businessman K P Bhardwaj and Manager of Ambala branch of the Corporation Bank D K Dhar were arrested following raids conducted on residence and hotel of Bharadwaj and clues provided by him during questioning with regard to the money trail, Inspector General of Police P L Thakur told PTI.
With this, the number of people taken into custody has risen to five.
A spokesman for the Karmapa has denied any Chinese links and described the allegation against him and his administration as "grossly speculative and without foundation".
The IGP said Bharadwaj had told the police that the bank manager had issued an "authorisation letter" that the money was meant for some land deal.
The police arrested two persons -- Ashutosh and Sanjay Dutt -- on January 26 after alleged recovery of Rs 1 crore and later nabbed Shakti Lama, a key functionary of the Karmapa backed trust, who were remanded in police custody for nine days.
The police is likely to question the Karmapa about the foreign currency recovered from the trust and premises of his aides.
The sleuths of Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department have also joined the probe.
"The police have so far not reached any conclusion about the source of the money and all documents including the computer of Karmapa were being thoroughly scanned," Thakur said, adding that the police had never said anything about "Chinese links" of the Karmapa.
The statement by the Karmapa''s office said, "We categorically deny having any link whatsoever with any arm of the Chinese Government and like to state that the allegations being levelled against the Karmapa and his administration are grossly speculative and without foundation in the truth as everyone who knows the history of our lineage and struggle is surprised by the allegations."
It said, "Monasteries across the world accept offerings from devotees in various forms and there is nothing surprising, new or irregular in this. .
We would like to categorically state that the allegations being levelled against the Karmapa and his administration are grossly speculative and without foundation in the truth. Everyone who knows the history of our lineage, our struggle and His Holiness' life is very surprised by the allegations.
We categorically deny having any link whatsoever with any arm of the Chinese Government. The Karmapa has a deep affection for the people of this great country of India where he has been practicing his faith for years. We have had a long and positive working relationship with the democratic Government of India that has always demonstrated great tolerance of cultural expression and diverse beliefs.
We have followers in a large number of countries who have placed their trust and faith in us and, through their individual donations, enabled the sect to undertake substantial programmes of public service that have benefitted many thousands in India and abroad.
Monasteries across the world accept offerings from devotees in various forms-there is nothing surprising, new or irregular in this. . A representative of HH the Dalai Lama's office underlined this yesterday. The cash in question under the current investigation by the police is offerings received for charitable purposes from local and international disciples from many different countries wishing to support His Holiness' various charitable activities. Any suggestion that these offerings were to be used for illegal purposes is libellous.
At this point, about the Chinese currency we can say that his Holiness has a large following of Tibetans from Tibet who make donations in Chinese currency. The fact is that His Holiness the Karmapa has millions of followers around the world, who hold him in the highest esteem and reverence. All our dealings across the world are honest and completely transparent-anything else would be contrary to the Buddhist principals that we live by.
Because the Gyalwang Karmapa resides in temporary quarters in Dharamsala, his Office of Administration has been seeking to build a monastery as a permanent residence for His Holiness. This project is clearly subject to Indian government approval. The Gyalwang Karmapa's office has kept the relevant Indian government agencies fully informed of its recent plans to purchase suitable land. The potential site was evaluated and cleared by the appropriate governmental offices. The negotiations to purchase the land are still in progress, have been reported to the Indian authorities, and are completely above board.
I can confirm that Shakti Lama was taken into custody yesterday but we are confident of his release very shortly, as soon as we provide the law with the answers they are looking for. I can also confirm that HH the Karmapa has made himself fully available for questioning by the officers concerned.
We will supply as much information as available, as regularly as possible but would also like to state that our first priority is to cooperate fully with the investigations underway.
Issued by Karmapa Office of Administration
NEW DELHI (AFP) – The Dalai Lama has called for a thorough probe into the discovery of almost a million dollars in foreign currency at the monastery of one of Tibet's most senior religious leaders.
Police in northern India, where the Tibetan community in exile is based, have quizzed the Karmapa and arrested several aides over the cash which is mostly in US dollars but also in Chinese yuan and two dozen other currencies.
The Karmapa heads one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism and could emerge as a future spiritual leader of Tibet on the death of the 75-year-old Dalai Lama, who has said he might not be replaced.
"There should be a thorough investigation. He (the Karmapa) is an important Lama," the Dalai Lama told reporters in Bangalore on Sunday, according to Indian media reports.
"Karmapa has many devotees including from China... some money would have naturally been received by him," added the Nobel prize winner. "There has been some negligence. Better now have a thorough investigation."
The Indian media, quoting unnamed security sources, have reported concerns that the Karmapa could be a Chinese stooge sent to India from Tibet to set up pro-Chinese monasteries.
The office of the Karmapa has dismissed the rumours as baseless and said the money is the result of years of accumulated donations. It has acknowledged negligence in its book-keeping.
Notes totalling $600,000, 1.2 million yuan ($180,000), 500,000 Hong Kong dollars ($64,000), 5.3 million Indian rupees ($115,000) were discovered at the monastery and other offices, police say.
On Sunday night, about two hundred people held a candlelit vigil in support of the the Karmapa at his Gyuto monastery in Dharamshala, where the Tibetan community in exile is based in India.
The Karmapa fled Tibet in 1999 as a 14-year-old because he said he was concerned that Beijing would force him to turn against the Dalai Lama, who has acted as a father figure for him in Dharamshala.
China regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist, and has sought to groom monks who would accept Tibet as an integral part of China and drop all claims for an independent state.
conebeckham wrote:Best not to engage in idle speculation. Especially with regard to great masters.
kalden yungdrung wrote:Does Mr.Gordo know that with al those newspaper informations he did placed here? I guess no, well so do i.
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