No China link, cash from disciples: Karmapa

Saturday, January 29, 2011

DHARAMSALA - Following the seizure of huge amounts of foreign and Indian currency from the premises of his monastery and from his aides, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Saturday said there was no China link to his activities and that the foreign currency seized was from disciples from all over the world.

In a statement issued here Saturday evening, a spokesman of the Karmapa said: “The cash in question, under 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 Karmapas various charitable activities.

The statement denied any China-link to any activities of the Karmapa or his office.

At this point, we can say that His Holiness Karmapa has a large following of Tibetans from Tibet, who make donations in Chinese currency, the statement said.

The spokesman said that the Karmapa had cooperated with the investigating teams and made himself available to any kind of questioning.

We have followers in a large number of countries, who have placed their trust and faith in us and, through their individual donations, enable the sect to undertake substantial programmes of public service that have benefitted many thousands in India and abroad, the statement added.

Monasteries across the world receive offerings from devotees in various forms, there is nothing surprising, new or irregular in this.

With allegations of the Karmapas office being involved in an “illegal” land deal near Dharmasala, the statement said: Because the 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 governments approval.

The Gyalwang Karmapas 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, had been reported to the Indian authorities, and are completely above board.

Talking to reporters in Bangalore, where he is on a visit for his teachings, the Dalai Lama denied that there could be a Chinese link to the activities of the Karmapa.

Defending the Karmapa, the Dalai Lama said that the foreign and Indian currency should have been deposited in a bank and not kept in cash at the monastery.

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