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Tibetan government-in-exile expresses faith in Karmapa

March 19, 2011

2011-03-11 17:30:00

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), March 11 (IANS) The Tibetan government-in-exile Friday reaffirmed its full faith in the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who was at the centre of a controversy following recovery of a huge amount of foreign currency from his monastery.
'His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) has hundred percent faith in Karmapa. It is also clear that he is not a Chinese agent and we knew it from day one. Therefore, the Indian government allowed him to stay here,' Samdhong Rinpoche, the 'prime minister' of the Tibetan government-in-exile, told selected media here Friday.

'This was a case of financial irregularities, issue of taxation and recovery of foreign exchange. Karmapa does not have anything to do with the financial matters or foreign transactions,' he added.

Karmapa resides at his temporary abode at the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery near here.

The total amount linked to the monastery, in foreign currency of 25 countries and over Rs.10 million of Indian currency, was nearly Rs.8 crore (Rs.80 million/$1.8 million).

Rinpoche said this incident happened because of the negligence of the staff of Karmapa.

'This incident happened just because of the ignorance of the staff that was dealing with this department (finances). This was the mistake of workers, managers, who were part of the Karmapa establishment and dealt with finances,' stated Rinpoche.

'However, legal procedures are taking their course and if they find anyone guilty, then he should be punished accordingly,' he pointed out.

Karmapa is the third highest ranked Tibetan religious leader after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, who dramatically escaped from the Tsurphu monastery near Lhasa and arrived here January 2000.

Rinpoche said they have advised other monasteries to streamline their finances to avoid such incidents in future.

'We have advised all monasteries or high lamas to hire chartered accountant and lawyers for taxation. Every year income tax return should be paid and they should maintain proper records of everything. Majority of them are already doing it,' said Rinpoche.

McLeodganj, a suburb situated near Dharamsala town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India. Nearly 25,000 Tibetans are living there in exile. The Tibetan government-in-exile is also headquartered in Mcleodganj.

Nearly 100,000 Tibetan refugees live in India.

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