His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa’s speech to the mass gathered for his support on Feb 2, 2011
India is questioning of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa for the alleged “Chinese links…”
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Statement of Gyalwang Karmapa on Seeking Refuge in India
[Sunday, 30 January 2011, 6:36 p.m.]
Following is the statement of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, delivered by Mr Karma Topden, Spokesperson of Karmapa Reception Committee in Sikkim, at a press conference at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala, India, on 30 January 2011. The statement came following a series of speculative and groundless allegations against him as a “Chinese spy” and “possessing money through illegal deals” appeared in the Indian media.
He (Gyalwang Karmapa) asked me to explain to you his reasons for coming to India. He gave me five reasons.
The first reason was that the Chinese are beginning to put pressure on him to go against the Dalai Lama and to support the Panchen Lama selected by them [Chinese government]. The Karmapa did not want to be put in this position of going against the Dalai Lama. So he decided to leave Tibet.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (R) meets His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time upon his arrival in Dharamsala on 5 January 2000/File Photo
The second reason for coming to India was that he wanted to complete his spiritual studies. For the completion of his spiritual studies, he has to receive the oral teachings according to Karma Kagyu tradition from the gurus of his lineage who had also received them directly from the 16th Karmapa directly, his predecessor. All these gurus were in India. And since they could not come to Tibet to give these teachings, he decided to come to India so that he could receive the teachings and complete his spiritual education..
The third reason was that he wanted to see the Dalai Lama and to receive His Holiness’ blessings.
The fourth reason was that he had heard a lot about the activities of his illustrious predecessor, the 16th Karmapa, all his activities in India and in Sikkim where he settled in Rumtek Monastery which became his headquarter in India. As he heard a lot about this, he wanted to come to India to visit and see these places. Also he had heard a lot about the activities of his predecessor in India from where traveled to other countries and spread the words of Dharma and set up various Karma Kagyu centres all around the world. So the 17th Karmapa wanted to follow the footsteps of the 16th Karmapa. Believing and knowing that India is a free country unlike Tibet, where there is suppression and religious freedom is not allowed, he had come to India so that he could freely gain spiritual knowledge from his gurus and freely practice and preach Dharma in India and in the rest of the world. That was the main reason for his coming to India.
Fifthly, when he came to India he was given refuge in India. He is very grateful for the refuge given to him by the government and people of India and for all the courtesies and hospitalities shown to him throughout his stay in India. He continuous to be very grateful and shall remain grateful always to the people and government of India. Throughout his stay in India, he has been conscious of his obligations to India and he has prayed for the welfare of the people of India and he continues to do that even now.
He assures me that he has not done anything while in India in any way to undermine and harm the interest of India. India is his second home and he is happy here. He looks forward to India becoming a powerful and prosperous nation. He has no intention in any way of undermining anything against the interest of India. This is what he has asked me to convey.
Kagyu Office Announcement
January 29, 2011. Dharamsala
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
Truth will Prevail, Gyalwang Karmapa assures devotees
[Friday, 4 February 2011, 12:15 p.m.]
His Eminence the 17th Karmapa greets devotees, including a large gathering of
Tibetans, at Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari near Dharamsala, India, on 2 February 2011.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO
DHARAMSHALA: His Eminence the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, addressed a large gathering of Tibetans who visited him at his monastery to express their support and solidarity on Wednesday (2 February). The deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile along with a group of Tibetan MPs also met Gyalwang Karmapa on the occasion.
In his address, Gyalwang Karmapa said: “Today, so many people have gathered to show their love, sincere intentions and support, and I want to especially thank you and express my heartfelt gratitude. We are now facing such a situation, which has arisen due to misunderstandings and mistakes, that it has even caused concern to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
“India has become a second homeland to Tibetans. We all have taken refuge and settled here. India, in contrast to communist China, is a free country, a democratic country that is based on the rule of law. Therefore I trust that things will improve and the truth will become clear in time. So please be at ease. There is no need to worry,” he said.
“You have all borne hardship to come here under this hot sun, and I thank you for that too. It seems there are too many people here today to receive you individually. You can see me from there and I can see you, so perhaps there is no need to give individual blessings,” he added.
“Since the investigation began, Gyalwang Karmapa has continued to receive visitors and participate in a major annual ritual cycle taking place, while also offering his full co-operation to the investigation,” the Karmapa’s administration said in a statement.
In a separate statement issued on Tuesday, Gyalwang Karmapa’s administration refuted the allegations being levelled against the Karmapa and his administration as “grossly speculative and without any foundation in the truth whatsoever”.
“We can confirm that under 5 Crores (USD 1 million) was taken by the authorities from the monastery. This sum represents unsolicited donations that have been made by the followers of Gyalwang Karmapa from around the world to enable the substantial social and spiritual programmes of the Karma Kagyu order. Our administration has sought to acquire clearance since 2002 to deposit cash donations under the Foreign Currencies Regulation Act of India. Until the necessary permissions are granted, the monastery diligently recorded and stored the currency on its own premises. We are currently in the process of providing this evidence to the authorities,” the statement said.
“As for the Chinese currency, we would like to stress that Gyalwang Karmapa has a large and devoted following of Tibetans from Tibet and of Buddhists from the Chinese mainland who make offerings in the Yuan. The Yuan found constitutes less than 10% of the cash in question, which included currency from over 20 countries. Moreover, the Yuan seized by police include notes ranging from 1 Yuan to larger denominations, clearly indicating that they come from multiple, individual sources,” the statement noted.
“Regarding allegations of improper land deals, Gyalwang Karmapa has been hosted in a temporary residence in Dharamsala since 2000. As the premises belong to another Tibetan Buddhist order, the Karmae Garchen Trust has sought to purchase land and build a new residence and monastery since 2007. When the trust identified suitable land in 2010, it informed the office of the District Collector of Dharamsala and sought their approval to proceed with the purchase. The application was accompanied by a strong letter of support from the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The trust obtained both an ‘essentiality certificate’ and a ‘no-objection certificate’ from the Town and Country Planning Department of the Himachal Pradesh Government, indicating state government approval to proceed with the plans for purchase,” it added.
On 31 January, the home minister of India, P Chidambaram, stated: “Investigations are underway in Karmapa case. No conclusion drawn whether he is a Chinese agent or not.”
Responding to the media queries on the issue, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had said “Karmapa is one of important spiritual leader and naturally people from different parts of the world, including many Chinese, even from the Mainland China, come to seek blessing from him and as usual offer money. There are devotees, including Chinese from the Mainland and some Chinese businessmen, are among his devotees. So naturally some money from them are received by him. I think he (Karmapa) should create some kind of trust so that all these donations can be put in the trust.”
Transcript of Tibetan Parliament’s Statement on Gyalwang Karmapa
[Sunday, 30 January 2011, 10:00 a.m.]
The English transcript of the statement made by the Tibetan Parliament’s Standing Committee during a press conference presided over by the Speaker at the Parliamentary Secretariat in Dharamsala on 29 January 2011 follows:
|The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in-Exile, Mr Penpa Tsering (3rd L) flanked by members
of the Standing Committee addresses a press conference at the Secretariat at Gangchen
Kyishong in Dharamsala, India, on 29 January 2011/Photo: Tibet Express
We would like to thank journalists from the Tibetan radio services and other media organisations for attending today’s press conference at such a short notice.
There seems to be different speculations in the Tibetan society on the issue of related with Gyuto Monastery of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. More importantly, we can not say what kind of news has spread inside Tibet. So in order to convey clear information to Tibet, we have organised this press conference particularly with reporters from the Tibetan media organisations.
On hearing about the issue yesterday, the Standing Committee of the Parliament had expressed deep concern as the members met in the afternoon of 28 January. As we discuss how the issue has originated, it was agreed to seek an audience with Gyalwang Karmapa. If it was not convenient to meet him, we thought it would be helpful to get a clear information by meeting with other leading officials of the monastery. Accordingly, Speaker Penpa Tsering accompanied by Geshe Thubten Phelgye, Geshe Monlam Tharchin and Lopon Sonam Tenphel of the Standing Committee visited the monastery at 3:30 PM. Many journalists were present at the monastery. We first met the monastic officials. Later, during our audience with Gyalwang Karmapa, we found him completely at ease, which clearly shows that he has nothing to do with any wrongdoing. We, the Standing Committee, conveyed our deep concern to him and to extend whatever cooperation if needed be to avert the occurrence of such issues which bring disrepute to Gyalwang Karmapa. The main objective of our visit was to show our solidarity with Gyalwang Karmapa.
During the audience, Gyalwang Karmapa said he has no knowledge about the issue since he does not interfere in such matters. His statement reinforces the confirmation of our belief that he has no personal connection with the issue. This has been our firm belief.
We have a system in our monastery based on which we can explain the source of the current amount of money. We firmly belief and we can say in definite terms that these come as religious offerings from the follower and devotees. As the Indian journalists raise serious doubts about the money’s source, we got the opportunity to clarify them. We clearly stated that the allegations of Gyalwang Karmapa as an “agent of Chinese government” and “possessing money through illegal deals” are totally baseless. Through this press conference, we want to convey this information to the Tibetan people living inside Tibet.
As far as Gyalwang Karmapa is concerned, he put his life at risk by coming into exile from Tibet at a tender age. During his stay at Gyuto Monastery in India, he has to live under the control of the Indian security officials and he has no freedom to move freely as he wishes to. This is the fact that we all know. All his programmes are being made under the supervision of the Indian government. Those who are seeking his audience have to obtain prior permission from the Indian police authorities. For instance, we were also frisked before our meeting with him yesterday. There is no reason to protest since the security officials are carrying out their duty. So the police have knowledge about every detail of the offerings made to Gyalwang Karmapa and it is not that they know nothing about the matter. Owing to the remarkable deeds of the Karmapa lineage, it enjoys the trust and faith of followers and devotees from across the world such as Singapore, Thailand, and western countries and in Tibet who make offerings. In our society, he is one of the spiritual head of schools of Tibetan Buddhism, highly revered and respected by the Tibetan people. Personally, he has been concentrating on his study, promotion of Buddhism and world peace and protection of environment, thereby making great service to Tibet’s political and spiritual cause. Hence there is absolutely no need to doubt and there exist no ground for that to happen. We wish to make this clear.
Regarding the monastery’s financial management, Gyalwang Karmapa does not make detail inquiry about what and how much offerings are being presented to him on the throne by the devotees. “I do not interfere in these matters”, he told us yesterday. All the financial matters are managed by the administrative staff. Their lack of knowledge about legal procedures has led to the negligence in maintaining proper account of the money. On the matter which is not in line with the country’s law, we have to respect the result of the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Indian government. Otherwise, issues arising out of this matter to denigrate the reputation of Gyalwang Karmapa are completely baseless.
The Central Tibetan Administration and the Kashag are making efforts on its part to extend whatever necessary help and cooperation to Gyalwang Karmapa. Similarly, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile firmly support the truth of the matter and we are ready to offer whatever necessary guidance and co-operation until the issues become clear.
Tsundue’s letter to the Editor of the Hindustan Times regarding raid at HH Karmapa’s monastery
on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 1:00am
The Tibetan community is deeply hurt and disturbed by the media reports speculating the Karmapa Lama having Chinese links.This may be one of the first Tibetan responses as the exile community is in a shock to see their revered Lama being raided.
This is of course a case of financial mismanagement, but the Karmapa is receiving direct nurturing and blessings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and therefore he cannot be suspected of being a Beijing design at all. I have complete trust in him.
There are Chinese Buddhist followers who come to Dharamsala to receive teachings from the Karmapa at the great risk of being harassed and intimidated by Beijing government when they return home, including the famous Chinese actor Jet Li. They all make donations. Buddhism is our connection with these Chinese. In fact the Dalai Lama keeps the faith that if something will change China it is Buddhism.
Tibetan writer and activist