2011/02/11

HIS HOLINESS THE KARMAPA CLEARED BY HIMACHAL PRADESH GOVERNMENT


11 February, 2011. Dharamsala


This afternoon, the Himachal Pradesh chief secretary Rajwant Sandhu told reporters that, “there is no involvement of the Karmapa. We have reasons to believe that some donations came for the monastery and the Karmapa has nothing to do with that. Monastery functionaries were managing the affairs.”
The chief secretary was also quoted as saying; “The Karmapa is a religious head and has followers across the world. We respect their religious activities. We don't interfere in any religious affairs. We have full respect for their religious activities and are in no way intending curbing them in any form or manner as also we are aware of the fact that the Karmapa is not involved in any monetary activities or shady benami land deals.”
The Karmapa Office of Administration is grateful to the Indian authorities for investigating the case thoroughly and bringing the truth to the forefront. This fully confirms the confidence His Holiness the Karmapa has himself expressed from the very beginning in the Indian judicial system. We are glad the investigation has put to rest the unfounded rumors that had been circulating. We are very thankful for all the support that has come pouring in from all over India, across the Himalayas and all corners of the world.
Spokespersons
Karma Topden
Former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia,
Former Member of Parliament
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
koapress@gmail.com
(91) 8894 502 910

2011/02/07

MEMBER OF ITALIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY & OFFICE DENIES BASELESS CLAIM THAT CHINA SIM CARDS FOUND


7 February, 2011. Dharamsala


The Karmapa Office of Administration gratefully acknowledges the overwhelming support for His Holiness the Karmapa from well-wishers all across India and from around the world. Today, Matteo Mecacci, a member of the Italian Parliament, paid a personal visit to His Holiness the Karmapa at his residence in Dharamsala. While expressing faith and respect for the Indian judicial process, the Italian MP—who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies—also expressed his solidarity with His Holiness the Karmapa during this trying period. He requested spiritual solidarity in return from His Holiness.

We were also pleased to see some fair and balanced coverage in the media over the weekend. However, we again completely deny the libelous press reports claiming that Chinese SIM cards were found on our premises. This constitutes libel and outright defamation of character. No SIM cards were taken. No SIM cards are listed on the seizure memos issued by the police themselves. Inspector Ramesh Rama of the Kangra police—who was one of the officers conducting the police raids—today confirmed what our Office already knew. He stated that the Kangra police knew nothing of such SIM cards and were as puzzled as we are by the reports that such SIM cards had been seized.

The charge of espionage is a matter with grave consequences. His Holiness the Karmapa is a highly revered spiritual leader of a Buddhist order with millions of devotees worldwide. He has the unwavering confidence and support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as the entire Tibetan Government-in-exile. By repeating such unfounded claims without even bothering to check facts or seek comment, the media printing such fabrications is engaging in blatant character assassination.  The Karmapa Office of Administration has issued letters to the editors of the relevant publications seeking an immediate retraction and apology.
Spokespersons
Karma Topden
Former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia,
Former Member of Parliament
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
koapress@gmail.com
(91) 8894 502 910


2011/02/06

STATEMENT FROM KARMAPA OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION


6 February, 2011. Dharamsala


However, we are disappointed to note that some press are continuing to report major inaccuracies and outright fabrications. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that reports, such as the one published most recently by Times of India, that Chinese SIM cards were seized from the monastery is pure fiction. No SIM cards were taken, as can be confirmed by the seizure list prepared (FIR No23/11, dated 26/1/2011 by the police). The repeated assertion of this outright lie constitutes baseless slander, and defames the character of one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The fact that such fictitious reports are published without contacting the accused party's spokespersons for comments indicates that these members of the press are are not objective reporters. We welcome the press to contact us to check their facts or seek comment, and call on the press to rise to the standards of responsible journalism.
The Karmapa Office of Administration welcomes the Central Government's expression of confidence in His Holiness the Karmapa. Union Minister Virbhadra Singh travelled to the state from Delhi and made several clear statements of support for His Holiness the Karmapa and the Tibetan community as a whole. Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa. He further urged regularizing land purchase rules to grant Tibetans certain rights to own land in Himachal Pradesh, in which Dharamsala is located. Union Minister Singh is a member of the Cabinet of the Indian Government and a five-time former chief minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Spokespersons
Karma Topden
Former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia,
Former Member of Parliament
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
koapress@gmail.com
(91) 8894 502 910

2011/02/05

STATEMENT ON RABGAY CHOSANG'S TRANSFER INTO JUDICIAL CUSTODY AND TRUST'S LAND PURCHASE


5 February, 2011. Dharamsala


The Karmapa Office of Administration announces that the state government's application to retain Rabgay Choesang in police custody was rejected, and Office staff member Rabgay Choesang aka Shakti Lama has now been transferred into judicial custody. We are aware that a thorough investigation is needed to arrive at the truth. We remain confident that the Indian justice system will arrive at that truth and dispel all the wild speculations that are now circulating. We will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation, and we look forward to having our monk home soon.

The Karmapa Office of Administration would also like to take this opportunity to underscore that the ongoing purchase of land by the Karmae Garchen Trust is and has been in full compliance with Indian law. It is in no way a benami land transaction. The land was being purchased by the Karmae Garchen Trust in its own name, in a transaction that had been duly disclosed to the Kangra District Collector's office. As per requirements, the Trust submitted a letter of support from the Tibetan Government in Exile's Department of Religion and Culture as well as an an application for an essentiality certificate. The DC's office issued a no-objection certificate. As such, the Trust had been granted all preliminary approvals required in order to proceed to the next step in acquiring the land.

Not only had this effort to purchase land to build a residence and monastery for His Holiness the Karmapa been reported to and approved by the appropriate government authorities; we further discussed such plans openly with the press, as reported in the Hindustan Times in October, 2010 and the Tribune as early as March, 2006. 
Spokespersons for the Karmapa Office of Administration
Karma Topden,
Former Indian Ambassador and Former MP
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
(91) 8894502910
koapress@gmail.com

2011/02/04

KARMAPA OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION FLATLY DENIES REPORTS HIS HOLINESS THE KARMAPA IS LINKED TO CHINESE GOVERNMENT


4 February, 2011. Dharamsala


The Karmapa Office of Administration firmly denies the published allegations that His Holiness the Karmapa has rallied in support of the communist Chinese government whose oppression he fled 11 years ago. We repeat that the preposterous claim that His Holiness is a Chinese spy or agent is a complete fabrication, utterly baseless and reckless slander.

The Karmapa Office of Administration appeals to the press to cease its character assassination of His Holiness the Karmapa, one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism, and a spiritual leader to Buddhists worldwide.

The Karmapa Office of Administration respectfully requests the press to refrain from publishing further uncorroborated and unfounded charges. It offers below the phone number and email address of its spokesperson, and beseeches the press to seek confirmation or denial from its spokesperson, in accord with the standards of responsible journalism.

Spokespersons
Karma Topden
Former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia,
Former Member of Parliament
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
koapress@gmail.com
(91) 8894 502 910

2011/02/03

STATEMENT FROM KARMAPA OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION


3 February, 2011. Dharamsala


 
 
The Karmapa Office of Administration adamantly denies the baseless fabrications touted by some media claiming that His Holiness the Karmapa is a Chinese spy or agent. Specifically, reports have circulated recently claiming that His Holiness the Karmapa has acquired lands along the Sino-Indian border. We state categorically that His Holiness owns no such property whatsoever, nor does the Karmapa Office of Administration. Additionally, some reports cite an unnamed source claiming that the Enforcement Directorate seized Chinese SIM cards and possess records of conversations between His Holiness the Karmapa and Chinese government officials. Such inaccurate reports constitute fiction masquerading as journalism and slander one of the most highly revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, the Karmapa Office of Administration respectfully requests these media sources to cease and desist its defamation of character of His Holiness the Karmapa.
We reiterate that the presence of Chinese Yuan among the 20-plus other currencies found by police has been put forward by some media stories as indicative of spy activity. In response to this preposterous claim, we wish to point out that the currency used in Tibet is the Chinese Yuan, and therefore Tibetans from Tibet often make donations in Yuan, as do Buddhists from mainland China. We further stress that the donations in Yuan formed less than 10% of the total cash amount. The notes came in multiple denominations, ranging from one-Yuan notes upward, clearly reflecting their origin as donation from multiple individual sources. Some of the Yuan were new notes bundled together, reflecting a practice among Chinese and other cultures of offering only new currency notes to high abbots or spiritual leaders. Furthermore, disciples from Chinese cultures often visit India in groups, pool their offerings and make a single collective donation. The Karmapa Office of administration maintains records of all visitors who receive private audience with His Holiness the Karmapa, and these lists record numerous groups of individuals visiting together from Tibet as well as from mainland China.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has publicly expressed his confidence in His Holiness the Karmapa. The Tibetan government itself unequivocally demonstrated its support of His Holiness the Karmapa, who is the revered head of a 900-year old order within Tibetan Buddhism. Members of groups across Tibetan society have voiced unwavering support for His Holiness the Karmapa. His Holiness himself stated yesterday in public that he had faith in the Indian rule of law and that the truth will prevail in time. He emphasized that India is a second homeland to Tibetans.

2011/02/02

HIS HOLINESS THE KARMAPA ADDRESSES GATHERING IN DHARAMSALA


February 2, 2011. Dharamsala

His Holiness the Karmapa addressed a huge gathering of supporters this afternoon, acknowledging the difficult situation and stating that he trusts that the matter will be cleared in time. His Holiness further contrasted the rule of law in India to the system of communist China, calling India a second homeland for Tibetans. In a show of solidarity with His Holiness, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Dolma Gyari and seven other members of the Tibetan government shared the stage with His Holiness while he spoke.
The comments marked the first time that His Holiness the Karmapa has spoken publicly since the investigation began. His Holiness was speaking at the behest of several thousand Tibetan supporters who had staged a march from the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj to His Holiness the Karmapa’s residence in the Kangra valley, a march of several hours. Shops were closed in McLeod Ganj, as virtually the entire Tibetan town joined the 20-km march to support His Holiness the Karmapa. The organizers of the march, leaders of the Free Tibet movement, specified that it was not a protest, explaining that they were not opposing anyone, but merely showing their unequivocal confidence and trust in His Holiness the Karmapa.
“We usually hold public audiences on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” said His Holiness the Karmapa. “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.
“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.”
Along with the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Dolma Gyari, sharing the stage in a show of their support for His Holiness the Karmapa were the following members of the Parliament of the Tibetan government-in-exile: Geshe Monlam Tharsi, Sonam Damdul, Sherab Tharchin, Tsering Youdon, Nawang Lhamo and Dawa Tsering.
His Holiness was confident and serene at all times while speaking. Since the investigation began, His Holiness has continued to receive visitors and participate in a major annual ritual cycle taking place, while also offering his full cooperation to the investigation.

2011/02/01

KAGYU OFFICE ANNOUNCEMENT




1 February, 2011. Dharamsala

We would like to categorically state again that the allegations being levelled against His Holiness the Karmapa and his administration are 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 His Holiness the 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.

As for the Chinese currency, we would like to stress that His Holiness the 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.

It is also important to underscore that the Karmapa Office of Administration was formed to allow the Karmapas to devote their time and energy to their roles as spiritual leaders. The Office manages all the worldly affairs of His Holiness the Karmapa, including handling the donations and administering the finances. In this way, His Holiness the Karmapa is left free to fulfil his solemn duties as spiritual guide to a large, respected Buddhist order.

We are glad to notice that the media and public no longer pays credence to the allegations that His Holiness the Karmapa maintains links with arms of the Chinese Government to counteract the Free Tibet Movement and associated causes. His Holiness the Dalai Lama furnished the final word on this issue when he underlined that this allegation was absolutely false, that he knew His Holiness the Karmapa to be an exceptionally devout and spiritual man and that our order would be exonerated of all allegations and charges by this any kind of investigation or probe. His Holiness the Karmapa is very grateful for the refuge given to him by the people and Government of India, and has nothing but the best interests at heart for the country that is the home of his faith and that has allowed him to practice his faith freely for many years.

Regarding allegations of improper land deals, His Holiness the 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.

Mr. Ashutosh and Mr. Sanjay, the two men arrested for carrying INR 1 Crore, were acting on behalf of the seller of this land. The money they were carrying was partial payment for this land that had received all necessary preliminary approvals from relevant Government Departments. The seller of the land had insisted on payment in cash. Acquiring capital assets through cash payments is perfectly legal in India. The order had received this cash in the form of donations primarily at the yearend puja in Bodh Gaya, Bihar.

Finally, we would like to thank the many thousands of individuals across the world who have come out to express their solidarity with His Holiness the Karmapa and our order through peaceful candlelight vigils, sympathetic messages on the web, and their prayers.

We will continue to supply as much information as is available and as regularly as possible. However, our first priority remains to cooperate fully with the investigations underway.

For press inquiries:

Spokespersons

Karma Topden
Former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia,
Former Member of Parliament
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration

Deki Chungyalpa
Adviser to Karmapa Office of Administration
koapress@gmail.com
(91) 8894 502 910