11 Lakh Yuan Link: Karmapa May Be a Chinese Plant (Updated)

Indian media is reporting on a raid of the monastery of the Karmapa Lama, who currently lives in exile and is widely anticipated to take over the role of spiritual leader to Tibetan Buddhists after the current Dalai Lama passes away. According to the reports, the raid uncovered significant stores of foreign currency and has led to suspicions that the monastery is being secretly funded by the Chinese government. From Times of India:

The 17th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorje, could be a Chinese “plant”, suspect Indian intelligence agencies looking into the spiritual leader’s affairs after raids on his transit home at Sidhbari near Dharamshala on Thursday night. Rs 8.5 crore worth foreign currency was recovered.

Intelligence agencies say the Karmapa may be part of a Chinese plan to control monasteries along the Sino-Indian border. The exact circumstances of Dorje’s “escape” from Tibet in 2000 have always puzzled Indian agencies. He claimed to have hoodwinked Chinese authorities by going into exclusion and reaching Nepal.

A source said the agencies have information to suggest the Karmapa has links with China, including funding. “The huge recovery, including 11 lakh Chinese yuan, substantiates what we have always suspected. The Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities have been asked to probe this,” said an intelligence official. He added Dorje may be questioned.

And from MSN:

The raids on the Karmapa monastery in Sidhbari were conducted Thursday after the police arrested two people at Mehatpur in Una district a day before and seized unaccounted Rs.1 crore from them.

Police believe the money was meant for some ‘illegal’ land deal in Dharamsala in Kangra district with the involvement of Karmapa’s aide Rubgi Chosang.

Chosang, who was an accountant in the monastery, was arrested Friday. He was sent to police custody for nine days by a Una court.

Update: The Karmapa has denied any wrongdoing. From Sify:

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 Karmapa’s 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.

See also a report about the raid from AP.

Read more about the Karmapa via CDT.

January 28, 2011 9:29 PM
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