Thursday, February 10, 2011

Karmapa reassures followers, says truth will prevail

One of Tibet’s top monks appeared before thousands of followers on Wednesday in India to reassure them about a police probe into nearly $1 million in cash found at his monastery.
“Do not worry about the case,” the Karmapa said as he appeared before devotees at the Gyuto monastery in Dharamshala in northern India, where the Tibetan community in exile is based.
“Investigations are going on and the truth will come out,” he added.
Thousands of supporters, many of them monks dressed in traditional maroon and saffron-coloured robes, staged a solidarity march to the picturesque monastery in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Over the last week, police have quizzed the Karmapa and arrested several of his aides in an investigation into the cash which is mostly in US dollars but also in Chinese yuan and two dozen other currencies.
The Karmapa heads one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism and could emerge as a future spiritual leader of Tibet after the death of the 75-year-old Dalai Lama, who has said he might not be replaced.
The Indian media, quoting unnamed security sources, have reported concerns that the Karmapa could be a Chinese stooge sent to India from Tibet to set up pro-Chinese monasteries.
The office of the Karmapa has dismissed the rumours as baseless and said the money is the result of years of accumulated donations. It has acknowledged negligence in its book-keeping.
“Unlike China, India is a free and democratic country so I have full faith in it” to uncover the truth, the Karmapa told his followers.
Notes totalling $600,000, 1.2 million yuan ($180,000), HK$500,000 ($64,000) and 5.3 million Indian rupees ($115,000) were discovered at the monastery and other offices, police say.
The Karmapa fled Tibet in 1999 as a 14-year-old because he said he was concerned that Beijing would force him to turn against the Dalai Lama, who has acted as a father figure for him in Dharamshala.
China regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist, and has sought to groom monks who would accept Tibet as an integral part of China and drop all claims for an independent state. The Dalai Lama has called for a “thorough investigation” into the discovery of the money.

Copyright © 2011 AFP
Published in Yahoo News


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