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Lama says he’s no spy: The Church of England Newspaper, Feb 11, 2011 p 8. February 13, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Buddhism, Church of England Newspaper.

The Karmapa Lama

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Karmapa Lama has denied allegations that he is a Chinese spy.

On Feb 1, the office of Tibet’s third highest ranking religious leader, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, released a statement “categorically denying” press speculation that cash found at the lama’s Dharamsala monastary came from the Chinese government.

The “allegations being leveled against His Holiness the Karmapa and his administration are grossly speculative and without any foundation in the truth whatsoever,” the statement said.

In the two-day search of the lama’s monastery last month, police found approximately £750,000 in cash.   The Karmapa Lama was questioned by police for several hours over the source of the undeclared funds and over his ties to China, and his accountant was arrested.  Unnamed government sources in the Indian police have told the press thelama is suspected of being an agent of influence for the Chinese government.

The Karmapa Lama is the spiritual leader of one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, ranking only behind the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.  As head of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa is believed by devotees to be a living Buddha.

The lama’s aides confirmed that approximately one million US dollars 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.”

The reason why the cash had not been deposited in banks was due to Indian banking laws.  “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.

The lama’s aides explained the Chinese cash as having come from “devoted” followers in Tibet and China “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,” the statement said.

Speculation the Karmapa Lama maintained “links with arms of the Chinese Government to counteract the Free Tibet Movement” was false, they said.  The Dalai Lama’s statement that the accusations were false “furnished the final word on this issue,” the Karmapa Lama’s office said.

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