Devotees march in Karmapa’s supportFebruary 2nd, 2011 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS
Dharamsala, Feb 2 (IANS) Thousands of devotees and monks Wednesday took out a peaceful march here to express solidarity with their religious leader, the 17th Karmapa, who was questioned by police last week over the recovery of unaccounted currency worth nearly Rs.70 million from his monastery.The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, later addressed the gathering at the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery, saying the investigating agencies are doing their work.
“Let the investigating agencies do their work. Truth will prevail,” he said in his brief address to the followers in Tibetan language.
A string of central government agencies is attempting to get to the bottom of the recovery of unaccounted currency that includes 1.1 million Chinese Yuan (Rs.7 million) and over 600,000 US dollars.
A Himachal Pradesh Police team twice questioned the Karmapa about the currency recovery. Even the Enforcement Directorate Tuesday scanned documents and questioned functionaries.
Carrying lighted joss sticks, pictures of the Karmapa and banners, the devotees, including some foreigners, said their spiritual leader was wrongly mired in a controversy.
“The allegations are totally unfounded. We are greatly perturbed. The ‘guruji’ is here to propagate Buddhism and spiritualism. He has nothing to do with money collection,” Nubra Chokey told IANS.
The procession started from McLeodganj and culminated at the Gyuto monastery after covering a distance of over 20 km.
“The way the Karmapa was labeled by the Indian media, especially the electronic media, as a Chinese spy is ridiculous. Truth will definitely prevail,” the monk’s another follower, Tenzin Dorjee, said.
The supporters chanted slogans in unison: “He is not (a Chinese spy), he is not.”
Activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), the Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet, the National Democratic Party of Tibet, and the Students for a Free Tibet also participated in the march.
“Karmapa is an important religious figure. It’s wrong to doubt his integrity,” Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan writer and activist, said.
The office of the Karmapa said in a statement posted on its official website: “We can confirm that Rs.5 crore ($.1 million) was taken by the (Indian) authorities from the monastery.”
“This sum represents unsolicited donations Our administration has sought to acquire clearance since 2002 to deposit cash donations under the Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act.”
“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. The yuan found constitutes less than 10 percent of the cash in question, which included currency from over 20 countries,” the statement said.
“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 added.
The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu School, one of the four sects of Buddhism.
The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala - the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
- Karmapa cash row: Enforcement Directorate begins probe - Feb 01, 2011
- India allows Karmapa to visit US - Jul 06, 2011
- Stop solidarity marches for Karmapa, Dhumal tells Tibetans - Feb 03, 2011
- Karmapa cash row: Enforcement Directorate scans records (Lead) - Feb 01, 2011
- Candlelight procession in Karmapa's support - Jan 31, 2011
- Karmapa quizzed again, says India's interests not harmed (Second Lead) - Jan 30, 2011
- Devotees stand by Karmapa, throng monastery - Jan 31, 2011
- Karmapa not a Chinese spy, says Beijing - Jan 31, 2011
- Karmapa's office hands over $150,000 to ED - Mar 19, 2011
- Currency row: Karmapa office assures cooperation - Dec 09, 2011
- From Chinese agent to innocent monk - flipflops on Karmapa - Apr 25, 2012
- More raids follow as agencies probe Karmapa money links (Second Lead) - Jan 29, 2011
- Karmapa's aide records statement with ED - Mar 21, 2011
- Raids continue, Karmapa denies China-link to cash (Roundup) - Jan 29, 2011
- Karmapa's aide gets bail in Himachal - Mar 16, 2011
Tags: 17th karmapa, central government agencies, chinese spy, chinese yuan, currency worth, dalai lama, dorje, enforcement directorate, guruji, gyuto monastery, himachal pradesh, joss sticks, mcleodganj, panchen lama, peaceful march, police team, religious head, tibetan language, tibetan women, tibetan youth congress