Transcript of Tibetan Parliament’s Statement on Gyalwang Karmapa

There seems to be different speculations in the Tibetan society on the issue of related with Gyuto Monastery of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. More importantly, we can not say what kind of news has spread inside Tibet. So in order to convey clear information to Tibet, we have organised this press conference particularly with reporters from the Tibetan media organisations.

On hearing about the issue yesterday, the Standing Committee of the Parliament had expressed deep concern as the members met in the afternoon of 28 January. As we discuss how the issue has originated, it was agreed to seek an audience with Gyalwang Karmapa. If it was not convenient to meet him, we thought it would be helpful to get a clear information by meeting with other leading officials of the monastery. Accordingly, Speaker Penpa Tsering accompanied by Geshe Thubten Phelgye, Geshe Monlam Tharchin and Lopon Sonam Tenphel of the Standing Committee visited the monastery at 3:30 PM. Many journalists were present at the monastery. We first met the monastic officials. Later, during our audience with Gyalwang Karmapa, we found him completely at ease, which clearly shows that he has nothing to do with any wrongdoing. We, the Standing Committee, conveyed our deep concern to him and to extend whatever cooperation if needed be to avert the occurrence of such issues which bring disrepute to Gyalwang Karmapa. The main objective of our visit was to show our solidarity with Gyalwang Karmapa.

During the audience, Gyalwang Karmapa said he has no knowledge about the issue since he does not interfere in such matters. His statement reinforces the confirmation of our belief that he has no personal connection with the issue. This has been our firm belief.

We have a system in our monastery based on which we can explain the source of the current amount of money. We firmly belief and we can say in definite terms that these come as religious offerings from the follower and devotees. As the Indian journalists raise serious doubts about the money’s source, we got the opportunity to clarify them. We clearly stated that the allegations of Gyalwang Karmapa as an "agent of Chinese government" and “possessing money through illegal deals” are totally baseless. Through this press conference, we want to convey this information to the Tibetan people living inside Tibet.

As far as Gyalwang Karmapa is concerned, he put his life at risk by coming into exile from Tibet at a tender age. During his stay at Gyuto Monastery in India, he has to live under the control of the Indian security officials and he has no freedom to move freely as he wishes to. This is the fact that we all know. All his programmes are being made under the supervision of the Indian government. Those who are seeking his audience have to obtain prior permission from the Indian police authorities. For instance, we were also frisked before our meeting with him yesterday. There is no reason to protest since the security officials are carrying out their duty. So the police have knowledge about every detail of the offerings made to Gyalwang Karmapa and it is not that they know nothing about the matter. Owing to the remarkable deeds of the Karmapa lineage, it enjoys the trust and faith of followers and devotees from across the world such as Singapore, Thailand, and western countries and in Tibet who make offerings. In our society, he is one of the spiritual head of schools of Tibetan Buddhism, highly revered and respected by the Tibetan people. Personally, he has been concentrating on his study, promotion of Buddhism and world peace and protection of environment, thereby making great service to Tibet’s political and spiritual cause. Hence there is absolutely no need to doubt and there exist no ground for that to happen. We wish to make this clear.

Regarding the monastery’s financial management, Gyalwang Karmapa does not make detail inquiry about what and how much offerings are being presented to him on the throne by the devotees. “I do not interfere in these matters”, he told us yesterday. All the financial matters are managed by the administrative staff. Their lack of knowledge about legal procedures has led to the negligence in maintaining proper account of the money. On the matter which is not in line with the country’s law, we have to respect the result of the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Indian government. Otherwise, issues arising out of this matter to denigrate the reputation of Gyalwang Karmapa are completely baseless.

The Central Tibetan Administration and the Kashag are making efforts on its part to extend whatever necessary help and cooperation to Gyalwang Karmapa. Similarly, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile firmly support the truth of the matter and we are ready to offer whatever necessary guidance and co-operation until the issues become clear.

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