You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

Actor Kabir Bedi takes the Indian establishment to task over the Karmapa incident.
 

The Karmapa is an icon, he deserves more respect, by Kabir Bedi

Times of India, Feb 27th 2011
 
 

Almost everyone knows of the Dalai Lama. But not many Indians had heard of the Karmapa Lama before he made news recently, after being accused of having Rs 7.5 crore in foreign currencies, attempting benami land deals near Dharamshala and, worst of all, being a Chinese spy. So why are the Tibetan refugees themselves so angered by these accusations? Tenzin Tsundue, a leading Tibetan activist, says, “This country that we are so grateful to is alleging the Karmapa is a spy for China. And we can’t understand that at all.” Many question the motives of the Indian intelligence agencies in leaking this allegation against the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, ever since he came to India as a refugee in 2000.

Who exactly is the Karmapa? In a word, after the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa is the most important Tibetan Buddhist leader today. In Christian terms, the Karmapa would be like the Archbishop of Canterbury or the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, second only to the Pope. But the over-500 Kagyu centres of the Karmapa across the world vastly outnumber the Dalai Lama’s Gelug centres —most impressive for a 25-year-old who left Tibet barely 11 years ago.


read the complete article on timesofindia.indiatimes.com

His Holiness Karmapa leaving Gyuto Monastery for his spring trip to Sarnath


 

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TADYATHA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

sponsored by the Times of India
 

Presenter: Ladies and gentlemen we have the great pleasure in presenting a most exciting evening of entertainment here on Live IBN News. Yes, Who Wants to be a Crorepati has tonight in the hot seat the State Minister for Himachal Pradesh, Prem Dhumal, who has made news these last few weeks as the champion of the state laws for Himachal defending property rights of the people, the FCRA laws regarding illegal currency and the right of the state law over the Central Government. A very brave man, Mr Dhumal, and here you are wearing a Himachali cap and a khadi wool jacket, just like any shepherd in Himachal.

Dhumal: (waving his fist in the air) Yes, I believe in the right of the state to enforce its own laws and for the Centre not to come between. We know the case of the Karmapa Lama had the backing of US embassy. We know that foreign dollars also came into the cash haul and we are now investigating these suspicious links. We know the Karmapa Lama went to the US few years back and had regular meetings with important American officials, like the Mayor Blumberg of New York. So we are in the middle of our investigations and we need more time to establish all these suspicious links.

Presenter: Hain Hain, now we have a special jackpot here of 7 crore rupees in foreign currency and growing every moment that we speak. The currency is right here in this tin trunk and is in twenty denominations including clean Chinese yuan, in new serial number notes, US dollars, British sterling, Japanese Zen and dirty rupees. Never before has so much cash currency been in the jackpot to win if you can answer the 7 crore rupee question. Are you ready, Sri Prem Dhumal?

Dhumal: I am always ready to tell the truth and serve the people of Himachal.

Presenter: Here is the question. (Drum roll followed by grand display of fireworks)

Who is the owner of Gyatso Monastery?

A. The Karmapa Lama
B. The State Government
C. The Central Government
D. The Dalai Lama

Dhumal: I am very sure of the answer. In fact I don’t even have to call my friends Jagdish Bhatt and Naresh Kumar Sharma of Times of India to find out. I am completely confident. The answer is the Karmapa Lama.

Presenter: Final Answer? If you give the wrong answer you not only lose 7 crore rupees, you could also end your career in Tihar jail with a certain convicted state minister.

Dhumal: Yes, final answer. (waves his arms in the air, audience cheers and boos)

Presenter: Prem Dhumal, It’s the right answer!!! Congratulations. You have won the jackpot all here in this tin trunk. Now tell us what you are going to do with this huge cash haul.

Dhumal: I will enter the next general election for Prime Minister of India and meanwhile I will knock down Gyatso Monastery and replace it with a new five star hotel with swimming pool, ski lift and all facilities, for the people.

Two attendants enter in uniform to help Prem Dhumal carry out the tin trunk. They have trouble lifting it but are finally successful. Prem Dhumal follows the trunk to jeers and cheers from the audience.

Suddenly enter two armed police with batons and rifles.

Police: Prem Dhumal, you are hereby under the arrest for possession of unregistered foreign currency.

They put handcuffs on the startled Dhumal as he kicks and screams and drag him offstage.

Presenter: Wow, what an exciting evening. Now, that’s what I call real live entertainment.

Interruption from offstage as a Chinese construction worker enters escorted by Himachal police. The man speaks through an interpreter. “We have just cracked the code on the hard discs at Gyatso Monastery and we have found the evidence of spying you were suspecting. We found the name of the person who is receiving messages in Chinese. A lady called Kwan Yin which is a code name for Yuan Yen.”

Presenter: Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s all we have time for this evening. Join us next week for another round of Who wants to be a Crorepati. (mumbles and reaches for a cigarette) This is crazy. I’ve lost the plot.

Brought to you by Times of India: ALL THE NEWS THAT IS UNFIT TO PRINT
 
 

Naomi

Recapitulating the facts and asking for the proper next step
 

India must apologise to the Karmapa Lama,
by Shobhan Saxena, Editor of Sunday Times of India

Times of India, Feb 18th 2011
 
 

New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji has been given a clean chit on accusation of being a China spy.

A probe was initiated against the spiritual leader after huge amount of foreign currencies were recovered from his premises.

Foreign currency belonging to 25 countries, including China, was recovered by the police from the premises of the Karmapa-backed trust and some of the trustees in the raids that followed recovery of Rs 1 crore from two persons on January 25 last, allegedly drawn from a bank at Majnoo-ka-Tila in Delhi for a land deal.

Government source said that the money had come in the form of donations and offerings by devotees and a clean chit has been given to Karmapa.


read the complete article on toiblogs.com

And the caravans move on …
 

Karmapa is not a China spy, clarifies Centre

IBN Live, Feb 17th 2011
 
 

New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji has been given a clean chit on accusation of being a China spy.

A probe was initiated against the spiritual leader after huge amount of foreign currencies were recovered from his premises.

Foreign currency belonging to 25 countries, including China, was recovered by the police from the premises of the Karmapa-backed trust and some of the trustees in the raids that followed recovery of Rs 1 crore from two persons on January 25 last, allegedly drawn from a bank at Majnoo-ka-Tila in Delhi for a land deal.

Government source said that the money had come in the form of donations and offerings by devotees and a clean chit has been given to Karmapa.


read the complete article on ibnlive.com

The Week in Review

The media firestorm burnt itself out this week. In mid-fantasy, somebody turned on a bright light to shake up the adrenalin junkies and inject sanity into sensationalism.

On February 1st with the publication in the Hindustan Times by Professor Dibyash Anand, The Buddha’s Not Smiling (nothing to do with the infamous book of that name), the zombie jamboree seemed to end. Ridiculing the hysteria of the Indian press attacks on HH Karmapa, he managed to embarrass the shameless. The New York Times, Time Magazine, Indian Express, India Today – all began to express more informative journalism. And on Feb 9th Tsering Shakya, who described the plot of alleged espionage as worthy of a cheap spy thriller, gave an in-depth analysis of the Tibetan community from the perspective of Indian military intelligence. (The Karmapa Conundrum, Wall Street Journal)

The greatest surprise of the week came Friday evening when the Himachal Chief Secretary, Rajwant Sadhu, gave the all clear to HH Karmapa. We congratulated each other and celebrated, relaxing our minds into the natural state. By morning the Times of India was pushing a different story. Not one to be upstaged, the bullying investigator cum State Minister, Dhumal, in a theatrical coup worthy of the Roman arena he seems to bestride, declared he could not comply as HH Karmapa was still under investigation. The internal politics will probably play out in the next few days. Clearly there’s more work to be done.

HH Karmapa’s name has to be cleared up forever of suspicions of spying for China. The Central Government has to make a bold statement and offer him permission to travel anywhere to serve the purpose of dharma. The Karmapa’s administration has to be given permission to deposit foreign currency, since anything else is illegal. He has to be given the go-ahead to build his own monastery.

But the most important question is, what happened to ignite this fire-storm? Who was behind it? It is crucial to know the real enemies of the state, possibly enemies within. And what is the role of the ‘doppelganger’ Karmapa’s minders in all of this? Or are we expected to believe that on January 26, Independence Day, two Indian men carrying a large amount of cash in their car, were so ignorant of border security they did not realize state guards were on the alert for possible weapons and would seize anything suspicious, legal or not?

I have a feeling the media circus is satiated with the sensational aspects of this story. It’s now time for India to have a long look at how it wants to be seen in the eyes of the world and to understand they have the jewel in the crown. The Karmapa is potentially the greatest good-will ambassador India could ever have. In fact, one reporter declared he was in the office of the Foreign Secretary when HH Karmapa crossed over to Dharamsala. “Delhi’s excitement at having got such a big ‘catch’ was palpable. For good reason: The Karmapa is the only Lama recognized by both India and China.”
(The Media is Being Stupid about Karmapa, Sunday Guardian)

Before the dogs bark and the caravans move on, the beautiful bird has to be let out of the iron cage. The politicians have to understand that the Karmapa’s freedom in exile is truly on the agenda. Can they do it?

Check the facts on karmapafactvsfiction.com
 

Naomi

Asking the larger questions
 

Would we ever blame ourselves for the Tibetan crisis!,
by Satyakam Bharti

Himvani, Feb 12th 2011
 
 

So the Himachal Pradesh government continues with its flip-flop on the Karmapa issue with the state chief secretary making a formal announcement declaring that the “state government trusts him fully” a day earlier, and then the Chief Minister himself contradicting her by saying that “there is no question of giving clean chit to anybody”. A couple of days earlier the state police had made every effort to vilify the religious leader and the state political big-wigs had fought a most unlikely war of words over the issue. While the whole debate over Himachali interests being compromised through benami land deals by Tibetans was waiting far an appropriate trigger, which happened to be recovery of unaccounted cash from Karmapa’s staff, the way the political establishment and the administrative machinery have conducted themselves over the last fortnight only reflects our own naiveté.


read the complete article on himvani.com

Truth prevails
 

Indian authorities clear Buddhist leader in probe

Washington Post, Feb 11th 2011
 
 

Indian authorities on Friday cleared Tibetan Buddhism’s third most important leader in a probe into $1.35 million in cash discovered last month at his headquarters in northern India, a news report said.

Rajwant Sandhu, the top civil servant in Himachal Pradesh state, said the money found during a raid on the Karmapa’s monastery had been donated by his followers, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.


read the complete article on washingtonpost.com

February 9, 2011

Today, during the routine registration for the public audience with His Holiness Karmapa, Indian security officials were taking passports and questioning many of the foreign disciples who had come for blessing. This was the first time that I have been detained for questioning, and I must admit that the experience left me feeling a bit unnerved. The questions they asked:

  1. Are you taking a course of study in India?
  2. Have you registered in Dharamsala?
  3. What is your purpose for being here?

I answered “no” to the first two and “tourist” to the third, and held out my hand for my passport. Unfortunately, the Indian official wasn’t eager to give it back. “We’ll need to keep it until after the audience, so that we can make a copy of it.”

“Well, if you must.”

It feels like the vise of control is tightening around Gyuto, in the wake of the recent media feeding frenzy and false allegations, though I hope that this is just a temporary show of power by the Indian security, and not a protocol that will be implemented from now on.

It’s difficult to believe that foreign devotees will be interrogated every time we go for a public blessing. However, seeing the Karmapa in person offset my discomfort, for being in his shining presence always feels like a miracle to me and is worth any temporary inconvenience with the police.

After the audience, a group of us gathered together in front of a very special Guru Rinpoche statue that spontaneously emits golden powder, to recite some of the prayers that His Holiness recommended recently for the removal of obstacles.
 

Yeshe Wangmo

The big picture about the agenda of the Indian press by one of the most respected journalists in India.
 

Slandering Karmapa, by Sunanda K Datta-Ray

Deccan Herald, Feb 9th 2011
 

Karmapa’s office may be guilty of financial mishandling, but to accuse him of being China’s agent is unethical.

What intrigues me about the controversy over the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is whether home ministry officials suspect him of being a Chinese agent or of financial improprieties. It would be dishonest and dangerous if they are using the latter to imply the former so that he can be replaced by their favourite who is a rival candidate for the title. That trivialises national security to serve a private purpose.


read the complete article on deccanherald.com