Tibetan Government in Exile Expresses Solidarity with Karmapa

Karmapa Lama, the third highest ranking Lama, pauses during an interview with Reuters in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala March 2, 2009. He is a "living Buddha" with an iPod, the 23-year-old possible successor to the Dalai Lama who may bridge t

The Tibetan parliament in exile based in Dharamsala expressed solidarity with the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje at a press conference on Saturday, two days after reports emerged that huge amount of money were seized from Gyuto Monastery, Karmapa’s transit home in a police raid.

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Penpa Tsering said that members of the parliament had called on the Karmapa and expressed their solidarity with him. He said that Karmapa was completely at ease when they met him on Friday.

“During the audience, Gyalwang Karmapa said he has no knowledge about the issue since he does not interfere in such matters,” said Penpa

Tibetan Parliament said the large amount of cash seized from Karmapa’s monastery were from religious offerings from followers and devotees.

“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,” said Penpa.

Penpa said Karmapa usually doesn’t supervise the offerings, both cash and in kind, from the devotees and that it is looked after by his aides. "I think all this happened mainly because people don't know the law. It is not like we are doing this because we want to break the law. Many people send large amounts of money to the Lama as a token of respect. If anybody is trying to talk of any conspiracy, it is totally unwarranted," he told the press.

At his Gyuto Tantric Monastery near Dharamsala in northern India, Karmapa receives visitors on a regular basis, many of whom leave offerings or donations in cash.

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and considered the third most important leader in Tibetan hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama.