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Dalai Lama denies his successor could be a Chinese spy

February 4, 2011

The Telegraph, 31 Jan 2011: The Dalai Lama has denied one of his possible successors is a Chinese spy or is involved in money laundering after Indian police found more than a million pounds, including Chinese Yuan, in one of his cars.

The Tibetan spiritual leader called for a thorough investigation, but issued a statement of support saying the allegations against his younger colleague were false.

Ugyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa Lama, has been a figure of suspicion within India’s exiled Tibetan community since he fled Tibet for Dharamsala at the age of 14, just over 11 years ago.

His selection as head of the Karma Kagyu sect, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, divided the faith’s senior monks. Some backed Trinley Thaye Dorje, a rival nominee, as the true reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama.

Suspicions have grown since China recognised Mr Dorje’s selection as the Karmapa Lama.

Former Indian intelligence official B Raman said last night the Karmapa Lama is suspected of being a Chinese agent sent to India to divide the exile Tibetan community when the Dalai Lama dies.

“He was selected according to Tibetan tradition but the Chinese approved his selection. They hope he will be able to use him to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama. I’m suspicious. I’ve always suspected it’s a Chinese intelligence operation. They think long-term,” he said.

P L Thakur, a senior police official in the state of Himachal Pradesh, said the investigation began after officers discovered more than £13,000 in cash when one of the Karmapa Lama’s cars was stopped at a checkpoint.

“On investigation it was found that the money pertained to Karmapa for a land deal. Further investigation led to the recovery of money from monasteries, which included foreign currency.”

“The recovery of a huge amount of Chinese currency from the monastery has to be investigated. The investigations are on,” Mr Thakur said.

The Karmapa Lama’s supporters say the cash is from donations from followers, including some from China.

A spokesman for the Dalai Lama however denied his spiritual colleague has done anything wrong.

“His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, has said thorough investigations must be carried out into the recovery of money from the monastery. His Holiness, the Karmapa, is a revered leader and receives donations from across the world but since he lives in India thorough investigations must be done. There is no question of money laundering or Chinese connection in the recovery of money from the monastery,” said Thup Ten.


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