Himachal to have probe wing to keep tabs on Tibetans

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - In the wake of the seizure of unaccounted money from a monastery of the Karmapa Lama, the Himachal Pradesh government will set up an investigation wing to keep tabs on the activities of Tibetan exiles settled across the state, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Tuesday.

He also told the chief ministers’ conference on internal security here that he has asked the prime minister to clarify whether the Tibetans were “exiles or our guests”.

“We will set up a Tibetan refugee unit in the state intelligence department in Shimla and a refugee cell in Dharamsala to monitor the activities of the exiles settled in the state,” Dhumal said.

The refugee unit would be set up in consultation with the union ministries of home affairs and external affairs, an official statement said.

The chief minister also requested the central government to fully reimburse the expenditure being incurred on security of the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

“At present, only a small part of the expenditure is being reimbursed by the ministry of external affairs in case of the Dalai Lama while the entire expenditure on security of the Karmapa is being borne by the state,” he said.

Later talking to reporters, Dhumal said he has already apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram about seizure of unaccounted money from the Karmapa Lama’s place of residence in the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery near Dharamsala.

“I have asked the prime minister and the home minister to clarify whether the Tibetans are our guests or refugees,” he said.

He said during the raids on the monastery, the police seized currencies of 20-25 countries that included large amounts of US dollars, Chinese Yuan, Hong Kong dollars, Taiwanese and other currencies. “It’s a matter of concern for the internal security of the state.”

During the raid on the monastery, the investigating agencies last week recovered unaccounted foreign and Indian currency worth nearly Rs.70 million.

Several central and state government agencies were investigating the recovery of the money from a trust having the blessings of the Karmapa.

The most baffling part of the total seizure was the 1.1 million Chinese Yuan (Rs.7 million) and over 600,000 US dollars.

The presence of Chinese Yuan brought to the fore the Karmapa’s alleged links to China. He had arrived mysteriously from his monastery near Lhasa in Tibet region in January 2000.

The Karmapa has denied any Chinese link and termed the charges against him as “grossly speculative and without foundation”.

More than 50 years ago, the Dalai Lama fled into exile and established his government-in-exile in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The government is not recognised by any other country.

A total of 27,542 exiles are in the state, mainly in and around Dharamsala.

Filed under: Religion

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