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08february201100989Dharamshala: The Karmapa Office of Administration has released a statement on Monday (7 February) expressing its immense gratitude to those who have shown their unwavering support for the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche both within India and from around the world. The statement comes after Matteo Mecacci, a member of the Italian Parliament, paid a personal visit to the Karmapa yesterday at his residence in Dharamshala to show his support.

The Italian MP, who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, came with the goals of showing his solidarity with the Karmapa amid the current controversy and requesting spiritual solidarity in return, while at the same time expressing unaltered faith in the Indian judicial system.

The Office's statement also condemned what it labelled 'libelous press reports' over the weekend which claimed that Chinese SIM cards had been found on the premises, firmly denying the reports which it says constitute 'libel and outright defamation of character'. The Karmapa's Office claims that no SIM cards were seized from the Karmapa's residence and that Inspector Ramesh Rama of the Kangra police, who was involved in conducting the raids, has backed up this claim.

In refuting the allegations, the Office says it condemns the publishing of 'fictitious' reports by media outlets, naming Times of India as a culprit, and says that journalists should confirm their facts before reporting them and damaging the reputation of such an important figure in Tibetan Buddhism. The Office made it clear that "the fact that such fictitious reports are published without contacting the accused party's spokespersons for comments indicates that these members of the press are are not objective reporters", calling on the press to "rise to the standards of responsible journalism".

The statement concludes that the Karmapa Office of Administration has "issued letters to the editors of the relevant publications seeking an immediate retraction and apology", adding that the Office welcomes any contact from members of the press wishing to check their facts or seek comment.

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