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30january2011083Dharamshala: Addressing the press conference, held at Gyuto monastery in Dharamshala on Sunday (30 January), Tibetan spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee explained that there were five reasons why His Holiness came to India to seek refugee status. The advisor to Karmapa office and Former Indian Ambassador to Mangolia, the Tibetan Finance Minister, Tsering Dhondup, Indian high court lawyer Naresh Mathur, several members of Tibetan parliament in exile and representatives of five Tibetan NGOs were attended the press meeting.

The statement of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, which was delivered by Karma Topden, Spokesperson of Karmapa Reception Committee in Sikkim was aimed at quelling the groundless allegations leveled against the Karmapa. The press conference, which was attended by major Indian and Tibetan media networks addressed the speculation that the Karmapa is a "Chinese spy" and "possessed money through illegal deals" which have appeared in the Indian media.

"The first reason was that the Chinese are beginning to put pressure on him to go against the Dalai Lama and to support the Panchen Lama selected by them [Chinese government]. The Karmapa did not want to be put in this position of going against the Dalai Lama. So he decided to leave Tibet," Karma Topden explained.

"The second reason for coming to India was that he wanted to complete his spiritual studies. For the completion of his spiritual studies, he has to receive the oral teachings according to Karma Kagyu tradition from the gurus of his lineage who had also received them directly from the 16th Karmapa directly, his predecessor. All these gurus were in India. And since they could not come to Tibet to give these teachings, he decided to come to India so that he could receive the teachings and complete his spiritual education," he continued.

"The third reason was that he wanted to see the Dalai Lama and to receive His Holiness' blessings."

30january2011084"The fourth reason was that he had heard a lot about the activities of his illustrious predecessor, the 16th Karmapa, all his activities in India and in Sikkim where he settled in Rumtek Monastery which became his headquarter in India. As he heard a lot about this, he wanted to come to India to visit and see these places. Also he had heard a lot about the activities of his predecessor in India from where traveled to other countries and spread the words of Dharma and set up various Karma Kagyu centres all around the world. So the 17th Karmapa wanted to follow the footsteps of the 16th Karmapa. Believing and knowing that India is a free country unlike Tibet, where there is suppression and religious freedom is not allowed, he had come to India so that he could freely gain spiritual knowledge from his gurus and freely practice and preach Dharma in India and in the rest of the world. That was the main reason for his coming to India."

"Fifthly, when he came to India he was given refuge in India. He is very grateful for the refuge given to him by the government and people of India and for all the courtesies and hospitalities shown to him throughout his stay in India. He continuous to be very grateful and shall remain grateful always to the people and government of India. Throughout his stay in India, he has been conscious of his obligations to India and he has prayed for the welfare of the people of India and he continues to do that even now."

In concluding the press statement from the Karmapa he added, "he assures me that he has not done anything while in India in any way to undermine and harm the interest of India. India is his second home and he is happy here. He looks forward to India becoming a powerful and prosperous nation. He has no intention in any way of undermining anything against the interest of India. This is what he has asked me to convey."

Following this announcement a number of Tibetan NGOs have also issued statements, fully supporting the Karmapa. "The Tibetan people across the world are deeply hurt by the baselesss allegations of Chinese links on the Karmapa after the police raids at his exile residence on 27 and 28th January, 2011. The media has gone overboard and spread speculations of "Chinese Links" which are totally baseless and cannot hold any evidence."

Adding, "His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is not only the leader of Kagyu sect of the Tibetan Buddhism, but Buddhists across the world. He has been recognised by Tibet's spiritual and political leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as the 17th Karmapa in the tradtion of the Tibetan Buddhist that is more than 900 years old. Moreover, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has been living in exile receiving his traditional Buddhist educations in Dharamshala."

The five Tibetan NGOs, TYC, TWA, Guchusum, NDPT and SFT made the statement on behalf of the Tibetan people, who protest in absolute terms the allegations of "Chinese Link" with the Karmapa, "We have absolute faith and trust in His Holiness and Tibetan people revere him and hold him in high esteem."