By VISHAL ARORA
c. 2011 Religion News Service
NEW DELHI (RNS) In an unprecedented probe of exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks, Indian officials want to know why top Buddhist leaders had $1.5 million in cash stashed away at their headquarters in Dharmsala.
Police seized $1.5 million of cash in Indian and foreign currencies, including Chinese yuan, in a recent raid on the monastery of the Karmapa Lama, the No. 3 leader within Tibetan Buddhism.
Addressing his supporters on Thursday (Feb. 3) for the first time since the raid, the Karmapa Lama called allegations that he is a Chinese spy the result of “misunderstandings and mistakes.”
Indian officials have suspected Chinese links with the 25-year-old Karmapa Lama ever sever since his 2000 escape from Tibet. The Karmapa Lama’s office has said the money was “unsolicited donations” from followers from around the world, including in mainland China. Other monasteries are now expected to face investigation.
“India, in contrast to communist China, is a free country, a democratic country that is based on the rule of law,” he told his followers. “Therefore I trust that things will improve and the truth will become clear in time. So please be at ease. There is no need to worry.”