China denies Karmapa is its spy

K J M Varma

Beijing, Jan 31 (PTI) China today denied that Karmapa,the head of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu sect, was its spy, andclaimed that allegations against the country in this regardshowed India''s "mistrustful attitude" towards Beijing.

"The speculation by India''s media, regarding thematter of the Karmapa as a Chinese agent or spy, shows thatIndia is keeping its mistrustful attitude toward China," saidXu Zhitao, an official at the United Front Work Department ofthe ruling Communist Party Central Committee.

In the first reaction to reports of raids on theoffices of a trust backed by Karmapa in the Indian press, theofficial said, "the 17th Karmapa Living Buddha (Monks in Tibetare called living Buddhas) is the first reincarnated LivingBuddha confirmed and approved by the Central Government of thePeople''s Republic of China after the peaceful liberation ofTibet in 1951."

"The reincarnation of holy men is a unique form ofsuccession in Tibetan Buddhism, which has long been recognizedand respected," Xu told state-run Global Times today.

Karmapa, heading the Karmapa sect, is informallyranked number 3 in Tibetan Buddhist spiritual religiousmilieu.

He is endorsed by both the Dalai Lama, the highestspiritual head as well as by the Chinese Government.

Where as Panchen Lama ranked second was appointed byChina and but was not backed by Dalai Lama, the highestTibetan spiritual leader denounced by China.

"Karmapa left China in 1999 for the purpose ofreligious behaviors, just as he claimed," Xu said, apparentlyreferring to the explanation provided by Karmapa''s advisor,Karma Topden in Dharmashala yesterday that one reason why themonk went to India was to complete spiritual learning processas all top teachers of his sect were based in India.

Xu, however, made no mention of Karmapa''s assertionsthe main reason why Karmapa fled to India was to escape fromthe pressure exhorted by the Chinese authorities on him todenounce Dalai Lama and support the Panchen Lama selected bythe Chinese authorities.

Karmapa whose original name is Ugyen Trinley Dorjeesaid one reason why he went to India was to seek the blessingsof Dalai Lama, who is denounced by China.

The Global Times news report also cited reports in theIndian media about protests by Karmapa supporters denyingthe allegations.

"This is not the first time that India''s media haslinked ''spies'' with China. Earlier this month, three Chinesecitizens were arrested in India on suspicion of moneylaundering and spying on border security. But the Chineseforeign ministry said they were actually tourists who hadmistakenly crossed the border from Nepal," it said.

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