In a political signal from the faction pressuring this issue, the Times of India is reporting that His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa's refugee status in India could be just about over. According to an article in Sunday's paper, discussing the alleged seizure of Chinese SIM cards from Gyuto:
"The refugee status of Karmapa would be terminating this year in June and it would be difficult for the Centre to give an extension to Karmapa for staying here in Dharamsla owing to his office allegedly being involved in money laundering amidst suspicions that most of the foreign currency had come from China."
Reaction from the Karmapa's Office of Administration was swift and fierce:
"The Karmapa Office of Administration welcomes the Central Government's expression of confidence in His Holiness the Karmapa. Union Minister Virbhadra Singh travelled to the state from Delhi and made several clear statements of support for His Holiness the Karmapa and the Tibetan community as a whole. Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Singh charged the Himachal Pradesh state government with maligning His Holiness the Karmapa. He further urged regularizing land purchase rules to grant Tibetans certain rights to own land in Himachal Pradesh, in which Dharamsala is located. Union Minister Singh is a member of the Cabinet of the Indian Government and a five-time former chief minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
However, we are disappointed to note that some press are continuing to report major inaccuracies and outright fabrications. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that reports, such as the one published most recently by Times of India, that Chinese SIM cards were seized from the monastery is pure fiction. No SIM cards were taken, as can be confirmed by the seizure list prepared (FIR No23/11, dated 26/1/2011 by the police). The repeated assertion of this outright lie constitutes baseless slander, and defames the character of one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. 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. We welcome the press to contact us to check their facts or seek comment, and call on the press to rise to the standards of responsible journalism."
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