Dear Vijay Kranti,
Recently you published and article about the Karmapa controversy. In that article you revisited the incidents surrounding the 1994 welcoming ceremony for Karmapa Thaye Dorje, the authentic Karmapa recognized by H.H. the ShaMarpa, which took place at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) in New Delhi. Your article stated that the ceremony was surrounded with fighting and that monks were stoning each other. This statement seems to be an attempt color the true events by casting the KIBI monks in the same light as the two busloads of men sent by Situ Rinpoche, who initiated the regrettable fighting.
At the time of this occurrence, you were a visitor to KIBI, and had, on a few occasions, interviewed ShaMar Rinpoche. As I remember, your original article in India Today Magazine reported an accurate account of this fighting. I am surprised by what appears to be your recent revision of these events.
In your first article, you wrote about your interview with Situ Rinpoche shortly after the fighting at KIBI. Situ Rinpoche was staying at Sikkim House in New Delhi, and when you asked for his comments about the incident, he remarked, “We have to practice compassion here.” This from the man who had just sent his monks to terrorize and beat KIBI ‘s occupants and guests. You then questioned Situ as to why he had sent these men to attack KIBI and the young boy. In a boldface lie, Situ replied, “Those were Nyingmapa monks.” Finally, you inquired what would happen if Shamarpa’s Karmapa came to Rumtek.
Situ’s reply was short and to the point, “It would be a blood bath. I am not joking.”
When I juxtapose your recent article with your 1994 account of this incident, I am puzzled. You have visited KIBI, and you know that there are no other Tibetan monks or monasteries near KIBI. Inside KIBI itself, there were only the monks from Rumtek, and visiting Sikkimese, Nepalese, Tibetans and other foreign guests, all of whom were followers of ShaMar Rinpoche. By your remarks in your latest article, am I now to understand that you believe these monks and disciples were engaged in fighting with each other? Given the attackers came from the outside, common sense would lead one to conclude this was not an internal struggle. The KIBI occupants who tried to repel the attackers would, by any sensible definition, be the defenders, not the aggressors.
Your newly amended version of the 1994 events in KIBI lead one to conclude that your close friendship with the Dalhi Lama has influenced and compromised your objectivity. Nevertheless, this letter is to request that you reconsider the true events, as you know them to be, which are in keeping with your earlier reporting. A careful rereading of your two articles on this matter, will, I hope, lead you to correct any misinformation caused by your most recent article.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Tsering of KIBI