|July 29, 2000Tenzin Geyche Tethong Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama Dharamsala, H.P. IndiaDear Mr. Tenzin G. Tethong, Thank you for your letter of July 14, 2000. I would like to clarify an apparent misunderstanding contained in it.
When I met with H.H. the Dalai Lama on January 3, 1997, I did not identify Chogye Trichen Rinpoche as the person who has the Sixteenth Karmapa’s instructions regarding the rebirth of the Seventeenth Karmapa Thaye Dorje. I also did not request any recognition for Thaye Dorje to be Karmapa, nor did I request permission for him to be the seat holder of Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center.
During my visit His Holiness I requested that he grant an audience to the Karmapa Thaye Dorje who had been independently recognized and enthroned according to traditional Karma Kagyu methods. H.H. the Dalai Lama happily agreed to this, but unfortunately the audience could not take place at the appointed time because of threats of violence made by Situ Rinpoche’s party.
Regarding the matter of how I recognized the Karmapa Thaye Dorje, I informed H.H. the Dalai Lama that I started the investigation of the baby boy after hearing the auspicious indications that Chogye Trichen Rinpoche reported to me. This has been my consistent position from the beginning, which I stated publicly and in writing at the International Karma Kagyu Conference ten months before my meeting with H.H. the Dalai Lama.
After my meeting with His Holiness I again clarified this point. A letter to me from the office of H.H. the Dalai Lama dated February 3, 1997, with an enclosed copy of Chogye Trichen Rinpoche’s letter to the Tibetan Government in Exile dated July 29, 1996, refers to this issue.
Chogye Trichen Rinpoche’s letter verifies that he had indications. However, it does not refer in any way to a request by the Office of the Tibetan Government in Exile, I again tried to clarify this point, and stated that Chogye Trinchen Rinpoche is not the person who has the instructions of the Sixteenth Karmapa.
During my most recent meeting on June 20, 2000, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he again casually referred to Chogye Trinchen Rinpoche as having instructions of the Sixteenth Karmapa. Out of respect for His Holiness I did not argue this point directly, but told him that I have a copy of the letter mentioned above. I will not respond to other issues raised in your letter at this time, however I feel that I must mention role of Chogye Trinchen Rinpoche so that the record is clear and correct. I fully understand that because of your busy schedule and many responsibilities it is difficult for you to check all of these details. However, if you trace the past records the chronology will become clear.