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[This version: 4 May 1994]
Date:         Wed, 4 May 1994 01:53:57 +0100
Reply-To: Tibet Interest List 
Sender: Tibet Interest List 
From: Michael Farmer 
Subject:      Re: Karmapa/Sharmapa

The Press Release below (which was printed on Rumteck Monastery
stationary) has been passed to me by Namgyal Tsering, a monk in Situ
Rinpoche. He tells me that Situ Rinpoche wishes to see it widely
circulated. It was published following some disturbances in Delhi at
the time of Tenzin Chentse's "enthronement" ceremony.

(Note: spelling and line breaks are as in original document)

New Delhi. April 4, 1994

Press Release
             TO THE KAGYU THRONE

The entire Tibetan community were greatly preturbed when a small
faction of the Karma Kargyu order of Tibetan Buddhists, on 17
March 1994, suddenly performed a welcome ceremony at Delhi for a
young boy allegedly named Tenzin Chentse who they claim on the basis
of some vague credentials to be the seventeenth Karmapa.
The indignation and consequent scuffles that followed are a
matter of sorrow and regret to a community that deeply believes
in truth, peace and harmony.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on 29th March 1994 received a
delegation representing almost all the heads of the Kagyu order
and was appraised of these unfortunate developments. He strongly
reaffirmed that there can only be one Karmapa on the throne and
the he is Ugyen Trinlay Dorji who has already been enthroned at
Tsurphu in Tibet. The Dalai Lama reiterated that this decision is
final and impossible to change.

The Dalai Lama was distressed by some media and other reports
concerning these matters and instructed his cabinet to write to
all Tibetan Buddhists, The Home minister of india and the  Chief
minister of the State of Sikkim affirming his satisfaction
concerning the enthronement of the 17th Karmapa and dismissed as
baseless some mischevous allegations concerning any Chinese

In our capacities as the leaders  of the Kagyu order of  Tibetan
Buddhists,  we are making our official position clear that there
can  be no other Karmapa than Ugyen Trinley Dorji.  Today,  the
Kagyu order is one among the four major Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist
orders and accounts for about 20% of the Tibetan followers and
between a third to a half of the followers in Sikkim, Ladakh,
Bhutan and Nepal. This order also has  a large following among
some 100,00 foreigners from, South East Asia, Europe and
North America.  It has nearly 200 monasteries in  Tibet, 30 in
India and Nepal and over 200 meditation centres around the world.


The supreme head of the Karma Kagyu order has always been the
Karmapa in a succession of incarnations since the eleventh
century. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa passed away on
November 5, 1981 at the age of 58. The four regents agreed, in
writing, to administer the affairs of the sect by rotation.  The
'letter of prediction' was discovered in a brocade talisman which
the Karmapa had given to Tai Situ Rimpoche ten months before his
passing away on November 5, 1981. This discovery was shown to all
the regents on March 22, 1992 and was initially greeted by
universal joy. However, soon thereafter, Shamar Rimpoche and his
followers began to behave strangely and threaten the solidarity
of the Kagyu community.

Details concerning all these events, the circumstances of the
discovery of the seventeenth Karmapa on the basis of the 'letter
of prediction', his formal approval by the Dalai Lama, his
enthronement at Tsurphu in Tibet and the unfortunate incidents on
March 17, 1994 are noted in the attached background note.

On behalf of all members of the Kagyu community we collectively
appeal to all followers and especially the followers of our dear
and respected colleague Shamar Rimpoche to honour the sacred
tradition of Tibetan incarnation where there can only be one
incarnation of the revered Karmapa. We earnestly appeal to all
followers of the Kagyu order so that we can stand together and
ensure that no external interests can break our unity and we can
all work together for truth, peace and harmony which is our
message to the world in these troubled times.

The 12th Tai Situ Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.

The 12th Gyaltsab Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.

Ponlop Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama.

Trangu Rimpoche. Supreme Abbot of the Karma Kargyu order.

Bokar Rimpoche. Supreme Meditation Master of the Kagyu liniage.

Drupon Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama

Khenpolodoe Dhonyu. Abbot of the Kagyu liniage.

Lama Gyaltsen. General Secretary of the Dhaksang Kagyu liniage.

Tenzin Namgyal. General Secreary of Kagyu International head
Quarters of the Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek.

For further information please contact Murad Ali Baig.
R-8 Hauz Khas, New Delhi, 11006. Tel 665512, 6854751

Attached to the preceeding Press Release was another document, also
dated April 4th, 1994 and titled "A Background note concerning the
Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism and issues relating to the Karmapa

As several people in this thread seem to have already read the
so-called "Karmapa Papers" -(apparently representing the views of
Sharma Rinpoche and his followers) - I will also be posting this
background note here once I have re-typed it from the hard copy) as it
represents the case as stated by the followers of Situ Rinpoche and
the Karmapa enthroned at Tsurphu.

-Chris Fynn


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