The office of Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorji has denied the deal for purchase of land by the Karmapa-backed Karmae Garchen Trust was "benami."
"We wish to reiterate that this was in no way a benami land deal and the land in question was being purchased in the Trust's own name, with full knowledge of the Indian government", Karma Topden and Deki Chungyalpa, official spokespersons of the Karmapa's office, said.
They claimed the Trust had received a no-objection certificate from the Town and Country Planning Department of the Himachal Pradesh government on December 3, 2010, indicating the state government’s preliminary approval to proceed with the plans to purchase the land.
The spokespersons said since his arrival in India in 2000, the Karmapa had been hosted in a temporary residence in Dharamsala at Gyuto Monastery which belongs to a different Tibetan Buddhist sect.
The Karmae Garchen Trust was seeking to purchase the land in its own name for building a permanent residence and monastery for the Karmapa. They claimed the Dalai Lama had again publicly reaffirmed his confidence in the Karmapa and reiterated that the money seized was unsolicited donations.
The Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, also paid a cordial visit yesterday to the Karmapa at his temporary residence located on the grounds of Gyuto Monastery, the spokespersons added.