|Thursday, March 2, 2000,
bid made Karmapa flee
crisis to affect HP Budget
fair from March 5
rally at Solan
son refused bail
Murder bid made Karmapa flee
DHARAMSALA, March 1 It was an assassination bid and the constant threat to his life that prompted the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, to flee from Chiness-occupied Tibet early this year.
According to the Tibet Information Network (TIN), an attempt on the life of the 14-year-old Karmapa at Tsurphu monastery during the summer of 1998, compelled him to take the decision to flee to India.
TIN also reported that the parents of the Karmapa, Dhondup and Loga, had been put under detention by the Chinese authorities at the Chamdo prefecture after he fled to India.
In the assassination bid, two Chinese men had sneaked into the monastery with knives and explosives and had hidden in the library, which had a connecting door to the third floor room of the Karmapa. The alleged assassins were nabbed by the monks before the Karmapa returned to the monastery from a picnic. The two men admitted that they had been paid by an unnamed individual in Lhasa to make an attempt on the life of the Karmapa.
It was because of the premonition of danger that the Karmapa was unwilling to return to the monastery, despite rain at the picnic spot, some 2 km from Tsurphu, said the TIN report. Unofficial reports suggested that despite the concern amongst the monks at the monastery for the safety of the Karmapa following the incident, the local authorities discouraged further investigation into the assassination bid not step up security at Tsurphu.
Another significant reason quoted for the Karmapas departure from Tibet was that while he was offered limited privileges and concessions by the Chinese authorities, his request for access to key religious teachers, including Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, either by allowing them to travel to Tibet or permitting him to travel to India, were consistently refused.
Incidentally, since his arrival in India, the Karmapa has acknowledged the lack of religious freedom in Tibet. During the speeches made by the Karmapa during the public audiences he has been making here in Dharamsala, there is special reference of loyalty towards the Dalai Lama and the risk of total extinction of the Tibetan religious traditions and culture.
In another significant development, the parents of the 17th Karmapa, are being held under close surveillance, as part of a wide-ranging security crackdown and investigations following the escape of the Karmapa, who heads the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Attaching great political significance to the escape of the Karmapa, the authorities have instituted a wide-ranging investigation into the matter. The security operation has reportedly been extended to Nepal, with a team of officials from Tibet travelling to Kathmandu to establish further details about the route of his escape.
At the Tsurphu monastery, a Tibetan security officer and a monk responsible for the security activities, have been detained by the authorities and their whereabouts are unknown. Monks, who were part of the monastic management, are being replaced and others have been warned to improve their political attitudes. The Tsurphu Monastery, about 60 km from Lhasa, has been closed to visitors now.
According to reports received by TIN from Tibet, for several weeks after the Karmapas escape, local officials avoided making direct criticism of the Karmapa and of the Dalai Lama, in order to minimise tension at the monastery. The Chinese authorities continue to claim publicly that the Karmapa will be returning to Tibet.
As per the report, the 17th Karmapa, appears to have demonstrated an increasing unwillingness to conform to the demands of the party. He has consistently refused to make a public statement giving recognition to the boy appointed by the Chinese as the Panchen Lama. He further refused to denounce the Dalai Lama during a political meeting conducted at Tsurphu, before his escape.
There has been mixed
response to the Karmapas escape from Tibet. While
some of the Tibetans were happy that in India he will be
able to strengthen the hands of the Dalai Lama for
Tibets freedom, there are others who were seen
crying and saying that all high Lamas had left them on
HVC crisis to affect HP
SHIMLA, March 1 The crisis in the Himachal Vikas Congress is likely to cast its shadow on the Budget session beginning tomorrow. The Opposition Congress is all geared up to raise issues like lifting of 16-year-old moratorium on green felling, participation of government employees in RSS activities, saffronisation of administration and corruption.
Although the suspension of Mr Mohinder Singh, the Public Works Minister, from the Himachal Vikas Party is being referred to as internal affair of the party. The issue will come in handy for the Congress to embarrass the ruling combine. The Congress had raised the bitumen emulsion scam in the last session to pin down Mr Mohinder Singh and it will try to cash in on the developments within the HVC to further corner him.
Mr Virbhadra Singh, the Leader of the Congress Legislature Group, has indicated that his party would press the government to table in the House the report of the enquiry conducted by the Divisional Commissioner into the scandal.
The issue of government employees associating with the RSS is also likely to generate heat during the session. In fact, the Congress may not spare even the Governor, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, who, as recently alleged, was functioning as an RSS activist and not as a constitutional head. Mr Virbhadra Singh, however, made it clear that the party would not do anything to mar the dignity of the high office he was holding.
Besides, old issues like saffronisation of services and institutions, irregularities and favouritism in appointments, discrimination in development and undermining of panchayati raj institutions, the party would focus its attention on the controversial decision of felling green trees.
The felling of forests has been a major political and environment issues in the State all these years and the Congress which took credit for imposing the ban, would exploit it to the hilt.
The BJP which is in upbeat mood after wresting the Solan seat from the Congress will use its electoral victory to run down the Opposition. Mr P.K. Dhumal, the Chief Minister, who ensured the party's win in Solan seat against all odds singlehandedly, is in a good position to counter the Congress attack by claiming that the programme, policies and performance of his government have been once again been endorsed by the people.
The session beginning on March 2 and ending on April 18 will be the longest ever in the history of Vidhan Sabha. According to Mr Gulab Singh, the Speaker, there will be as many as 26 sittings during the sessions with three private members day, which was also the highest for any session.
Mr P.K. Dhumal, who is also the Finance Minister, will present the general Budget for 2000-2001 on March 9 and the supplementary demands for the current year on March 3. There will be a nine-day recess from March 17 during which house committees will scrutinise the Budget proposals of various departments.
The election to the Rajya Sabha seat falling vacant due to completion of Mr S. Borangpa's term, will also be held during the session.
Shivratri fair from March 5
MANDI, March 1 Mandi's centuries old Shivratri Fair will begin here on March 5 with the Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, inaugurating the eight-day event with traditional pooja of Madho Rai in front of Damdama Palace.
After the prayer, the Chief Minister will join the 'shobha yatra' of Madho Rai. Over 100 hill gods accompanied by thousands of devotees, officials and eminent residents of the town, mounted police, contingents of the NCC and Home-Guards and police bands will follow the yatra.
Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, will visit this town to see the cultural programme on the evening of March 7.
This temple town has been dressed up to give a warm welcome to over 100 hill deities. The shops and temples have been tastefully decorated and the town wears a festive look.
Mr Prabodh Saxena, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman of the Mela Committee, says that film stars and Mumbai artists have not been invited because of their mounting prices and to avoid criticism in the media that huge amount is spent on getting 'cheap' film music.
An internationally famed group of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra will regale the audience this time. Artists from other states are also coming. Bhupinder Singh and Mitali will present ghazals. Artists from different parts of Himachal Pradesh will get more time this year to present cultural events, says Mr Saxena.
The star attraction of the fair will be Gramshiri Mela organised by the Council for Advancement of People Action in which the artisans from the different parts of country will exhibit their products. Shivratri sports and other programmes will also be organised. Elaborate security and traffic arrangements have also been made.
Mr Saxena says a sum of Rs 30 lakh will be spent on the fair.
Victory rally at Solan
SOLAN, March 1 The entire state cabinet, and chairpersons of public corporations boards led by Chief Minister P K Dhumal and BJP top brass headed by state president Suresh Chandel today descended on this town to attend the victory rally of BJP MLA Rajiv Bindal.
Mr Dhumal said the Congress as well as 'some of our own disgruntled men' had attempted to divide the people on caste and area lines. He thanked the electorate for rejecting such elements and showing their preference for the official BJP candidate.
In yet another dig at his arch rival Shanta Kumar, Mr Dhumal said, it was time the politicians went in for a serious introspection and used politics as a tool for serving the people and not for furthering personal ambitions.
The Chief Minister
announced a special additional grant of Rs 25 lakh each
for the proposed construction of the Zonal Hospital, the
Sub-Jail and the Sadhpul lake. He said the MLA fund of Rs
15 lakh would also be immediately released to Mr Bindal
for use in developmental schemes of the Solan
DIGs son refused bail
SHIMLA, March, 1 Mr Justice M.R. Verma of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, today rejected the anticipatory bail application of Suraj Gupta, son of a DIG from whom a stolen Honda City car along with three fake registration certificates and number plates, were recovered last month.
Opposing the application Mr K.D. Batish, Additional Advocate-General informed the court that though the accused had joined the investigation, he was not telling the truth. He told the police that he had purchased the car from a Chandigarh-based dealer, Mr Ranjan, but the statement turned out to be false. There was no dealer of this name and no Honda City car was sold on that particular day. He said in light of this custodial interrogation was essential to get at the truth. The car was stolen from Delhi.
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