Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, replying to the questions ofÂ Tibetan Media persons stationed at Dharsmshala, made it categorically clear that the people of Himachal Pradesh had high regards for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom they consider â€˜Living Buddhaâ€™. He said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had made Himachal Pradesh his home in exile for the past half century and enjoys high esteem with the local populace. He said that he personally also respect him and the State Government is committed to protect him.
Chief Minister said that the State would be protecting every law abiding Tibetan living in Himachal Pradesh but would not permit unlawful activities. Every person whether local Himachali, resident of any State of the Union of India or foreigner had to respect the law of the land as no one is above law. He said that the State Government does not believe in labeling wild allegations against any body. He said that local people and Tibetans had been co-existing in a most amicable environment for the past fifty years and the traditions should continue.
Prof. Dhumal said that it was under routine checking at the border of the State at Mehatpur that currency notes worth one crore were found in a vehicle which was entering the State with fake documents. It was not expected that the catch would be linked to the Monastry of Karamapa. On investigation of the case the link was established and the investigating agencies had to take the course of law to deal with the case. During the investigation process large amount of foreign currency was found in the Monastry and the Central Investigating Agencies also joined the investigation. He said that none of the State Authorities had uttered any word against Karamapa.
Chief Minister said that the news items appearing in the press and telecast on the electronic media had been their own presumptions wherein the State Government has no hand. He said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had also said that â€˜Let there be thorough probe to bring out the truthâ€™. He said that since the foreign currency matter related to the Government of India and the State had least role to play in the matter. He advised the Monastry authorities to justify the donations before the Central Investigating Agencies.
Chief Minister said that he was sore over the uncalled behaviour of the Tibetan youth living in Himachal Pradesh regarding whom reports of indulging into various unlawful activities and irritating the local people have been received some times. He said that he had been receiving such complaints from different quarters addressed direct to his office which were being viewed seriously. He said that he would appeal to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama to advise his followers to respect law of the land and live in a most friendly atmosphere with local people.
Prof. Dhumal said that there were prescribed norms for everyone to stay in Himachal or purchase land for residential and other purposes which had to be followed and disobedience in any manner would be dealt with as per the law of the land.
Chief Minister assured the Tibetans that the State Government would extend all possible assistance to protect every law abiding Tibetan and appealed to them maintain most friendly relations with the local people and others visiting Dharamshala and other Tibetan habitations in the State.