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Dalai Lama uses donations to fund hospital

February 18, 2011

5 FEB, 2011, 02.31PM IST,IANS

DHARAMSALA: A Right to Information (RTI) plea has revealed how Tibetan
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama uses donations - with at least Rs.1
crore going towards setting up a hospital in Himachal Pradesh.

Information gathered by RTI activist Lawan Thakur of Mandi town Friday
showed that the Dalai Lama has donated Rs.1 crore to a trust setting up
a multi-speciality medical college and research institute in Palampur
town, some 40 km from his official palace here.

Apart from his own contribution, the Dalai Lama's appeal to his
followers here and abroad resulted in further donations of over Rs.1.5
crore to the trust, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party vice president and
former chief minister Shanta Kumar.

According to information obtained by Thakur, the spiritual leader
donated Rs.50 lakh twice -- on Jan 9, 2003 and Nov 29, 2003 -- to the
Vivekananda Medical and Research Trust .

On the appeal of the Dalai Lama, four people settled in New York donated
around Rs.1 crore on a single day to the trust.

Thakur told IANS that G.V. Hurag, Le Ce Yuan, Moon Chung Wang and Harish
Wey sent the money Nov 2, 2002. "However, the origin of the donors has
not been revealed in the RTI response," he added.

Similarly, US residents Muriyar Clans contributed Rs.1.2 million Nov 2,
2002, Kajooey Rawey Rs.480,000 Dec 10, 2003, and Lagi Hey Rs.226,900 Jan
12, 2004 to the trust.

Dharamsala-based Tibetan NGO Ko Tibetan Religion donated Rs.39,76,870
Sep 16, 2004.

Shanta Kumar said: "Some of the donations were received from abroad by
the trust on the appeal of the Dalai Lama to his followers."

The foundation stone of the multi-crore Vivekananda Medical College and
Research Institute was laid in 1992 and it's likely to be completed in
the next three years.

Thubten Samphel, secretary of the department of information and
international relations of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA),
told IANS: "The Dalai Lama does a lot. He donates liberally to
universities for studies on world peace, compassion, non-violence and
promoting human values. He donates in India a lot, and abroad too."

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Communist rule
in 1959. His Tibetan government-in-exile is based at McLeodganj, near
this Himachal town.

It is not recognised by any government. Over 94,000 Tibetans live in
India today.
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