17th Karmapa-affiliated Tibetan monastery receives 5-year FCRA nod amid strained ties with China

The center has granted a five-year FCRA license to the Gyuto Tantric Monastery, formerly associated with the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The monastery was a temporary abode for the Karmapa. In 2011, Himachal Police conducted searches at the monastery and claimed to have seized £7.05 million in foreign currency. Karmapa later received a clean slip.

In a phone conversation with ET, Gyuto Monastery abbot Lobsang Khedup confirmed the development, saying, “The FCRA license is intended to receive donations from abroad, particularly the United States.”

The Karmapa, who suddenly arrived in India in 2000, acquired the Commonwealth of Dominica passport in 2017-18. The 36-year-old Tibetan spiritual guru has never been recognized by India. He is one of the most persecuted leaders among Tibetans after the Dalai Lama and India has been trying to enter into dialogue with him lately. He is said to commute between European countries in connection with his teachings. The Karmapa’s representatives in India had not responded to ET’s calls as of press time.


Officials told ET that the monastery was granted the FCRA license in the religion with education category for Buddhist teachings. The license is valid for five years, so until 2027, they added. The move gains momentum as the border dispute between India and China in eastern Ladakh is inseparable from the Tibet issue. Indian and Chinese forces have witnessed violent clashes in eastern Ladakh since May 2020. Up to 15 rounds of military-diplomatic talks have been held between New Delhi and Beijing.

Foreign grants received by the organization require NGOs to register with the MHA, which assigns a unique FCRA registration number that is renewed every five years. FCRA licenses issued must have a specific cultural, economic, educational, religious, or social program. Under the amended Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2020, it is mandatory for every NGO to open an “FCRA account” with SBI, Head Office, New Delhi for the first time receiving foreign contributions from a foreign source.

The new law bans public servants from receiving foreign contributions, while making the Aadhaar number compulsory as an identification document for any officer, director or key functionary of a person receiving foreign contributions. Last month, the government extended the validity of NGOs’ FCRA registration by three months, to June 30, 2022. 17th Karmapa-affiliated Tibetan monastery receives 5-year FCRA nod amid strained ties with China

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