Shimla (March 31): The amount spent on providing security to Tibetan spiritual leaders – the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa – continues to be shrouded in secrecy.
A legislator’s attempt in Himachal Pradesh state Assembly to get information on the issue from the state government on Wednesday proved futile. Launching a scathing attack on the central government for not providing timely information on amount spent on their security, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the central government has so
far failed to reply in this regard.
“It’s the inefficiency of the central government officials not to provide us information despite our repeated requests,” Dhumal said while replying to a question from Kaul Singh of the Congress on how much money was being spent annually by the central and state governments on the security of the Tibetan leaders.
Dhumal said since a number of central security agencies were also involved in their security, therefore it was difficult to estimate how much amount is being spent. The Chief Minister while speaking at the Chief Ministers’ conference on internal security in Delhi on February 1 had asked the Prime Minister to clarify whether the Tibetans settled in Himachal were “exiles or guests”.
“We will set up a Tibetan refugee unit in the state intelligence department in Shimla and a refugee cell in Dharamsala to monitor the activities of the exiless settled,” he added. The Chief Minister also requested the central government to fully reimburse the expenditure being incurred on security of the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
“At present, only a small part of the expenditure is being reimbursed by the ministry of external affairs in case of the Dalai Lama while the entire expenditure on security of the Karmapa is being borne by the state,” he said.
A total of 27,542 exiles are in the state, mainly in and around Dharamsala.