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Ready for probe on US funding, says Tibetan administration

Posted on Nov 28, 10:43PM | IANS

Taking exception to allegations of misuse of funds from the United States, the Tibetan government-in-exile Wednesday said it is ready for probe.

"Any assistance by US received through the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) are accounted and audited through proper democratic mechanisms with full transparency and accountability. We welcome scrutiny by any US agency," Tibetan parliament speaker Penpa Tsering said in a letter to US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

Rohrabacher, in a letter to Tibetan political leader Lobsang Sangay Nov 19, said: "I am also aware of serious accusations that US funding meant for Tibetans may have been misspent."

"If US assistance has been misspent and perhaps even goes into the pockets of the Communist Chinese and Tibetan power brokers, I will learn of it and action will be taken," he said.

Replying to Rohrabacher, Sangay has already clarified that the CTA takes "great pride in maintaining fiscal integrity and transparency".

"Every dollar we receive in humanitarian and development assistance is accounted for, and, as required, funders receive clear, complete and timely statements on use of their finds," he said.

Rohrabacher, who is also chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Foreign Affairs, in his letter to Sangay also expressed his "outrage that actions taken by you and other Tibetan leaders such as Lobsang Nyandak, Lodi Gyari and Samdong Rinpoche are eroding support within the US Congress for the Tibetan cause."

"You and your cohorts must immediately cease making disparaging remarks and taking harmful actions aimed at the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia," the Republican leader serving his 12th term in the US Congress wrote.

Replying to the Congressman, the speaker said, "Concerning the internal matters of Radio Free Asia, we would like to assure you that we have neither in the past nor will we ever in the future interfere in its functioning".

He also clarified that "the position of the CTA in resolving the Tibetan issue is unanimously approved by the Tibetan parliament in exile and the US government has stood firmly behind us".

"We have nothing to say on your personal position on the Tibet issue," the letter, also addressed to US President Barack Obama, added.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern hilltown.