Tibetan Lama Dagri Rinpoche faces “Me Too” allegations

Dagri Rinpoche in a 2013 file photo.

Dagri Rinpoche in a 2013 file photo. Photographer unknown

By Lobsang Wangyal

McLEOD GANJ, India, 8 May 2019

Senior Tibetan Buddhist teacher Dagri Rinpoche, who had been accused of molestation earlier this month while on a flight from Delhi to Gaggal, is now facing another molestation charge.

On 3 May a woman filed a police complaint stating that Dagri Rinpoche molested her on board Air India flight that day. Gaggal police detained him for enquiries.

The investigations are going on, but the 65-year-old Rinpoche is now said to be out on bail.

Following this incident, Jakaira Perez Valdivia from Spain has come out with a video accusing him of molesting her at his residence at Namgyal Monastery in McLeod Ganj in 2008. At the time she was a Buddhist nun and living in Dharamshala.

In a YouTube video that Valdivia posted on Tuesday, she said that it took a long time for her to come out and tell what had happened because some people tried to convince her that it didn’t happen, or that whatever he did was out of compassion.

She said in the video that she knew of many other women who had been molested by Dagri Rinpoche. She urged them to come forward to tell their stories.

In 2010, Valdivia wrote a four-page declaration detailing the incident, in which she explained that she had approached Rinpoche for blessing and advice for a disk hernia problem so that she could avoid surgery.

Rinpoche invited her to his residence where he asked her to lay down and take off her clothes so that he could perform “some work” on her. Trusting in him as a revered monk, she removed her outer layer of robes.

He gave her an alcoholic drink saying it was a “holy substance”, which he drank several times during the session, also pouring it on her body.

He touched her body, tried to reach her private parts, and pushed his penis against her back all the while she was protecting herself from his actions.

The four-page statement she wrote was given to the Kangra police. Copies were sent to the Dalai Lama’s Office, and also to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) as he is one of FPMT’s revered touring teachers.

The Dalai Lama’s office set up a meeting between the two of them, for Dagri Rinpoche to apologise. Valdivia said that since he apologised, she didn’t go to the police. FPMT members said he was trying to give a compassionate massage to her.

Dagri Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1958 and escaped to India in 1982. He is a reincarnation of a great geshe of Lhasa, Pari Dorje Chang, and holds a Geshe Lharampa degree (equivalent to PhD).

Valdivia concluded her video by saying: “Dharma is about telling the truth.” She called on FPMT to face the truth, asking: “What will you do now?”

Copyright © 2019 Lobsang Wangyal Published in Tibet Sun Posted in News » Tags: , , ,