you for your letter of 19 Sept., 2005. You said, " I fear you have
misunderstood my last letter. When I say I spoke to a number of
people who wished to remain anonymous, I was referring to the book
as a whole, not to the paragraph about the donation.
the donation, you said in your letter of 19 July, 2005, “ One the
question of the donation, I spoke to a number of people on both
sides of the controversy and also disinterested parties…”. It should
be clear that the complaint is specifically about your not providing
proof of the donation in the light of my earlier objections.
your letter of 19 Sept. 2005 again , you said, "As I explained to
you the source of the story about the donation was a single person.
This person requested anonymity, which I am obliged to honour. This
is basic journalistic practice, which I am sure you will understand.
If you are told something in confidence you are not in a position
to breach that ."
cannot understand the value or nature of your professional ethics:
that you have obligation to a questionable source but not to me,
the entire subject of your story. Would that mean I had to accept
your verdicts – just because you are a journalist?
is the basis of ethics, and rights always equal responsibility.
But somehow your journalistic practice looks the other way so that
a journalist is able to exercise many rights over his subjects but
zero moral responsibility toward them. That makes your position
insensitive to say the least.
You also said, “ I have further explained to you that I have checked
back with this person and that they have assured me that their recollection
on this matter is accurate. "
you insist that your source's recollection is accurate but reject
my 'recollection' that I, who is supposed to be the receiver of
the $24,000 donation, had never seen or received it. When I think
it over, I finally had to conclude that you must have physical evidence
what you claim. The informant or the person who has intimate knowledge
of the donation must also be the carrier of the money, but money
which he pocked, leaving me, the legitimate donee in the dark as
he must to hide the crime. But to convince you of his integrity
(hence indirectly to convince the donor) he must have volunteered
the ‘evidence' which in the business of donations usually comes
in the form of an attached letter. Now you must produce the evidence
to clear the air. In any case it will not compromise your professional
ethics as a letter of this kind would not bear the name(s) of the
carrier(s). The alternative must be that your donation story is
a complete fabrication.
in my judgment and with my wide experience of people, I can tell
you with confidence that this particular person is so worried now
that even the 'hair shading his ear' must be trembling with fear
– fear of having to answer for his deeds at a place of justice.
said, "…. my publisher and I have decided that as a gesture of goodwill
the anecdote will not be included in subsequent reprints and translations
of the book. I trust this will bring this matter to a close. "
and your publisher should do whatever you decide.
there remain many issues of a biased or accusatory nature that need
clarification. For example, you say in the last moments of his life
the 16 th Karmapa did not want to see me but called for Situ Rinpoche
instead. But that would be extraordinary. The late 16th Karmapa
was my direct uncle but had assumed the position of father of me
and my brother since our own father and other uncles had passed
away when we were children. Although unfounded the comment on me
is large; and yet it is mean and cold. Again, it is the same question
regarding sources. You had the perfect chance to cross-check with
me during our interview in Delhi before publication of the book;
yet you did not do it. So it does seem that you had tried to avoid
raising the question altogether.
name-dropping Topga Rinpoche in the recounting of Damchu Yongdu's
death has in effect cast a dark shadow over the impeccable name
of the Royal Bhutanese family. Does it deserve such a treatment?
Does British ‘journalistic practice' give you the right to smite
an innocent Bhutanese family even though Bhutan is thousands of
miles from the United Kingdom ?
the Black Crown you said you would remove the parts I objected to
in future editions. But serious doubts have already been raised
by your book, removing them will make no difference. The only beneficiaries
of these unfounded stories will be Situ and Akong Rinpoches' party
since the stories will help cover up the guilt of what many people
suspect they may have already done to the Crown during the years
when it was in their immediate care and custody. Because of the
seriousness of the situation surrounding the fate of the Crown,
I have to request that you submit your story's references to the
Gangtok Court to rectify the errors caused. Alternatively, you can
rectify the errors by good document, which no doubt will bring the
dispute to a quick end.
regarding your note on Mr. Neeraj's error, I have informed him and
the mistake will be rectified in due course.
my best regards,
>> Please read the response
from Mick Brown to this letter