FPMT International Office has received considerable correspondence regarding the alleged misconduct by Dagri Rinpoche and the decision to suspend Dagri Rinpoche from the FPMT Tibetan Teachers List. (See the timeline below for details.)
International Office acknowledges the very real suffering experienced by the women who have made allegations of misconduct by Dagri Rinpoche, and understand how difficult it is to speak out publically about this. We appreciate their courage in speaking out.
We also want to recognize Dagri Rinpoche’s service to the FPMT organization as a teacher for more than fifteen years. We have received no complaints about his actions over the past eight years.
International Office remains committed to helping local FPMT centers, projects, and services in creating a supportive and respectful environment for the students who study and practice there, and for the teachers who teach there. We continue to emphasize the FPMT Ethical Policy as a way to ensure these positive conditions.
The FPMT Ethical Policy is available for all to read on the FPMT website, and has been since it was first created in 2000. Allegations of misconduct are received with an open mind and a warm heart. In response to any complaint, the FPMT organization follows the guidelines described in Problem Solving within the FPMT Organization. We understand the importance of supporting and protecting teachers, and students, while any allegations are investigated.
Since 2011 (see our timeline below), International Office, relying on input from professionals and stakeholders, created and updated guidelines to support interactions between teachers, students, and staff, as a supplement to the FPMT Ethical Policy. Clauses within the Ethical Policy itself also have been updated on several occasions in order to capture and insist upon improved understanding of best practice.
In addition, the FPMT Ethical Policy and problem solving guidelines are regularly taken up and discussed at FPMT regional and national meetings, and at meetings of ordained FPMT Sangha. This is to keep the importance of abiding by the Ethical Policy in the minds of all in positions of authority within the FPMT organization.
There has been a lot of misunderstanding as to what the FPMT organization has done after becoming aware of Jakaira Perez Valdivia’s allegation. In order to clarify, and to prevent further misunderstanding, here is our timeline:
- International Office was alerted by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama about an allegation of sexual assault made by a Western nun (Jakaira Perez Valdivia) against Dagri Rinpoche. The alleged assault did not take place at an FPMT center, and the communication from the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the first we had heard about it. Therefore, FPMT International Office felt that the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the appropriate body to investigate the allegation.
- The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama informed us that they had investigated the allegation and that it was resolved. They informed us that Dagri Rinpoche understood the seriousness of the allegations and committed to avoiding situations that could give rise to similar allegations in the future.
- Based on the outcome of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s investigation, International Office decided that Dagri Rinpoche should remain on the list of FPMT Tibetan teachers. We talked directly with Dagri Rinpoche to ensure that he understood the seriousness of this allegation.
- We alerted FPMT regional and national coordinators, who organize teacher tours, of the allegation of misconduct and the outcome of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s investigation. We asked the coordinators to alert centers that had invited or were planning to invite Dagri Rinpoche of this information.
- Jakaira Perez Valdivia emailed International Office, asking us to provide her with an apology from Dagri Rinpoche as she had heard that Dagri Rinpoche was defaming her in FPMT centers. We looked into the matter and were able to respond that we found no evidence that Dagri Rinpoche had spoken negatively about her and that he had considered the matter closed since the meeting with the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
- International Office was alerted of another student who had said she was inappropriately touched by Dagri Rinpoche in 2010. We contacted the student directly to learn more. The student—who wished, and continues to wish, to remain unnamed—decided to not make any public allegation nor take the matter further based on the outcome of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s investigation in 2011.
- International Office reminded FPMT regional and national coordinators of the outcome of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s investigation into Dagri Rinpoche in 2011, as part of our going safeguarding process.
- As of the beginning of May 2019, International Office had received no other complaints about the conduct of Dagri Rinpoche, nor heard any public allegations of misconduct by Dagri Rinpoche.
- On May 3, an American woman filed a police complaint in India, alleging that Dagri Rinpoche sexually harassed her during a flight from Delhi to Gaggal. The Indian police began an investigation. We verified this directly with the police station involved.
- In response to the May 3 allegation, International Office suspended Dagri Rinpoche from the FPMT Tibetan Teachers List.
- On May 14, International Office posted the public statement “Update Regarding Dagri Rinpoche.”
- On May 14, International Office posted “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Advice to Students of Dagri Rinpoche.” (This letter is advice specifically for students of Dagri Rinpoche, to help them.)
- We were informed that a Korean woman had made an allegation against Dagri Rinpoche on Facebook. On May 15, that woman, Youngsun Shin, reached out to us directly to inform us of her allegation of inappropriate physical contact by Dagri Rinpoche in Dharamsala in 2008. We are in correspondence with Youngsun Shin.
- On May 24, International Office created the page “Updates Regarding Dagri Rinpoche,” where updates and links on this issue will be shared.
- On May 24, International Office posted “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Additional Advice to Students of Dagri Rinpoche.” (This is a second letter of advice specifically for students of Dagri Rinpoche.)
While we await the results of the Indian police investigation, we are continuing a correspondence with Jakaira Perez Valdivia. We are also seeking professional assistance, and committed to continue to improve our current policies and procedures.
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