(TibetanReview.net, Dec09, 2017) – The much controverted amount of $1.5 million cited as a ground for the removal of the representative at the Office of Tibet, Washington, DC, was a loan but expected from the very beginning to become a grant to the CTA, subject to certain conditions, at an undefined future date within a 30-year period. This was the gist of an explanation put forth by the Tibet Fund, the would-be-grant giver, in a Dec 6 statement.
The would-be grant loan was made in 2014 to facilitate the purchase of a new Office of Tibet building in Washington, DC, which also houses the Tibet Fund. Both the offices were previously based in New York City.
The Tibet Fund statement said: “The Tibet Fund entered into a $1,500,000 loan agreement with the Office of Tibet on Mar 31, 2014 to facilitate the CTA’s purchase of a building in Washington DC. The loan is scheduled to be repaid in thirty years. All of the terms concerning the loan were agreed and confirmed in written documents consistent with customary legal practice in New York. At the request of Office of Tibet, the loan was made to the Tibetan Community Development Fund Inc.”
However, the statement also said, quoting a statement dated Jul 6, 2017 made by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tibet Fund to the CTA: “At the time the loan was made, both the Board of Tibet Fund and the CTA hoped and expected that at some point the loan would be forgiven and the full amount would then be deemed outright grant from Tibet Fund to the CTA, although the specific timing of this grant was never discussed or agreed. It was certainly our hope that after some number of years and experience working together, the board would feel that the time right to confer the loan to a grant.”
And the chairman was also stated to have written that the Tibet Fund was willing to consider forgiving the loan in the future provided that the terms and assurances in the loan documents were honoured by the CTA on the basis of mutual respect and support.
The issue which arose from this transaction was that whereas Tibet Fund carried this amount as a receivable entry in their books of account, there was stated to be no corresponding payable entry in the books of account of the Office of Tibet. Penpa Tsering, the ousted representative at the Office of Tibet, was accused of questioning this, and taking it up with the office of the CTA’s Auditor General, despite being told that the amount was a loan and there was no need to make an issue of it.