In retrospect there is no denying that Akong Rinpoche collaborated with the Chinese.
But the founder of Samye Ling was not liked by everyone.
Some exiled Tibetans thought he had become too close to the Chinese government, who have a hardline policy in Tibet, in order to keep his projects there up and running.
In one photograph published in 2006 by the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, a smiling Akong Rinpoche is seen in London greeting Jia Qinglin, then a member of the standing committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s politburo.
Talking of Tibetans willing to meet China’s leaders, Thubten Samdup, the Dalai Lama’s representative in London, said: “Sometimes perhaps they go a bit too far – even attending Chinese embassy parties. It’s almost like endorsing what (the Chinese) are doing in Tibet.”
He said some people thought Akong Rinpoche was a “traitor”.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje is living proof of his collaboration.