Wednesday, January 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

China cautions India
No decision yet on monk’s status

BEIJING, Jan 11 (AFP, DPA and PTI) — China today issued a veiled warning to India not to give political asylum to the 14-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader who escaped to India last week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao indicated that any political asylum granted to the Karmapa would violate the “five principles of peaceful co-existence” which form the basis of bilateral relations between New Delhi and Beijing.

“China and India have stated in explicit terms that they will develop and improve bilateral relations and on relevant issues the Indian side has made commitments,” Mr Zhu said.

“We hope that the Indian side will strictly observe their commitments so as to further improve and develop China-India relations.”

The Karmapa arrived in Dharamsala last week after an arduous week-long trek over the Himalayas.

He had previously pledged allegiance to Beijing’s rule and was recognised by both China and Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

“The Indian side has said in explicit terms that it recognises Tibet as an inalienable part of Chinese territory and that the Dalai Lama cannot engage in political activities in India. I think the Indian side is well aware of this,” Mr Zhu said.

Indian officials yesterday said no request for political asylum had been made by the Karmapa, although Tibetan officials in Dharamsala said they hoped that such an offer would be made.

Mr Zhu reiterated the Chinese government’s official view, stated last week, that the Karmapa had gone abroad to collect a “black hat and Buddhist musical instruments,” referring to the Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhists.

“It is reported that he (the Karmapa) is now in India, but we haven’t yet had any confirmation from the Indian side,” he said. But he refrained from criticising the flight of the 17th Karmapa or his meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing officially reviles as a “splittist” bent on realising Tibetan independence.

GANGTOK: The joint action committee of the All Sikkim Buddhists Organisation and senior monks of three main monasteries have urged the Sikkim authorities to take steps to bring the reincarnate 17th Karmapa to the state and install him at Rumtek, the main seat of the spiritual leader lying vacant since 1981.

NEW DELHI: The Government will decide the issue of the entry of the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje into India within the framework of the “Panchsheel” principles, Minister of State for External Affairs Ajit Panja said tonight.

Any decision on the matter will be taken only on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence which govern Sino-Indian relations, Mr Panja told “Star News” soon after Beijing issued a veiled warning not to grant political asylum to the 14-year old religious figurehead.

However, Mr Panja said a decision could only be taken if a formal request was made by the individual. “No such application has been made to the Ministry of External Affairs,” he said.

Asked about the veiled warning issued by China, Mr Panja said: “The news that China has issued a warning is not correct.”


Monk may be shifted to Baijnath

MCLEODGANJ, Jan 11 (PTI) — Defecting Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje, who is at present at the Gyatso Monastery under tight security, may be shifted to Sherabling Monastery near Baijnath, about 70 km from here, in a day or two.

‘‘Preparations are on at Sherabling Monastery at Tashi Jong village near Baijnath to welcome the 17th Karmapa,’’ sources in the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile said here today.

‘‘The gates of the monastery are being decorated and the mud road from Baijnath to Tashi Jong village is being repaired to welcome the Karmapa, who heads the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism,’’ the sources said.

Controversial Lama Tai Situ Ringpoche, who for some years in the last decade was banned from entering India, heads the Sherabling Monastery.

The sources said Lama Tai Situ had several meetings with the Karmapa who arrived here on January 5 during his stay at Gyatso Monastery, 17 km from here.

Senior Superintendent of Police K.C. Sadyal declined to comment for reasons of security.


US official takes up Karmapa issue
Tribune News Service

DHARAMSALA, Jan 11 — The US Assistant Secretary, Ms Julia Taft, today met the Tibetan Home Minister, Mr Tempa Tsering, and is learnt to have discussed the contentious issue of the 17th Karmapa along with matters relating to Tibetan refugees.

Officials of the Tibetan government in exile, remained tight-lipped about the places Ms Taft visited today. The Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration arrived here yesterday.

The Home Minister, Mr Tempa Tsering, said though Ms Taft had met him, the Karmapa issue was not discussed as the purpose of her visit was “totally different”.

Ms Taft on her arrival here visited the Tibetan Library and the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute yesterday.

It is learnt that Ms Taft discussed the Karmapa issue with Tibetan officials and the Home Minister. She held a meeting with the Central Tibetan Administration this afternoon. Ms Taft said she was impressed by the way the Tibetans were managing the refugees, including children. However, the Tibetan officials prevented the media from asking her questions about the Karmapa.

The Tibetan Government refused to comment on the issue of political asylum for the Karmapa. Both the Minister for Religion and Culture, Mr Tashi Wangdi, and the Home Minister, Mr Tempa Tsering, said they had no information on it.

When Mr Wangdi was asked about the Chinese threat to get the Karmapa extradited as it had a treaty with India, he refused to make comment, saying he had not heard of such a thing.

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