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Posted at: Oct 4, 2018, 2:05 AM; last updated: Oct 4, 2018, 9:47 AM (IST)

Centre asks Karmapa to return from US

Centre asks Karmapa to return from US
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. File photo

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune news Service

New Delhi, October 3

Noting that his followers desire to have him in India, the government today asked Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is currently staying in the US, to come back to India. At the same time, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that the Karmapa has acquired the citizenship of Dominican Republic and uses that country’s passport for travel all over the world.

A senior MHA official, however, said the spiritual leader appears to be reluctant to return, as he wants unrestricted movement within the country as well as abroad, like the Dalai Lama.

The Sikkimese Buddhists who follow the Khagyu sect recognise the 32-year-old Dorje as the real heir of the 16th Karmapa, who passed away in 1981. He is also recognised by the Dalai Lama. The Centre had banned entry of all claimants to the title of Karmapa to the Rumtek monastery in East Sikkim in 1994. The Sikkim government has written several times and passed resolutions requesting the Centre to allow Dorje to make his claim as the 17th Karmapa. The Centre has, however, not given any decision on it yet.

Dorje, head of the Karma Khagyu (Black Hat) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in Tibet and had escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14. He reached the Tibetan exile quarters at McLeodganj on January 5, 2000.

Meanwhile, the MHA official said the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) recently cleared a proposal to allot a piece of land to the Karmapa in Delhi to construct his monastery and also lifted restrictions on his movement in any part of the country, including Sikkim, accept the Rumtek monastery. 

“But because of some concerns raised by security agencies, he would need to give prior information about his movement,” he added

For the land, the MHA has already written to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, who in turn has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to find a suitable location, the official said. The Karmapa wants to build a monastery as his current abode in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh is small, he added.

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