by Chime Tenzing
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee in USA, 2008. Phayul Photo: Wasfia Nazreen
Dharamsala, September 20 - Representatives of around 65 monasteries and thousands of supporters of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje will congregate in Gangtok on September 26 for a massive rally. The rally will be held to ask the Indian government to allow Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Rumtek Monastery, which they say is rightfully his home monastery in exile.
The followers of Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje demand that New Delhi must lift the ban on the young Lama to travel to Rumtek, and allow him to take his throne at the monastery.
Karmapa Reception Committee which is organizing the rally said as many as fifty thousand people are expected to gather in Sikkim’s capital.
“The government of India must repose trust and confidence in the people of Sikkim. It has been 10 years since the Karmapa fled Tibet and took refuge in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. We have waited long enough,” the KRC said in a leaflet distributed to followers.
“It has been 10 years since the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa had come to India from Tibet, but still he is not allowed to enter Sikkim even though he was allowed to visit Bokar monastery in Mirik, which is very close to Sikkim. We want to know from the Centre whether we are part of India. If we are a part of India, he should be allowed to come and sit on his throne,” said K.N. Topden, a spokesperson for the Karmapa Reception Committee.
The rally will begin at 10.30 am from the Guards Ground in Gangtok and proceed to chief minister’s Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling’s official residence where a memorandum will be submitted to him. “The Sikkim government has been very supportive to our cause, the chief minister has also written to the Centre on this issue,” Topden said.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who escaped to India on January 5 in 2000, was put forward by Tai Situ Rinpoche, a close disciple of the previous Karmapa, and recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Another claimant to the throne, Trinlay Thaye Dorjee, was put forward by Shamar Rinpoche, another close disciple of the late 16th Karmapa. The Indian government has placed a ban on Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje's travel to Rumtek. The Indian government also denied permission twice to Gyalwang Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorjee to travel to Europe and USA earlier this year.
Gyalwang Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorjee has been living at Gyuto monastery near here since his escape to India in 2000. He made his first foreign visit to USA in 2008. The young head of Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is the only Tibetan religious personality enjoying approval both of the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lama and China which has been making attempts to expand its influence on Tibetan religious heads through a law requiring Tibetan lamas to seek Beijing’s approval. Tibetans and supporters say China will use the law to install its own Dalai Lama just as it did with the Panchen Lama.