By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 13: A leaked US embassy cable from New Delhi has nicknamed the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje as 'Obama Lama' and calls the 26-year old Tibetan monk an "inspiring fresh face on the Tibetan scene” who knows Tibetan, English, and Chinese.
The cable dated February 27, 2009 was made available by whistle-blower website Wikileaks and cites US embassy ‘contacts’ on the issue of the Dalai Lama’s succession.
A leading India newspaper, The Times of India, on Tuesday quoted the cable as saying that "the succession question cannot be simplified” as “the Dalai Lama and Karmapa belong to different sects.”
However, the embassy contacts – after meeting exile Tibetans – also noted the unordinary circumstances that surrounded the succession issue.
“The succession of the Dalai Lama cannot strictly follow historical precedents as this could mean a more than 20-year leadership gap while the Dalai Lama's reincarnation is identified and educated," the newspaper quoted the cable as stating.
"Tibetans realise they can't afford this vulnerability vis-a-vis the Chinese during a crucial period for the movement," added the cable which was wired years before the Dalai Lama announced the devolution of his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership in 2011.
Following a disclosure to reporters in Europe last month by the Dalai Lama of a high-level religious meeting to discuss the reincarnation issue, the 11th meeting of Tibetan religious heads has been scheduled for this month in Dharamshala.