By Phuntsok Yangchen
Gyalwang Karmapa meeting with dissident Chinese writer Liao Yiwu in Dharamshala, north India on September 8, 2012. (Photo/OHHK/Tashi Paljor)
DHARAMSHALA, September 11: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has been invited to attend the ongoing International Literary Festival in Berlin by dissident Chinese author Liao Yiwu.
Liao travelled to Dharamshala, the exile residence of the Tibetan spiritual leader, to personally invite him and arrange his visit to the festival from September 4 to 16.
Liao said the continuous self-immolations of the Tibetan people has brought him here to visit Gyalwang Karmapa.
“I thought by inviting the Karmapa to visit the International Literary Festival in Berlin, he can use the international platform to pray and speak about the series of self-immolations in Tibet,” Liao said. “This would surely make a positive impact upon the Tibetans inside Tibet.”
The dissident author, however, expressed doubts over the Indian government’s reaction to the invitation.
“We are facing the last gateway: the exit permission for 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. We are waiting to see how the Indian government is going to treat this invitation.”
He went on to urge to all concerned people, especially Indian writers, to make
every single effort to enable the visit.
According to media reports, the 27-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader expressed his “anxiousness” over the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet during his September 8 meeting with Liao.
A poet himself, Gyalwang Karmapa has also written a Tibetan-style opera on the life of Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi.
Liao is best known for “The Corpse Walker: Real-Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up,” which was banned in China soon after it was published in Taiwan in 2001.
He was jailed in 1990 as a "counterrevolutionary” and spent four years in prison for publishing a poem titled “Massacre” about the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
After his escape from China in 2011, Liao was granted asylum in Germany, where he has been living since.
Liao is the Guest of Honour at the Berlin International Literary Festival and was named the winner of this year’s ‘Peace Prize’ by the German Book Publishers' Association. Earlier recipients of the annual honour include Orhan Pamuk and Mario Vargas Llosa.