By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar.30: Revered Tibetan spiritual leader and one of the claimants of the Rumtek throne, Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee may at last have secured the elusive nod from the Indian government to visit Sikkim where the previous Karmapa lived and where his estates and followers are based in India.
Sangha MLA Sonam Lama, the lone legislator in Sikkim Assembly on Thursday said that the Home Ministry has given the nod to Karmapa Ogyen Thinly Dorjee to visit Sikkim. He said, “The Cabinet Committee on Security has given the approval, and this is great news for Sikkim. However, I have learnt that the Centre has restricted his visit to Rumtek monastery. Apart from Rumtek, he can visit any part of Sikkim.”
Lama was reported to have said that the Karmapa will visit to the state either in the last week of April or the first week of May.
The development that is not confirmed by the Home Ministry yet, comes days after Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling wrote to the Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, pushing the access for Karmapa to visit any monastery in Sikkim bar Rumtek.
“I have written a letter to Smt Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, seeking her assistance and cooperation in permitting the 17th Karmapa, His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit any monastery in Sikkim, if not Rumtek monastery, to bless our people. This would fulfill the long-pending demand of the people and the government of Sikkim,” the state CM recently wrote on his Facebook page.
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has the apparent following of the Sikkimese people and its monastic circles such as the Denzong Lhadey Tsogpa, an organization of monks and monasteries in Sikkim, that has since 2016 called for the Tibetan refugee lama’s access to the state.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje is regarded as the true 17th Karmapa by majority of Tibetans and is endorsed by the Dalai Lama. However, two other claimants to the throne of Karmapa have emerged over the years, leading to a messy legal ordeal.