By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 23: The questions surrounding the return of the Tibetan Buddhist leader Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to India will be put to rest when Tibetan Buddhist leaders gather to attend the religious heads meet scheduled at the end of the month.
The return of the young Tibetan spiritual leader itself is a closely guarded issue by his own office and by the organizers of the meet, the religion and culture wing of the exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration.
The office of Religion and Culture’s Kalon (Minister) declined to give any statement on Phayul’s query on whether the Karmapa will attend the three-day meet. The Director of Karmapa’s Tsurphu Labrang in New Delhi, Kunzang Chungyalpa, said that they have not received any new updates on the matter and asked Phayul to refer the last statement by the Karmapa.
On October 28, the Tibetan leader in video post on his Instagram account said that he has acquired passport of Commonwealth of Dominica in March and had notified the concerned Indian government authorities in May 2018. He also said that he has attempted to surrender his Identity Certificate (IC) to the Indian consulate in NY and also applied for an Indian visit so that he may attend the religious heads’ meet in Dharamshala, India.
He said, “As a religious leader who has to travel frequently to carry out my responsibilities, I was advised and felt it necessary to obtain a passport. I have applied for an Indian visa using that passport so that I may travel to India as soon as possible.”
There are no official updates on the Karmapa’s visa process to India, other than that he is still awaiting visa from Indian government, according to his office in New Delhi.
Earlier this month, a high-level meeting of the Tibet Study Group was reportedly convened in New Delhi to discuss issues related to the Karmapa, ahead of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s proposed visit to China. The Tibet Study Group comprising of officials from various Indian intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and other government bodies such Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is formed specifically to discuss developments around Ogyen Trinley Dorje who escaped from Tibet in 2000.
Observers say that the Karmapa will eventually succeed the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the “natural” Buddhist leader and that India is trying to gain grounds in securing extended benefits of his influence and clout in the Buddhist community worldwide. However, the Karmapa who now possesses a foreign passport may only be willing to visit India on a visa permit.