Karmapa Controversy: Sikkim Monks Will Not Celebrate I-Day | Newstime.today
Friday, 12th August 2016 6:51 PM
NTT Bureau, Gangtok/Siliguri
What could have been a better way than this to protest against the government that has put an embargo on 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s visit to Sikkim? The Denjong Monastries Chogchen (DMC) quacked by the government’s deaf attitude towards a series of protest in the state capital over the issue Friday decided not to celebrate the Independence day thus giving the issue yet another thrust on the demand overlooked by the union government since decades.
“In view to the clarion call of the Denjong Lhadey two weeks back, we the Denjong Monasteries Chogchen (DMC) have decided not to observe the ensuing Indian Independence Day on Aug 15, 2016 out of protest to the governments for not allowing our dharma Guru Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim,” said a press release issued by Sonam Gyurme Lama, chief coordinator of Samdong Monastery in Sikkim.
The release further continued saying, “When our dharma itself is not at safe hand, there is no point in feeling proud on such occasion as this. When we are suffering, we cannot rejoice ourselves with such observation.”
Denjong Lhadey a body of Buddhist monks in Sikkim - the official home of the 17th Karmapa - is on indefinite relay hunger strike since July 10 demanding the Karmapa’s early entry to Sikkim.
Lama in the communiqué said it is very unfortunate to see the adamant stand of the Indian government which makes them feel regret to be an Indian. The erstwhile sovereign kingdom of Sikkim was incorporated to the Indian union in 1975 to be the 22 state in the country.
“We request the Indian government to make our living in India easy and with dignity if it considers Sikkimese Buddhists as its citizens. It is very disgusting that it does not trust us and our dharma as Indian,” the press release added.
The 17 Karmapa issue – demanding his entry into Sikkim- is set to embarrass the centre and the Sikkim state government led by five term chief minister Pawan Chamling. Opposition parties and a large section of influential Lepcha and Bhutia communities have joined hands demanding the Karmapa’s entry to Sikkim.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje who is presently at Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh is already endorsed by the Dalai Lama as the 17th Karmapa.
Leaders crossing party lines and Buddhist monks in Sikkim have come under a platform to press the centre to allow the Karmapa to visit the state barring Rumtek the official seat of the Karmapa.
Above: The Monks at a hunger strike in Gangtok. File Picture
The centre has banned his entry into Sikkim. Opposition parties and the Buddhist monks now want the centre to allow him to visit any monastery in the state other than Rumtek.
Sonam Lama the Sangha (seat reserved for Buddhist monks) MLA representing opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) said, “It is due to the non-serious attitude of the state government the 17th Karmapa is not able to visit Sikkim”.
Nar Bhadur Bhandari the former chief minister also blamed the state government for adopting ‘dual’ standard in regard to the Karmapa issue.
Kunga Nima Lepcha, spokesperson of SKM said “The state government is politicizing the whole issue which is highly condemnable” It is really sad to see revered and venerable monks lying on the street with genuine demand, a press release issued by the SKM said.