Karmapa’s travel curbs to go - The Hindu
NEW DELHI, MAY 23, 2017
Centre may allow him to visit any place, except Sikkim, without seeking its nod
Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, may be allowed to visit any place in the country, except Sikkim, without seeking the government’s permission. The Home Ministry has moved the proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Security, a senior government official said here on Tuesday.
The move assumes significance in the wake of China’s repeated warnings over the recent Northeast visit of the Dalai Lama, who Beijing describes as a “separatist” for spearheading the Tibetan freedom movement.
Though the Dalai Lama has endorsed Urgyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, it does not necessarily mean that the latter succeeds him, said Amitabh Mathur, Adviser to the Home Ministry on Northeast subjects, including Tibetan affairs.
“But that doesn’t mean he is seen as his successor. That will depend on how Tibetans see him and whether they will look up to him for spiritual guidance. People tend to overlook other spiritual leaders like the 41st Sakya Trinzin and Drikung Rinpoche, who, like the Karmapa, command respect cutting across sectarian lines,” Mr. Mathur told The Hindu.
Soon after the NDA government came to power, the Cabinet Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eased restrictions on Karmapa to travel abroad and allowed him to visit Arunachal Pradesh last year.
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is based in Dharamsala, his temporal home. He escaped from Tibet in 2000.
“All this while, the Karmapa had to wait for the Home Ministry’s clearance to travel in India. After the Cabinet Committee on Security clears the proposal, all he will have to do is to inform the Home Ministry about his travels. Except Sikkim, he can travel anywhere,” a Ministry official said.
Ban at monastery
The entry of all three Karmapa claimants has been banned at the Rumtek monastery in East Sikkim since 1994, following objections by some prominent teachers of the Kagyu school to recognising Dorje as the 17th Karmapa.
In 2011, the police had recovered ₹1.2 crore of unaccounted-for foreign currency, including Chinese ones, from Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery in Dharamsala.
The police registered a case against the Karmapa and the then government put more restrictions on his travel.