India does not recognise Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa Lama, say sources

By Geeta Mohan | India Today

NEW DELHI, India, 27 December 2018

In a huge development on the question of the 17th Karmapa Lama, sources have told India Today TV that New Delhi does not recognise Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the ‘sole’ Karmapa.

One of the two claimants of the Karmapa Lama’ title among the Buddhists, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the Buddhist monk left India in May 2017 on a three-month visa to Europe. While continuing his stay abroad, he obtained citizenship in Dominica through investment in Jungle Bay.

While there have been many reports on India denying the Karmapa entry into India, sources said that he was free to come to India anytime he wants. India’s only condition is that he cannot return on the Residential Certificate (RC) issued by India to Tibetan refugees, but by applying for visa at the Indian consulate or mission since he has acquired citizenship of another country.

The explanation given was that Dorje got Dominican Republic [sic – actually it is Commonwealth of Dominica, a different country — Ed.] passport so as to be able to travel easily since many countries do not recognise the Residential Certificate.

India is upset about the fact that he did not bother to inform authorities about his newly obtained passport even though he has been a guest in India for decades.

We have conveyed to him that we are prepared to give him a visa on his Dominican passport and that his RC is now invalid, said a source.

The Karmapa has indicated time and again that he wants to come but has not yet presented his passport for a visa. It was also suggested that the reports of his desire to come to India and the denial of visa are motivated reports.

While in US, Dorje kept on delaying his return and when the Indian authorities engaged with him he had some specific demands of allowing him.

“The Karmapa is upset that he has to take permission every time he wants to travel, unlike the Dalai Lama, who is free to travel anywhere without restriction,” said the source.

In 2015, Modi government reviewed the earlier Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) decision and eased domestic travel restrictions for Dorje, allowing him to visit Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, except Rumtek monastery.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje is of the Karma Kagyu sect and the seat of the Karmapa is in the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.

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