Karmapa’s office clarifies rumours about US asylum

Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is seen during a ceremony to bless stupas at the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, New York, in the US on 15 October 2017. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra serves as the North American seat of the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is seen during a ceremony to bless stupas at the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, New York, in the US on 15 October 2017. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra serves as the North American seat of the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra/Amber Roniger

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 21 October 2017

The Office of Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje issued clarification concerning a rumour saying he is seeking asylum in the United States and not coming back to India.

The Karmapa has been on a four-nation tour since 17 May, to the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and the US, where he is currently.

While in Germany, the Karmapa had to cut short his visit and return to the United States due to the illness and hospitalisation in New York of his 80-year-old senior attendant, Gelek Kunchok, who has cared for him since his childhood.

In the United States, the Karmapa himself went through a comprehensive health check-up which revealed new health concerns. His physicians have advised him to take time for further treatment and full rest and recovery.

“This is difficult in India because of his busy schedule. Therefore, His Holiness has decided to extend his stay in the United States until he recovers fully,” the statement released by his office said.

“Tsurphu Labrang has come to learn that there are various rumours circulating about the reasons for extension of His Holiness’ stay in the United States. These are false and should not be heeded. His Holiness is in the United States purely for medical reasons.”

The Karmapa escaped to India from Tibet in January 2000, when he became suspicious that Chinese authorities were grooming him in order to use him to stand against the Dalai Lama.

Since arriving in India he has been hosted in Dharamshala, but the Government of India has refused to allow him to take his place at his exile seat Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.

“India has been his home for the past 17 years and His Holiness looks forward to returning to India and continue his dharma activities,” the Tsurphu Labrang statement said.


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