The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the spiritual head of the Kagyue sect of Tibetan Buddhism during his extended stay in the United States is reported to have acquire a foreign passport for ease of travel across the world. The Indian government has also requested the Tibetan leader to return to his temporal abode in India as per the wish of his followers.
Karmapa in a report by The Hindu has acquired the citizenship of Dominica so that he could travel across the world with ease on that passport. “Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, has acquired the citizenship of Dominica, a Caribbean country, to travel around the world, a senior government official said on Wednesday.” said the report on Thursday.
While India has insisted on the young Tibetan leader’s return from the US by even promising to provide him sufficient land in the Indian capital, New Delhi so that he could shift his center from the remotely located present one in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, Amitabh Mathur, former advisor to the Centre on Tibetan Affairs while speaking to The Hindu explained that Karmapa acquiring a foreign passport does not make him less Tibetan.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has been on an extended stay in the United States since his last departure from the temporal home in India last year. After speculations that he may not return to India, the Tibetan leader explained in an interview that he is now in talks with the Indian government over his return and may go back as soon as November this year.
Besides providing shelter to the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, he has been kept in tight scrutiny of Indian intelligence and police at Gyuto Tantric Monastery in Dharamsala for many years after coming to exile. The young Tibetan spiritual leader has not been able to travel freely both inside as well as outside India and only very recently India announced to allow him to visit the state of Sikkim where Rumtek monastery is situated even though he is still not allowed to visit the monastery.
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee escaped Tsurphu monastery in Tibet on December 28,1999, and arrived at Dharamsala on January 5, 2000, trekking about 1,100 km while dodging the Chinese army. Later, Tai Situ Rinpoche, who reportedly managed the Karmapa’s escape, wanted to take him to Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, the traditional seat of the Black Hat sect to which Dorjee belongs.