Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The 17th Karmapa, Another Political Prisoner?

With all the recent publicity surrounding the long overdue and welcome release and reinstatement of Aung San Suu Kyi, the story of another "political prisoner" has gone largely unnoticed. Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism resides in India, "the Worlds largest democracy".

However he is forbidden from leaving India and travelling abroad without the permission of the Indian government. In fact it was only in March of last year that he was allowed to leave Dharamsala and take a month-long pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, and to Varanasi, the Buddha's winter retreat. His Holiness is viewed by many as the natural successor to the Dalai Lama as leader in exile of the Tibetan people.

He was recently described by dissident Chinese author Liao Yiwu as being a virtual prisoner. Liao said that he had invited the Karmapa to visit him in Berlin where he now lives after having escaped from China. He went on to say that he didn't hold out much hope that his Holiness would be allowed to make the trip.

1 comment: