Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Karmapa & Dalai Lama's Travel Restricted

I've just been sent this link from Jenny in Cowes; "His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa will address a teaching to the Kagyu sanghas and his students in Europe on Thursday, May 27th 2010 via a Live Webcast.

The teaching will take place starting from 7:00 PM BST. His Holiness will be teaching in Tibetan and live English translation will be provided by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. The site is http://www.livingthedharma.eu/, apparently the talk will be available for download afterwards.

I'm somewhat bemused by this as the Indian government recently banned the Karmapa from touring nine European countries from May to July for a series of teachings, lectures and initiations. It would seem that the Indian government can only be bowing to pressure from their powerful Chinese neighbour.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who was named the Karmapa Lama at the age of 7, is a particular bête noir to the Chinese, who gave him recognition as Tibet's first living Buddha and had hoped to groom him as an influential and patriotic Tibetan leader, giving him gifts including a color television and a car. He ranks as the spiritual leader of the Black Hat sect, one of four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, behind only the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama in the Tibetan spiritual hierarchy.

However, to Chinese fury, in December 1999 the Karmapa, then 14, pretended to go into seclusion but instead slipped out a window of the Tsurpu Monastery with a handful of attendants. He began a daring 1,450-kilometer winter trip across some of the most forbidding terrain on the planet by foot, horseback, train and helicopter to Dharamsala, making world headlines and embarrassing Beijing. He was given refugee status by India in 2001.

I can only assume that the power of the web has thwarted yet another authoritarian, anti-democratic move by the Chinese to suppress free Tibetan views.

Unfortunately Chinese pressure and intimidation has successfully forced the Thai government to refuse an entry visa for the Dalai Lama. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama last visited Thailand in 1993 when a group of Nobel Peace laureates held a solidarity meeting for fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi,” Tenzin Taklha said. “Since then, His Holiness has not been able to visit Thailand because of the refusal of the necessary visa from the Thai government, for reasons known to them.” China is one of Thailand's largest trading partners.
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