In a major relief, the Indian government is set to lift the travel restrictions that were imposed on Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, according to a report published in the Indian Express. As per the report, a proposal for the same was made by the Home Ministry to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) asking it to allow Karmapa to travel in any part of the country, except Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje who is the head of the Karma Kagyu (Black Hat) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in Tibet and escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14. Recognised by the Dalai Lama, Ogyen was allegedly suspected to be a Chinese spy by the government agencies for a long period of time after which the travel restrictions were imposed on him. In 2000, a central government order passed by the CCS had banned the Karmapa’s travel to Rumtek monastery in East Sikkim and other areas of strategic importance like Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh without permission.
However, he was allowed to travel to Arunachal Pradesh last year. There has been tension between India and China involving the spiritual leaders. Earlier, Beijing had criticised the Dalai Lama for his visit to Arunachal Pradesh, calling him an “anti-China separatist”, but stopped short of directly denouncing New Delhi. “The 14th Dalai Lama is an anti-China separatist who has long lived in exile following a failed armed rebellion by the reactionary group of high-ranking feudal serf owners in Tibet in March 1959,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry told Efe news, as reported by news agency IANS. “The Chinese government is resolutely opposed to any country’s support and facilitation for the 14th Dalai group’s anti-China separatist activities,” read the statement without alluding directly to India.