By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 11: Call for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee’s return to Rumtek Monastery, the exile seat of the Karmapa in Gangtok, Sikkim has intensified amidst speculations on social networking sites.
Although there was no official confirmation regarding a permission given by the Indian government allowing Karmapa to visit Rumtek Monastery, its been highly speculated and circulated among Tibetans on social media platforms that a notification of the Sikkim government issued on July 6 has directed the officials of the Sikkim government to be ready to welcome the Karmapa.
A massive rally organized by Denjong Monasteries Chogchen demanding the Union government to permit the 17th Karmapa to visit Rumtek and bless Sikkim was held in Gangtok on Sunday where monks and devotees including Sangha MLA Sonam Lama, Shyari MLA Kunga Nima Lepcha, former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari and others marched from BL House, Tibet Road and took a round of the town via Nam Nam, Deorali before concluding at BL House, reports Sikkim Express July 11.
SKM president P.S. Golay, who could not participate in the rally as he is in Delhi for medical treatment, has extended his good wishes to the organizers and those who participated in the rall.,
Following the rally, a relay hunger strike is in process at BL House, Tibet Road. The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) convener Tseten Tashi Bhutia along with sixteen other monks have been on strike since yesterday demanding Karmapa to be allowed to visit the State on the Buddhist festival of Drukpa Tseshi (Buddha’s 1st turning of the Dharma-Wheel) on August 6 according to posts on facebook account of Sikkim’s most read magazine, Talk Sikkim.
Rumtek monastery is the most important seat of Karma Kagyu (black hat) school of Tibetan Buddhism; its followers consider Karmapa as their religious head. The Government of India has barred Karmapa to visit Rumte, since he fled to India from Tibet in 2000.