Karmapa followers march in Gangtok demanding their leader’s visit to Sikkim
DHARAMSALA, May 19: Scores of people took to the streets in Gangtok for a march over a pending demand to allow the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim.
A day ahead of the Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Sing’s visit to the state capital, hundreds of monks and followers rallied in Gangtok yesterday demanding that the Karmapa be allowed to visit the state, reports The Sikkim Express.
The Union Home Affairs Minister will be in Gangtok today to attend a meeting of Chief Ministers of five states neighbouring China. Following the procession, the third rally organized by the Denjong Lhadey this year, the state government had assured 15 members from the group to meet with the minister to apprise him of their demand, the report added.
The followers of the Karmapa, head of Tibetan Buddhism’s Kagyue lineage, are said to have rallied round Gangtok. The opposition leaders and members of various organizations took part in the mass rally.
Before the mass rally kicked off, it was made clear that the congregation demands His eminence the 17th Karmapa to be allowed to visit Sikkim and not Rumtek monastery.
“The Sikkim government has misinterpreted the demand as allowing Karmapa to visit Rumtek instead of his visit to the state,” the report quoted Tsetan Tashi Bhutia, convener of Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee as saying.
Apart from the rally, some monks from Denjong Lhadey who are on a relay hunger strike have threatened of a stronger movement if Karmapa is not allowed to visit Sikkim by July 11 which marks a year of their relay hunger strike.