The 17th Karmapa said to have acquired citizenship of a Caribbean country

DHARAMSALA, OCT 4: The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is said to have acquired the citizenship of a Caribbean country.

The 17th Karmapa has acquired the citizenship of Dominica, to travel around the world, the Hindu reported citing a senior government official of India while some other reports either said that the Karmapa has acquired the citizenship of the Dominican Republic, another Caribbean country or that the Karmapa has been using a Dominican Republic passport for his travel abroad.

Though India issues exiled Tibetans an Identity Certificates (IC) commonly known as ‘Yellow Book’ which acts as a substitute for a passport to travel abroad, it often causes inconvenience and unnecessary hassles for Tibetan travellers.

Amitabh Mathur, former advisor to the Centre on Tibetan Affairs also believes that the Karmapa has acquired the foreign citizenship only for ‘ease of travel’.

“Acquiring foreign citizenship is an old issue, it does not make the Karmapa less of a Tibetan. It is only for ease of travel and doesn’t diminish his stature,” Mathur has said in the report.

The Karmapa is presently in the US. He left India in May last year. Due to his prolonged stay for over a year in the US, media reports speculated that he may never return to India and instead, will go to China. But the spiritual head of the Kagyue tradition put to rest all such speculations earlier in July and said that he has no qualms about returning to India.

Though the exact date of his return to India is unclear, the 17th Karmapa hopes that he can return to India by November so that he can attend an important meeting of the heads of the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions to be held in Dharamsala, India.

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