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Tibetan monks’ meet creates a flutter

Ahead of Doval’s China visit, group discusses meeting of rival Buddhist leaders of Karma Kagyu sect

Ahead of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s proposed visit to China, the Centre convened a high-level meeting to discuss the development around the recent meeting between rival Tibetan monks in France.

Mr. Doval is expected to head to China towards the end of November for the Special Representative (SR) talks with State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Mr. Doval had convened a meeting of the Tibet Study Group last week.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, met Trinley Thaye Dorje, another Tibetan Buddhist leader, who is said to be his rival, on October 11.

Significant encounter

The meeting of the two monks in France was seen as a significant development in view of reports that Mr. Ogyen Trinley Dorje had refused to return to India from the U.S., where he has been living for more than a year now.

He also acquired the citizenship of Dominica, a Caribbean country, to enable him to travel around the world.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the two monks said they had met to sort out differences that had cropped up in the Karma Kagyu lineage.

The Centre had set up a Tibet Study Group a few years ago to specifically discuss developments around Mr. Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

A recommendatory body, the Tibet Study Group feeds inputs to the Chinese Study Group.

It comprises officials from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“The group gives inputs to the Cabinet whenever required,” said the official.

Troubled relations

Mr. Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is based at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. He escaped from Tibet in 2000. He was once suspected to have links with the Chinese.

In 2011, the police had recovered ₹1.2 crore of unaccounted-for foreign currency, including Chinese currency, from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery in Dharamsala.

The police registered a case against the Karmapa and the government had put more restrictions on his travel.

However, in 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had eased restrictions on his movement in India.

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