Standing true to his promise made on November 1, 2011, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling wrote today to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to let His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Thinley Dorje visit Sikkim during Lhabab Dhuechen festival this year. The CM had promised this while addressing the public and the monks at Phodong Monastery on his tour to North Sikkim to distribute relief to September 18 earthquake victims.
Due to the controversy about who the real 17th Karmapa is, the government of India has banned the entry of both the major claimants from entering Rumtek Monastery in particular and Sikkim in general. The other major claimant is Trinley Thaye Dorje. While Trinley Thaye Dorje has been recognised by Shamarpa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje holds the sanction of the highest Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Indian government otherwise allows both the Karmapas to travel and participate in religious gatherings. Thaye Dorje is allowed to travel across the world. But Trinley Dorje’s movements have been restricted to certain parts of the country.
Following is the text of the letter written by Dr. Chamling to Dr. Manmohan Singh:
November 7, 2011
Respected Dr. Manmohan Singh Sahab,
This year ‘Lhabab Dheuchen’ which marks the descent of Lord Buddha from ‘Tusita’ heaven falls on 17th November, 2011. All Buddhist devotees of Sikkim and the monk body of Phodang Monastery in particular, aspire to observe this auspicious occasion to coincide with the commemoration of 900th anniversary of the Kagyu Lineage in the presence of His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogen Trinley Dorje at Phodang Monastery in North Sikkim.
Hon’ble Sir, I take this opportunity to humbly invite kind references of our letters to Hon’ble Prime Minister vide No.SH/4 (29) SCM dated 2.8.2000, D.O.No.97/ CMO/2003 dated 1st october, 2003 and also to you vide our D.O.No.316/CMO/04 dated 27.12.2004, D.O.No.68/CMO/2006 dated July 14, 2006, D.O.No.155/CMO/07 dated January 17, 2007 and D.O.No.78/CMO/2010 dated January 29, 2010 as well as in the Ministry of Home Affairs vide D.O.No.240/CMS dated 19.12.2000 and D.O.No.SH/4(29)SCM/708 dated 20.3.2003 seeking permission to allow His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim to bless devotees.
Therefore, I am to request you to kindly consider permitting His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Phodang Monastery, Sikkim during this occasion as his presence and blessings will also provide immense comfort and solace to the people of Sikkim affected and shaken by the recent earthquake.
With highest regards