Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on Wednesday urged the Centre to allow Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ugen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim.
Trinley, who is the head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, is a claimant to the title of the 17th Karmapa Lama and that of the head of Rumtek monastery near here. The Karmapa was born in 1985 in Tibet and fled to India through Nepal. He reached the Tibetan exile quarters at McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh on January 5, 2000.
"I have been urging the Centre for a long time to allow the 17th Karmapa to visit Rumtek monastery and other shrines of the Tibetan Buddhist sect of Karma Kagyu in Sikkim, but in vain," he said at an election meeting at Phodong in North Sikkim district during his campaign for the coming panchayat polls. "The Tibetan spiritual leader can stay in India, but can't he be allowed to visit Sikkim by the Centre. Why can't the Karmapa be allowed to visit Sikkim ?" he asked.
Chamling, who is the country's longest serving chief minister, said that he had raised the issue of permission to the Karmapa to visit Sikkim with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit here in January, 2016, and would raise it again during his visit to Delhi on November 7. Hundreds of Lamas are on a relay hunger strike for more than a year demanding that the Karmapa be allowed to take his "rightful place" in Rumtek monastery.