Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Insurance & more on Karmapa birthday

Gangtok: Medical insurance for the children of Bal Niketan, an orphanage, and an ambulance service will top the Rumtek monastery’s must-do list in the next one month.
The pledge to attain some of these goals was taken today at the Rumtek monastery here on the 22nd birthday of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorji.
Rumtek is the seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Buddhism, and the programme at the monastery was organised by the Tsurphu Labrang, his office of administration.
But the Karmapa resides in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. He fled Tibet to enter India in January 2000. Though recognised by the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, the Centre has put a ban on his entry to Sikkim.
Devotees thronged to the monastery today to offer prayers for the long life of the Karmapa. Special prayer meetings were presided over by Goshir Gyaltshab Rimpoche, one of the four regents of Rumtek and the caretaker of the monastery in the absence of the Karmapa.
However, amid the fanfare was the demand that the Karmapa be allowed to enter Sikkim. Kunga Zangpo, the MLA of Assam-Lingzey, said: “Despite there being three claimants to the throne, Orgyen Trinley is the one recognised by the Sikkimese. The state government is doing all it can to bring him to Sikkim, but the Centre is still hesitant.”