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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Delhi changes Karmapa tune

March 12, 2011

NISHIT DHOLABHAI, The Telegraph, Kolkata

New Delhi, March 4: India has indicated it recognises Ugyen Trinley
Dorje as the Karmapa, signalling an about-turn by the government whose
China policy has been marked by caution.

Home secretary G.K. Pillai today became the first central government
representative to refer to Dorje, 25, as the ╥Karmapa╙, and declared him
the second-highest Tibetan monk after the Dalai Lama.

Till now, Delhi would make no bones about its suspicion that Dorje was
an agent of China, which had crowned him the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa at
Tibet╒s Tsurphu monastery.

╥The Karmapa is a spiritual leader. He is second in ranking to the Dalai
Lama,╙ Pillai said. ╥Currently, the Karmapa is in prayer and by the end
of March he will write to the home ministry (about) how he will put his
house in order.╙

Last month, Himachal Pradesh chief secretary Rajwant Sandhu too had
referred to Dorje as the Karmapa.

Yet, just five weeks ago, a senior central government official had said
Dorje was ╥not a Karmapa╙ after Himachal police seized Rs 8.5 crore in
Indian and foreign currency from his residence and arrested some of his
aides. Security agencies accused Dorje of planning to build
╥Chinese-friendly Tibetan institutions╙ across the Indian Himalayas.

Sources said the Centre╒s correspondence always referred to Dorje as a
╥Lama╙ and as ╥one of the claimants to the Karmapa seat╙.

The policy shift comes after protests against the government action on
Dorje, who has followers worldwide. Sources said New Delhi got isolated
because the Dalai Lama himself recognises Dorje as the Karmapa and
recently gave him a clean chit.

The Karmapa╒s office is now being probed by the Enforcement Directorate
and the directorate of revenue intelligence. Pillai today said steps
needed to be taken so that a spiritual leader like Dorje did not get
into such embarrassing situations in the future.

A year after Dorje╒s January 2000 ╥escape╙ to India, the NDA
government╒s cabinet committee on security had decided ╥he is not in our
interest╙. The UPA ratified the decision in 2004, sources said.
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