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The Observer Interview with His Holiness Apr 29, 2001 (United Kingdom)


THE LHATOK region of eastern Tibet is about as remote as the country gets. Only a few hardy nomads eke out a living here, tending their yaks and wandering across a vast expanse of grassland enclosed by white mountains.

It was here 15 years ago that Ogyen Trinley Dorje was born, a baby whose life would eventually cause the Chinese government a great deal of embarrassment.

It was when he was eight that a search party arrived at his parents’ yak hair tent and solemnly announced that their mission was over. They had found the Karmapa, the latest incarnation of one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most senior leaders.

Three suns promptly appeared in the sky. Before that, ‘it would have seemed extremely disrespectful to have imagined I might be the Karmapa,’ he said yesterday.

Dorje was bundled off to Tsurphu monastery, 30 miles from the capital, Lhasa. The boy’s status was swiftly recognised by the Chinese government, which spent six years grooming him as a pliant rival to the Dalai Lama.

By late 1999, however, the Karmapa had Read the rest of this article

Selected News Media Articles

(April 29, 2001)

An interview of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa by Luke Harding

(April 28, 2001)  
                         A background piece about His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa’s administration at Gyuto by Mick Brown
Time Magazine
(May 10, 2001)
                        An interview by Asia bureau chief Michael Fathers
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The Karmapa’s Great Escape (December 28, 1999-January 5, 2000)

While His Holiness was at Tsurphu, the Karmapa fulfilled the traditional responsibilities of the Karmapa, ministering to the Tibetan people and supporting Tsurphu Monastery. The monastery underwent extensive rebuilding to restore the temples, shrines, stupas, a shedra, and residences that had been destroyed over the years, fulfilling one of the main duties of a Karmapa. As the years went by, however, the authorities began to restrict the Karmapa’s ability to travel and teach his disciples, and to receive the transmission from his lineage teachers. His Holiness decided that it would benefit beings most if he were no longer to stay in Tibet. In view of the refusal of the authorities to allow him to leave, he undertook a plan of his own.

Various accounts of the Karmapa’s escape has been described in innumerable media reports around the world. On April 27, 1992, His Holiness himself described his departure to the world Read the rest of this article