BY LUKE HARDING
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