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<-Back to WTN Archives London bishop in Tibet row
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

3. London bishop in Tibet row

- By Our London Correspondent
The Asian Age, India

London, Aug. 9, 2005: The Bishop of London is at the centre of an unholy row
after he participated in a ceremony with the disputed 17th Karmapa during
his visit to London.

Right Reverend Richard Chartres welcomed six other faith leaders to the
celebration "of friendship and trust" at St. Ethelburga's, a London church
transformed into a peace centre since it was bombed by the IRA in 1993. But
senior Buddhists denounced the presence of Thaye Dorje, the 22-year-old who
claims to be the living Buddha.

Bishop Chartres was inundated with angry letters and emails from Buddhists
who insist that Thaye Dorje is the "failed candidate" and is not the real
incarnation of the Karmapa, the head of the Kagyu Buddhist school. Urgyen
Trinley, who is living in exile in India, is recognised by the Dalai Lama
and most of the mainstream Tibetan Buddhist community as the genuine

The battle of succession, which has been raging for two , began after the
death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981 when the traditional written instructions
about where the next incarnation would appear could not be found.

In 1992, one of the four regents appointed to find a successor claimed to
have discovered a letter of prophesy, and Urgyen Trinley was identified in
Tibet the same year. With the approval of the Dalai Lama and most of the
Karmapa's followers, he was installed near Lhasa in Tibet until he escaped
over the mountains and arrived in India in 2001.

But the authenticity of the letter, and the role in the succession of the
Dalai Lama, has never been accepted by the senior regent, Shamar, and in
1994 he announced that he had found his own young candidate, Thaye Dorje.

The supporters of the two lamas have since carried on a war of words on the
streets, over the Internet and in the courts.

Bishop Chartres' office said that it "was appropriate" to welcome Thaye
Dorje to the celebration "of friendship and trust." "We have no wish,
however, to fuel the controversy around his lineage," it said.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Exiled Tibetans demand freedom from China
  2. Dalai Lama to speak at UT
  3. London bishop in Tibet row

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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