Backtracking from its earlier stance, Nepal government on Tuesday decided to allow entry of a prominent Tibetan spiritual leader’s body into its soil for conducting his last rites.
Ending weeks of speculations, a cabinet meeting held at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s residence agreed to allow the body of Shamar Rinpoche, to be brought to Kathmandu.
“Considering the sentiments of Buddhist followers of the leader in Nepal, the government decided to allow the last rites to be conducted in Kathmandu,” informed Koirala’s media coordinator Prakash Koirala.
The body of 61-year-old spiritual leader, the 14th Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, was flown in on Tuesday evening by a special Druk Air flight from Thimphu in Bhutan. It will be kept at the Shar Minub monastery in Kathmandu where people can pay their last respects. The last rites will be performed on Thursday.
Nepal’s embassy in New Delhi had earlier granted permission for the body to be taken to Kathmandu for last rites. But the permission was withdrawn later by the home ministry. There were also fears the last rites could be used by Tibetan refugees in Nepal to start protests against China. Nepal follows a One China policy and doesn’t allow protests against its northern neighbour.
News reports in Kathmandu had stated the decision to allow the body into Nepal was withdrawn under pressure from the Chinese embassy.