Nepal denies permission for Tibet guru's last rites

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2014 12:54 IST

Retracting from its earlier stance Nepal has refused to allow entry of a prominent Tibetan spiritual leader’s body into its soil from India for conducting his last rites.

According to a news report, permission was denied by the Nepal government following pressure from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu.

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Togbay has written to Nepal government to allow the body of the guru, who held a Bhutanese passport, to be brought to Nepal. But Nepal is unlikely to change its stance.

The body of Shamar Rinpoche, the 14th Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, was to be taken to the Shar Minub monastery in Kathmandu, the guru’s main seat, on Sunday.

The 61-year-old spiritual leader who passed away in Germany last month following a heart attack was brought to India on June 22. His body is now at the Shri Diwakar Institute in Kalimpong in West Bengal.

“Due to some unanticipated circumstances, we have to postpone the departure of Shamar Rinpoche’s ‘kudung’ (remains) from Kalimpong on July 13,” the official website of Shamarpa stated on Saturday.

The Kathmandu Post reports that acting on an application at Nepal’s foreign ministry in Kathmandu, the Nepali embassy in New Delhi had earlier issued a no objection letter to let the Rinpoche’s body into the Himalayan nation.

“A home ministry source said the ‘no objection letter’ had been withdrawn under pressure from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu,” the English daily mentions in the report carried on Sunday.

It added that the embassy requested the ministry to withdraw the permission upon learning that a representative of Dalai Lama was to accompany the body to Nepal and a rally was being planned in Kathmandu.

The Shamarpa website mentions that Rinpoche’s body was to be accompanied to Nepal by Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, the head of Karma Kagyu, one of the four important branches of Tibetan Buddhism.

Nepal’s acting ambassador to India Krishna Prasad Dhakal told the daily that permission was withdrawn as last rites of a foreigner who died outside the country can’t be performed in Nepal.

“We don’t have any law that allows dead bodies of foreigners to be brought into Nepal for their last rites,” Nepal’s home secretary Surya Silwal told Setopati, a prominent news website.

Nepal follows a ‘One China’ policy and doesn’t allow any anti-China activity on its soil. In past years it has prevented Tibetan refugees living in Nepal from carrying out rallies and protests----reportedly under pressure from China.

Shamar Rinpoche was born in 1952 in Derge, Tibet. He used to head the Shar Minub monastery in Kathmandu.

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