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Tibetan religious leader permitted to visit Taiwan

2012/04/14 19:41:46

Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Taiwan has approved the visit of a Tibetan religious leader who is scheduled to arrive in the country on April 30 for several events, the National Immigration Agency said Saturday.

The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorjes, the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, was invited by the Karma Kagyu Buddhist Association, Republic of China for a 19-day trip in Taiwan to participate in religious events, according to the association.

Although the Karmapa currently travels on documents issued by the Kingdom of Bhutan after fleeing Tibet in 1994, the agency said it asked the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission to be the principal reviewer of the entry permit application because Taiwan sees him as a Tibetan.

The agency said the Karmapa's entry to Taiwan was approved because his visit will be purely for religious purposes.

The association said the Karmapa hopes to be in close touch with his followers in Taiwan through the events in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, while giving his blessing to the country.

This will be the Karmapa's third visit to Taiwan, the association said. He first visited in November 1999, after hearing that the country had been hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Sep. 21 that year.

(By Johnson Sun and Kay Liu)