Asia Times Online had the opportunity to interview the 17th Karmapa Lama on July 8 at his temporal residence, the Gyuto Tantric Monastery in Sidhbari, India.
The Gyalwang Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, like the Dalai Lama did in 1959, the current 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, fled his native land in 1999 to Nepal and then India to pursue full religious and other freedoms. Attaching himself to the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa now lives near Dharamsala in northern India where the Dalai Lama heads the Tibetan government in exile.
Karmapa told Saransh Sehgal, the reporter from Asia Times. "The present Chinese political standpoint and policies have a [negative] influence [upon Tibetan religion and culture]. That makes us worry. However, the survival of Tibetan religion and culture is in the hands of all the Tibetans. For example, if Tibetans in exile don't harbor faithful, sincere and foresighted devotion to Tibetan religion and culture - and if religion and culture is not preserved - there is the possibility of religion and culture being destroyed even during our exile in free countries. Therefore, it depends on Tibetans. The Tibetans in Tibet are making great efforts, and thinking of their efforts, I still see some hope. "
Information for this report was provided by Asia Times.