While Dorje is recognised by the Dalai Lama as the Karmapa, head of the Kagyu sect, India does not officially recognise him as such. Dorje came to India in 2000, after a dramatic escape from Tibet. He was around 14 years old then.
For the contentious eastern border with China, the IAF also plans to deploy a squadron each of Chinook and Apache helicopters, besides the Russian S-400 missile system and a squadron of the Rafale fighter aircraft.
Sponsors of the bill alleged that when it comes to Tibet, China does not reciprocate. Although Chinese citizens travel freely throughout the US, Chinese authorities severely restrict Americans' ability to access Tibet.
Laura Stone, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the Senate asking such a question was an important signal in itself to China that this was the kind of issue that the US was watching very closely.
“Their numbers could be approximately 85,000, but we will get the exact figure once all of them are registered online. In the past two years, the government has simplified the process and made everything accessible on the internet,” government’s advisor on Tibet Affairs Amitabh Mathur said.
The Committee Chairman said the Chinese government has severely limited access to the region by foreign nationals to prevent any documentation of the religious freedom restriction and human rights abuses.
The policy appears to reflect increasingly harsh restrictions on the Himalayan region's traditional Buddhist culture, largely aimed at reducing the influence of the region's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.