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Dissident Chinese writer meets Karmapa

Invites him to Berlin lit fest,wants him to join prayers for Tibetans who have committed suicide

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 9, 2012 1:25:59 am

Dissident Chinese author Liao Yiwu,who famously escaped to Germany last year after several stints in prison in his homeland for his controversial writings,is in India and met the 17th Karmapa in Dharamshala in an effort to get him leader to visit Berlin.

The Chinese author,who belongs to Sichuan province and had been barred by Beijing to publish his works abroad,met Ugyen Trinley Dorje,the 17th Karmapa,on Saturday morning and extended an invitation to the leader to visit the ongoing literary festival in Berlin.

Liao,whose works on the downtrodden and persecuted in China led to him going to jail several times,is best known for his book The Corpse Walker: Real-Life Stories,China from the Bottom Up that was never allowed to be published in his country.

The author,who slipped across the border into Vietnam last year before getting asylum in Germany,had made a strong case for the visit of the Karmapa to Berlin to ‘join in prayers’ for Tibetans in China who have committed self-immolation in protest against the authorities.

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Liao has been trying to get permission for the Karmapa’s visit to Germany for the past few months. The author,who is a guest of honour at the International Literature Festival in Berlin as well as the peace prize winner 2012 of the German Book Trade,spoke at length about the Karmapa and the self-immolations in Tibet at the opening ceremony of the festival.

His visit to Dharamshala is part of the efforts to arrange his visit to Germany — a complicated matter given the Karmapa’s status as a political refugee in India and the fact that he has rarely been allowed to go abroad. He has been overseas only twice — both times to the US — since he fled to India in January 2000 due to travel restrictions imposed by New Delhi.

After meeting with the Karmapa,Liao told The Sunday Express in an email exchange that the last “challenge” to the spiritual leader’s visit to Berlin is permission from the Indian government. “We are facing the last gateway: the exit permission for 17th Gyalwang Karmapa… we are waiting to see what the Indian government is going to treat this invitation of the Berlin visit,” he said.

Sources close to Liao said that during the meeting,the Karmapa conveyed that he was “ very anxious” about incidents of self-immolation in Tibet and and would love to come to Berlin to “pray for the departed souls as well as the suffering Tibetans”.

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