US under-secretary goes on a secret mission to Bylakuppe

Coorg Tibetan Monestery – CoorgCreek.com

US under-secretary of state for democracy and global affairs Maria Otero, who is also specially designated for Tibetan affairs, on Wednesday, visited the world’s largest Tibetan settlement at Bylakuppe.

Her visit assumed pan-India importance following the fresh influx of refugees from the Himalayan nation into India recently and also the row involving Karmapa Lama, where a large chunk of Chinese currency was recovered from his monastery in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. However, her visit was a totally hushed-up affair and the settlement officials were instructed not to reveal any information.

“Otero’s visit was organised in a hurry. We were told to prepare for her visit just 48 hours back,” said a senior official of the settlement.

Her visit lasted three hours. First, she interacted with a group of Buddhist scholars both from junior and senior grades and spoke to their teachers separately.She also met the administrators and representatives of the settlement and visited one of the farm groups. Otero later visited the Buddhist Golden temple or the Namdroling monastery.

Sources who accompanied Otero on the tour of the settlement told DNA that her visit was arranged to get firsthand information about the problems faced by Tibetan refugees in India.

A senior expert in political science and international affairs at Mysore University told DNA on condition of anonymity, “The US is now worried over the Chinese influence in Indian politics and economy. If the US wants to block Chinese influence in India, Tibetan knowledge and experience is the only way. After the fall of Russia, the US is closely watching the largest surviving Communist block in the world that is in China and Tibetan affairs vis-a-vis the Indian reflections on the Tibetan refugees will give the US a foothold in the Sino-Indian scenario.”

Largest Tibetan settlement
Bylakuppe is the largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet and has been the hope of thousands of refugees who first came to India in 1959, escaping Chinese oppression. There are10,700 refugees who are engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The Tibetan Settlement Co-operative Society runs agro workshops, petrol pumps, restaurants, tourist circuits, shops selling Tibetan artisan products and food items.

After 50 years of co-existence with the Indian population in Kushalnagar and Periyapatna, the refugees have now spread out in Kodagu and Mysore districts. Many of them have integrated well with local society, and earn a livelihood here. The Mysore University reserves certain number of seats forrefugee monks who have graduated from the Buddhist theology courses at monasteries in Bylakuppe.

For more Coorg Buddhist temple  pics, please click here

– DNAIndia

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