Victoria’s Buddhist community fears a spiritual leader may soon face deportation after the Department of Home Affairs rejected his best chance of a visa extension.
- The Venerable Geshe Rapten’s application for exemption from an English language test has been rejected
- The Tibetan abbot ran afoul of rules about speaking English because of contact with the broader comunity
- Without the exemption, monks and nuns say he is likely to be made to leave the country
Geshe Lharampa Thubten Rapten moved from a monastery in southern India with his translator to lead the state’s Mahayana Buddhist community in 2015.
He lives at Thubten Sheng Ling Monastery, nestled in the bush near Bendigo, central Victoria, guiding monks and nuns in their vows.
Geshe Rapten applied for a labour agreement with the monastery and, as a minister of religion in a cloistered environment, requested an exemption from taking an English language test.
He teaches the…