News / Africa

South Africa Again Refuses Visa for Dalai Lama

FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures to devotees before he starts teaching on the fifth day of Kalachakra near Leh, India.
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures to devotees before he starts teaching on the fifth day of Kalachakra near Leh, India.
VOA News

The Dalai Lama has again been refused entry into South Africa where he was going to attend a world summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Cape Town, his South African representative said.

It is the third time the country has refused him entry. In the past, South Africa has cited concerns about angering China for refusing to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama.

The refusal could provoke a boycott of the 14th annual peace summit, according to a spokesman for South African laureate and former archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the disputed Tibet region, lives in exile in India and is at loggerheads with Beijing over Tibet.

Economic, political clout

China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of covertly campaigning for Tibet's independence, regularly uses its growing economic and political clout to put pressure on governments around the world to limit contact with the Dalai Lama.

China is one of South Africa's major trading partners.

The South African Foreign Ministry confirmed that its High Commission in New Delhi had received the Dalai Lama's visa application but denied it had been rejected, saying it was being subjected to “normal due process.”

“The relevant authorities will communicate with the applicant thereafter,” spokesman Clayson Monyela said.

The Dalai Lama was welcomed to South Africa in 1996 and met with Nelson Mandela, the country's first black and democratically elected president.

But in 2009, the South African government kept the Dalai Lama from attending a Nobel laureates' peace conference, saying it would detract attention from the 2010 soccer World Cup that was hosted here.

The spiritual leader later made plans to travel to South Africa in October 2011 to attend the 80th birthday party of a fellow Nobel laureate Tutu. The South African government did not issue the visa and the Dalai Lama ultimately withdrew his application.

A South African court in 2012 ruled that officials "unreasonably delayed" a decision about whether to grant the Dalai Lama a visa for the 2011 trip, largely out of fears of angering the Chinese government.

The Nobel summit in Cape Town in October is backed by foundations representing four South African peace laureates - Tutu, Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk and Albert Luthuli.

Along with the surviving South Africans - Tutu and De Klerk - the organizers said 13 individuals and eight organizations had confirmed that they would attend the summit, including former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.

Criticizes boycott

But a spokesman for De Klerk, the South African former president who won the Nobel prize alongside liberation icon Nelson Mandela, said he did not think a boycott of the summit would be the right response.

"I think the message has gone out that boycotting the summit would be the very worst way of protesting," Dave Steward, executive director of the FW de Klerk Foundation, told the French news agency AFP.

"The best way would be to come to the summit and celebrate the 20th anniversary of our democracy and then make any views they want to make known at the summit."

He said a refusal of a visa for the Dalai Lama would be "the antithesis of the values of our constitution."

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who is organizing next month's conference, said, “We remain hopeful that the national government will grant the visa in order to spare South Africa the international humiliation of failing to do so."  

Material for this report comes from Reuters, AFP and AP.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs