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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

update Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More