News / Africa

    Tutu Criticizes South African Government; Dalai Lama Cancels Visit

    The Dalai Lama, left, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Seattle, Washington, April 2008 (file photo).
    The Dalai Lama, left, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Seattle, Washington, April 2008 (file photo).

    Multimedia

    Audio

    South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said the country's governing party, the African National Congress, is worse than the apartheid regime for delaying a decsion on a visa for the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The office of the Dalai Lama says that because of the uncertainty surrounding the visa application a visit to South Africa for Bishop Tutu's 80th birthday celebration has been cancelled.



    “Mubarak had a large majority. Gadhafi had a large marjority. Watch out. I am warning you. Watch out.  Please watch out,” warned Tutu.

    It is not since the years of apartheid that South Africans have heard Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu issuing furious warnings to the government of the day. Archbishop Tutu is angry at the government of President Jacob Zuma for its failure to manage the visa application of the Dalai Lama with courtesy.

    “I have to say that I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe it," said Tutu. "I mean you have to wake me up and tell me that this is actually happening here. And it is quite unbelievable the discourtesy that they have shown to the Dalai Lama. I mean, the Dalai Lama!”

    The “Arch” as he is fondly known by his fellow citizens, was responding to the decision by the Dalai Lama not to travel to South Africa after the government, after five months, failed to either refuse or grant him a visa to attend Archbishop Tutu’s 80th birthday celebration this week. The spiritual leader was also scheduled to address students in three provinces.

    Tutu said that even in the days of apartheid, the government always responded to applications even if the decision was as expected, almost always negative. He said it is clear that the government is quite determined to avoid doing anything that will upset the Chinese government. He noted that during his tenure, President Nelson Mandela refused to be told who South Africa should have as friends.

    “I mean when you think that Madiba [Nelson Mandela] was able to say to the most powerful country, “look you don’t choose our friends for us” - and to say to the United States about Cuba. That really takes some doing, but he did and they did nothing," Tutu said. "If anything their respect for him grew. “

    Tutu said that he finds it extraordinary that the African National Congress government, which received so much international support in its struggle to end an oppressive system, can be so uncaring about the people of Tibet who are oppressed by the Chinese government.   He says those in power represent only their personal interests.

    “You are disgraceful, I want to warn you. You are behaving in a way that is totally at variance with the things for which we stood," Tutu added. "I am warning you. I am warning you. That we will pray as we prayed for the downfall of the apartheid government, we will pray for the downfall of the government that misrepresents us.”

    Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said the Dalai Lama didn't have to cancel his visit, and that he was not refused a visa.

    South Africa accounts for 20 percent of China's trade in Africa and the countries last year signed a strategic partnership agreement.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora