Monday, March 23, 2009

South Africa Denies Visa to the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has been denied a Visa to attend an international peace conference in Johannesburg this week by the government of South Africa.

Thabo Masebe, the head of South Africa's Government and Media Liaison, said that it was not in his country's best interest for the Dalai Lama to attend, citing concerns that his presence would shift focus away from the 2010 World Cup - which is scheduled to be held there. "We cannot allow focus to shift to China and Tibet," said Masebe. Fellow Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu said he would boycott the event if the Dalai Lama continued to be excluded.

Oddly enough, South Africa has gained quite a bit lately from its trading relationship with China. Make of that what you will.

6 comments:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Isn't it pretty obvious?

James said...

Yes, Soccer is so much more important than world peace.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

You know, China needs a new PR person...one that operates from lack of fear, one who operates ¨as if¨ China isn´t paranoid but mostly operates as if China is a criminal state...maybe China needs a makeover fast because it´s lack of charm is spooked.

JCF said...

What do Mandiba (Mandela) and St. Desmond say? This Thabo Masebe *sshat is turning SA's human rights legacy on its head! >:-(

Kahu Aloha said...

How tragic. South Africa was able to oust the evil of Apartheid in part because governments and other organizations sttod in solidarity with them in support of equal rights and freedom. To see them crawling into bed with China and thus turning their backs on the cause of Tibetan freedom and self-determination is beyond sad.

Ann said...

Tutu says this.