New World Immigration reported last week that the South African Department of Home Affairs had decided not to grant the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s visa application.
This is the third time in five years that the Dalai Lama’s visa application had been rejected by the South African government. Previously the Buddhist monk had tried to apply for a visa to attend the birthday celebrations of fellow Nobel laureate, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, but delays in the processing of his visa had resulted in him being unable to attend the event.
Then as it is now, it is believed that the South African government had instructed the Department of Home Affairs not to grant the monk’s visa as a measure of protecting South Africa’s trade partnership with China. The Dalai Lama is campaigning for Tibetan independence from China.
Now the majority of the delegates at the Laureates summit in Cape Town had withdrawn and the summit has subsequently been cancel. The Nobel Prize winners who had been invited to attend the summit had with-drawn in protest against the South African government’s decision not to grant the Dalai Lama access into the country.
Yesterday confirmation came that the event, which was scheduled to be held in Cape Town from October 13 to 15, had been scrapped.
In reaction, ‘Friends of Tibet’ tweeted that the event had been cancelled “owing to denial of visa by host country” to the Dalai Lama.
This is not the first time this has happened. According to the report, the summit was meant to have been held in Costa Rica eight years ago, but was cancelled under similar circumstances when the Chinese government put pressure on that government not to grant the Dalai Lama a visa.
Speaking to News Minute US Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams told reporters, “The venue of the summit has been shifted out of South Africa.”