Conflicting reports confound South African visa decision on Dalai Lama


Dalai Lama pic 1

(, Sep06, 2014) – While the Dalai Lama’s South Africa representative has said Sep 4 that the country’s International Relations and Cooperation Department had phoned her to say the exile spiritual leader of Tibet’s visa application had been denied in order to avoid offending China, the department’s spokesman has been cited as saying Sep 5 that no such decision had been taken. South Africa’s High Commissioner to India, FK Morule, has also said Sep 5 that the no decision had been taken yet.

However, the ministry’s spokesperson Clayson Monyela has seized upon the reported cancellation of the visit by the Dalai Lama to say the issue was now considered closed, according to an APA report posted on the website Sep 5. It cited Monyelsa as saying the Dalai Lama had cancelled his planned trip to South Africa without any explanation.

Reuters Sep 5 cited the department as saying it had received written confirmation that the Dalai Lama had cancelled his trip to South Africa.

However, Sep 5 cited Morule as saying he had “heard” that the Dalai Lama had cancelled his visit and added that he would be meeting a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in New Delhi on Sep 6.

“No decision has been taken on the Dalai Lama’s visa application yet,” Morule was quoted as saying in reply to a question by news agency IANS, adding that his government held the Nobel Peace Prize winner in high esteem and respected him.

However, Morule has also said countries have “national interest”.

“Countries have got national interest… that does not take away the respect they have for eminent people like the Dalai Lama. But South Africa cannot be adventurous, these are the realities of life,” the report quoted him as saying.

The Dalai Lama needs the visa to attend the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to be held in Cape Town from Oct 13 to 15. Other Noble Peace laureates are said to have threatened to boycott the event if the Dalai Lama is not allowed in.


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