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Dalai Lama sees South Africa’s visa denial as bullying

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during ceremonies to mark 25 years since he received the Nobel Peace Prize at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, India on October 2, 2014. (Photo courtesu / Tenzin Choejor / OHHDL
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during ceremonies to mark 25 years since he received the Nobel Peace Prize at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, India on October 2, 2014. (Photo courtesy / Tenzin Choejor / OHHDL)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct04, 2014) – Breaking his silence on South Africa’s denial of visa for him for the third time over the last five years, which led to the “suspension” of the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates, otherwise scheduled to be held in Cape Town from Oct 13 to 15, the Dalai Lama has said he felt like being bullied.

“The treatment by the South African government is like bullying a humble person who has no protection,” the IANS news service Oct 2 quoted him as saying while addressing a gathering at Dharamshala, India, organized by the exile Tibetan administration to felicitate him on his winning the Nobel Peace prize 25 years ago.

Acknowledging the solidarity and support shown by fellow Noble Peace laureates over the issue, he pointed to Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines founder Jody Williams from the USA and described them as his protection.

Williams accused President Jacob Zuma’s government of “selling its sovereignty” to China, reported the AFP Oct 3. She has further said: “Not a single laureate is happy about that decision (to cancel). Fourteen laureates protested to President (Jacob) Zuma, pressuring him, begging him, to give a visa to His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) so that we all could be together and celebrate in South Africa the legacy of Nelson Mandela.”

The two Nobel Peace laureates also said the decision to boycott the summit in South Africa sent a strong message to China that they won’t bend under its pressure.

“The boycott of the Nobel summit was a message to the Chinese government and those countries who sell their soul and sovereignty,” Jody Williams was further quoted as saying.

Oct 2 this year was the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

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