Dalai Lama’s Visa denial, forced World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates out of South Africa: Jody Williams

Sep 30, 2014 18:06 |

Dharamsala(Arvind Sharma ) 1st Oct

 The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Cape Town, South Africa, fixed for  this month has been shifted  away from South Africa owing to denial of a travel visa by the host country to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a visiting Nobel laureate Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams of the US told reporters in Dharamsala on Wednesday. "The venue of the summit has been shifted out of South Africa," The new venue for the summit would be announced later, she said. The 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (NPL) scheduled for this month in Cape Town has been cancelled, following the woman Nobel Laureates boycotting the event in a protest against South Africa's visa refusal to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

"We are proud to say that our protest resulted in end of the World Summit in south africa . It has been canceled and now being shifted because enough of NPLs refused to go," said Jody Williams the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"I remember that approximately eight years ago there was a summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Costa Rica and President of the country Oscar Arias Sanchez was himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but due to pressure from Chinese government they had to pull back invitation from Dalai Lama, and no one then participated in summit and it was cancelled," said Shirin Ebadi, of Iran, who won the prestigious prize in 2003.

Ebadi further told in order to show the government of China that the Dalai Lama and people of Tibet are not alone .

"What Tibetans are talking is about justice and human rights and that's why the world supports them," she said adding 'Unfortunately same thing happened in South Africa.'

She said there is a history of fighting against racial discrimination in South Africa and we never expected this country will deny visa to Dalai Lama. Ebadi even questioned Archbishop Desmond Tutu's silence on the issue. "I am surprised over the stoic silence of Desmond Tutu. I know he is not part of the government but he's not making his views public," Ebadi said.

"Let's not forget whosoever decides to stay silent against the dictator government is contributing to the dictatorship," she added.

Coming out in support of the Tibetan government-in-exile's cause, Ebadi said that she came to Dharamsala  to learn from Dalai Lama , who has been leading a non-violent struggle for over 50 years. She hoped that someday, she will be in free Tibet.

Meanwhile, Lobsang Sangay,Tibetan Prime Minister -in-exile  told that people will come to know about the new venue by Thursday.

This year's Nobel summit in Cape Town on October 13-15 was backed by foundations representing four South African peace laureates - Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Albert Luthuli. It was to be hosted by two surviving South African Nobel Laureates Tutu and de Klerk.  

The World Summit of NPL is an annual event in the field of peacemaking, attracting NPLs, high-profile leaders and organisations from all over the world. The summit, created by Vadim Zagladin and the Gorbachev Foundation, is chaired by former Soviet President and NPL Mikhail Gorbachev and co-chaired by former Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni.