The Dalai Lama calls off South Africa visit, Expresses regret

Oct 04, 2011 17:18 | Poltics
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The South African government finds it inconvenient to issue visa to Nobel Peace laureate the Dalai Lama,” Tempa Tsering.

Dharamsala,Arvind Sharma  October 4

Dalai Lama called off a planned visit to South Africa after continued delays by the African nation in issuing him a visa. This was declared by the Representative of Dalai Lama in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Dalai Lama was scheduled to visit South Africa from October 6 – 14. Specially to attend fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop . Bishop Tutu’s 80th Birth Anniversary Inaugural Lecture and to receive the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation. He was also to give lectures in number of universities and organisations including Stellenbosch University.

Contrary to earlier statements by the South African officials that the visa delay was being caused by “incomplete documents,” the Dalai Lama’s Representative Tempa Tsering said that the required documents were duly submitted. “The visa applications for Dalai Lama and the entourage members were submitted to the South African High Commission in New Delhi at the end of August and original passports were submitted on 20th September, over two weeks ago,” Tsering said.

“We are, therefore, now convinced that for whatever reason or reasons, the South African government finds it inconvenient to issue visa to the Dalai Lama,” Tempa added.

 “Dalai Lama travels around the world to promote human values, religious harmony, world peace, and compassion: principles that form the core of his communications and interactions everywhere. And in doing so, Dalai Lama does not want to create any inconveniences to anyone, individuals or governments,” the statement issued from Delhi said.

"The department of international relations and co-operation is dealing with it. I don't know what will be the final thing. I don't think that you can get a definite answer from me," The South African President Jacob Zuma said and remained non-committal on granting a visa to Dalai Lama.