Zuma urged to give Dalai Lama a visa


President Jacob Zuma has been called upon to guarantee a visa for the Dalai Lama, to attend next month’s World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Cape Town.

This follows after the Tibetan Spiritual leader had his application rejected on September 8th, marking the third time in five years that he has not been allowed to enter the country.

In a letter written to the president, fourteen of the attending Nobel laureates, which amongst others include former Polish president Lech Walesa, Bangladeshi entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Northern Irish peacemakers David Trimble and John Hume, have expressed their disappointment at Pretoria’s refusal to grant the Dalai Lama access, calling on Zuma to rectify the matter.

“We are deeply concerned about the damage that will be done to South Africa’s international image by a refusal – or failure – to grant him a visa yet again,” the group wrote.

They also stated that they are aware of what impact the Dalai Lama’s visit may have regarding trading relations between South Africa and its biggest trading partner, China, who view him as a separatist following Tibet’s 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

“We understand the sensitivities involved - but would like to point out that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, no longer holds any political office. [Instead], he would participate in the summit solely in his capacity as a globally respected spiritual leader,” the group wrote.

The Summit is the first of its kind to take place in South Africa, and his being hosted by the foundations representing South Africa’s four laureates, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former presidents, Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and former ANC president, Albert Luthuli.


IMAGE sourced from dwaddle.com