Dalai Lama pokes fun at China slurs

2011-10-08 16:05

Cape Town - The Dalai Lama on Saturday slammed censorship in China as "immoral" and poked fun at denunciations of himself in a video chat with Desmond Tutu after he was not granted a visa in time to travel to South Africa.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's absence was symbolised by an empty chair at the event at the University of the Western Cape where he was meant to deliver an inaugural peace lecture to wrap Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations.

"Some Chinese officials describe me as a demon so naturally some fear about the demon," the Dalai Lama told Tutu via a laughter-filled live video link when asked why the Chinese feared him.

"First I'm hurt... (Now) I feel laughing, so I immediately respond yes I have horn," he added, miming horns on his head with his fingers.

Sparking discomfort

The furore over the visa overshadowed the run-up to Tutu's birthday with the former anti-apartheid activist launching a virulent attack on President Jacob Zuma's administration for kowtowing to its biggest trade partner China.

The Dalai Lama said hypocrisy and telling lies had unfortunately become part of life in "the communist totalitarian system" and people who spoke truthfully and honestly sparked discomfort.

"I often tell him (Tutu) 1.3 billion Chinese people should have every right to know...reality, then 1.3 billion Chinese people also have the ability to judge what's right, what wrong, so therefore censorship is immoral."

He also urged China to raise its judicial system up to international law standards.

'Transparency essential'

China clearly had the potential to take "a constructive role" in the world, he said.

"Respect, trust from the rest of the world is very necessary. For that reason, transparency is very essential," he added.

The discussion between the two Nobel Peace Prize laureates who are close friends was filled with banter, after a last ditch attempt by Tutu's office urging the government to grant the Dalai Lama a visa failed.

"As a man of truth, man of God, please live long," the Dalai Lama told Tutu.

"Your 90th birthday, I'm looking forward. At that time, don't forget send me (an) invitation. Then we can test your government."

In turn, Tutu admitted to a "mutual admiration society" and praised the Tibetan as a person who "makes holiness so attractive" and "a bundle of joy" despite being in exile for more than 50 years.

"He is in fact quite mischievous. I have to warn him sometimes and say 'hey, hey, hey, look here, the cameras are on us, you need to try and behave like a holy man'," he said.

'Century of dialogue'

China has always sought to curb the Dalai Lama's overseas travels, warning host governments that any visit would harm ties, especially if he is met by state officials.

The Tibetan has lived in India since 1959 since fleeing an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

Describing the previous century as a century of violence, he urged talk to solve problems and urged compassion.

"This century should be (the) century of dialogue," he said.

The talk wrapped a three-day celebration for Tutu which included a book launch of a new biography and a church service in the cathedral where he fought the white minority regime.

Read more on:    desmond tutu  |  dalai lama  |  china
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kalk Bay - 18:47 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay
  • Thursday Grabouw - 18:36 PM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    HEAVY DELAYS through Grabouw (weekend holiday volumes)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.