Govt 'disrespectful' of Dalai Lama

2011-09-29 07:26

Johannesburg - The way the South African government has responded to the Dalai Lama's visa application is "disrespectful", the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre said on Wednesday.

It quoted Tutu as saying in an interview this was "reminiscent of the way authorities dealt with applications by black South Africans for travel documents under apartheid".

The centre said in a statement that an official from the international relations department had apologised to Tutu for its "tardy" response to the application.

However, department spokesperson Clayson Monyela suggested to the media that the Tibetan spiritual leader did not know how to apply for a visa and had only submitted the relevant documentation six days ago, the peace centre said.


"They have had all the documentation required to make their decision on the visa, and received the physical passport for stamping on 20 September when His Holiness returned from a visit to South America," the Office of Tibet in Pretoria spokesperson Sonam Tenzing said in a statement.

"This is a process that his holiness's representatives have dealt with many times in the past."

On Monday, chairperson of the peace centre, Dumisa Ntsebeza, said he had sent four letters to Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim but had not received a response.

Tutu has invited the Dalai Lama - who was refused entry into the country two years ago - to his 80th birthday celebrations in Cape Town on October 7.

Tutu warned that the government would "shoot itself in the foot" by again refusing his fellow Nobel Peace laureate entry into South Africa.

In 2009, South Africa barred the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader from visiting the country to attend a peace conference, for fear of jeopardising ties with China, a key trade partner.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet during a failed uprising in 1959. He accepts Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him of being a separatist and opposes his regular meetings with foreign leaders.

  • PB - 2011-09-29 07:36

    The anc government are oh so scared of upsetting their chinese masters - they would never have the courage to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. This is just the thin edge of the wedge - within the next couple of months, they would not be allowed to go to the loo without asking china for permission first.

      Andrew - 2011-09-29 08:32

      The government and the ANC are so quick to condemn Western Imperialism. But cowards when it come to real threat of Chinese Imperialism.

      backinPerth - 2011-09-29 08:39

      Australia has a lot more too loose by upsetting China and we still let the Dalai Lama in the country. We must all be brave enough to snub China every now and then for what's right.

      falcon2020 - 2011-09-29 08:59

      Please comment directly to government for the next 60 hours thru the National Planning Commitee 2030 vision, online Jam. How do we move forward? If you have any constructive ideas PLEASE register. Place you concerns directly on the JAM and receive realtime feedback from government!

      Coconut - 2011-09-29 09:10

      Personally I don't respect anyone who is referred to as "His Holiness". Whether it is the pope or archbishop or Jesus or Mohamed. They are all just ordinary people. There's no such thing as holy except in our minds.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-29 09:39

      MOTHLANTHE was ORDERED to CHINA... not an "OFFICIAL" state visit... The ANC's SLIT-EYED MASTERS are NOT HAPPY CHAPPIES!!! Just who the hell does this TUTU character think he is?????

  • judicatordex - 2011-09-29 07:44

    "This is a process that his holiness's representatives have dealt with many times in the past." His Holiness' - no 's... basic grammar come on News24.

      daaivark - 2011-09-29 07:54

      Tragically it has also become naive to expect 1) decent grammar or spelling, or 2) decently researched work from News24. This once very respectably media service once boasted a language office of great quality. But somewhere along the line in the last 2 years or so, the writing coming from their stable has just gone to the dogs.

      buzz - 2011-09-29 08:42

      @ thatpig - 'respectably media service' - seems you could pay a little more attention to your own shortcomings before harping on about others' innit.

      Icepick - 2011-09-29 09:16

      @ daaivark: Don't sweat the small things mate. We've got so many other problems of a deeply disturbing nature in this poor old beleaguered country. Although, I just love your wildly mixed metaphor: 'the writing coming from their stable has just gone to the dogs!' Hahaha! Actually, here's a thought: For those of us who still make the effort to text in completed words, who avoid slang, who ensure that - as a courtesy to the intended recipients - outgoing mails are 'spell-checked' and free of grammatical nightmares, and especially those who have seen the writing on the wall and understand that the English language in its entirety has entered a downward spiral of monumental proportions - let's join hands (or heads) and bitch about that instead of the academic, botched-up and clearly pointless issue of South African politics in the 21 century.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-29 09:43

      Guys... go easy on THAT PIG... the fellow has NOTHING ELSE TO DO during the day... this is his ONLY form of Communication with opther beings!!! He WILL NIT PICK over gramatical errors... and throw in the inevitable "Explain yourself"...... VAAAK!

      PB - 2011-09-29 11:46

      Remember, Piggy boy said in a previous post that he is a civil servant - this is why he has such a lot of time available to scrutinize (let me quickly check my spelling first...) every post on News24

  • ian b - 2011-09-29 07:46

    Ref David Bullard

  • semaj - 2011-09-29 07:49

    What on earth does one expect? A government that has no leg to stand on, spins the whole story around to create a perpetrator, saying "not applied for in time"!!!!!!!

  • daaivark - 2011-09-29 07:51

    It is naive of Tutu to expect our current mob of political artistes to SHOW respect. It is simply not within the realm of their capabilities. They only know how to demand it, and how to pout if they don't get as much as they think they deserve.

      Dal68 - 2011-09-29 08:34


  • AfroMaleGp - 2011-09-29 07:55

    This is disgusting.Why must we sell our soul to China.Have they forgotten that during Apartheid ,Israel and a few countries ignored our suffering under Apartheid and recognised Bantustans.Now they are ignoring the suffering people of Tibet.

  • Vince York - 2011-09-29 08:01

    NOT merely disrespectful but DISGRACEFUL and a terrible reflection on all of us - to even dither over such a matter and a person and all that he stands for. But then, we are inured even to the total disrespect thrown at out own opposition political leaders like Zille and Holmisa and many others whenever the "opportunism" and continuing criminally arrogant unethical and immoral reigning regime attitudes present themselves. It is the underlying reason that SA society accepts such huge volumes of violent murder and the denial of ubuntu, in favor of rather irrational and brutal ways like sheer beasts. It was NOT long ago that most South Africans were oppressed and displaced just as China is doing to the Tibetans and to this man their leader - so don't let the black greed get in the way because the entire world is fast turning its back on the ruling regime now in SA! This black greed is merely being USED by the east to get a few of the greediest to SELL US OUT FOR NEXT TO NOTHING - raw materials especially. WHY do you think those nations needed to rid themselves of a powerful force in this land preventing them from cheap access for so long before 1990? Because they loved black people and our lands sovereignty? BEE and AA has given them the perfect opportunity to take the gap and quietly slip the knife into your ribs so that their own BILLIONS can survive more easily! greater than 20% of African land and farms is now already owned by the middle and far east!

      Kahki Boshoff - 2011-09-29 08:12

      They were actually given an entire country that was self sustaining and with 1st world infrastructure. Now we just need to wait for the troop (ANCYL) to keep growing and then the trash can (ANC Government) in the car park (Parliament) will be too small to control them. So they will move into the residential areas (Mines,Agriculture,Commerce) and start pilfering from there. SA is on course for a historical catastrophe which the genocide of whites has already started. Weak, frail and defenceless white people who live in remote and vulnerable areas will keep getting killed as long as the rest of the ignorant white population sit there and read about it. The hate campaign of Julius Malema is still to be seen. The head of the police ensuring that this is maintained as 'unmotivated killings' Our least worries are for the fishhead A-Z insect eaters to devour Africa.

      Bill - 2011-09-29 08:33

      Kahki Boshoff - Well said, Sir!

      Johannes - 2011-10-04 12:16

      @ Vince Just to add to your comment. This is not only happening in SA. Many countries are experiencing the same fate. But I will say that most other countries at least put the breaks on and ask what can be purchased in China to even the playing fields. SA Government is too inexperienced to realize that they have bargaining power. They just give and give until the whole SA will be red ( Communistic red and human blood split). Look at Zimbabwe people, if you don't conform to the leading party you are beaten ( Chinese form of torture) Mugabe style which he learnt from the Chinese.

  • Antionette - 2011-09-29 08:05

    The government disrespects a lot of people - why would old Dalai be different?

      Fred - 2011-09-29 09:52

      Good point, thet are very quick to demand respect, but have shown disrespect to others on numerous occassions. Respect is earned only those not deserving of respect, demand it.

      leonard - 2011-09-29 12:00

      @Antionette......Agreed.However,to come back to Tutu.The possible expenditure of,who knows,maybe R1 million on a party is disgusting.He should rather put this soon to be wasted money into his much vaunted(by him)special wealth tax account bearing in mind that the money will be coming from white funding.NO PARTY is my call.

  • FreedomFight - 2011-09-29 08:09

    How can we expect anything else from our GUVAMUND - run by a bunch of primates in fancy suits?

      lungelo mpatho - 2011-09-29 10:59

      u r the reason Malema sings.....come on keep it up!

      PB - 2011-09-29 11:52

      lungelo, can you honestly deny that your guvamund is a bunch of criminal, conniving, incapable, skelm, fat, bling-bling puppets who jump every time the masters from China tells them to?

  • MrBodacious - 2011-09-29 08:11

    The Dalai Lama is a CIA funded terrorist who, with the help of the CIA, eliminated 11 other Bhuddist sects in Tibet so he could claim power and further the USA's agenda in the Far is he different from Saddam and other CIA puppets gone rogue.... I don't usually agree with this "all knowing" government of ours, but in this instance I wouldn't have given him a visa either....

      Janine - 2011-09-29 09:22


      Fred - 2011-09-29 09:55

      The americans and the cia are blamed for many things, but rarely is there any proof, what harm could the old man be to SA, except by upsetting the ANC's new paymaster, China.

      roboman1 - 2011-09-29 09:59

      worth a thought

  • Not Black - 2011-09-29 08:13

    Dear Arch, What goes around, comes around. You have been totally blind and naiive in seeing ALL the "DISRESPECTFUL" activities of this Adverse Discriminating ANC Govt that you depend on. Even after of 17 years of ANC Totalitarianism & Cronies Power, you are selectively quiet on such embarrassing ANC stupidity & their Chinese Masters who have SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORDS. Instead of enjoying your Birthday Bash, why don't you USE THE MONEY ( even if it is from other ANC struggle Cronies) to make this incident an INTERNATIONAL ISSUE of ANC DOUBLE STANDARDS? If not, then just be honest to admit that such expense should be more appropriate to donate to some Soup Kitchens or Feeding Schemes. Mahatma Gandhi never had any Birthday Bashes; he chose to expose Immoralities by going on Hunger Strikes to expose the TRUTH. Would You? But then again, Gandhi was not an ANC Card Holding Member. I Rest my Case.

      WCD - 2011-09-29 12:42

      Tutu must keep his opinions to himself and go plant onions with all the other monks. He will soon realize the borders of his powers when he starts jeopardizing business matters for the anc

  • Robin7 - 2011-09-29 08:16

    Come on, someone would have realised that there was a problem when the application for a South African Visa was in Chinese....

  • errol.wagner - 2011-09-29 08:18

    This is democracy and freedom of religion!!!

  • WaxinLyrical - 2011-09-29 08:33

    Go TUTU! make a stand against Chinas lap dogs!

  • Wouter Louw - 2011-09-29 08:43

    Just wondering what made him so distinct to refer to him as (H)is (H)oliness ... with a capital "H" I might add. He is just a man like the rest of us. In our modern society and so called "world's most advanced democrasy" where all women and men are suppose to be equal on all levels of society, how dare some still expect to be treated "holier than thou"? Respect is earned by example, not by force, claiming or by being placed on a pedestal by a few mislead people who thinks otherwise ...

      Fred - 2011-09-29 10:13

      Don't you Afrikaanser use words like U and die UWE for your priests?

      The Patriot - 2011-09-29 11:15

      your wisdom is profound

  • Bokke - 2011-09-29 08:47

    Anyway, the fact that China is our "main trade partner" doesn't mean that in whatever we do we should please them! We pay them fior the goods they sell to us, so they our Govt. have to kiss their back side?!!! Their enemy is not our enemy!! If they don't want Dalai Lama in their country its fine, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to deny him access in our country!! S A Govt. must catch a wake up!!

  • beicime - 2011-09-29 08:47

    The Chinese will comquer South Africa but that's not a problem as long as a few ones improve their bank accounts overseas.

  • Thometsana - 2011-09-29 08:49

    Dalai lama is no different from other people.He must follow the same procedure everyone follows when applying for visa.It doesn't matter if he is Tutu's friend or not.If delaying to submit all reruired documents may cause him not to be able to come to SA,then let it be,that's not the authorities problem.

  • capetownphotographer - 2011-09-29 08:49

    "Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values." Dalai Lama @siyagobhoza

  • Ben - 2011-09-29 08:50

    Gov't better learn to say "Please sir, may I have some more?" and "How high?" in Mandarin...

  • capetownphotographer - 2011-09-29 08:51

    We only allow cheap Louis Vuitton bags into the country, not men of wisdom and peace. "Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace." Dalai Lama

  • MAWEMAWE - 2011-09-29 08:54

    are we still on this dalai lama issue?tutu and whatever your peace centre we are fed up with this thing of yours,you better concentrate on the wealth tax please.

  • Skietlood - 2011-09-29 09:03

    Desmond Tutu is a false Christian and that is why is giving so much respect to the Dalai Lama. You cannot call yourself a Christian (follower of the Lord Jesus Christ) and also hold on to and protect Budhists!

      Janine - 2011-09-29 09:23

      Judge much?

      Jason - 2011-09-29 09:42

      Tutu is the one Cristian I can stomach.... Plus what is a true Christian as 33000 different versions exist and they disagree on pretty much everything. So keep the Jesus babel on silent please.

      Fred - 2011-09-29 10:20

      Didn't Jesus die for all our sins, what about love thy neighbour, is the DL not a neighbour, and who was it who commented, beware of judging other less you be judge........ you sound like a worse christian than either DT or DL?

  • pragmatism - 2011-09-29 09:10

    all this noise for just a party?

      Voyager - 2011-09-29 12:27

      No - it's a principle. Phansi cANCer, phansi!!

  • Isibobo - 2011-09-29 09:12

    The Rainbow Nation who was adored by millions in 90's will not grant a visa to a spiritual leader. How sad it is to see all that work flushed down the toilet. Once favored, now siding with dictators and human rights violators. No wonder the UK punished us by restricting SA visas. Pretty soon the South African passport will be worth the same again as it was in pre-94 -nothing more than toilet paper! The "Mandela-honeymoon" period is over and once again we are moving into isolation.

      Fred - 2011-09-29 10:23

      The SA passport is already not worth the paper its printed on thanks to the interior ministries continued issuing of false passport.

  • tootingdel - 2011-09-29 09:14

    The Government should do what is right. The problem is that it is spineless. It needs to stand up to bullies like China, Mugabe, Malema and do what is right morally and for the country. Will it ever learn?

  • Guillermo - 2011-09-29 09:22

    jaaaaa, but if Bishop Tutu would have invited Gadaffi, he would be flown in in zuma's airforce 0 & welcomed on a red carpet by high ranking goverment officials,hey? I guess if Santa Claus was for real, as a peace & children loving person, he would have to apply for a visa too & unless all his toys were made in China, they will be refused the visa.

  • Jason - 2011-09-29 09:27

    Dalai Lama has good PR thats all, the guy is not Saint and people in Tibet where not free under him, It would be like the King of Swazi land been kicked out and people suddenly seeing him as a victim. Yes the Chinese are no better but they both dictatorships, and the Chinese one is a good business partner. Grow up this is the real world people.

  • Mathaithai - 2011-09-29 09:29

    News24!! Please; s apostrophe not apostrophe s. My primary teacher taught me and still remembers despite my highly (70yrs)advanced age!

  • CTatheist - 2011-09-29 09:29

    Dalai Lama, stay in your country, Desmond take a chill pill.

  • Fred - 2011-09-29 09:43

    Now will Tutu please comment on the death sentence handed down to a christian Iranian for refusing to convert to islam, time all muslims were treated the same as christians are in many muslim states.

  • Colin - 2011-09-29 10:26

    Having read through the comments, I note that many people point out the practical issues involved, which of course are the potential of jeopardizing a trade relationship with China and in so doing affecting the economy of our country. On the flip side, we have to question the morality of such a decision. Sure, it potentially could affect our trade relations. However if countries had adopted this stance when asked to impose sanctions against South Africa, we may quite feasibly still be laboring under the Apartheid Regime. Sometimes morality needs to win out over practicality. I'm just glad I'm not the one in the position to have to make that decision :-)

  • Ven.saDhammananda - 2011-09-29 10:28

    Rev. Dhammananda What can you expect. Nothing new. How disrespectful.If you don't have respect for yourself how can you have respect for other.

  • Vic - 2011-09-29 10:34

    The ANC is acting just like the old NP Apartheid government. HA! HA! HA!

  • barryjoelm - 2011-09-29 10:36

    But the Dalai Lama, with his message of peace, hope, love and charity, is a threat to world peace. Of course he should be denied a Visa. What a terrible person! The Chinese just want a piece of the world.......

  • Rog911 - 2011-09-29 11:12

    Dalai Lama is a CIA spy trying to get hold of Tibet's copper and Zinc supplies on the premise of being born a holy one, through which he is only known to the world today for slaughtering the other buddhist sect's in Tibet to come into power. In short, he's a bloody idiot, like Mr. Obama, and whoever believes in a born 'chosen one' belongs in the same category cos the Jews sure as hell didn't believe in Jesus and look how well it's done them. China will never get the respect they deserve, because the masses only care about intangible benefits, like the illusion of 'freedom' and the world of CNN, and not about being liquid, by liquid, I mean cash, real benefits.

      Seven9 - 2011-09-30 11:29

      what are you on about?

  • IceMan - 2011-09-29 11:18

    Dalai Who , Tutu Who ...

  • 1Il_b3_b@ck - 2011-09-29 11:50

    I don't get what the fuss is about. Either let him in or don't. Don't put spin on it, lies come out in the end. Life is so much less complicated without lies.

  • Seven9 - 2011-09-30 11:26

    this clearly shows the intention of the racist ANC!!! Welcome to the next Apartheid!!! What a disgrace.

  • sierra mo - 2011-10-01 07:08


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