Govt passing 'Dalai Lama buck'

2011-09-30 18:30

Johannesburg - The government is passing the buck on who should decide whether the Dalai Lama should get a South African visa, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

"This is clearly a home affairs issue, and the department should treat his application like any other," DA shadow deputy minister of home affairs, Masizole Mnqasela said.

On Thursday night, a home affairs spokesperson said on television that the Dalai Lama's visa application was an international relations issue.

"But this makes no sense," said Mnqasela.

"This is not an official state visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader, and so requires no input from the minister of international relations."

Mnqasela said the Dalai Lama would be visiting the country as an ordinary tourist to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday party in Cape Town on October 8.

Tutu has 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 refused to grant the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a visa to visit the country to attend a peace conference, for fear of jeopardising ties with China, a key trade partner.

If the Dalai Lama had a valid passport or travel document, sufficient funds, a return or onward ticket, at least two blank pages in his passport, and his yellow fever certificate, his visa should be granted, Mnqasela said.

Night vigil

He intended writing a letter to Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Friday urging her to intervene.

"It's time for government to stop dithering over the Dalai Lama's visa application and treat him with the same respect afforded to all foreign nationals who visit our shores."

A night vigil is to be held at Parliament on Monday to press for the granting of the Dalai Lama's visa.

About 300 people were expected to attend the night vigil, said Karen de Vos, a Buddhist teacher who attended a news briefing in Cape Town by civil rights groups.

If South Africa refused the Dalai Lama's visa it would be to please China and would be a denial of its struggle for democracy, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

"The South African government's reluctance to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama, Tibetans' spiritual leader, has no objective basis and appears to be based on no more than fear of Chinese government displeasure," the group said in a statement.

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.

  • Hans Heydra - 2011-09-30 18:46

    Yesterday you worked for the whites. Today you work for yourselves. Tomorrow you work for the Chinese. Choose your employer wisely. I say let him in.....

      Worldwise - 2011-10-01 14:18

      So Mathanda, the West that bought millions worth of apartheid South Africs's minerals should have dropped Nelson Mandela in order to not jeapordise its long standing profitable relationship with South Africa over an individual? Your answer please.

  • Spanker - 2011-09-30 18:54

    Well with 2.5 billion rands worth of deals signed with China who can really be surprised...not saying it's right but illustrating that in this case money has been put before morals....right...wrong?...

      leonard - 2011-10-01 07:21

      @Spanker........Have been following all of this with great interest.My conclusion as is yours,money in the pockets of our corrupt ANC government will be the deciding factor.If Zuma had an ounce of leadership in him,he would have made some sort of statement regarding the DL.I really hope nobody is holding their breath on this one.MONEY and not morality is the name of the game.

  • Yar - 2011-09-30 18:58

    This is a national disgrace. This ANC government has the most disgusting friends. All with appalling records in human rights. But a gentle man like the Dalai Lama is victimised by our Government. What a disgrace.

      Warslat - 2011-09-30 20:12

      While I agree with everything you say, one thing I don't. The DL is not gentle & kind. He's a nasty little individual with an apalling human rights record (when he and his predecessors actually had the power to affect people's lives) and his government in exile is just a nepotistic family business. He's been very successful at promoting an image of peace and tolerance (mainly to extract money and influence people). Still, they should let him in to visit...after all we don't stop people like Mad Bob or Ghadaffi, name roads after Che and let people like Taylor live in SA. The DL is no worse than them.

      Xena - 2011-10-01 12:29

      @ Warslat - have you looked at the humanrights and workers rights abuse record that CHINA has???

  • Robert Hurn - 2011-09-30 19:02

    He who has the money has the say and power - China/India - Africa be aware you resented Colonialism from the North and West, the time has come that you are going to experience it from the east. It's already happening. I would like you to answer how you going to get out of this one. No human rights and compassion. Good luck my fellow South Africans.

      Allieo - 2011-09-30 19:33

      It takes them how many years to rid themselves of one master and then take another ?? The ANC will soon realize their new master will be somewhat more unfair than the previous one...

  • NewNews - 2011-09-30 19:02

    free passage is the very least manner of respect and hospitality I can think of

      KarooOstrich - 2011-09-30 21:32

      Why should'nt he get a visa for a private visit? Dozens of skunks + scoundrells from all over the world have been given safe + free resedance here over the last 17 yrs. These are all friends of the ANC and come + live here at he taxpayer's expense. Some of these cases we only hear about when they leave after a few years. Talk about double standards.

  • Borderite - 2011-09-30 19:08

    I don't get this. The Dalai Lama retired a while back and his successor was announced. How can he be perceived as a threat, and to what? SA should call China's bluff on this, as China also stands to lose a great deal by pulling out. SA is now a very big buyer of Chinese goods

  • Luke - 2011-09-30 19:10

    I am a Sri Lankan and Sri Lanka is a Buddhists country. Dalai lama will never be given Visa to Sri Lanka, a Buddhist country. why? Sri lankan Officials say they dont want to upset the Chinese. Money talks...

      Richard - 2011-09-30 20:33

      Good point, but at least they open and straight forward about it. I say either let him in or say no and tell us why, don't make some lame excuse that his papers weren't correct etc.

      KarooOstrich - 2011-09-30 20:36

      To hell with the bloody Chinese! This ANC govt. bunch of morons is sooo concerned about human rights. China has a pathetic human rights record but the ANC will bend over backwards to try to please them. One of these days they will have to call the Chinese govt. "Baas".

  • Nogeen - 2011-09-30 19:16

    Dit is tragies dat Sa dienstig is aan China - dit is egter ewe tragies dar 'n niks soos Tutu vir EIE gewin die we^reld probeer munipuleer - sowat as hy 80 jaar oud word?

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-30 19:47

      I think you're missing the point a bit. The Dalai Lama is trying to obtain a visa to visit a country in his personal capacity, to attend a private function. How is Tutu trying to manipulate the world in this scenario?

  • Boer Sien - 2011-09-30 19:32

    to hell with tutu and his boyfriend the lama - why does he not go see him where ever? We are sick and tired of these two old men!

      thetruth - 2011-09-30 19:46

      Boer Sien... thank ppl like TUTU that u still carry ur big ugly white ass...ppl like him and Mandela softened the stance of the majority blacks who would have rightly skinned that big white ass of urs post '94

      Robin - 2011-09-30 21:53


      AntonioP - 2011-10-01 17:16

      @ Boer Blind We? Who is "we"? You and your fellow ANC loverboys of the Chinese, I reckon. Speak for yourself, yellow-livered gatkruiper.

  • mrp721 - 2011-09-30 19:34

    I think our government needs to grow up. They'll let illegal immigrants in, give them our jobs & then still protect them, but here an innocent visit from the Dali Lama is turned down and i'll bet its only because of his beliefs.. This country seriously needs to look at their priorities & morons in various positions that they are highly unqualified for!!!!

  • Boxxer - 2011-09-30 19:37

    Why doesn't he just fly to Harare then he can just walk in from there.

  • dstar76 - 2011-09-30 19:37

    they are already working for the chinese.... been like that for a long time. pan heads!

  • jakethepeg - 2011-09-30 20:06

    With everyday that passes I think "Animal Farm" by george Orwell more pertinent. We look from the pigs to the farmers and we can't tell the difference anymore. Moral Pigmys.

  • KarooOstrich - 2011-09-30 20:51

    What a pathetic, weak, spineless bunch of bloody morons we have governing this country. They can't take stand on anything - scared to provoke the Chinese now in this case. Although I don't vote ANC if they were different I would still at least have some respect for them. But who can have any respect for this weak, spineless, gutless lot? I think even Mugabe's ZANU PF are stronger. At least they can take a decision + stand by it. Actually it makes me very scared just to realise exactly how weak a government we have. Scarry stuff!! The things that nightmares are made of.

  • rory - 2011-09-30 21:17

    People of the spiritual calibre of the Dalai Lama supported our struggle for freedom from Apartheid, as they support all struggles against oppression, but sadly and clearly that means nothing to people who were only struggling against our oppression and not against oppression in general wherever it manifests.

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-09-30 21:27

    Morals and diplomacy out of the window. It seems the piper calls the tune. Lessons in speaking Mandarin anyone?

  • Jabulaniboy - 2011-09-30 23:38

    South Africa lives under the fear of the Chinese iron fist. This is also the reason why the Rhino poaching issue will never be resolved. Big fingers in these pies.

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-10-01 00:45

    Well i say let him visit my country. Who is the goverment to deny this

  • sierra mo - 2011-10-01 07:09


  • savage1 - 2011-10-01 07:53

    two satanist Governments to suppress i humble man

  • MAWEMAWE - 2011-10-01 09:13

    everything needs a night vigil this days.

  • bill - 2011-10-01 09:17

    Dont tell me ths "handbag woman" is in charge if this!!!!!

  • RR - 2011-10-01 13:49

    A man of peace not aloowed into our country??? this is a disgraceful decision. We as South Africans should hang our heads in shame.

  • @WhiteChick - 2011-10-01 15:19

    Go to Tibet/Lhasa and read/interview ordinary people about his holiness the Lama, they hate him bigtime even the Bhuddhist they hate him for his corrupt activities in the name of religion, remember these lamas are the vey same people who still practise slavery in that region. As for his Visa guyz let us be real why sacrifice economic and political standing in the multilateral forum with the backing of chinese by allowing the Lama to RSA i totally disagree, him and tutu must go to swaziland and drink coffee with marie biscuits there finish and klaar not in RSA. Good business decision RSA govt deny him a visa.

  • Mark - 2011-10-01 15:48

    Forget the chinese they will pillage what the country has and pack and head off somewhere else , like they have done all over africa . Do what Zambia did and boot them out as it is there is to many chinese take aways

  • Mabhulwana - 2011-10-01 16:12

    The DL is not ordinary visitor. He is a leader of a group people. The only thing necessary is for the govt to tell us why they think he should not come. Otherwise if he is turned down again he must stay at home and pursue his other interests. He is not the only guest invited at Tutu's 80th birthday bash. Period!

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