Govt says no China pressure on Dalai Lama

2011-09-21 19:00

Cape Town - Major South African trade partner China has not put pressure on the government to bar the Dalai Lama's entry for Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu's birthday celebrations, an official said on Wednesday.

"There's no pressure being put on South Africa on this matter," Deputy Foreign Minister Marius Fransman told reporters.

"There was an application [for a visa]. There is a process and that will now be considered by the relevant authorities."

South Africa has dragged its heels in deciding on the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's visa request, made at its New Delhi embassy late last month.

The Dalai Lama was denied a visa to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg in 2009, as the government did not want to jeopardise ties with China, which is South Africa's biggest national trade partner.

Now he has been invited by Tutu, a friend and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, to give an inaugural peace lecture as part of events to mark the Archbishop's 80th birthday on October 7.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959 when he fled an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

He says he wants better treatment for Tibetans and accepts Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him of being a "splittist" and opposes his regular meetings with foreign leaders.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is set to make an official visit to China from next Tuesday.

  • Coconut - 2011-09-21 20:17

    I for one will not be celebrating Desmond Tutu' birthday. Let god worshipers and other peddlers of magic go to him to wish him well.

      therapist - 2011-09-27 08:34

      hey! i'm a godworshipper too! and there's no chance in hell i'm celebrating that deluded senile attention-seeking old fart's b-day...

  • WhAtEvEr - 2011-09-21 20:27

    Oh No

  • jen - 2011-09-21 20:38

    No Visa for the Dalai Lama, but dictators with dubious pasts live here in our country in exile. But then the DL's pocket is not deep enough

  • Sedick - 2011-09-21 21:03

    Zuma is busy applying his don't expect an answer soon....

      VM1 - 2011-09-21 21:24

      @Sedick Your less humourous retort just explains your stunted intelligence and you diminished or less developed thinking capacity

      Sedick - 2011-09-21 21:56

      @VM1...I normally don't respond to humourless @$$holes...but up yours!!!.....and go put the Thesaurus away, and go drink your warm milk and go to bed before your mom chases you to bed.....

  • Badballie - 2011-09-22 11:06

    There is no valid reason, other than the ANC listening for its masters voice, not to issue a visa as a matter of routine. The Dalai Lama is a peaceful leader who's only concern has been the mistreatment of him and his people by the Chinese government

  • ruthy.claire - 2011-09-23 19:49

    how can he do his peace work if others hinder him yet they are the very ones who need it most....

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