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.

  • Newsferret - 2011-10-08 16:20

    And the Chinese still got what they wanted to prevent thanks to Western communications technology.

      Fakmore - 2011-10-08 17:59

      His father is a Lama...thats why he ie called Dalai Lama

  • Coquine - 2011-10-08 16:40

    You're an idiot - his mother tongue is not English.

  • Fakmore - 2011-10-08 17:58

    Dalai Lama is not holy. He does not believe in Jesus you will want us to address Sandomas as "Her Holiness"!!!! He looks like a cross between a Donkey and a Lama...thats why they call him a Dalai Lama! duh!!!

      PinkandProud - 2011-10-08 18:17

      Jeez Fakmore, how old are you? 3 going on 4? Amazing that you're able to switch a computer on. It's people like you that give Africa a bad name and it's people like you that make the rest of the world understand why Africa is a hopeless case best used for testing nuclear bombs.

      Phaedioux - 2011-10-08 18:43

      @Fakmore - neither do any of the other religions besides Christianity. Sangomas are not considered to be of any religous faith? If what you suggest is true, was one of your parents a panther?

      Fakmore - 2011-10-08 21:15

      Her Holiness, Sangoma Mdidi said his Holiness, Dalai Lama should have been allowed to see his Holiness Alan Boesak and his Holiness Desmond 'I have retired from public life" Tutu.

  • beicime - 2011-10-08 18:26

    To understand the stalling of the Dalai Lama’s visa one has to realize that the ANC is not the organization of 20 years ago. During apartheid the ANC opposed to political prisoners, opposed police brutality and asked the world to interfere in the South African internal political affairs. Now I don’t hear the ANC making any comment regarding political prisoners or brutality in China, Syria or anywhere else.

      analyse - 2011-10-12 13:13

      @beicime, dont underestimate the power of China, do you know Oboma himself couldnt have a meeting with him in the oval office for fear to step on China's toes - what more of us an African country. Pliz lets be analytical guys

  • Vlooi - 2011-10-08 18:28

    "This century should be (the) century of dialogue" - funny our ANC government did not welcome him. That seem to be their motto.

  • Hennie - 2011-10-08 18:53

    I can't believe what I am hearing from a supposedly man of God. Shame on you Tutu, shame on you Dalai Lama for mixing your religious dogma with politics and shame on you Tutu for falling into the trap that was set you. The Dalai Lama obviously just used you to further his ugly political campaign against the Chinese. Religion should stay free of politics.

  • za101 - 2011-10-08 20:34

    Well done to Desmond Tutu foundation for having a back-up plan to have this speech. Why wait for 90th birthday, INVITE Dalai Lama for the 81th birthday of Desmon Tutu. More concerning alos is whether the Dalai Lama would be given a visa to attend Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu funeral

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-10-09 16:08

    Down with the imperialist chinese communist party, down! Viva the People of China, viva! Down with the chinese imperialist mercenary invasion, down! Viva the People of Xinjiang, viva! Out with the chinese imperialist mercenary army and police, out! Viva the People of Tibet, viva! Out han settler, out! Viva the People of China, viva! Out the han invader troop, out! Viva the People of Xinjiang, viva! Out the han invader policeman, out! Viva the People of Tibet, viva! Boicott China, boicott! Viva the People of China, viva! Sanction China, sanction! Viva the People of Xinjiang, viva! Stop the Baby Genocide, stop! Viva the People of Tibet, viva! We have to support the Chinese People against the Oppression, Exploitation, and Genocide of the Chinese Communist Party. Also we have to support Tibet and Xinjiang against the Occupation, Tirany, Oppression, Exploitation and Genocide of the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese settles, policemen, troops must leave. Tibet for Tibet! Xinjiang for Xinjiang! We have to be militant against the Chinese Communist Party, Ban it, Sanction it, Boycott it. And the government too.

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