News and Views on Tibet

China admits role in denying Dalai Lama entry to South Africa

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By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 30: The Chinese government spokesperson last week in a rare incident admitted of its role in the Dalai Lama being denied Visa to enter South Africa by telling a delegation of African journalists in Beijing, “we can’t allow him to come and spoil the good relations.”

The Director-General of the African Affairs Department in the Foreign Ministry, Lin Songtian, told reporters that the Dalai Lama has refused their government’s offer to come and stay at temple built especially for him. He said, “We built a house and temple for him, but he doesn’t want to stay there.”

The official further accused the 80 year old Tibetan leader of brandishing a rouge administration. “How can a religious leader keep a shadow government and cabinet in exile?” Lin said according to a report by South Africa’s premiere news agency IOL. Lin also alleged the Dalai Lama of being on CIA’s payroll adding, “He can’t survive through prayer only”.

The relations between the most developed African Nation and China have seen a huge economic collaboration with Chinese President Xi Jinping pledging to invest $60 billion (R913 billion) in Africa for infrastructure projects and trade.

“He (the Dalai Lama) can’t just come and spoil this for you and we want a friendly atmosphere and environment for this to happen. We invest a lot of money in South Africa and we can’t allow him to come and spoil the good relations,” said Lin.

Clayson Monyela, South African spokesperson for Department of International Relations and Co-operation denied allegations that South Africa had visa to the Dalai Lama. He was quoted saying, “On two previous occasions when he applied, the applications were withdrawn by his own officials. In fact, he is welcome to apply for a visa and that application would go through the Department of Home Affairs official processes. It is just unfortunate that on previous occasions we were never given the opportunity to make that determination.”

The Dalai Lama was denied visa to travel to South Africa in 2009 to attend a peace conference, and then in 2012 to meet his friend Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.

The venue for World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates 2014 was moved from Cape Town, South Africa to Rome, Italy.

His Holiness and his private office have maintained that the he would not prefer to cause “unnecessary discomfort” to any host nations and have known to pull out of schedules that place governments in difficult positions.

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