By Phuntsok Yangchen
Shirin Ebadi (L)speaks at the press conference, also seen are Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay and Jody Williams, Oct. 1, 2014, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, November 10: The 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates has been relocated to Rome, Italy, following its boycott by Nobel laureates including four women in protest against denial of visa to Tibetan spiritual the Dalai Lama.
The 2014 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, a gathering of 14 Peace Laureates and 11 Peace Laureate organizations, scheduled for October 13-15 was declared suspended after Nobel Laureates pulled their names out from the summit in October.
However, Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Laureates has made no official announcement on the relocation of the Summit.
Confirming the relocation of the Summit, Tenzin Taklha, Secretary at the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama looks forward to participating in the rescheduled World Summit of Nobel Laureates taking place in Rome, Italy from December 12-14, 2014.”
Last month, the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama called the denial of visa to him by South Africa for the 14th Nobel Summit “an act of a bully” and appreciated the support from fellow Nobel laureates who had refused to attend the Summit. The Tibetan leader was speaking on October 2 at an official function to commemorate the 25th year of conferment of the Nobel peace prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who was joined by Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams.
South Africa has denied the Dalai Lama visa thrice in the last five years, drawing public outcry by South Africans who see it as a betrayal of the commitment to human rights embraced by their government since the end of apartheid 20 years ago.
“The relocation of the Summit to Rome is a testament to the strength of the universal ideals of freedom for which His Holiness the Dalai Lama stands, and of the power of collective action to successfully resist the bullying tactics of the Chinese government,” said Jigme Ugen, President of Tibetan National Congress, a Tibetan group that led the boycott campaign.
The theme of the 14th World Summit of Nobel Laureates is ‘Peace. Living it!’.