Dalai Lama can visit Kenya, Govt clarifies
Kenya Times[Thursday, May 24, 2007 02:11]
By Philip Mulee

CHINESE renegade spiritual leader His Highness Dalai Lama is free to visit the country as a private citizen, Parliament was told yesterday.

An MP was also expelled from Parliament for being disorderly after he accused the Speaker of allegedly defending the Government on a question regarding the controversial invitation of the Tibetan leader to the country.

Foreign Affairs assistant minister Moses Wetangula told the House that the Government would not allow His Highness Lama to propagate his political beliefs and ideologies whenever he visited Kenya.

The assistant minister was responding to a question by Orwa Ojodeh (Ndhiwa) who through a question by private notice, had sought to know whether the Government was aware that Lama’s scheduled visit in January this year was put off following protests and threats by China to severe links with Kenya.

Ojodeh had claimed that Dalai Lama, who advocates for separation of Tibet from the Republic of China, was to visit Kenya, a move that was likely to endanger Kenya-China relations at a time when China is about to extend massive foreign aid to the country.

But the Ndhiwa MP landed in trouble when he was ordered out of the House for claiming that the Speaker was defending the Government over the issue.

Ojodeh’s expulsion made him suffer yet another blow when an adjournment Motion he had filed to discuss a consultancy contract signed between the Government and a private firm was dropped from the Order Paper by deputy Speaker David Musila.

Wetangula denied that Lama had been granted a Visa together with his nine-member entourage.

Ojodeh had claimed the visit had been approved after Vice-President Moody Awori wrote a protest letter to the Kenyan Embassy in China demanding the issuance of the Visa.

Ojodeh went ahead to produce two letters; one from the Kenyan Foreign Affairs ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, opposing the visit.