By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 21: Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday. The Dalai Lama said he hopes that under the rule of the new leader, South Africans will feel “optimism and hope”.
The octogenarian Tibetan leader said, “Your great country has so much potential for development and prosperity, I am hopeful that under your leadership South Africa will continue to make further progress in prosperity and development, particularly by improving the lives of the less privileged section of the society.
“It is also important to instill optimism and hope for the people of your nation, which could be an example for others to emulate.”
The Dalai Lama who has been a vocal admirer of Nelson Mandela and his non-violent struggle travelled to South Africa on three occasions between 1996 to 2004. He was also denied visa on three occasions by the Pretoria administration, as China leveraged its economic influence over the African nation in not allowing the Tibetan leader to visit the country.
New President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced fellow African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma who resigned following corruption allegations. Ramaphosa is regarded as a skilled negotiator and is a veteran politician who was endorsed to be a future leader of the country by Nelson Mandela. He is an anti-apartheid activist, successful businessman and a trade union leader who served formerly as the Deputy President of South Africa.