Dalai Lama’s visa ‘still being processed’

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IOL pic jun4 dalai lama Associated Press The Dalai Lama has accused South Africa of bullying a simple person after the government failed to give him a visa. File picture: Charles Dharapak

Johannesburg - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama made a visa application in India for entry to South Africa, the international relations department said on Thursday.

“The South African High Commission in New Delhi... has received a visa application from the office of... the Dalai Lama for a planned visit... to South Africa,” spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

“The application will be taken through normal due process. The relevant authorities will communicate with the applicant thereafter.”

No further details were provided.

Earlier, the Cape Times reported that the Dalai Lama had again been refused entry to the country, this time for the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

The Dalai Lama's representative in South Africa, Nangsa Choedon, said department officials phoned her office in the past week to say they would not be granting the visa. It had not yet received written confirmation.

“For now the Dalai Lama has decided to cancel his trip to South Africa,” Choedon was quoted as saying.

The summit, an annual gathering, is being held in Cape Town next month. Arrangements were being made by a local organising committee formed by the foundations representing four South African laureates - Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, and Albert Luthuli.

The Cape Times reported that other Nobel Peace Laureates told Tutu they would not come if the Dalai Lama was not permitted to enter the country.

This was the third time in five years the Dalai Lama could not secure a visa to enter South Africa.

The department could not confirm or deny if the visa had been refused.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who was hosting the event, had instructed city officials to write to the government to establish whether he had been denied a visa.

“We have not heard from them yet, but I will not give up hope that our government will not humiliate the Dalai Lama again,” DeLille was quoted as saying.

Sapa



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