The Tibetan spiritual leader 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. They 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.
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,” De Lille was quoted as saying.