Tutu lambasts ‘lickspittle’ government over Dalai Lama visa

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Wednesday criticised the government for refusing a visa to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

In a statement, Tutu said that he was “ashamed to call this lickspittle bunch my government”.

It was reported last month that the Dalai Lama had again been refused entry to the country, this time for the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates which was to be held in Cape Town from October 13 to October 15. 

According to media reports on Wednesday, the summit had been cancelled.

The cancellation came after more laureates pulled out of the event to protest against the South African government’s refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa.

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

A ‘spineless’ government
Tutu said he could not “believe that the South African government could shoot itself in the same foot thrice over”.

“When His Holiness was prevented by our government from attending my 80th birthday, I condemned that kowtowing to the Chinese roundly and reminded the ANC government that it did not represent me.”

“I warned them then that just as we had prayed for the downfall of the apartheid government so we would pray for the demise of a government that could be so spineless.”

He said the Nobel summit, the first to be held in Africa, was meant to celebrate former president Nelson Mandela. “His own comrades have spat in his face, refusing to see him honoured by the holders of the blue ribbon of awards and honours,” Tutu said.

Last month, 14 Nobel laureates wrote to President Jacob Zuma asking that a South African travel visa be granted to the Dalai Lama. The presidency confirmed Zuma received the letter and that he would respond directly to the laureates.

At the time the international relations department said the Dalai Lama’s visa application was a closed matter, and that he had cancelled his trip.

The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is set to make an announcement on Thursday related to the summit. – Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertisting

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories