South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

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The South African government is under fire for denying a visa to the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader was invited to the region for a peace conference promoting the 2010 World Cup.

Officials in the area claim the Dalai Lama is being blocked because such a high-profile presence could cause an unmanageable distraction. But critics say the move was a craven attempt to appease the Chinese government. China is a major trading partner with South Africa.

The peace conference has since been cancelled amid the controversy, an upset that has lead activists to call for a formal apology by the South African government.

NPR's Charlayne Hunter-Gault is on the ground in Johannesburg and gives details on the fallout.



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