South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

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.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.