NPR logo

South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/102374047/102374041" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

Religion

South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

South African Officials Cause Fury Over Dalai Lama

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/102374047/102374041" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.