Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama Tuesday called off his visit to South Africa to receive an international award named after Mahatma Gandhi, saying that
its government finds it "inconvenient" to issue visa to him
and his entourage.
The 76-year-old Dalai Lama was slated to leave for the
African nation on Thursday on a nine-day visit, but he has not
received his visa yet, the spiritual leader`s office said in a
The visa applications for the Dalai Lama and his
delegation were submitted to the South African High Commission
here in August and original passports were submitted on
"His Holiness was to depart for South Africa on October 6
but visas have not been granted yet. We are, therefore, now
convinced that for whatever reason or reasons, the South
African government finds it inconvenient to issue visa to His
Holiness the Dalai Lama," the statement said.
Besides receiving the Mahatma Gandhi International Award
for Peace and Reconciliation, he was also scheduled to
participate in the 80th birthday celebrations of fellow Nobel
Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"His Holiness has thus decided to call off his upcoming
visit to South Africa. And, he regrets the inconveniences
caused to his hosts and the large number of South African
public who were keenly waiting to receive him and hear his
message," the statement said.
The Dalai Lama travels around the world to promote human
values, religious harmony, world peace, and compassion:
principles that form the core of his communications and
interactions everywhere, it said.
"And in doing so, His Holiness does not want to create any
inconveniences to anyone, individuals or governments," the
Efforts to reach the South African High Commission here