`Denying Dalai visa will boost his peace efforts`

The Tibetan spiritual leader is a longtime friend of Tutu and a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Johannesburg: Barring Tibet spiritual leader
Dalai Lama from South Africa will create more awareness about
his peace efforts in his Himalayan homeland, Desmond Tutu
Peace Trust has said.

"ironically, the Dali Lama`s message foe pace and
compassion might reach more people than if he had been allowed
to come here," chairman of the Trust Dumisa Ntsebeza said as
the body prepared to link up by video with the exiled Tibetan
spiritual leader at his Dharamsala home in India.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is a longtime friend of Tutu
and a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu had invited the Dalai
Lama to deliver the inaugural Desmond Tutu International
Peace Lecture today at the University of Cape Town as part of
Tutu`s 80th birthday celebrations this weekend.

After a debacle in the delay of issuing a visa to the
Dalai Lama, organisers now plan to host a debate including
Tutu and the Dalai Lama via which will be broadcast live on
international TV channels, YouTube and other live streaming

"So millions of people should see and hear the spiritual
leader`s message of hope and compassion," Ntsebeza said.

The debate was arranged after original plans failed
even following Ntsebeza throwing down the gauntlet to Deputy
President Kgalema Motlanthe after he said earlier this week
that the Dalai Lama would have received a visa if he had not
cancelled his visit to South Africa.

Citing his wish not to "inconvenience anyone" , the Dalai
Lama said on Tuesday he had cancelled his visit, which
included four public lectures across the country.

At one in Durban, he would have received the Mahatma
Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace, made
annually by the Gandhi Development Trust, an organisation
started in 2002 by Ela Gandhi, a granddaughter of the Mahatma
who spent the formative years of his fight against injustice
in South Africa.

But Motlanthe`s spokesman Thabo Masebe said afterwards
that "the Deputy President does not issue visas".

It has been widely speculated that South Africa had
been delaying the visa application due to pressure from its
largest trading partner China, where during a visit last week,
Motlanthe concluded huge investment deals.


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