No South African visa for the Dalai Lama

Whenever His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his good friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu meet, it is never in South Africa and at this rate, it looks like it never will be

By: Kay Beswick

In an embarrassing turn of events for the Tibetan leadership, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been denied a visa to South Africa for the third time in five years. His Holiness was due to attend a summit of Nobel Peace prize winners to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid. After news of His Holiness’ visa denial made the headlines, six fellow Laureates pulled out of the summit in protest and as a result, the summit that His Holiness had been invited to attend has been scrapped.

The last 60 years since the Tibetan leadership first went into exile has seen very little improvement in the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) reputation or worth. While the six decades has seen a rise in value of a relationship with the Chinese, it has also seen the value of being associated with the Tibetan leadership plummet. This current state can only be attributed to the CTA’s poor leadership, internal bickering and politicking, all of which have shown the world what the Tibetan leadership are really like.

For once the rose-tinted glasses are removed and the romantic daze of meeting His Holiness has worn off, people see the CTA for what they truly are – corrupt, self-serving, desirous and greedy, basically just like any other normal politician and human being. So while His Holiness may indeed be holy and enlightened, those who surround him most definitely are not and this is proven by their track record of accomplishments (or rather, lack thereof).

The CTA claims that they are a democratic nation governed by Buddhist principles, yet their achievements do not mirror the results that we have come to expect from this style of governance. Bhutan, for example, is a neighboring example that many Tibetans will be familiar with. A Buddhist democratic nation that has its independence, Bhutan has developed an extremely positive international reputation for their environmental conservation efforts. Thailand is another independent Buddhist nation, with a strong culture and identity that draws tourists from all over the world, and they have the reputation of never having been colonized. Even nations like Vietnam and Cambodia, both having suffered incredibly devastating civil wars, are seeing their fortunes rise and their people’s standard of living improve as the years go by.

While these Buddhist nations go from strength to strength, the Tibetan leadership in contrast continues to remain as beggars, seeking handouts from foreign donors who have not yet awoken to the fact they are being lied to and cheated. Despite the millions of dollars in donations that governments and private donors have pumped into the CTA’s coffers, the Tibetan leadership have not been able to reopen talks with China regarding the Tibetan issue, let alone secure any sort of progress towards their goal of meaningful autonomy (umaylam).

What is interesting is that this is not the first time that South Africa has denied a visa to the Dalai Lama. They first denied him entry into their country in 2009, when he had been invited to a peace conference in Johannesburg. It was organized to highlight the World Cup in South Africa but when the Dalai Lama’s visa was denied, the conference was cancelled. Two years later, in 2011, His Holiness was invited to South Africa to attend his good friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday. On the eve of his departure, his visit was abruptly cancelled and once again, he was unable to attend the event because his visa application was rejected.

With such a track record, it seems unlikely that the Dalai Lama will ever be welcomed in South Africa. South Africa thus joins a growing list of countries increasingly unwilling to be associated with the Tibetan leadership.

 

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9 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. South Africa has a long history about apartheid. They should sympathize with the Tibetans in exile and allow Tibetans like the Dalai Lama to enter their country to represent democracy. The very fact they rejected Dalai Lama shows you that to be friends with the Dalai Lama earns no benefits for the country and it’s better to make friends with China. Whether people like it or not that is the truth.

    The Tibetan leadership’s days are numbered. Their corruption, diabolical methods to lying, religious repression of their own people, their nepotism are catching up. They may hide their corruption from the west, but not from karma.

    Less and less nations are supporting Tibetans and all believe the one China policy which is Tibet is a part of China. Tibetan leadership better make friends with China because China controls Tibet and not the west. Tibetan leadership making friends with the west is for only monetary gains because they want a free hand-out to sustain their good lifestyles. South Africa will not and cannot let Dalai Lama into their country because they do not believe in CTA and the Tibetan leadership. Time is short for them.

  2. We in South Africa do not support the Dalai Lama. He should be friends with China and stop antagonizing China. His country’s fate lays in the Chinese government’s hands. If he was intelligent and shrewd, he will minimize his contact with western governments and media and make his friendship with China. The suffering and self immolations of Tibetans lays within the responsibility of the Dalai Lama and he has better do something soon.

    We in South Africa wish economic growth and the Dalai Lama has no benefit for us to come to our country. We wish to be friends with China for mutual economic benefits. I support our government’s decision to ban Dalai Lama and his anti-China rhetoric from my country.

  3. Tibetans should stay out of South Africa. South Africa has enough of it’s own problems to solve and Tibet will never help Africa.

  4. The Dalai Lama should not travel to countries that he knows will damage that country’s relations with China. China is a chief economic power and many countries would benefit from a relationship with China. If Dalai Lama knowingly travels those country at the expense of their economic benefit with China, that would not be very shrewd as it will backfire. Eventually that country will have repercussions with China and ban the Dalai Lama anyways. Dalai Lama should consider carefully where he travels in order to not damage the country’s economic relationship with powerhouse China.

    Dalai Lama should do his best to extend the olive branch to China and become friends. Dalai Lama should not antagonize China in any way for the sake of his people.

  5. Tibetans always make trouble wherever they live. They will not live quietly and appreciate the bigger economic goals of their host country. Many countries have a economic need to be friends with China as the cold war with China is thawing out. But Tibetans will never understand this. The needs of the 6 million Tibetans to them outweigh the needs of the rest of the 7 billion persons on this planet.

    South Africa would make a smart economic move if they become good friends with China. China has the capacity to be a great economic partner for your country.

  6. An increasing number of countries in the world are choosing to align themselves with China and establish good relationships, with the latest being the Central American country of Panama. With the promise of Chinese business, investments and infrastructure projects, world leaders will not be hesitant when it comes to starting positive relationships with China. The choice is obvious when the benefits are so many.

    Panama shift to China

  7. In Nepal, the former Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba may soon be ousted as party chief and one of the reasons being cited is his sharing of the stage with Lobsang Sangay i.e. he supports the CTA and Tibetans. This follows the recent example of India, whose Foreign Secretary issued a directive stating all Indian officials should not attend CTA-hosted events in conjunction with their “Thank You India” campaign. After the Dalai Lama’s most recent trip to Mongolia, the backlash against the Mongolian President was so strong, he was forced to ban the Dalai Lama from Mongolia.

    Never mind China sanctioning them, or expressing displeasure on an international level. What these politicians are facing even domestically are internal sanctions for expressing support for the CTA. The message is clear and that is, it is bad news to be seen with the CTA.

    If politicians are being discouraged on all levels from supporting the CTA, it is only a matter of time before the Tibetans find themselves on the very lonely, losing end of their fight against China.

    Singh, Sitaula seek early convention
    congress cwc meeting
    - Post Report, Kathmandu
    Mar 24, 2018-Raising serious questions over Sher Bahadur Deuba’s leadership as the party president, Nepali Congress senior leaders Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Prakash Man Singh have demanded a general convention at the earliest to decide on leadership change.
    Speaking at the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting that began in the Capital on Friday, both the leaders said the party convention should be held as soon as possible by amending the party statute through a Mahasamiti meeting. The duo also urged Deuba either to amend his working style or step down as the party chief. Deuba was elected the party president in March 2016 and has two years of his tenure remaining.
    Both the leaders heavily criticised several decisions taken by Deuba as party president and as prime minister, stating that he had complete monopoly over decision-making and that his decisions were “unpopular and controversial”.
    Both Singh and Sitaula, who represent two rival factions of the party, blamed then-PM Deuba’s “weak leadership” for the party’s humiliating defeat in the federal and provincial elections held in November-December last year. Singh not only asked Deuba to resign after the poll debacle but also stood against him in the Parliamentary Party election.
    Presenting a written document at the meeting, Singh attributed a weak organisation, ideological and policy ambiguities and inefficient leadership as the major reasons behind the NC’s worst electoral showing ever. He also demanded a meeting of the Mahasamiti to take decisions on the party ideology, policies and programmes and organisational issues.
    With Deuba preparing to appoint office bearers, Singh argued that there was no need for such appointments any more. “The appointments and formation of party departments should have taken place within two months of the general convention,” he said. In his political document, Singh said Deuba committed mistakes on the foreign policy front too.
    Deuba’s participation as the NC president in a programme organised by India Foundation, a think tank close to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in Goa in 2016 where Deuba reportedly shared the stage with Lobsang Sangay, chief of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile, was detrimental to cordial relations with Nepal’s neighbours, according to Singh.
    Senior leader Sitaula also pressed for the general convention to take decisions on leadership change while criticising both Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel for failing to lead the party effectively.
    Arbitrary distribution of election tickets and the lack of financial transparency were other reasons behind the party’s defeat, according to Sitaula. Hinting at Deuba, Sitaula said, “You could capture the party but communist forces are capturing state power.”
    CWC member Narayan Khadka said factional politics must end for the party to get a fresh impetus. “Factional politics must end today if we want to rebuild the party,” he remarked.
    The CWC, called four months after the elections, is expected to set the date for Mahasamiti meeting having reviewed the election results.
    Published: 24-03-2018 07:46
    http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-03-24/singh-sitaula-seek-early-convention.html

    Singh-Sitaula-seek-early-convention1

  8. It pays to make good relations with China. After the Dalai Lama cancelled his visit to Botswana, China responded immediately with encouraging news that bilateral relations with Botswana will progress.

    There is no way to deny China’s economic prowess, and many countries, including India, the host of the exiled Tibetans for the past 60 years know that it is not worth to risk bilateral ties with China for the Tibetan cause. After snubbing the Tibetan leadership and cancellation of key Tibetan events in Delhi recently, India receive the quid pro quo from China of signed commercial deals worth nearly $2.36 billion. Mongolia, who has banned the Dalai Lama from entering the country is now welcomed to carry out cross-border trade with China’s Bohai Commodity Exchange to help Mongolian agricultural products enter the Chinese market. Switzerland was the top recipient of Chinese investment in 2017 with a combined value of US$44.6bn, who since 2015 has automatically reassigned the nationality of Tibetan refugees as Chinese nationals in their residence permits.

    More and more countries have jumped on the bandwagon to reject the Tibetan leadership, including Australia, Bhutan, The Czech Republic, Italy, Norway, Sweden, with the Central American country of Panama being the latest addition, and the list is expected to grow. Why would any country want to risk their economic prosperity for a lost cause like that of the Tibetan cause?

    China says ties with Botswana to progress after Dalai Lama cancels visit to African nation
    World IANS Aug 14, 2017 17:45:08 IST
    Beijing: Days after the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama cancelled his visit to Botswana, China said its ties with the African country will progress smoothly.
    Beijing said it “attaches great importance” to Botswana where state-run Chinese companies are engaged in infrastructure building.
    Botswana had invited the Dalai Lama to speak at the three-day human rights conference in the capital Gaborone, to which he had confirmed his presence. The event begins on 17 August.
    However, China was angry and warned Botswana against hosting the Dalai Lama, who has been demanding greater autonomy in China’s Tibet.
    On Saturday, the Dalai Lama said he was cancelling his Botswana visit due to “exhaustion”.
    “His Holiness has reluctantly had to concede that his 82-year-old body was telling him to rest,” a statement said.
    Reacting to the development, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama to go to any country to engage in anti-China activities in any capacity or name.
    “China attaches great importance to its friendly cooperation with Botswana. We hope the bilateral relations will move forward steady and sound way,” she said.
    China slams any country that invites or maintains contact with the Dalai Lama who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising in Tibet. He has lived in India since then.
    Published Date: Aug 14, 2017 17:42 PM | Updated Date: Aug 14, 2017 17:45 PM
    https://www.firstpost.com/world/china-says-ties-with-botswana-to-progress-after-dalai-lama-cancels-visit-to-african-nation-3930425.html

    China says ties with Botswana to progress after Dalai Lama cancels visit to African nation

  9. Dear Dalai Lama,

    Since you started the cruel ban against the 350 year Dorje Shugden practice, how has it benefit your Tibetan society and Buddhism in the world? Things have become worse and most educated Tibetans can see this. They don’t speak out not because they don’t see your ban as wrong, but you instill fear in them and not respect. It is like fear of a dictator. I am sorry to say so. Everyone is divided. There is no harmony. Before your ban there was more harmony and unity.

    By enacting the ban, you split the monasteries, split so many families, split regions in Tibet apart, split your disciples from you, split your own gurus from you, split Tibetan Buddhism apart. You have created so much disharmony.

    It is not democratic what you have done to ban a religion within your community. You always talk of tolerance and acceptance and democracy and yet you do not accept and tolerate something different from your beliefs. When people practice Dorje Shugden you ostracize them, ban them from seeing you, ban them from using Tibetan facilities. You know you have done that. There are videos that capture your speech and prove this point. You even had people expelled from monasteries just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Some of the monks you expelled have been in the monastery for over 40 years. Many older monks shed tears because of this.

    Many young educated Tibetans lost confidence in you as they saw the damage the Dorje Shugden ban created and they lose hope. Many have become free thinkers. They reject what you have done. So many people in the west left Buddhism because of the confusion you created with this ban against Dorje Shugden which is immoral.

    You could of had millions of people who practice Dorje Shugden to support, love and follow you, but you scared them away. They are hurt and very disappointed. They loved you and respected you deeply before the ban. It has been 60 years and you have failed to get Tibet back. Your biggest failure is not getting Tibet back after 57 years in exile. Now you are begging China to allow you to return to Tibet to the disappointment of thousands of people who fought for a free Tibet believing in you. So many self-immolated for a free Tibet and now you want Tibet to be a part of China with no referendum from Tibetans. Just like a dictator, you decide on your own. It was your government and you that lost Tibet in the first place. Your policies and style of doing things do not benefit Tibet and Buddhism. You have been the sole ruler of Tibet your whole life and you still have not gotten our country of Tibet back for us. Our families and us are separated. Yet you create more pain by creating a ban to further divide people. Please have compassion.

    No other Buddhist leader has banned or condemned any religion except for you. It looks very bad. You are a Nobel laureate and this is not fitting of a laureate. You should unite people and not separate them by religious differences.

    You said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi did not do right to the Rohingya people in Myanmar due to religious differences, but you are doing the same thing to the Shugden Buddhists within your own society. There is a parallel in this. You separate the Shugden Buddhists from the others in Tibetan society.

    You have lost so many people who would have loved and supported you. You have lost so much support around the world. The Shugden Buddhists who love you number in the millions. When you are fast losing support from governments and private people, it will not do you well to lose more.

    After you are passed away in the future, the rift you created between the Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people will remain for a while and that will be your legacy. Disharmony. You will be remembered for this. Not as a hero but a disharmony creator.

    Dorje Shugden will spread and further grow, but you will be no more as you are a human. No one wishes you bad and in fact we hope you have a long and healthy life, but we have lost so much hope and have so much despair because of you. All the hundreds of Dorje Shugden lamas, tulkus and geshes are maturing and there are hundreds of Dorje Shugden monasteries in Tibet who will not give up Dorje Shugden. You have made a mistake. These hundreds of teachers and teachers to be will spread Dorje Shugden further in the future.

    The gurus that gave us Dorje Shugden as a spiritual practice and you have called these holy gurus wrong and they are mistaken in giving us Dorje Shugden. How can you insult our gurus whom we respect so much? If they can be wrong, then you can be wrong. Then all gurus can be wrong. So no one needs to listen to any guru? You have created this trend. It is not healthy. Your own gurus practiced Dorje Shugden their whole lives. Your own gurus were exemplary and highly learned.

    Dalai Lama you have created so much pain with this ban against so many people due to religion. You are ageing fast. Are you going to do anything about it or stay stubborn, hard and un-moving. You show a smile and preach peace and harmony wherever you go. But will you do the same to your own people? Please rectify the wrong you have done. Please before it is too late. You can create harmony again or you can pass away in the future with this legacy of peace. May you live long and think carefully and admit what was a mistake in having this unethical ban against Dorje Shugden religion.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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