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Archive for the tag “Dalai Lama”

Dalai Lama again refused entry into SA

The Dalai Lama has again been refused entry to South Africa, this time for the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the Cape Times reported on Thursday

The Dalai Lama’s representative in South Africa Nangsa Choedon said officials from the department of international relations had phoned her office in the past week to say the Tibetan spiritual leader would not be granted a visa. The office had yet to receive written confirmation.”For now the Dalai Lama has decided to cancel his trip to South Africa,” Choedon was quoted as saying.

The summit, an annual gathering, is being held in Cape Town next month, with arrangements being made by a local organising committee formed by the foundations representing four South African laureates — Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, and Albert Luthuli.

via Dalai Lama again refused entry into SA – Sowetan LIVE.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama

And this happens in the year when we are supposed to be celebrating 20 years of freedom and democracy. Our “freedom” is beginning to look a bit tattered around the edges.

In 1968 the South African government excluded the cricketer Basil d’Oliveira from coming with the MCC team on a cricket tour, and the result was the exclusion of South Africa from world cricket for more than 20 years. Now it seems that the young dog is learning the old dog’s tricks.

It means that, as in the bad old days, South Africa is not a suitable place for international gatherings, because people can be barred from attending by arbitrary government decisions.

If the people arranging the gathering of Nobel Laureates have any integrity, they will move the venue to a free country (Botswana for instance), which will all ow all those invited to attend.

If the organisers of the gathering are not willing to do that, then the other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates should refuse to attend. Their attendance in such circumstances would make a mockery of the Peace Prize.

 

No visa required!


You can’t make this stuff up (though perhaps you can photoshop it).

Or is that just an example of entrepreneurship?

My wife sent me this photo — it’s one of thse circulating by e-mail.

Click picture to enlarge if you can’t read the writing.

Zuma sells SA sovereignty to stop two old men having a party

The pettiness of the refusal of the government to give a visa to the Dalai Lama to stop two old men having a party puts us back to square one.

As Mamphela Ramphele puts it Ramphele backs Tutu on Dalai Lama – Times LIVE:

“Isn’t it ironic, that when he’s celebrating his 80th birthday, the most fundamental right — the right to association — is being taken away from him?

“He can’t have a party with his friends and they are just old men,” Ramphele said on Monday evening at a candlelight vigil outside Parliament to put pressure on the government to grant the visa.

That’s exactly the kind of petty nastiness one had come to expect from the National Party government. And it’s worse, because our constitution now upholds the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of travel, and freedom of association — all of which are trashed by this act. The old National Party was not as cynically hypocritical as that. They made no bones about it — any foreign religious leader was a persona non grata, and found it very difficult to get a visa. And any Nobel Peace Prize winner, domestic or foreign, was the same, and so the combination would not have much hope.

I suggest that any Southern African religious bodies hosting international conferences to which foreign religious leaders may be invited should seriously think of moving the venue to Botswana or Namibia, or they may find that their speakers are unable to attend. That would include the congress of the Southern African Missiological Society, due to be held in January 2012.

The petty spitefulness of stopping two pensioners having a party, however, is overshadowed by the implications for South African sovereignty. Zuma, who was elected ANC leader by promising to be all things to all men and courting universal popularity, is now finding that popularity gurgling down the drain, and trying to shore it up by disciplinary hearings of his most vociferous critics, but not daring to contradict his (and our) colonial masters.

As a student I sometimes enjoyed listening to Radio Peking (as it was spelt in those days), denouncing US imperialism as “a paper tiger, a bean curd tiger”. But Chinese imperialism seems to be lapping up South Africa like bean curd.

The Dalai Lama visited South Africa when Nelson Mandela was president, and again when Thabo Mbeki was president. Why not now? And above all, why stop him from coming to Desmond Tutu’s brithday party?

Who governs South Africa?

The furore over the refusal of a visa to the Dalai Lama and the subsequent cancellation of a peace conference being held in association with the World Cup raises some other questions.

President Kgalema Motlanthe’s fatuous statement that the reason was that they did not want the Dalai Lama upstaging the World Cup must really take the prize for stupidity. If anything was calculated to draw unfavourable attention it was the refusal of a visa. If the Dalai Lama had come, he would have spoken some nice peaceful sentiments at the conference, there would have been a few photo ops, and he would have gone home. Refusing a visa produces ten times the publicity, most of it negative. After all, anyone thinking of organisaing an international conference in South Africa will now think twice about it. If speakers and participants can be arbitrarily refused visas at the last minute for such utterly flimsy reasons, it would be safer to organise conferences somewhere else.

But there’s more to it than that, and more than meets the eye.

A little snippet on SAFM radio this morning said that the ANC had nothing to do with the governrment’s decision to refuse the visa.

And then, from the horse’s mouth, Barbara Hogan, the Minister of Health, said that the government’s decision to refuse the visa was a disgrace.

Now isn’t the ANC the ruling party? Isn’t Barbara Hogan, as Minister of Health, a member of the ANC and a member of the government? It’s not as if she’s a backbencher in parliament, she’s a member of the cabinet.

So if the “government” that took the decision to exclude the Dalai Lama is not the ANC government, and doesn’t include members of the cabinet, then just who is the “government”?

Have we been taken over by aliens?

Perhaps aliens from a certain large country in the Far East.

As someone else said on the radio, the traditional informal South African greeting will now become obligatory for all occasions, all protocols observed:

Howzit, my China.

Outcry over Dalai Lama visa refusal

Sowetan – News:

The government has been widely condemned for refusing to allow Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to attend a 2010 World Cup peace conference in Johannesburg on Friday.

Nobel peace laureate and former president FW de Klerk and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have both said they would boycott the event in solidarity with the Dalai Lama.

The president’s excuse that the reason for South Africa refusing the visa was that it did not want ‘to remove the world’s attention’ from the 2010 Soccer World Cup preparations is not merely lame, but a gross abuse of executive power, and is probably unconstitutional.

We are rapidly regressing to the bad old days of the Vorster regime, when, for example, Basil d’Oliveira was refused a visa to play cricket in South Africa with the MCC cricket team in 1968. That led to South Africa being isolated from world cricket for 25 years. Perhaps we need another 25 years of isolation from world soccer, since it seems we still haven’t learnt the lesson.

Our constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of religion, and I hope someone challenges this in the constitutional court.

It is sad to see that the ANC, which fought for 70 years to liberate us from oppression, has now fully internalised the image of the oppressor, as Paolo Freire puts it, and is coming more and more closely to resemble the pigs in George Orwell’s Animal farm. Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo must be turning in their graves.

Tibet — mixed messages

I’ve been getting mixed messages about Tibet.

On the one hand there have been pro-democracy organisations like Avaaz trying to drum up support for Tibetan rebels:

On Monday, thousands of people in 84 cities worldwide marched for justice for Tibet–and delivered the 1.5 million-signature Avaaz petition to Chinese embassies and consulates around the globe. (Click for photos.) Avaaz staff have engaged with Chinese diplomats in New York and London, delivering the petition and urging action. And a growing chorus of world leaders is joining the call…

Together, we’ve built an unprecedented wave of global pressure. The Avaaz petition is one of the biggest and fastest-growing global online petitions on any topic in history; since it launched on March 18, it has been signed by 100,000 people per day–an average of more than 4,000 per hour, day and night.

Politicians understand that there is power in numbers. We need to show them that they have more to gain by listening to their own people–and heeding the cry for help from Tibet–than by giving China a pass in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. Take action now

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_report_back/5.php/?cl=69533376

And then I read blog posts like this:

The Dalai Lama � Steph’s blog:

You don’t win a Nobel Peace Prize without having blood on your hands and the Dalai Lama is no different, it might suit his followers (the Gelug sect) and the Americans to pretend that the ”God-King” is a wise, benign, pacifist and has some sort of democratic mandate to rule Tibet, but that’s plainly not true.

He’s a murderous, racist, charlatan and Western stooge. When he was in power he was a brutal, merciless, theocratic despot, who lived in the 1000-room, 14-story Potala Palace, and his followers were eye-gouging, child-buggering, corrupt, religious fanatics, (see Michael Parenti: Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth). Although, that doesn’t stop the murderous old fraud and his “Free Tibet Movement” from being a cause celeb for liberal imperialists and gerbil lovers, under the pretext of human rights.

(Gerbils? What do they have to do with it? Are they native to Tibet?)

And then there are fellow South African bloggers like Reggie Nel saying things like Reggie: Stand with Tibet – Support the Dalai Lama: “After decades of repression, Tibetans are crying out to the world for change. China’s leaders are right now making a crucial choice between escalating repression or dialogue that could determine the future of Tibet, and China.”

But then again, on the other hand there is this: servethepeople: Tibet:

For his part, the Dalai Lama has successfully cultivated an image of gentleness, peace and simplicity which ahs an undeniable appeal to Westerners sickened by their own countries’ involvement in or support for exploitative and oppressive relations with the Third World, or alienated by the dehumanising nature of technological change and the general rat race of urban living. The Dalai is a “living Buddha” who has won acclaim, including a Nobel Peace Prize, for his rejection of violence.

The Dalai is also a clever and sophisticated politician, a wily manipulator of media opportunity and celebrity support.

However, he is not so clever that he cannot conceal his splittist intentions as regards China, nor his sham “patriotism” and “independence”.

These sound like harsh words, but they can be substantiated through the Dalai’s own materials.

So who is one to believe?

I think I go with Grant Walliser when he says Thought Leader � Grant Walliser � Free Tibet like you freed Kosovo:

Bottom line: China is a big pimp on the street and Serbia is not. That means you can gang up on Serbia, garner support in Kosovo and build US military bases in nice strategic positions. It means you can run detention centres like Guant�namo Bay in Kosovo and it means you can kick your old enemy Russia and your new one Iran smugly in the balls. And should Russian diplomacy make inroads with Poland and the Czech Republic when you need to put up your missile defence system at the confluence of Russia and Middle East, what a great alternative your new best buddy Kosovo would make. The clues to otherwise indefensible and incomprehensible behaviour are all in the timing and the agendas playing out behind the scenes (emphasis mine).

Come to think of it, what did Avaaz say about Kosovo?

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