Join our Mailing List

"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Proof Dalai Lama did apply for SA visa

April 5, 2009

Yazeed Kamaldien
The Times (South Africa)
April 3, 2009

Court papers show the Dalai Lama DID apply for a visa to visit SA

THE South African government lied - it did
receive the Dalai Lama’s visa application, but
did not want the Tibetan leader in the country.

That’s what lawyers for Inkatha Freedom Party
leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will try to prove in
the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town today.

The 80-year-old politician has taken President
Kgalema Motlanthe, Foreign Affairs Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma and Home Affairs
director-general Mavuso Msimang to court for not
giving the Dalai Lama a visa to enter South
Africa last week to attend a peace conference.

The lawyers submitted copies of the Dalai Lama’s
passport and his application for a South African
visa to the high court yesterday.

This followed Msimang’s assertion, on behalf of
Home Affairs, that there exists "no evidence that
the Dalai Lama is desirous of entering South
Africa at this stage or any time in the future."

Buthelezi’s responding affidavit yesterday also
contains details from Tempa Tsering, the Dalai
Lama’s representative in New Delhi, who said that
his staff contacted Sehlolo Moloi, the South
African High Commissioner to India, on February
11 to ask for a visa for the Dalai Lama. He said they met Moloi on March3.

Tsering said Moloi asked him if they could
"postpone the visit to South Africa as they have some inconveniences ."

"I informed the high commissioner that His
Holiness was invited by the South African Peace
Conference and the South African [Nobel]
laureates, and that the meeting dates have been
confirmed from March 26 to 28. It is therefore
not up to His Holiness to postpone his visit and
the South African government must contact the hosts,” he said.

"The high commissioner mentioned that he would
take up the matter again with his government and
get back to us. I called him several times, but
he was busy. I managed to talk to him -- [he]
mentioned the South African government was in
contact with the host and will keep us informed.

"We submitted the visa application forms for His
Holiness and seven entourage members. I was told
I should take the applications back and they will
let us know when these could be submitted again," Tsering said.

Sonam Tenzing, the representative of the Dalai
Lama in South Africa, said in his affidavit that
the "high commissioner refused to accept and process such [visa] application."

He reiterated that the Dalai Lama was asked "not
[to] apply for a visa to travel to South Africa at this juncture."

"Nonetheless, His Holiness completed and signed a
visa application and caused it to be submitted to
the South African High Commission in New Delhi,
together with a passport," said Tenzing.

Buthelezi now wants the court to force the
government to grant the Dalai Lama an entry visa.

"I deny that no application for a visa to South
Africa was submitted to or by the Dalai Lama. It
is bizarre for such an allegation to be made. The
Dalai Lama did duly complete and submit an
application for a visa … but his submission was rejected," Buthelezi said.

Former president FW de Klerk and retired
archbishop Desmond Tutu were among the guests
invited to the conference and withdrew from the
event after the visa was denied.

The event was later shelved.

"I am advised the Dalai Lama is ready to come to
South Africa this weekend. As time goes by, it
will become difficult to reorganise the diaries
of so many international leaders," said
Buthelezi. "The peace conference can and will be
held as early as next week if the Dalai Lama is
permitted to enter South Africa."

Additional reporting by Werner Swart

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank