The Ceasefire Campaign notes with regret
the undue delay in granting the Dalai Lama his visa to attend the 80th
birthday celebration of his fellow Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Dalai Lama, who no longer holds a
political position in Tibetan affairs, should be welcomed as a man of peace to
South Africa. The planned visit is not an official one, but rather
private. The Dalai Lama also preaches reconciliation which has been our
own rainbow nation’s stance. The absence of the Dalai Lama at the august
birthday party of our Arch, would be very sad indeed.
Notwithstanding our membership of Brics and
the promise of massive Chinese investment, South Africa needs to assert its
independence and integrity especially as our constitution, espouses freedom of
religion and, more importantly, freedom of expression. We must not indulge in
reprehensible conduct reminiscent of the apartheid era. Here it is apt to paraphrase Archbishop Tutu: “If you
dither in this situation of a visa, you have chosen to side with the
The Ceasefire Campaign supports the planned
night vigil in Cape Town in front of our parliament on Monday to persuade the
government to grant His Holiness the Dalai Lama his long delayed visa.
Guni Govinndjee 079 310 7437
Laura Pollecutt 082 092 3849