Nobel Prize summit called off; new venue to be revealed on Wednesday

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
  • Updated: Oct 01, 2014 18:48 IST

The 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates, slated for October 13-15 in Cape Town, has been cancelled for the time being, following the women Nobel laureates boycotting the event in a protest against South Africa's refusal to issue visa to Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The event will now be held at some other venue, which is yet to be decided.

“We are proud to say that our protest resulted in cancelation of the world summit. It has been called off as many Nobel Peace laureates refused to go,” said Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“I remember that about eight years ago there was going to be a summit of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Costa Rica, where president Oscar Arias Sanchez himself was a Nobel Prize winner, due to pressure of the China government had pulled back the invitation from the Dalai Lama,” said Shirin Ebadi, who won the prize in 2003. Ebadi added that none of them participated in the summit in order to make the China government realise that the Dalai Lama and people of Tibet were not alone.

“What Tibetans are talking is about justice and human rights and that's why the world supports them,” she said, adding, “Unfortunately same thing happened in South Africa.”

She said, “South Africa has a history of fighting against the racial discrimination and we never expected the country denying visa to the Dalai Lama.”

Meanwhile, Sikyong (Tibetan prime minister-in-exile) Lobsang Sangay said people would come to know about the new venue by Thursday.

This year's Nobel summit was backed by foundations representing four South African peace laureates - Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Albert Luthuli. It was to be hosted by two surviving South African Nobel laureates-Tutu and de Klerk.

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is an annual event in the field of peacemaking, attracting Nobel Prize winners, high-profile leaders and organisations from around the globe. The Summit, created by Vadim Zagladin and the Gorbachev Foundation, is chaired by former Soviet president and Nobel Peace laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and co-chaired by former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni.

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