South Africa repeats Costa Rica, loses Nobel Peace Summit

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
  • Updated: Oct 01, 2014 14:53 IST

The 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (NPL) scheduled for this month in Cape Town has been cancelled, following the woman Nobel Laureates boycotting the event in a protest against South Africa's visa refusal to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

Now the event will be held somewhere else and new venue is yet not decided.

"We are proud to say that our protest resulted in end of the World Summit. It has been canceled because enough of NPLs refused to go," said Jody Williams the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"I remember that approximately eight years ago there was a summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Costa Rica and President of the country Oscar Arias Sanchez was himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner, but due to pressure from Chinese government they had to pull back invitation from Dalai Lama, and no one then participated in summit and it was cancelled," said Shirin Ebadi, of Iran, who won the prestigious prize in 2003.

Ebadi further told in order to show the government of China that the Dalai Lama and people of Tibet are not alone we took this step.

"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 there is a history of fighting against racial discrimination in South Africa and we never expected this country will deny visa to Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, Lobsang Sangay, sikyong (Tibetan Prime Minister -in-exile) told that people will come to know about the new venue by Thursday.

This year's Nobel summit in Cape Town on October 13-15 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 NPL is an annual event in the field of peacemaking, attracting NPLs, high-profile leaders and organisations from all over the world. The summit, created by Vadim Zagladin and the Gorbachev Foundation, is chaired by former Soviet President and NPL Mikhail Gorbachev and co-chaired by former Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni.

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