Visa row: Dalai Lama says treatment by SA govt was like bullying a weak person

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
  • Updated: Oct 02, 2014 22:19 IST

The day after the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates scheduled to be held at Cape Town was cancelled over visa row, Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said the manner South African government and the committee organising the summit treated him, it was like bullying a humble and a weak person who was unable to protect himself.

Referring to his fellow Nobel Peace laureates Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams, who were in Dharamsala to attend the felicitation programme organised by Central Tibetan Administration to commemorate 25 years of Nobel Peace prize to him, the spiritual guru said they were his protection.

The felicitation programme organised at Tsuglakhang temple courtyard at Mcleodganj was occasioned on the birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi as a mark of respect to his message of peace and non-violence.
It was for the first time that the Dalai Lama spoke on the visa issue. The South African government denied him visa for the third time, following which he abandoned his trip to the country where he was to attend the summit.

The South African government drew criticism from all across the world for bending to the Chinese pressure.

Recently, the women Nobel Peace prize winners announced to boycott the summit and the others followed them, leading to cancellation of the summit. The Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi on Wednesday questioned Dalai Lama's close friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu's silence on the issue.

Speaking on the significance of the day, the 79-year-old Nobel laureate said the most befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi would be following his legacy and message of non- violence and compassion.

“Words would not do enough, we need to carry on his principle of non- violence and simple living,” the Dalai Lama told the gathering.

He also referred to African-American civil rights movement leader Martin Luther, who was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and practitioner of non- violence and simple living.

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