Dalai Lama slams South Africa over visa row, says he feels bullied | world | Hindustan Times
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Dalai Lama slams South Africa over visa row, says he feels bullied

world Updated: Oct 02, 2014 19:58 IST
Naresh K Thakur
Naresh K Thakur
Hindustan Times
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A day after the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which was to be held in Cape Town, was cancelled over denial of visa to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama criticised the South African government and the committee organising the summit over handling of the situation.

It was for the first time that the Tibetan spiritual leader spoke on the visa issue. The South African government has denied the Dalai Lama visa for third time in three years.

"The way South African government and the organising committee treated me was like bullying humble and weak person who has no protection," said the Dalai Lama.

He was speaking during a felicitation program organised by the Central Tibetan Administration to commemorate the 25th anniversary of conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on him.

The Dalai Lama, referring to his fellow Nobel Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams who were in Dharamsala to attend the function, said they were his protection.

The summit was cancelled after the woman Nobel laureates boycotted the event protesting South Africa's denial to grant the Dalai Lama a travel visa leading to its cancellation.

Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi had on Wednesday questioned the Dalai Lama's close friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu's silence on the issue.

The South African government has drawn criticism from countries all over the world and prominent personalities for bending to the Chinese pressure.

The program held at Tsuglakhang temple courtyard at Mcleodganj was organised on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as a mark of respect to his message of peace and non-violence.

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

"Words would not do enough, we need to carry out 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.