On Thursday there were rumors that the huge International event, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which was due to be held in Cape Town from October 13 to October 15, was “in serious trouble” over the refusal by the Zuma administration to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama, apparently due to pressure from China.
The Dalai Lama is the title of spiritual leader of the people of Tibet, which was once a colony of China. The current incumbent, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, serves as the 14th Dalai Lama, having been born on July 6, 1935 to a peasant farming family in northeastern Tibet. He is also a recipient of the Nobel Peace price, together with former leader of the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989. The Dalai Lama’s prize was for advocating non violent means to liberate Tibet from China, which explains the beef that China seems to have towards this Asian region.
Even though neither the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates nor the officials of the City of Cape Town could be drawn into either confirming or denying the cancellation of the Summit, The Hindustan Times of India, reported on Wednesday that the event had been moved from South Africa and a new venue would be announced on Thursday. This is the second time this particular event has been moved from a country for the same reason after it was also moved from Costa Rica and it is the third time that South Africa has denied the Tibetian leader a visa. The first time was in 2009 when the Dalai Lama wanted to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg with the second time being in 2011 when he had been invited to attend the birthday celebrations of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. According that Dalai Lama’s office in South Africa, a government official had asked the peace laureate’s visa application to be withdrawn as it would not be granted due to the country’ relations to China.
The leadership of the host city of the summit, Cape Town, have said that they would make an announcement at a press conference to be hosted by the mayor, Patricia de Lille on Thursday. The City had set aside about R10 million to host the more than 1500 delegates expected. The Indian paper quoted American Peace prize winner, Jody Williams as saying that she was glad that the event had been moved from South Africa as the Tibetian leader could not attend and mainly because enough peace laureates had withdrawn their attendance. The Times this week had quoted an Irish Nobel Prize winner, Betty Williams as saying that the South African government was forgetting the world solidarity that had been used to put pressure on the apartheid government to concede to relinquish power to the masses in that country.