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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Facebook seethes over Dalai Lama snub

March 29, 2009

Benjamin Bradlow
The Times (South Africa)       
March 26, 2009

South Africa’s decision to bar the Dalai Lama
from attending a peace conference has sparked a
virtual backlash on social networking website Facebook.

More than 12,500 people have joined a dozen
Facebook groups with names such as "Allow the
Dalai Lama into South Africa" and "We Want the
Dalai Lama to Visit South Africa."

Facebook users from South Africa and around the
world are using the forums to express their anger
and frustration at the South African government’s
refusal to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama.

Rupert Meyer, founder of the group "We Want the
Dalai Lama to Come to South Africa!!", said the
South African Friends of Tibet organisation had
contacted him to discuss possible co-operation.

Meyer also plans to meet with representatives of
another Tibet advocacy group, the Tibet Society
of South Africa, to discuss action beyond the Internet.

"We just want to be sure that whatever actions
that we do take don’t fly in the face of what he
stands for. There are a lot of very irate and
pissed off people and we need to keep calm," he said.

Apart from Facebook, supporters of the Dalai Lama
have also used Twitter, a micro-blogging website,
to express their outrage at South Africa’s snub
of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

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