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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

A dark day for South Africa

March 29, 2009

By DONALD SYMONDS
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
March 26, 2009

Unionville, Ont. -- The decision of the South
African government to deny a visa to the Dalai
Lama to participate in a peace conference that
included the involvement of Nobel Peace Prize
winners is extremely disappointing (In A
'Disgrace' To Its History Of Struggle, South
Africa Shuts Out Dalai Lama - March 25).

Postapartheid South Africa began as a shining
beam of decency and democracy in a dark world of
repressive autocracies. In recent years, this
beam has begun to sputter, such as in the case of
its abominable behaviour regarding Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Now it has taken another step down the darker
path with its banning of the Dalai Lama on the
basis that it would not be "in South Africa's
best interests" and would "divert attention" from
the World Cup. A further bit of information is
that China's ruling Communist Party is reported
to be a major financial contributor to the African National Congress.

Perhaps it is time for FIFA and soccer-playing
nations to consider diverting the 2010 World Cup to another location.

-----
By ROGER COHEN

March 26, 2009

Edmonton -- What a short memory the ANC
government of South Africa has. The country's
former apartheid government was finally brought
to its knees partly because the international
sporting community banned sporting teams from
visiting South Africa and South African teams from touring overseas.

By banning the Dalai Lama, the ANC has shown its
support for the same kind of oppressive
government that ruled South Africa during the apartheid years.

It's time for the international sporting
community to react again. It's not too late to
move the 2010 World Cup elsewhere and hold next
month's Indian Premier League cricket tournament
in England instead of South Africa.

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