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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

The Dalai Lama: An open letter to President Motlanthe

April 7, 2009

Various individuals and organisations call for an
apology to the Tibetan spiritual leader
Politicsweb
April 5, 2009

LETTER TO PRESIDENT MOTLANTHE: GOVERNMENT MUST
PROVIDE GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ON HUMAN RIGHTS

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals
support the call by Health Minister Barbara Hogan
for government to apologise for the decision to
prohibit the Dalai Lama from entering South
Africa. We also call on government to reverse the decision.

As Minister Hogan stated, this decision by the
government was made on behalf of all citizens. It
undermines the values of freedom, equality,
dignity and sovereignty upon which our
Constitution is founded. Given our history South
Africa should be at the forefront of resisting
the use of economic power to bully other
countries into silence on human rights
violations. But we are also concerned that there
may be undeclared interests at play in the
decision to bow to China on this issue, such as party political funding.

It is unfortunate that Minister Hogan has become
the centre of attention regarding the ban on the
Dalai Lama. The South African Human Rights
Commission and others had already publicly
expressed their concern regarding the
government's decision prior to the statement that
was made by Hogan. The real issue is not about
Hogan but about the foreign policy choices of our government.

Political leaders must be loyal first and
foremost to the Constitution. Hogan was not only
giving voice to her conscience, but was also
speaking in defence of our Constitution and the
duty of the state to represent us all in a manner
that is befitting of constitutional values. In
the past, threats by presidents of the United
States based on its economic power did not stop
Nelson Mandela and other senior government
leaders from speaking honestly on global human
rights violations, including torture in Iraq and
the rights of oppressed people to self determination.

Again we call on our government to reverse its
decision to deny the Dalai Lama entry into South
Africa and to apologise for its mistake. This
will take courage but our people will support it
as will the global community of citizens. We also
call on the government to assure us that no
action will be taken against Minister Hogan whose
leadership of the health department has begun to
repair the damage and despair caused by her predecessor.

SIGNED BY:

Prof Quarraisha Abdol- Karim- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Zackie Achmat- Treatment Action Campaign --
Deputy General Secretary and ANC Supporter
Sieraaj Ahmed- AIDS Law Project
Paula Akugizibwe
Stef Albertyn
Gabriela Altamirano -- Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Yvette Andrews -- Anglican Diocese of the Free State
Premi Appalraju
Tara Appalraju -- Artists for a New South Africa
Assitej South Africa
Balspindie Press
Laurel Baldwin-Ragaven
Ms Vivian Black -- Reproductive Health & HIV Research Unit
Ms Lucilla Blankenberg -- Community Media Trust
Zenariah Barends
Daniel Barnett
Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Yoni Bass
Lunga Biyela
Lucilla Blankenberg
Adv Julia Boltar- Johannesburg Bar
Andrew Boraine
Deena Bosch
Joel Bregman
Derek Brian
Dr Brian Brink -- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Nathalie R Bucher
Adv SF Burger SC- Group 621
Rober Carr -- Jamaica
Centre for Applied Legal Studies
Centre for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ)
Polly Claydon
Thomas Coggin
Rachel M Cohen -- Colonnades Theatre Lab, SA
Prof. Mark Cotton
Creative Voices
Anthony Day
Anne Katrin Detjen
Xavier Donceel
Nikki de Havilland
Jacques de Villiers
Andries Dippenaar
Ms Vuyiseka Dubula- Board Member, AIDS Law
Project and General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign
Sandi Du Bowski- United States of America
Evi Eggers
Sharon Ekambaram
Collin Eglin
Deborah Ewing
Andrew Feinstein
Friends of TAC (FoTAC)
Anik Gevers
Erica Glyn-Jones- PANSA National Chair
Andrew Feinstein
Doret Ferreira
Jenifer Festis-Ferguson
Prof. Sharon Fonn- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Louis Fourie
Vivian Fritelli
Nicole Fritz
Sr Veronica Fynn
Nathan Geffen- Treatment Action Campaign
Eric Goemaere
Gregg Gonsalves- United States of America
Lucia Gorne
Andy Gray- Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in SA (CAPRISA)
Temoris Grecko- Mexico
Jacqueline Green- United States of America
Dotan Greenvald- Israeli Peace and Justice Activist
Charlie Greenwood-Elliott
Anna Grimsrud
Deon Groenewald
Grant Gunston
Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Camilla Hansen
Prof. Shireen Hassim -- Wits University
Yvette Hardie
Paula Hathorn
Dr Anneke C Hesseling
Health and Human Rights Programme and School of
Public Health and Family Medicine - UCT
Robert Hendricks
Frances Hill
Nokhwezi Hoboyi
Rebecca Hodes- Treatment Action Campaign
Karl Hoffman
Dr Simone Honikam- Head: Perinatal Mental Health Project: UCT
Dr Lyn Horn
Denise Hunt AIDS Consortium
Gilad Isaacs
Vuyani Jacobs- Community Media Trust
Dr Marie Jobson
Dr G Josias
Demille Jovan
Rhoda Kadalie
Rozanne Kamalie
Iphegenia Kerfoot
Julian Kesler
Mazkir Klali- Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Larissa Klazinga- One in Nine Campaign
Louise Knight
Justice Johann Kriegler -- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Gerald Kraak -- Atlantic Philanthropies
Victor Lakay
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
Katherine Lawrence
Adv Michelle Le Roux -- Johannesburg Bar
Karl Le Roux -- RuDASA
Yaron Lever -- Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Simon Lewin
Jack Lewis -- Community Media Trust
Graeme Lipschitz
Daniel Linda- Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Prof. Leslie London
Rev Steven Lottering
Carol Luka
Chani Macauley
Mikhael Manekin -- Israeli Peace & Justice Activist
Mari Martinsen
Moses Masitha
Sithembile Mbete
Dr Cheryl McDermid
Stephen McGill -- Canada
Anneke Meerkotter- Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre
Graeme Meintjes
Letti Mdani
Gaoretelelwe N N Molebalwa
Moeketsi Montsho
David Moore
Mosamaria AIDS Ministry
Peter John Moses
Michael Moss
Keketso Mptale
Nhlanhla Ndlovu -- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
and Trustee, Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa
Tantaswa Ndlelana
Attapon Ted Ngoksin- International Treatment Preparedness Coalition Secretariat
Joseph N Ngunju- Ambassadors for Change, Kenya
Dr James Nuttall
Caleb Orozco- United Belizze Advocacy Movement - Belize)
Dr Heidi Orth
Dr Nesri Padayatchi -- Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in SA (CAPRISA)
Shane Petzer
Le Nhan Phuong- Atlantic Philanthropies
Prof. Marius Pieterse -- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Prof. Wolfgang Preiser
Ilan Price -- Habonim Dror Southern Africa
Catherine Pringle -- Public Service Accountability Monitor
Helena Rabie
Yvette Alta Raphael
Zina Raj
Fazel Randera
Molebogeng Rangaka
Michael Rautenbach- Siyayinqoba, Beat It!
Shaun Resnik
Mandy Ristow
Bernice Roeland- Director of AIDS Response
Peter Rutherford -- SA Human Rights Commission
Cathryn Salter-Jansen
Joery Sasse
Eric Sawyer- Co-Founder ACT UP NY
Sass Schulz
Kira Schlesinger
Simon Sephton
Fisani Sekwele
Butjwana Seokoma- SANGONeT
Siber Ink Publishers
Gavin Silber
Abongile Sipondo
Jill Sloan
Social Justice Coalition
Theo Steele -- Board Member, AIDS Law Project
Jenny Stead
Ilan Strauss
Francois Taljaard -- The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
Lega Thlame
Alison Tilley -- Treatment Action Campaign
Adv Wim Trengrove- Johannesburg Bar
Adv Duncan Turner- Johannesburg Bar
Daniel Turton -- United States of America
Adv David Unterhalter SC- Johannesburg Bar
Prof. Donna Van Bogaert -- Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics
Dr Gilles van Cutsem
Annalie van Niekerk
Desmond van Niekerk
Vernita van Niekerk
Pieter van Rooijen -- Netherlands
Gert van Zyl
Rouvanne van der Berg
Alex van der Heever
Willem van der Linde
Ahmien van der Walt
Dr Francois Venter
Sara Weiss
Adv Matthew Welz
Jodi Wishnia
Jonathan Whittall
Thein Win
Wan Yanhai -- Beiking Aizhixing Institute, China
Nathan Geffen -- Treatment Action Campaign Treasurer
Brian Honermann -- AIDS Law Project, Researcher
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