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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Buthelezi off to Tibet talks

November 15, 2009

Sapa (South Africa)
November 13, 2009

DURBAN -- Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu
Buthelezi will attend a summit on China’s rule of
Tibet in Rome this month, despite China’s
reported request for him not to, his assistant said yesterday.

"Buthelezi will leave in the next few days. He
will -- attend a meeting in Rome," said spokesman Thamsanqa Duma.

Ilanga newspaper yesterday repor­ted that the
Chinese government is trying to persuade the IFP
not to attend a summit of world leaders in Rome
to discuss China’s rule of Tibet.

The paper reported that China’s Consul General,
Liu Yantao, recently wrote a letter to Buthelezi
asking him not to take part in the summit
scheduled to take place later this month.

Attempts to persuade the South African government
to block Buthelezi also failed. The government
reportedly told the Chinese that South Africa is
a democratic country which allows its citizens to travel anywhere they wish.

Liu refused to comment yesterday.

Relations between the Chinese government and the
Dalai Lama and his followers are strained.

Anti-Chinese protests broke out in Tibet on March
10, 2008, on the 49th anniversary of an abortive
1959 uprising against Chinese rule.
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