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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."

Dalai Lama denied South Africa visa for Nobel summit

September 8, 2014

September 4, 2014 – The Dalai Lama has again been refused entry to South Africa, where he was scheduled to attend the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates, his representative has said.

Nangsa Choedon said officials from the department of international relations called her to say the Tibetan spiritual leader's visa had been denied, the Cape Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

The office had not received written confirmation of the refusal, she said. "For now, the Dalai Lama has decided to cancel his trip to South Africa," Choedon was reported as saying.

The department confirmed the South African high commission in India had received a visa application from the Dalai Lama's office. "The application will be taken through normal due process. The relevant authorities will communicate with the applicant thereafter," it said.

The annual summit is being held in Cape Town next month. Other Nobel laureates have warned the Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu that they will not attend if the Dalai Lama is not permitted into the country, according to the newspaper.

This is the third time in five years the Dalai Lama has been refused a South African visa. In 2012, a South African court ruled that officials had acted unlawfully in failing to grant the Dalai Lama a visa in time for a 2011 trip to celebrate Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations, largely out of fears of angering the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama wants increased autonomy for Tibet, from which he has been exiled since 1959. China accuses him of being a separatist.

He was welcomed to South Africa in 1996 and held talks with Nelson Mandela. But in 2009, the government kept the Dalai Lama from attending a Nobel laureates' peace conference, saying it would detract attention from the 2010 World Cup.

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