Mallika Chopra: Dalai Lama Banned from Attending South Africa Peace Conference

According to news reports that came in last week, the Dalai Lama was denied a visa from the South Africa government to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg that would have been attended by five other Nobel Peace prize winners.

Officials believed that banning the Dalai Lama would keep the focus of the conference on the upcoming 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament and away from messy politics. They probably did not anticipate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president F. W. de Klerk dropping out of the conference in protest of the Dalai Lama’s dismissal.

Even members of the South African government, such as Health Minister Barbara Hogan, is angered by the decision and believes the South African government owes an apology to all its citizens.

Why would a country that freed itself from an apartheid government deny entry to a spiritual leader who speaks on behalf of  5.4 million Tibetans being oppressed by the Chinese government?

Herein lies the double standard of foreign policy. Though South Africa may have a history of championing human rights and democracy, this nation also depends heavily on Chinese markets for buying its rich natural resources.

Perhaps no person can sum it up better than Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who himself has been jailed and had his passport revoked from his own government for his opposition to apartheid in the 1980’s.  He called the government’s decision “disgraceful” for “shamelessly succumbing to Chinese pressure.”

The peace conference has been completely cancelled by the resulting outcry.

In a graceful response that underscores his peaceful nature, the Dalai Lama responded that he does not want to “cause any embarrassment or inconvenience,” and that ironically, the visa refusal has helped further publicize the Tibetan cause.


  1. Love and peace is it is never realised untill hate and war causes its disaster. Since right now the world is going through hell of wars I personally feel the time is ripe when love and peace will show its true colours , Lands would definitely be won -amen.

  2. The Dali Lama is coming here in April in Albany, N.Y.

    Tibetan monks taken care of the Grafton Peace Pagoda. Sister Jun Yasuda in Germany on a peace march.

    Love Sister Jun.



  3. South Africa basically shot themselves in the foot. I hope other countries take heed and avoid the same mistake.

  4. Excuse me? Excuse me?

    Thank-you for the information….

    I need to step back and then read this again…


  5. Dominic April is going to be great for Albany , I heard Bruce Springsteen , Yanni and Dalai Lama are all coming . I stay in Albany , NY too …what a coincidence .

  6. care forall I work at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and been there for 32 1/2 years. I have 8 months to retire but I let God point me in the direction He sees fit. I sometimes on a whim go to the Grafton Peace Pagoda. Last time I was there I had a pre marriage ceremonial dinner with Sister Jun and 2 other couples. There were so many coincidences that day. I rule out coincidences to me it is my Spirit aligning me with the Cosmos, Home of the Spirits.



  7. Dominic I never knew about Grafton Peace Pagoda , I am living here for 2 years , I would surely visit it once on a good weekend , thanks for the info …any other good places to visit in / around Albany , NY ?

  8. care forall, well define good. To me everywhere is basically good. I do go out to the Ann Lee Pond and meditate, airport is good. My mothers apartment to chew the fat, my wife and daughter have a tussel at each other. My daughter goes to Siena and is studying to be a teacher. She lives at home now instead of campus but when she is home check your forecast for tornadoes. I go to Lee outlets in Lee, Massachusettes with my wife. Only 45 minutes away. Mass Pike is free get off on exit 2 but NYS Thruway is .80 cents. I go to Queensbury outlets up exit 20 on the Northway to Lake George. I don't know what else to tell you. Mountains in Berne are always nice to go to.



  9. care forall, to get there, Grafton Peace Pagoda you must go out Route 2 towards Vermont on Hoosick Street in Troy. Go out about 5 miles or so then you will see a fork running to Route 278, I think that's it. Take that road until it comes to the end with a red light. You will see a Stewarts Shop on the left. Take a left at the light and go out about another 8 miles or so. You willsee the Grafton State Park sign on your right. Pass the Grafton State Parks and keep going until you come to a volunteer fire department for Grafton. Pass that and go about 3 miles up the road, now go slower than the speed limit because you will miss it. There is a sign for the Peace Pagoda and it is on Taconic Lake Road, that will be on your right. Travel down about 3-4 miles but be very careful, I missed the sign in the trees the first time I went. The road will be on your left and it is called Crandall Road. Follow it down about 1 or 2 miles and you will see it on your left a path leading to the temple and stupa.

    Or just mapquest those roads for Grafton. You will find it.



  10. Dominic thanks I have a GPS so would easily get there 🙂 also I have been to Grafton State park and Tacnoc highway so I have some idea where it is . thanks again for the info and once I visit there I will update on this site how I felt . BTW I am from land of Buddha and have visited almost all of his famous places like the birhtplace , the place where he took sermon , the place where he aatianed nirvana . All these places are splendid and amazing to watch all the peace loving lamas meditating there .

    Peace and Love

  11. For a humourous look at this anyone interested can check out this cartoon one of my friends from South Africa did…

    Of course it is a serious matter as is at the undertone of the cartoon too but …makes you swallow it with less stress I guess…

    And personally I was pretty alerted to it too having a huge network of Tibet cause people on my facebook stuff cause I was in this candle4tibet thing…it's a sad situation this whole Tibet business especially I find with monks being killed…it doesn't sit well with me…