Nobel laureate summit cancelled over Dalai Lama visa refusal
Mail and Guardian, 1 Oct 2014
Cape Town, South Africa -- A Cape Town summit of Nobel peace laureates has been cancelled after too many delegates pulled out over South Africa denying the Dalai Lama a visa.
The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Cape Town has been cancelled, according to reports.
The move came after more laureates pulled out of the event to protest against the South African government’s refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to enter the country.
Sources on Wednesday confirmed to the Cape Argus that the event, which was scheduled to be held in Cape Town from October 13 to 15, would no longer go ahead.
Friends of Tibet tweeted that the event had been cancelled “owing to denial of visa by host country” to the Dalai Lama.
The Hindustan Times reported that a new venue would be announced on Thursday. According to the report, the summit was meant to have been held in Costa Rica eight years ago, but was cancelled when the Chinese government put pressure on that government not to grant the Dalai Lama a visa.
“The venue of the summit has been shifted out of South Africa,” US Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams told reporters, according to the News Minute.
The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India and is at loggerheads with China over Tibet, had been hoping to join the conference in Cape Town on October 13.
This is the third time South Africa has refused the Dalai Lama a visa in the past five years, according to his representative, and has intensified speculation about China’s influence in the country.