Department: Dalai Lama visa application closed
Johannesburg - The Dalai Lama's visa application in India for entry to South Africa is a closed matter, and he has cancelled his trip, the international relations department said on Thursday.
"The [department] has received written confirmation from the office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama in India indicating that His Holiness has cancelled his planned visit to South Africa," spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.
The department now considered the matter closed.
Earlier, the Cape Times reported that the Tibetan spiritual leader had again been refused entry to the country, this time for the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
The Dalai Lama's representative in South Africa, Nangsa Choedon, said department officials phoned her office in the past week to say they would not be granting the visa. They had not yet received written confirmation.
"For now the Dalai Lama has decided to cancel his trip to South Africa," Choedon was quoted as saying.
The summit, an annual gathering, is being held in Cape Town next month. Arrangements were being made by a local organising committee formed by the foundations representing four South African laureates - Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, and Albert Luthuli.
The Cape Times reported that other Nobel Peace Laureates told Tutu they would not come if the Dalai Lama was not permitted to enter the country.
This was the third time in five years the Dalai Lama could not secure a visa to enter South Africa.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who was hosting the event, had instructed city officials to write to the government to establish whether he had been denied a visa.
"We have not heard from them yet, but I will not give up hope that our government will not humiliate the Dalai Lama again," De Lille was quoted as saying.
At the time of the receipt of the notification, the South African High Commission in New Delhi was still processing the visa application in line with due process relating to visa applications.