Govt: Dalai Lama visa being processed

Cape Town - A visa application by the Dalai Lama for South Africa is still being processed, and has thus not been denied as reported in the media, said international relations and co-operation department spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

Monyela, who is in China on business, tweeted on Thursday: “[The] SA High Commission in India has received a visa application from the Dalai Lama. The application is going [through] due process. No denial.”

Monyela further tweeted that the Dalai Lama’s South African representative was lying when she said that the exiled Tibetan leader’s visa had been denied.

Relations with China

AFP quoted the Dalai Lama's representative in SA, Nangsa Choedon, as saying the government "conveyed by phone to me they will not be able to grant the visa for the reason that it would disturb relations between China and South Africa".

The Cape Times reported on Thursday that the Dalai Lama was due to attend a Nobel Peace Laureate summit next month. Other Nobel Peace Laureates have told Archbishop Emirate Desmond Tutu they will not attend the summit if the Dalai Lama is not permitted to enter South Africa.

In February, the Chinese government reacted in anger as US President Barack Obama ignored their request to not meet with the exiled Tibetan leader.

In April, Norwegian authorities were left torn between a planned visit by the Dalai Lama to Oslo and warming up its chilly ties with China, AFP reported.