For the second time in two years, a visit by the Dalai Lama has been blocked by the South African government — only a week after South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe visited with Chinese leaders in Beijing. However, the government insists that it was under no pressure from China and the visa was simply not processed fast enough.
The Dalai Lama was invited by fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu to celebrate the archbishop’s 80th birthday.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe came back from China with a slew of bilateral trade and investment deals. The Dalai Lama was then told that his visa was not approved in time. Just a coincidence.
The South African government previously blocked the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference.
As with other countries, South Africa has abandoned any pretense of principle in a mad rush for the infusion of Yuan. For a nation that was once the symbol of the struggle for human rights, this is the most painful example of a race to the bottom to appease the Chinese.
They are not alone. Obama pleased the Chinese leadership — and was criticized by supporters of Tibetan freedom — by declaring Tibet a part of China.