BY LEXA DECKERT
He’s not crying, but it’s his party and he is upset. That is-- South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu was upset because the Dalai Lama was not allowed at his birthday. KABC explains...
“Tutu made headlines earlier this week by condemning the South African government for not granting a visa to the Dalai Lama. South Africa denies it was pressured by China into refusing the visa.”
Despite the denial, Archbishop Tutu compared the South African government of Jacob Zuma to the apartheid regime for its failure to stand up to China. The Guardian details...
“Our government representing me, representing me, says it will not support Tibetans who are being suppressed viciously by the Chinese... This government, our government, is worse than the apartheid government... because at least you were expecting it with the apartheid government. In our government we were expecting that now we’d have a government that was sensitive to the sentiments of our constitution.”
So, the Dalai Lama was forced to give his birthday wishes via Google+ -- using the hangout feature.
“Respected, very very dear elder spiritual brother and beloved archbishop Tutu... I am very very eager to see you personally.
Other guests noted the absence of the Dalai Lama as well. U2 frontman Bono was in attendance and points out the ridiculousness of the situation. Euronews reports...
“I’m here ladies and gentlemen, because I’m obviously not radical enough to be denied a visa. I mean, it used to be rock-stars, not religious leaders that caused controversy. Ya know?”
And BBC points out that this isn’t the first time the Dalai Lama has been denied entry to the country.
“It was the second time in two years that the Dalai Lama's visit to South Africa has been blocked. Beijing considers the Dalai Lama to be a dangerous separatist seeking to lead Tibet in breaking away from China. But he has repeatedly stated that his goal is for greater Tibetan autonomy rather than independence.”
But one blogger for Foreign Policy expects this kind of behaviour to continue.
“The government's vacillation was no surprise. Over the past decade, the nation renowned for its Nobel Peace Prize laureates and freedom fighters has repeatedly demonstrated... it will abandon ideals in favor of realpolitik. This readiness to choose practicality over principles is likely to grow as the country tries to boost its economy, more and more on the back of emerging economies such as China.”
Regardless of tension and a missing friend, archbishop Tutu kept up the party spirit. Al Jazeera reports...
REPORTER: “But on his birthday, and in true Tutu style -- all smiles and gratitude for the Nobel Peace Prize winner.”
TUTU: “You are as much apart of these celebrations in a very real, organic way.”
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