Monday, March 23, 2009

Dalai Lama Denied Entry Into South Africa

The Dalai Lama has been denied entry into South Africa.

He was to have attended a peace conference organized by the country's soccer federation in Johannesburg. South Africa is hosting the World Cup next year.

South African officials are being straight forward as to why the Tibetan spiritual leader is persona non grata. They do not want to offend China who is South Africa's largest trading partner.

A spokesman for South African President Kgalema Motlanthe said they did not want to be "the source of negative publicity for China."

The spokesman went on to say that the Dalai Lama, who has visited South Africa twice previously, would be welcome there in the future. I would hope the Dalai Lama has the good sense to avoid South Africa like the plague but I suspect his forgiving nature will do otherwise.

But one wonders if the Dalai Lama would be denied entry into the United States. Given how much of our debt China is buying up at the moment there is little doubt that President Obama will be "indebted" to China. As such his administration and officials in the State Department might be disclined to welcome the Dalai Lama the next time he wishes to grace our soil.

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