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South African government still hasn't granted Dalai Llama a visa

September 28, 2011

The Dalai Llama is hoping to be present for Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday in October, but the South African government still has not made a decision concerning the spiritual leader's visa.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, personally invited the Dalai Llama to attend his birthday celebrations. Tutu has also requested that the Dalai Llama give the Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture on October 8.

However, no word has been received on whether or not the Tibetan figurehead will be approved to enter the country. The government denied his application when he attempted to attend a Nobel laureate conference in 2009, but he did visit Nelson Mandela in 1996.

The problem is that the Chinese government is stubborn when it comes to other countries inviting the Dalai Llama into their borders because of his role in trying to gain Tibet's autonomy from China.

"It has reached the point that uncertainty over the visa is not only causing deep anxiety to the Archbishop, but is materially jeopardizing the Desmond Tutu Peace Trust's ability to organize the inaugural Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture," chairman of the peace center, Dumisa Ntsebeza, told the Cape Times.

People can make calls to South Africa with phone cards to talk to their friends and family about the controversy. 

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