. China News .

S.Africa acted 'unlawfully' in failed Dalai Lama visa
by Staff Writers
Cape Town (AFP) Nov 29, 2012

The South African government acted unlawfully by dragging its heels on a failed visa application by the Dalai Lama to attend Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday last year, a court ruled Thursday.

The Supreme Court of Appeal said the home affairs ministry had "unreasonably delayed" its decision to grant the Tibetan spiritual leader and his entourage visas to attend the celebrations for the renowned rights activist.

"In so doing," the judge ruled that then minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had "acted unlawfully."

Pretoria's failure to grant the Lama a visa prompted widespread accusations it was pandering to its top trade partner China, which regards the Tibetan leader as a separatist and protests against his visits to foreign countries.

At the time, Tutu blasted the government as being "worse than the apartheid government".

The often outspoken retired archbishop on Thursday welcomed the court's finding as a positive reflection on the country and the independence of its courts.

Tutu also paid tribute to the Dalai Lama, a friend and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and hinted that another invitation could be on the cards.

"I look forward to seeing him again soon, and perhaps I will invite him to celebrate my 90th birthday."

It was the second time that Pretoria had denied the Dalai Lama entry, with a visa refused in 2009.

However, he had visited three times before that and was personally welcomed by former president Nelson Mandela.

Dlamini-Zuma, who is now head of the African Union, had argued that the visa applications were withdrawn while she was awaiting input from officials on the matter.

But the court pointed to politics having played a role in the ministry's tardy response.

"The proposal raised serious concern that the visit by the Dalai Lama would put at risk the friendly relations between this country and the government of the People's Republic of China," wrote appeal court judge Robert Nugent.

The foreign ministry had also expressed its "reservations" due to South Africa's "One China Policy," which recognises Beijing as the legitimate government of China.

The court accepted that consultations and consideration on a visit of such diplomatic importance were justified, but it accused officials of "deliberate procrastination".

"A declaration that the visa had been refused is not warranted. What is justified by the evidence is an inference that the matter was deliberately delayed so as to avoid a decision," the ruling said.

The government said it would respect the ruling, but would "study the reasoning for the judgement before responding comprehensively."

The case was brought by leaders of the opposition in parliament after an initial challenge was thrown out of the High Court.

Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, a lawmaker for the Inkatha Freedom Party which brought the appeal, said the Dalai Lama had told him in April that he was keen to visit South Africa again.

"He wanted to come to South Africa to see President Mandela once more," said Oriani-Ambrosini.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959, when he fled an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.


Related Links
China News from SinoDaily.com

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Liao slams Chinese politicians' 'dirty wealth'
Mexico City (AFP) Nov 29, 2012
Chinese dissident writer Liao Yiwu accused China's political elite of accumulating "dirty wealth" on Thursday, saying it had turned his country into "one of the biggest landfills in the world." "There is wealth in China that only belongs to the powerful political class, that is the truth," Liao told a news conference at the International Book Fair of Guadalajara in western Mexico. "It is ... read more

Pena Nieto looking for trade partners

Norquist ready for immigration reform

Australia's resources spending increases

Australia's Lynas fires up Malaysian plant

Hot springs in Alps make for luxury Swiss caviar

China, EU protect each others' asparagus and ham

The hungry caterpillar: Beware your enemy's enemy's enemy

Increasing Drought Stress Predicted to Challenge Vulnerable Hydraulic System of Plants

S.Africa hunters try to clean up image

Ethiopia to stay in Somalia until AU takeover: PM

Algeria's ruling party eyes landslide in local elections

Madagascar to probe rights abuses by security forces

North America lags in gas-driven vehicles

Ford Fusion wins LA car show green prize

Smith Electric Vehicles to Open Manufacturing Facility in Chicago

VW says air cleared over industrial espionage in China

AREVA to continue International OECD Research Program for nuclear plant safety

Japan anti-nuclear groups join forces ahead of poll

France begins 'energy transition' debate

Japan's ruling party promises to phase out nuclear power

Doctor objected to suicide watch for WikiLeaks suspect

WikiLeaks suspect may speak at pre-trial hearing

Israel facing 'millions' of cyber-attacks over Gaza

White House mulls move as cybersecurity bill fails

Passport squabble irks Chinese travelers

India counters China map claims in a tit-for-tat move

Japan appoints new ambassador to China

US-Myanmar detente forces Chinese rethink: experts

US Navy, DoD, Developer Announce Wind Farm Agreement

Britain: Higher energy bills 'reasonable'

Areva commits to Scotland turbine plant

AREVA deploys its industrial plan to produce a 100 percent French wind power technology

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement