Can political expediency ever take precedence over what is right and just?
The failure of the government to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to enter the country, it is a poor indictment on the ruling party, as they have once again ridden rough shod over the democratic values and principles set out in our constitution and in so doing has raised the ire of a large section of population.
And of course they do not like the heat that this has generated, but then if they want to make unpopular decisions they must face the consequences. At this late stage any spin that the goverment places on their decision will have absolutely no credibility.
The Dalai Lama was invited to the country to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a friend and fellow Nobel Peace
Prize winner. Why should that be a problem?
This refusal has understandably sparked a reaction from the Archbishop who was quoted by News24 as saying, " We will pray, as we prayed for downfall of [the] apartheid government, we will
pray for [the] downfall of a government that misrepresents us."
"People were opposed to injustice and oppression and people believe that we
South Africans would be on the side of those who are oppressed. Tibet is being
People who supported us in our struggle... those
people are weeping. They are saying South Africa, it can't be. Our
government, representing me, says it will not support Tibetans who are being
oppressed viciously by the Chinese. May I just remind you - the
minister of international relations and co-operation [Maite Nkoana-Mashabane]
two years ago said the Dalai Lama can come anytime. She was being very,
very, economical with the truth or she didn’t know her work.”
The Archbishop is to be commended for his stand in support of a man of peace whose country has been brutally oppressed.