The Dalai Lama will not be joining us for Desmond Tutu’s birthday party.
Given the confusion between Llamas and Lamas, I wonder if immigration got confused?
It’s not as if South Africa hasn’t invited personas non grata here before, so I can’t see what the issue is. If we can entertain Fidel Castro, surely the Dalai Lama doesn’t represent a threat?
During the Castro fiasco Nelson Mandela said that we would never allow others to dictate who our friends should be. It’s actually in our very forward-thinking and much lauded constitution – freedom of association – oh, and religion.
Still, the Chinese have given us pots and pots of lovely money, so we can’t risk all that can we?
On the other hand there is karma to consider and I hasten to suggest that the pots and pots of lovely money might be outweighed by the kick in the ass karma will give us for refusing the Dalai Lama a visa.
It’s bloody embarrassing, that what it is. It’s like refusing Ghandi entry into a club because he wasn’t following the dress code. He is the Dalai Lama. He will reincarnate and never forget. I wouldn’t risk that, would you?
Aside from it all, he wasn’t coming here on a political mission to stir up sympathy for the Tibetan cause. He was coming here for a birthday party, for a priest! He’s hardly Gaddafi looking for asylum, which we’d probably grant along with a house in Clifton and a bullet proof Hummer. He isn’t a jihadist arriving with dynamite strapped to his private parts. He is a well respected holy man and international figure of peace.
Immigration authorities say that this honoured personage decided to cancel his application while it was under review. For over 6 months? I must say with the birthday four days away, I’d also give it up as a lost cause.
I can’t say that I’m surprised it took so long for them to look at his application though. I’ve been waiting for a new identity book for over 18 months. We’re not exactly the most efficient bureaucracy in the world. We love red tape more than we love the rugby. God bless us.