Representative of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ngodup Dorjee, has called on the international community to look into the matter between China and his Holiness, accusing China of dictating relations between the Tibetan leader and other countries. This comes amid the Dalai Lama’s marked absence from his longtime friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s funeral at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. 

The two Nobel Prize laureates shared a unique relationship, often referring to the other as their spiritual guides and mischievous brothers.

Dalai Lama who is at odds with China over Tibet’s independence has previously been denied a visa to come into South Africa back in 2011 and withdrew his visa application in 2014 after he was advised that it would still be unsuccessful. This prompted speculation that the decision for South Africa to deny the visa was at the behest of instructions from Beijing to Pretoria. 

Speaking on the sidelines of Tutu’s funeral in Cape Town, Ngodup Dorjee, who is representing his Holiness the Dalai Lama, says this is an issue that needs to be looked into by the international community. 

“That is the policy the Chinese force on all the governments. But that is an issue the international community needs to think about,” he says. 

Dorjee has conceded that previous refusal of the visa could have played a role in his holiness choosing not to apply for the visa at all this time around, saying, “it might have played a small role also. But the present situation is very different from then in 2011 when he wanted to come here and applied for Visa.” 

Dorjee, who is based in Pretoria, arrived in Cape Town on Saturday evening to deliver a message from the office of the Dalai Lama. He spent half of the morning among the media contingent on Wale Street outside the Cathedral saying he did not have access into the building. However, early on during the funeral service, a member of the funeral committee from the church was seen walking with him into the building.  

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