ANC chief says rights of Dalai Lama not violated

March 27th, 2009 - 3:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Mar.27 (ANI): The president of the African National Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma, on Thursday said that the South African Government’s refusal to give a visa to Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, did not undermine human rights.

In a meeting reported by SABC Radio, Zuma said: “I don’t think it amounts [to the] undermining of the human rights. I think this country’s more sensitive to human rights than many.”

“What should have happened… so that it should not have had to reach this point, there should have been consultation as people were beginning to say this is what we want to do…” he added.

He was speaking at a meeting with Afrikaner professionals and business people in Pretoria in Thursday.

The government had denied the Dalai Lama a visa to attend the now postponed 2010 peace conference.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was to have addressed the conference, aimed at thrashing out ways of using football to fight racism and xenophobia ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The government said that while it did not have a problem with the Dalai Lama, it did not want to draw focus away from preparations for the World Cup, to issues in Tibet.

Meanwhile, 2010 FIFA World Cup organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan said the calling off of the peace conference was a “great disappointment”, but it was time to move on. (ANI)

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