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Link: Dalai Lama's South Africa conference ban causes uproar [Guardian]

I do try to report honestly and objectively in this blog but this is not going to be one of those times.  I have to say that I am absolutely disgusted with the South African government for bowing to pressure from the Chinese government and banning the Dalai Lama from entering the country and attending an anti-racism conference.

Thankfully, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk are sticking to their principles and are now boycotting the conference.  The conference is meant to be meeting to tackle racism ahead of the 2010 World Cup but when your government is choosing trade and economic relations over freedom, democracy and human rights, then you are left without a choice.

Fifteen years ago, South Africa emerged as the country with perhaps the most liberal constitution on the planet.  As South Africans, we believed in the Rainbow Nation and human rights were of paramount importance in our country.  Our constitution was based on the Freedom Charter and demanded equality for all regardless of race, gender, creed or religion. 

Now, in deference to a government that is accused of committing genocide against the Tibetans, our supposedly democratic and liberal government has denied entry to the Dalai Lama.

Link: S. Africa: Dalai Lama won't be welcome before 2010 [Google News]

"You can't remove Tibet from (the Dalai Lama)," Masebe said. "That becomes the issue and South Africa is no longer the issue." - Google News

Oh really? No Mr Masebe, the point is that gross human rights violations are occurring in Tibet and it is up to the world to group together and tackle these problems and overcome hatred, racism and genocide in our times.  If the world had not applied pressure 20 years ago, Apartheid may still be alive and well.  You need to remember that and remember why so many people fought for so long to overcome racial segregation.

The biggest problem is how spineless and transparent this move is though and how the government have obviously chosen to please their financial partners.  Then again, this was the government that refused to apply economic pressure on Zimbabwe, so what did we expect?

That has what it has come to.  You can no longer trust or believe in the South African government.

About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is an accountant living and working in London. She is passionate about world events such as genocide and apartheid and has a desire to understand how these events continue to occur in the modern world. With a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, A Passion to Understand reflects her continuing research and reading on these topics.
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