Johannesburg, Oct 5 : Calling it “worse than the apartheid” regime, an angry Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday lambasted the South African government over its failure to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama, and warned it to “watch out”.
Tutu's outburst came after the Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled his visit to South Africa to receive an international award named after Mahatma Gandhi. The Dalai Lama said the South African government was finding it “inconvenient” to issue a visa to him and his entourage. The Tibetan spiritual leader was invited to attend the birthday celebrations of Tutu.
The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre earlier termed the cancellation of his trip a “dark day” for South Africa. Later, at a press conference in Cape Town, a visibly angry Tutu said he found it “quite unbelievable” to see this had happened in a democratic South Africa.
“Wake me up and tell this is actually happening here,” he said.“Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid government,” said Tutu.
“But our government, we were expecting more (that) we would have a government that was sensitive to the sentiments of our Constitution,” he said.
Tutu said the African National Congress led government seemed “quite determined” on not doing anything that would upset China, “whether they say so or not”. The 76-year-old Dalai Lama was slated to leave for the African nation on Thursday on a nine-day visit, but he had not received his visa yet, applications for which were submitted to the South African High Commission in New Delhi in August. Hitting out at President Jacob Zuma, Tutu said his government was representing its own interests rather than representing citizens like him.
“I am warning you, watch out! Watch out!” he told the ANC government.“One day we will be praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful. You have bought a huge majority - that is nothing. Watch out ANC government watch out,” he was quoted as saying by South African news website News24. PTI