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Nobel laureates summit cancelled after South Africa denies visa to Dalai Lama

Dharamsala: The World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates, scheduled for this month in South Africa, has been cancelled and shifted out of the country, owing to the denial of a travel visa to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"The venue of the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates has been shifted out of South Africa and the new venue for the summit would be announced later," Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams of the US told reporters in Dharamsala. 

Dalai Lama
Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"The summit has been cancelled after the woman Nobel laureates boycotted the event protesting South Africa's denial to grant the Dalai Lama a travel visa. It is now being shifted out of South Africa because enough of NPLs refused to go," Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner, said. 

Another Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi (Iran's first female judge), who was awarded coveted prize in 2003, said, "There is a history of fight against racial discrimination in South Africa, and we never expected this country will deny visa to the Dalai Lama." 

Ebadi also questioned Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu's silence on the issue. "I am surprised over the stoic silence of Desmond Tutu. I know he is not a part of the government, but he's not making his views public," Ebadi said.

Meanwhile, Lobsang Sangay, Tibetan Prime Minister-in- exile told that people will come to know about the new venue by Thursday.

This year's Nobel summit in Cape Town on October 13-15 was backed by foundations representing four South African peace laureates - Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Albert Luthuli.

It was to be hosted by two surviving South African Nobel laureates Tutu and de Klerk.

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