Dharamsala, HP, India, 4 October 2011 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama had been invited to South Africa by a number of universities and organizations including Stellenbosch University, the Tutu Centre and the Mahatma Gandhi Trust to give public talks, deliver Bishop Tutu's 80th Birth Anniversary Inaugural Lecture and to receive the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation.
His Holiness was scheduled to visit South Africa 6th - 14th October 2011. Visa applications for him and his entourage were submitted to the South African High Commission in New Delhi at the end of August and original passports were submitted on 20th September, over two weeks ago.
Since the South African government seems to find it inconvenient to issue a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness has decided to call off this visit to South Africa.
His Holiness travels the world to promote human values, religious harmony, world peace, and compassion: principles that form the core of his communications and interactions everywhere. Therefore, His Holiness does not wish to be the subject of anyone's inconvenience whether they are individuals or governments. He particularly regrets the inconvenience caused to his hosts and the many members of the South African public who were keenly waiting to receive him.