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Tutu slams ANC after Dalai Lama trip cancelled

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has accused the African National Congress of being “worse than apartheid” after the Dalai Lama was forced to pull out of a trip for Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations as he was not yet granted a visa by South African authorities.

"When we (anti-apartheid activists) used to apply for passports from the apartheid government, we never knew until the last moment what the decision was," Tutu said.

"Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it with the apartheid government."

Tutu was outraged at the ANC at the decision not to allow his fellow Nobel Peace prize laureate into the country, given the Dalai Lama’s support for the anti-apartheid movement following suggestions the delay was due to pressure from China.

"Our government, representing me, representing me!, says it will not support Tibetans who are being oppressed viciously by the Chinese."

“You are disgraceful, I want to warn you. You are behaving in a way that is totally at variance with the things for which we stood."

“I have to say that I can’t believe this. I really can’t believe it. I mean you have to wake me up and tell me that this is actually happening here. And it is quite unbelievable the discourtesy that they have shown to the Dalai Lama. I mean, the Dalai Lama!”

Last year, Sri Lanka, where constitutionally the state has a “duty to protect and foster Buddhism”, blocked its cricketers from visiting the Dalai Lama.

Sri Lanka cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told AFP,

"We were made to understand that we should not upset relations with China."

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