Posted by: africanpressorganization | 1 April 2009

South Africa / Government censored the Dalai Lama, says MISA-South Africa.



South Africa / Government censored the Dalai Lama, says MISA-South Africa.


PRETORIA, South Africa, April 1, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The government has offended the spirit of the Constitution which upholds freedom of expression, by not allowing the Dalai Lama to visit South Africa, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-South Africa) said on Saturday 28 March as reported by News 24 and South Africa Press Association (SAPA).

“It has now been admitted by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel that the purpose [of cancelling the peace conference] was to censor and prevent South Africans from hearing what would have been said,” said Noma Rangana, chairperson of the SA Chapter of Misa.

“It is rare for a democratic government to publicly invoke censorship though this… Imposing this ban on the Dalai Lama propagates transparency as one of its major aims,” she said.

She said the desire by the government to use censorship appeared to be growing.

“In censoring the Dalai Lama, the government has also censored the country’s media by preventing newspapers, and the electronic media from reporting and publishing the speech of the Dalai Lama.

“The spurious excuses given by the government for barring the Dalai Lama confirm that the government has caved in under pressure from the Chinese, a humiliating posture given SA’s staunch fight against colonialism,” Rangana said.

The Dalai Lama was refused a visa to attend a soccer-related peace conference to have been held in Johannesburg from 27 March.


SOURCE : Media Institute of South Africa (MISA)


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