Dalai Lama cancels Botswana visit "due to exhaustion"




The Dalai Lama waves as he leaves after speaking to thousands at the UC San Diego campus in San Diego
The Dalai Lama waves as he leaves after speaking to thousands at the UC San Diego campus in San Diego  

GABORONE (Reuters) - Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has cancelled a planned visit to Botswana because of exhaustion, his office said, a move that is likely to be welcomed by China, a major investor in the African country.

The Dalai Lama had been expected to address a human rights conference in the capital Gaborone on Aug. 17-19 and meet Botswana's president during the trip.

Visits by the Dalai Lama to foreign countries infuriate China, and it stepped up warnings to Botswana last month, with its Foreign Ministry spokesman demanding "the relevant country earnestly respect China's core interests and make the correct political decision on this matter".

Botswana reacted by saying that as a sovereign state, it retained the right to permit anyone to enter the country.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, has long been at loggerheads over Tibet with China, which brands him a reactionary and separatist. The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, says he seeks greater rights, including religious freedom, and true autonomy for Tibetans.

In a statement late on Friday the Dalai Lama's office said his doctors had advised him to avoid undertaking long journeys for the next few weeks.

"During the past few weeks, His Holiness has found that carrying out his activities has left him unusually tired," it said.

"Although he had been eagerly looking forward to visiting Gaborone ... His Holiness has reluctantly had to concede that his 82-year old body was telling him to rest."

China's fast-growing demand for raw materials has made it one of the biggest investors in Africa and its largest trade partner. Chinese state-owned companies have been awarded contracts to build roads, dams, power stations and airports in Botswana.

(Writing by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Beijing Can
Beijing Can't Understand Taiwan's Democracy

The Communist Party is baffled - and angered - by the new activism across the straits.

China sidesteps blame over S. Korean journalist
China sidesteps blame over S. Korean journalist's beating

China sidestepped blame Friday for the beating of a South Korean photojournalist by Chinese security, an incident that has marred a visit by the South Korean president to mend frayed ties with Beijing. The incident has sparked outrage in South Korea, with the opposition calling on Moon to cancel the rest of his four-day state visit, his first in China since taking office in May. A photographer was thrown to the floor and kicked, reportedly suffering fractured facial bones and ruptured vessels in an eye, as Chinese security personnel stopped South Korean photographers following Moon's delegation at a trade show on Thursday.

China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula
China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula

By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - The crisis over North Korea's weapons programs must be resolved through talks, not war, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of "sleepwalking" into conflict. Xi made his comments to visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered on Tuesday to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tillerson's offer of direct contacts with North Korea was "a very good signal" while warning that any U.S. strike on the country would have catastrophic consequences.

Forget Stealth Fighters: This Is the Plane China Needs to Take on America
Forget Stealth Fighters: This Is the Plane China Needs to Take on America

China is looking to increase its air tanker fleet after its fighter jets, bombers and surveillance aircraft conducted an "island encirclement patrol" of Taiwan earlier this week. As the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) extends exercises in the Western Pacific, refueling will become a problem for its strike aircraft.

South Korean President Moon in China on visit to repair ties
South Korean President Moon in China on visit to repair ties
  • World
  • 2017-12-14 09:46:49Z

BEIJING (AP) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday during a visit to Beijing aimed at repairing ties frayed by a dispute over the deployment of an American anti-missile system.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.