NEW DELHI (AP) — A spokesman says the Dalai Lama will not attend memorial services for fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela in South Africa, where the Buddhist spiritual leader has twice been unable to obtain a visa.
Tenzin Takhla gave no reason Monday for the Dalai Lama’s missing a memorial service in Johannesburg and funeral in Mandela’s hometown.
Takhla said only that “logistically it’s impossible at this time.”
South Africa blocked the Dalai Lama from attending a Nobel laureates’ peace conference in 2009, and stalled on a 2011 visa until the Tibetan leader withdrew the application.
The Dalai Lama has been based in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala since fleeing from China in 1959. He seeks more autonomy for Tibet, but China accuses him of being a separatist.