South Africa won’t hold a summit of Nobel laureates after the government in Cape Town, which was to host the event, canceled it.
The decision came after several participants threatened to boycott the event because the Dalai Lama was denied a South African visa, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The 2014 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates was to take place from Oct. 13 to 15 in a country that has produced four Nobel Peace Prize winners including Nelson Mandela.
The Dalai Lama has tried and failed three times to enter the country that has courted closer ties with China, South Africa’s largest trading partner, which accuses the Tibetan spiritual leader of trying to seek independence for Tibet.
The South African government has said it didn’t deny the Dalai Lama a visa but his decision to withdraw his application in early September coincided with the visit of South Africa’s foreign minister to Beijing, the report said.
A spokesman for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said the Department of Home Affairs reviews visa applications, not his ministry.
A home ministry spokesman referred to a statement issued by the Department of International Relations issued after the Dalai Lama canceled his visit, saying it “now considers the matter to be closed.”
In 2012, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal found that the country’s home minister at the time “unreasonably delayed her decision” on the Dalai Lama’s visa application the year before and “acted unlawfully” in doing so.
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