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article imageDalai Lama marks 25th anniversary of Nobel Prize

By Sravanth Verma     Oct 7, 2014 in World
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama marked the 25th anniversary of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize at his residence in exile, in the town of Dharmasala in India.
The 79-year-old has lived in India ever since he fled Tibet in 1959, fearing for his life after the Chinese invasion. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, a gesture that brought him into the limelight, as a contrast to China's brutal repression of the Tienanmen Square protests.
The Dalai Lama was recently denied a visa by South Africa, where he was to travel to participate in the Nobel Laureates Summit, held to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid, and as a beacon of the late Nelson Mandela's legacy. The summit was cancelled when several laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu pulled out in protest.
South Africa is thought to have buckled to pressure from China to deny the leader a visa. China accuses the Lama of being a separatist, while he states that he merely wishes for more autonomy for Tibet. The stand-off between the Lama and China may have even led him to make a tactical statement that he may have no successor. The Dalai Lama is considered the spiritual head of the Gelug or Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism. "Dalai" means ocean and "Lama" means Guru. The Dalai Lama is traditionally considered to be a reincarnation of the previous Lama and is identified through certain tests at a young age. The current Lama is the 14th of his line.
South Africa isn't alone in being edgy about the Dalai Lama's presence. Norway, the home of the Nobel peace prize, had also avoided the Dalai Lama when he visited thee country in early 2014. It called this a "necessary sacrifice" to normalise relations with wealthy China, which has become a dominant trade partner for many nations across the globe.
"Given the economic growth of China... you can clearly see some countries, even European countries, have some hesitation in dealing with sensitive issues like Tibet," said Lobsang Sangay, who took over as head of the exiled Tibetan government when the Dalai Lama retired in 2011. "Nonetheless, at the people's level, I think the interest for Tibet still remains," he added.
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