Dalai Lama to miss Mandela’s funeral on Sunday

DHARAMSHALA, December 11: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will not attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela to be held in Pretoria on the 15th of December, Tenzin N. Takhla, Joint Secretary in the Tibetan leader’s private office told reporters in New Delhi, where His Holiness will remain on winter sojourn until Dec. 21.

 In the picture  military personnel carry the remains of the late Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria Photo: Reuters/Marco Longari

Takhla gave no specific reason for His Holiness not attending the memorial service in Johannesburg yesterday and funeral in Mandela’s hometown on Sunday, saying “logistically it’s impossible at this time.”

The Tibetan leader had expressed his wish to meet ailing Mandela in the past years. However, South African government denied visa to the Dalai Lama who was invited to attend Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday in 2011.

Archbishop Tutu criticised his government for kowtowing to Chinese pressure. “Our government is worse than the apartheid government because at least you would expect it with the apartheid government,” Archbishop Tutu had told reporters in 2011.

The public will be allowed to view the casket each afternoon for three days, before Mandela’s body is transported to his boyhood home of Qunu in the Eastern cape for its eventual burial on Sunday.

After December 21, the Tibetan leader will travel to South India where he is scheduled to give discourse on 18 Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) Commentaries at Sera Monastery at the request of H.E. Ling Choktrul Rinpoche and Gaden Shartse Monaster

Phayul, Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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