By Erik Crouch
Dalai Lama, courtesy of Wikimedia http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Dalailama1_20121014_4639.jpg
No visa in South Africa. No admittance to Taiwan. Seems like the Dalai Lama can’t go anywhere these days. Recently leaked documents show that British PM David Cameron banned ministers from meeting with the religious leader during his visit to the UK in June. The Telegraph reports that ministers Tim Loughton and Norman Baker were contacted minutes before their private lunch with the Dalai Lama was set to begin, and told that the meeting was prohibited.
Loughton and Baker wrote to David Cameron in protest, saying that “The [prohibition] is tantamount to saying that British foreign policy on Tibet is whatever China wants it to be.” The planned meeting was protested by China, and was set to take place while Britain was in negotiations with Beijing over a Eurozone bail-out plan. Mr Cameron’s office has stated that the ministers were not banned from meeting the Dalai Lama as private citizens, but that, as government officials, they are obligated to “coordinate across the government”.