Dalai Lama unable to attend Mandela memorial

The Dalai Lama will not attend memorial services for fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela in South Africa, where he has twice been unable to obtain a visa.

A spokesman did not say why the Buddhist spiritual leader is missing the memorial service in Johannesburg and funeral in Mandela’s hometown.

He 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.

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