Follow the leader, courtyard, Cathedral de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Breaking news 1 p.m.: The peace conference has been called off, due to South Africa blocking the Dalai Lama from attending, BBC News reports.
Both South Africa and Tibet have suffered for decades at the hands of brutal oppressors. So it is with considerable dismay that the world witnesses a defiant South Africa choosing commerce over human rights, much like its government during the dark decades of apartheid. During that time, South Africa suffered organised boycotts and was ostracised by the international community.
The current South African government is apparently willing to accept its new indentured servitude - this time, to China. The government's action certainly doesn't bode well for it hosting the 2010 World Cup.
South Africa is bowing to Chinese demands to refuse entry to the Dalai Lama for a peace conference beginning Friday, March 27th. Both Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President F.W. de Klerk have announced they will boycott the event, if the Dalai Lama is forbidden from attending.
Yet the South African government persists in its unprincipled stance, while the Chinese government freely admits it pressured South Africa to exclude the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Further, the Chinese government has announced it will oppose any nation's overtures to meet with the Dalai Lama.
They've forgotten their history,
this ignorant new government
struck blind by greed.
Unaccustomed to power
after decades of none,
they close their eyes
to the consequences
and agree to all terms
and conditions spelled out
by the lenders and investors.
This fledgling government,
still unused to the ways of politics,
stifles any thought of the oppressed
and risks its reputation
for a brand new bank and ongoing servitude
to a demanding Chinese host
who exports injustice, along with investment,
denying human rights to one nation,
while insisting others do the same,
lest the coffers slam shut.