Two countries that one expects openness to most political and cultural views have shown a special narrow mindedness in the past few days.
Canada banned the British politician George Galloway and South Africa, surprise, surprise, refused a visa to the Dalai Lama. Canadians are apparently angered by their government’s actions, and the State of Israel must be having a party.
South Africans still have no idea why their supposedly democratic ANC-led government claimed that the Dalai Lama would detract from the promotion of the 2010 Soccer. I listened to the radio this morning and struggled to make sense of the sophomoric spin the spokesman for the current, temporary President was trying to mutter. Guess who’s also having a party?
Canada and South Africa are scratching the prickly backs of giants. It seems countries with atrocious human rights records against its own population and/or its neighbours need this special treatment.
One wonders what’s under the tables.
ps News just in: the new Health Minister – much admired because of her progressive stance on health issues – who spoke against the ruling party’s decision to ban the Dalai Lama has been reprimanded. Wonder what’s next.