×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

'We have lost a great man': Dalai Lama writes condolence letter to Tutu's daughter

26 December 2021 - 14:10
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu enjoyed a close friendship and in 2016 co-authored The Book of Joy which examined the quest for joy in a world full of suffering.
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu enjoyed a close friendship and in 2016 co-authored The Book of Joy which examined the quest for joy in a world full of suffering.
Image: Book of Joy

The Dalai Lama has written a letter of condolence to Archbishop’ Desmond Tutu's daughter, Rev Mpho Tutu, praising the archbishop for being a "true humanitarian" and a committed advocate for human rights.

“With his passing away, we have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life," the Dalai Lama said from his home in Dharamsala in northern India.

"He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others."

The two men enjoyed a close and long friendship and met on many occasions, most notably in 2015 when Tutu spent a week in Dharamsala when they grappled with the problem of how to increase peace and joy in the world.

The discussions led to a book, the Book of Joy, which was published the following year.

It was not a smooth sailing, however, with the Dalai Lama being denied a visa to visit SA on three occasions, most recently in 2014 when he was due to attend the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates, at which Tutu was also present.

Outraged fellow participants told Tutu they would cancel their appearances if the Dalai Lama was not granted a visa.

While the international relations department confirmed the SA high commission in India had received a visa application from the Dalai Lama's office, the application was turned down.

Although it was never explicitly said, it is widely understood that China, which at the time was building stronger relations with SA, objected to the Tibetan spiritual leader's visit to SA.

The Dalai Lama, who was born in Tibet but sent into exile in 1959, has long campaigned for increased autonomy for his homeland which was annexed by China in 1951.

He was also denied a visa to attend Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations in 2011.

"We have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life," he wrote in his condolence letter.

"He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others.”

TimesLIVE


subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.