CAPE TOWN, South Africa: Honorable Sandy Kalyan, a member of the South African Parliament from the country’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) today condemned China’s opposition to the visit of Dr Lobsang Sangay, President of Central Tibetan Administration, to South Africa. She called on China to stop “overstepping” on South Africa’s sovereign rights.
“The reaction by the Chinese Embassy at the visit to South Africa by Dr Lobsang Sangay, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration is so over the top and quite ludicrous,” Hon Sandy Kalyan said adding that, Dr Sangay had been invited by Hon Buthelezi to attend SONA (State of the National Address) by President Zuma.
Calling on China to stop threatening South Africa, she said: “In a manner reminiscent of a child throwing a tantrum, the Chinese issued a strongly worded statement that the visit would result in Chinese investment being discouraged. Such veiled threats to the Government of SA cannot be ever entertained. If China wants to go, it should go. The time for non South Africans to hold the South African Government to ransom is long gone.”
She pointed out that ‘directing South Africa’s foreign policy is not the mandate of BRICS and that private chats do not translate into policy or promises as alleged by the Chinese Government’.
She also condemned the protest orchestrated by the South African Chinese embassy against the CTA president’s address at Stellenbosch University and applauded the fact that the address went on despite the protests.
“Dr Sangay, a Harvard Law Graduate was to address students at the Faculty of Law in Stellenbosch Univesity when the Chinese Embassy Officials arrived with a rent a crowd of about 30 persons and tried to disrupt the event. The DA is glad to say that Dr Sangay did go ahead with his address and received a great response from a very appreciative audience,” she said.
She questioned the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) over an alleged warning to the CTA President asked the department to clarify the meaning of the warning.
“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is allegedly supposed to have issued a “stern” warning to the Office of Tibet for Dr Sangay to keep a low profile,” she noted.
“The Democratic Alliance party will be writing to the Minister of DIRCO to clarify what the warning means and also seek clarity on China’s assertion that the South African Government has made a promise to China not to allow Tibetans to South Africa. Clearly this is a gross violation of the Constitution of our country and has to be challenged,” she said.
Hon Sandy Kalyan have been a Member of Parliament in the Parliament of South Africa with the official opposition Democratic Alliance since 1999 to present day.
She served as the Deputy Shadow Minister on International Affairs and also a Member of the Pan African Parliament where she chairs the Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges. Sandy attended the Five-Fifty Forum: Shaping Tibet’s Political Future, organized by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration and held in Dharamsala in October last year.