- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2009

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa says it has barred the Dalai Lama from a peace conference later this week, citing its relationship with China and saying now is not the time for such a high-profile visit.

Thabo Masebe, spokesman for President Kgalema Motlanthe, told The Associated Press Monday that the decision was made last month and communicated to the organizers of the conference.

South African football officials organized the conference to highlight the first World Cup to be held in Africa, in South Africa in 2010. The organizers have support from the Nobel Committee, and plan for Nobel laureates and others to discuss issues ranging from anti-racism to sport as a way to bring peoples and nations together.

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