De Lille: Peace summit cancelled

The gathering was meant to take place in Cape Town later this month.

Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Cape Town on Thursday announced it has suspended the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

The gathering was meant to take place later this month.

Several laureates pulled out in protest over government's apparent refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa.

The Tibetan spiritual leader earlier accused the South African government of "bullying a simple person" by denying him a visa for a third time.

His close friend, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, lashed out at government saying his comrades have "spat in his face".

Tutu says he's ashamed to call this "lickspittle bunch" his government.

The peace laureates who decided to boycott the summit in Cape Town say they refuse to support a government that sells its sovereignty to China.

South Africa has been severely criticised for allegedly buckling to pressure from China.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation declined to comment on the archbishop's statement.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, is at loggerheads with China over Tibet.