The Dalai Lama‚ who was due to attend a three-day "dialogue" about ubuntu in Botswana this week‚ has cancelled the visit due to ill health.
The 82-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader‚ who lives in India‚ said in a statement on Friday that he was suffering from exhaustion and his doctors had advised him not to undertake long journeys.
China‚ which took control of Tibet in 1950 and regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist‚ had put pressure on Botswana to block the planned visit.
The statement said the Dalai Lama‚ who won the Nobel peace prize in 1989‚ had written to President Ian Khama to inform him of the cancellation. He "expressed deep admiration‚ respect and gratitude to him and the government of Botswana for their unwavering principled stand to welcome him to their country‚ despite overwhelming pressure not to do so"‚ the statement said.
The event in Gaborone from Thursday to Saturday is scheduled to go ahead without the Dalai Lama. Others attending include Graca Machel‚ Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and musician Vusi Mahlasela.