Jean-Jacques Cornish

Botswana risks relationship with China by admitting Dalai Lama

Botswana risks driving its relationship with China onto the rocks by admitting the Dalai Lama to the country later this month

The Gaberone government insists the Tibetan leader will be on a private visit.

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The Dalai Lama will be in Botswana for a human rights conference hosted by the United States-based Life and Mind Institute.

Gaberone’s Permanent Secretary For Foreign Affairs Gaeimelwe Goiutsemang says his government in not officially hosting the Tibetan.

The Dalai Lama will, nevertheless, have a meeting with President Ian Khama.

Beijing regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist because he advocates Tibetan independence.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang says China won’t interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, but it will certainly not tolerate another country doing anything that harms China’s core interests.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.