Monday 23 July 2018

Haughey snubbed Dalai Lama tribute

More than 30 years on, letters have been released showing Taoiseach Charles Haughey sent best wishes to the first prime minister of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, thanked Cuban president Fidel Castro for cigars, but snubbed the Dalai Lama.

In December 1979 a leader regarded as a lifelong advocate of peace and democracy, the Dalai Lama, was denied acknowledgment of a letter of congratulations he sent to Mr Haughey.

The main concern was upsetting the Chinese.

The Dalai Lama had written to offer "felicitations and prayers" to "Your Excellency" Mr Haughey.

An even more colourful character on the world stage, president of Cuba Castro was thanked in a message from Mr Haughey for dropping off some cigars and a casket during a flying visit.

"The hand carved casket is most impressive and the cigars will be greatly enjoyed by my family and friends at Christmas," he wrote.

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