Durban: Barred from entering South Africa, Nobel peace laureate Dalai Lama may receive the South African award named after Mahatma Gandhi in India. Gandhi's granddaughter, Ela, may travel to India to bestow the award on Tibetan spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama was picked up for the annual Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace by
South Africa-based Gandhi Development Trust.

But as the Tibetan spiritual leader has twice found it hard to travel to South Africa this year, with the authorities not giving him travel visa, the Gandhi trust may nominate Gandhi's granddaughter to present him the award in India.

The Dalai Lama had to cancel his visit to South Africa to celebrate 80th birthday of fellow Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu as authorities dragged giving him visa till the last moment.

Earlier this year, the Dalai Lama was refused visa apparently because of pressure on Pretoria from the country's largest trading partner China.

The event at the Durban City hall was one of several across the country that the Dalai Lama would have attended after he was invited by his friend Tutu for his 80th birthday celebrations at the weekend.

The Dalai Lama participated in some events by video link from his exiled residence in Dharamsala.

Although the Dalai Lama's representative in South Africa, Sonam Tenzing, accepted the award symbolically, there would be a formal presentation by Ela Gandhi to the leader in India if he did not come to South Africa within the next six months, according to the Chairman of the Trust, Paddy Kearsney.

(Agencies)