The Dalai Lama has canceled his trip to South Africa, where he had been invited by fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Tibetan spiritual leader's office said the South African government had failed to grant him a visa on time.
Pretoria has maintained that it did not come under pressure from China to stop the visit.
Archbishop Tutu said South Africa was "worse than the apartheid government" for failing to issue the visa.
"… At least you were expecting it from the apartheid government," he told a nationally televised news conference.
The Dalai Lama had been due to take part in celebrations on Friday to mark the archbishop's 80th birthday.