The Dalai Lama has revealed that, while he is celibate, he has “naturally human thoughts of an intimate nature about both men and women”.

The 73 year old spiritual leader made the surprising statement in a discussion in New York about the South African government’s refusal to grant him a visa.

When speaking about South Africa’s human rights heritage, the Dalai Lama said that he was particularly impressed with the country’s gay-friendly Constitution.

“I think the great minds behind that Constitution acknowledged a human truth about our sexual diversity. While I am, of course, celibate, I too have had naturally human thoughts of an intimate nature about both men and women,” he said.

“I believe many of us experience this – but do not wish to acknowledge this in the false belief that this is against nature and God. It is not,” the iconic Nobel Peace Prize laureate said.

The Dalai Lama added that he regretted that he was unable to travel to South Africa and said that he would now have to decline an invitation by the organisers of the Joburg Pride festival to take part in this year’s festivities. He expressed his disappointment that he would not be able to lead the parade through the streets of Johannesburg.

Representatives from the South African government refused to attend the discussion – reportedly under pressure from the Chinese government to not be seen with the Dalai Lama in a public forum.

An un-named government source said the country was also considering refusing to give visas to the Pope, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown “as our friends in China have ideological issues with these leaders”.

Editor’s Note: This news article was published as our contribution to April Fool’s Day. We hope you enjoyed it as the humorous spoof it was intended to be.

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