Archive for the ‘Olympic ceremony’ Category

China Insists Olympic Torch Will Go Through Tibet

April 6, 2008

by Charles Whelan 

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.

The iconic flame was Sunday carried through London, where demonstrations against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet saw 35 protesters arrested, but the Dalai Lama urged Tibetan exiles not to disrupt events leading up to the Games.

Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses ...
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the media in Dharamsala on April 6, 2008. China’s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.
(AFP/Lobsang Wangyal)

Zhang Qingli, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official in Tibet, told local leaders that Beijing was in no mood to listen to the demands of demonstrators calling for the route to be changed.

In a statement on the Tibet government website Sunday, Zhang said Tibet was determined to play its part in a successful Olympics by hosting the torch relay on June 19 and 20 and overseeing the flame’s ascent of Mount Everest in May.

He urged people to “deepen their drive to complete the glorious, important and arduous task” of having the torch pass through Tibet.

Zhang said that most of Tibet had now been pacified after anti-Chinese riots broke out last month.

The Dalai Lama said Sunday that protests in Tibet and nearby provinces had disproven Chinese “propaganda” about unrest in the region, adding the situation could no longer be “neglected”.

The exiled spiritual leader repeated his call for an independent international probe into the unrest and subsequent Chinese crackdown….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080406/wl_sthasia_afp/china
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Calls mount for Olympic ceremony boycott

March 18, 2008
By JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writer 

PARIS – Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere, seen here in ... 
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere Saturday called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games if China “does not act in the proper way” in handling protests in the Himalayan region.
(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jim McIsaac)

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing ...
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Tibetans called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to speak up about the Tibet crackdown and ask for the withdrawal of the torch relay in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

France‘s outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea “is interesting.”

Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.

The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony “is less negative than a general boycott,” Kouchner said. “We are considering it.”

Asked about Kouchner’s statement, China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: “Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world.”

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said last month that he expects many heads of state — including President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to attend the opening ceremony.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080318/ap_on_re_
eu/beijing_boycott;_ylt=AvvNW18F6E5KqIU
oGmo_MlCs0NUE