For Immediate Release
Steer clear of Beijing Olympics, Canadian MPs urged
(Montreal, Monday, 17 March 2008) – Canadian MPs are being urged to cancel travel plans to the Beijing Summer Olympics, in the wake of recent political upheaval and crackdowns in Tibet by Chinese authorities.
In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and all parliamentary house leaders, Canada Tibet Committee executive director Dermod Travis stated that an appearance at the Beijing events by Canadian politicians in August would be inappropriate.
“This isn’t ‘business as usual,’ Travis said, “The climate in Tibet is explosive, and we have received disturbing allegations of Chinese government brutality. Under these circumstances, Canadian politicians who had planned to attend the games officially or personally have a moral obligation to avoid lending their support, tacit or otherwise, to the same regime that ishosting the August 2008 sports events. We urge MPs to cancel their travel plans.”
The CTC is recommending that Canadian politicians keep their distance from China until current events can be investigated. Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has called for an international investigation into the Chinese government clampdown on Tibetan political protesters.
The CTC has so far refrained from calling for an Olympic boycott, but are monitoring the situation closely. The International Olympic Committee reports that some prominent Olympic athletes are considering boycotting the games in reaction to China’s bloody crackdowns.
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organization of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.
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For more information:
Executive Director, Canada Tibet Committee