March 17, 2008
Mr. Jacques Rogge
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Via Fax: + 41 21 621 6216
Dear M. Rogge:
On behalf of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, I am writing to request the IOC’s intervention in the Tibetan crisis.
The Olympic Charter’s focus on “promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity” has been gravely undermined by China’s actions in Tibet.
In supporting Beijing’s bid to host the Games, some IOC members had stated that the Olympics would bring improvements to human rights in China. To demonstrate the sincerity of those propositions and to uphold Charter’s objective, I therefore urge the IOC to prevent the Olympic torch from travelling through Tibet.
Plans to bring it to the region have been contentious from the outset. Under the present circumstances, it is difficult to see how bringing the torch through Tibet in a few weeks can be seen as anything but an act of domination.
I also urge you to publicly call upon China’s leadership to restore the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people, including their cultural, linguistic, and religious rights, and rights to freedom of assembly and speech. The denial of these basic rights over so many years should no longer be overlooked by those in positions of influence who can make a difference.
If conditions in Tibet persist the Games will be deeply marred to the detriment of all. I believe the IOC can and must use all available means to prevent that outcome.
Consiglio Di Nino
cc. Canadian Olympic Committee, Dick Pound, Rebecca Scott