Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Norway open to boycott of Olympics ceremony

April 4, 2008

Norway is considering boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing
summer Olympic Games if China doesn’t brush up on its human rights record.
3 Apr 2008

Several other European countries have also threatened to boycott the
major international sporting event if they don’t see human rights
improvements in China soon.

Norway has been criticized by both its citizens and outsiders, who say
its image and role as a champion of human rights means it should protest
against China’s failure to make good on promises to improve human rights
ahead of hosting the Olympic games.

Two leading dissidents in China have recently been arrested and
sentenced to lengthy jail terms, in addition to a military crackdown on
protesters in Tibet that has provoked international outrage.

Amnesty International has just released a scathing report accusing China
of more abuse than ever in the human rights arena, increasing pressure
on the international community to react.

Politicians speak out
Norwegian media reports now indicate that a number of top politicians
have been convinced to take action.

The Conservative (Høyre) Party’s vice-spokesman for culture and
politics, Olemic Thommessen, told Nowegian Broadcasting (NRK) that if
the Chinese tactics did not improve, an absence of Norwegian authorities
from the Beijing opening ceremony would be "a very likely scenario".

The Liberal (Venstre) Party’s vice-president, Trine Skei Grande, also
said a boycott could be necessary if the situation doesn’t improve in China.

Culture Minister Trond Giske said earlier that he would skip the opening
ceremony in response to recent events in Tibet.

Other politicians have also reportedly voiced their dismay with the
Chinese human rights record.
In addition, it now appears uncertain whether or not the Norwegian royal
family will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic games on August
8th. The earlier word from the palace was that the royal family had no
plans to stay away from the games, but NRK reports that the spokesman
for the royals said: "The king and queen will follow the [Norwegian]
authorities' recommendations on the matter."

Meanwhile, Norway’s representative on the International Olympics
Committee (IOC), Gerhard Heiberg, didn’t want to comment on the matter
after the Amnesty report was released, although he admitted that the
committee wields a great deal of influence on Chinese authorities.

Heiberg was scheduled to visit China on April 7th, and hoped to get a
better idea of the situation there before making any conclusions.

The Chinese continue to dismiss the negative reports and international

Aftenposten English Web Desk
Catherine Stein
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank