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

Pro-Tibet demonstrators rally for peace, human rights in Halifax

April 8, 2008

Sunday April 6th, 2008

HALIFAX - Standing in a circle and quietly chanting, "Peace in Tibet,
peace in the world," several dozen demonstrators gathered Saturday in
Halifax to urge China to stand up for human rights and end its violent
crackdown on Tibet.

Many of the demonstrators held signs featuring silhouettes and the names
of Tibetans killed during protests against Chinese rule.

Barbara Blouin, a practising Buddhist who attended the downtown rally,
said she's angered by the "brutal treatment" of Tibetans who are
standing up for what they believe in.

"When they step forth and say, 'This is not right,' they are beaten and
many of them have been killed," she said.

"It saddens me and it angers me."

Amnesty International has accused China of human rights abuses, and some
human rights groups have called for a boycott of this summer's Olympic
Games in Beijing.

Many Canadian athletes, who've dedicated years training for the
Olympics, say they cannot fathom the idea of missing the Beijing Games.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said it's too early to talk about any
boycott of the 2008 Olympics.

Blouin said she doesn't believe a full boycott would be fair for athletes.

"I don't think it would accomplish anything," she said.

"But I think what would accomplish a lot would be if the dignitaries and
heads of state and others boycotted the opening ceremonies."

Harper plans to send a high-level Canadian delegation to the opening
ceremony in his place, but he's said his absence has nothing to do with
Tibet or a boycott.

Eight people were reportedly killed and a government official seriously
injured after violence broke out Thursday in China's southwestern
Sichuan province.
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