Friday, March 21, 2008

"A country that includes a peaceful graveyard"

Merely urging the Chinese government to exercise the "utmost restraint" in dealing with the Tibetan people, as governments around the world are doing, is far too weak a response. The international community, beginning with the United Nations and followed by the European Union, Asean, and other international organisations, as well as individual countries, should use every means possible to step up pressure on the Chinese government to allow foreign media, as well as international fact-finding missions, into Tibet and adjoining provinces in order to enable objective investigations of what has been happening; release all those who only peacefully exercised their internationally guaranteed human rights, and guarantee that no one is subjected to torture and unfair trials; enter into a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people.

Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the International Olympic Committee should seriously reconsider whether holding this summer's Olympic games in a country that includes a peaceful graveyard remains a good idea. [Emphasis added]

That's from a group of intellectuals led by Václav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic; the other members of the group are: André Glucksmann (French philosopher), Yohei Sasakawa (Japanese philanthropist), El Hassan Bin Talal (president of the Arab Thought Forum and president emeritus of the World Conference of Religions for Peace), Frederik Willem de Klerk (former president of South Africa) and Karel Schwarzenberg (foreign minister of the Czech Republic).

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Dilip asks us to Stand With Tibet. Please consider signing the online petition addressed to the Chinese President asking him to open "a meaningful dialogue" with the Dalai Lama.