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Quotes from World Leaders and Athletes on Tibet and Olympics: letter to Jacques Rogge, of Olympic Committee

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(I am the author, 2004 UN Resolution to Create Tribunal to Prosecute China for Genocide in Tibet, like the UN's Tribunals in Rwanda, Cambodia, and for the Balkans)

European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering: "If there are no signals of compromise, then I believe the boycott measures would be justified. We must not exclude the possibility of a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. We want the Games to be a success, but not at the expense of the cultural genocide of Tibetans."

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama: "There is an ancient cultural heritage that is facing serious danger. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, cultural genocide is taking place."

President Sarkozy signaled that he may stay away from the opening ceremony in August unless the Chinese authorities exercised restraint in dealing with the Tibetan independence movement and opened talks with Dalai Lama.

Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, accused Dalai Lama of orchestrating the unrest, saying that the protesters wanted "to incite the sabotage of the Olympic Games in order to achieve their unspeakable goal."

"People in Lhasa and us are the same people. We have the same ideas," said a monk. "Today's young people think more of human rights. We want the Dalai Lama back."

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Last week, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised to meet Dalai Lama when he comes to Britain in May.

German pole vaulter Anna Battke plans to protest China's intervention in Tibet: "What is happening in Tibet at the moment is simply tragic. It is the obligation of athletes to call attention to injustice."

German Olympic Sports Federation: "We are aware that the human rights situation in China is still not satisfactory despite appreciable improvements in recent years. Although sport's task is to build bridges, not to erect walls. That's why sport is not a suitable tool for exerting political pressure."

The head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, defended the decision to award the 2008 Olympics to Beijing despite the mounting criticism of human rights record. "This will have a good effect for the evolution of China," Rogue told Reuters. "We believe the Games are a great catalyst for change. I have no message to give to China for what the sovereignty of China is concerned. But the Games cannot be held in an atmosphere of violence. We are concerned about what is happening in Tibet."

"The German government's unequivocal message to China is: show clarity!": German Foreign Minister Steinmeier. "We want to know exactly what is going on in Tibet! China is only hurting itself by preventing foreign observers from seeing what is going on. Any country hosting Olympic Games has to allow thousands of journalists in. Nothing can be swept under the carpet any more."

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of France: the European Union should consider punishing China's crackdown in Tibet with a boycott of the opening ceremony of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing. His comments followed an appeal by the press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders to governments across the world to shun the highly symbolic ceremony during which the Olympic flame is lighted. "The initiative of Reporters Without Borders, which does not have the French government's support, was made this morning," Kouchner said. Let's consider it."

Robert Menard, head of Reporters Without Borders": Words have got us nowhere since the Chinese won the Olympic Games, it's time to act. Bernard Kouchner has opened the door. It takes a bit of courage, but I hope that the world's big democracies will find that courage."

International Olympic Committee vice-president Thomas Bach: "Several sports stars are feeling ill at ease when they think about the Olympic Games. Some are even considering cancelling."Bach said he understood the athletes' concerns about the situation in Tibet but said he was advising them to participate. "They will realize when they assess the situation that it is better to make an appearance than to stay away. That is a symbol that will be noticed by the public. We are of the opinion that the Games will help China open up. But we cannot solve the problems that UN secretaries general have not been able to solve for generations. The Olympic Games can foster change and be a catalyst for a solution but they are not a panacea."

"I have considered whether I can compete in China under these conditions," equestrian Ludger Beerbaum said. "We will discuss the issue amongst ourselves here at the tournament in Dortmund."

Javelin thrower Christian Obergfoell said the Games were her first priority but that her impression of China had worsened with the developments. "I had been asking myself the whole time why they gave the Olympic Games to China," she said. "After Tibet, my feeling will not be any better."

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In 1980, Stephen Fox founded New Millennium Fine Art, a Santa Fe gallery specializing in Native American and Landscape, and is very active in New Mexico Legislative consumer protection politics, trying above to get the FDA to rescind its approval (more...)
 

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