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China has no “moral right” to host Asian Games: TYC
Phayul[Tuesday, October 26, 2010 13:55]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, October 26: The largest pro-independence Tibetan youth organisation on Tuesday protested against China’s hosting of the Asian Games next month, saying it lacks “moral right” to hold such an important international sporting event.

“Generally the spirit of any international games represents friendship, solidarity and promotion of peace and freedom. The Asian Games in particular is about helping weaker countries, helping them rehabilitate and develop an understanding of mutual friendship and cooperation,” the Tibetan Youth Congress said in a press statement.

The statement said a country hosting such an important event “essentially should not only represent but respect these principles.”

Calling China the “biggest colonizer” in modern times, TYC said it should not have been given the right to host the forthcoming 16th Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou from November 12 to 27. Instead of “promoting peace and friendship”, the organisation said China continues to use its “military and economic might to stifle smaller and weaker countries”.

“So long they do not conclude the occupation of Tibet, words such as freedom, truth and peace for the Chinese government is just another rhetoric. Therefore China has no moral right to host such an important sporting event,” the organisation said.

As a protest, TYC said it would light a “Freedom Torch” and launch a bike rally from Dharamsala to New Delhi on November 12. The rally will be held under the slogan: “Welcome Future: Future for Tibetan Youth, Youth for Independence”, mocking China’s Asian Games slogan “Welcome Future”.

“The slogan for the games ‘Welcome Future’ targeted at youth development and promising future is only appropriate if Tibet is free,” TYC said, adding that the biggest obstacle for Tibetan youth development is the continued occupation of Tibet and, oppression and denial of fundamental rights of the Tibetan youth in their homeland.

At a press conference here today, which was presided over by the organisation’s Vice President Mr Dhondup Lhadar and General Secretary Tenzin Choekyi, TYC called on international media and world community to pay attention to Beijing’s handling of the international events against the backdrop of ongoing human rights violations.

Despite reports of violent crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators by Chinese authorities following the massive unrest against Chinese rule in 2008, China faced little condemnation in hosting the Olympic Games that year.

Tibetan Government-in-Exile and rights groups say China killed more than 200 Tibetans and persecuted many more in the subsequent crackdowns.

Following the widespread unrest, China unleashed a new wave of crackdown in Tibet to squelch all forms of dissent. And those now targeted also include Tibetans once known for having close ties to the government and for carefully eschewing politics.

China next month will host another major sporting event amid what Tibet observers describe as the largest ongoing crackdown on Tibetan intellectuals since the end of China’s chaotic Cultural Revolution in 1976.

The Tibetan Youth Congress said it was certain that the “Asian Games in China will be no different and will be another charade of lies and deceit”.

Founded in 1970, Tibetan Youth Congress is a worldwide Organisation of Tibetans united in common struggle for the restoration of Tibet’s lost independence. It claims over 30,000 registered members and 81 regional chapters worldwide.

Tibet was illegally occupied by China after Communist Chinese troops marched into Tibet in late 1949.

Tibetan spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed mass Tibetan uprising against Chinese Communist rule.

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