Spielberg quits Olympics in protest

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New York, Feb 13: Director Steven Spielberg cut his ties with the Beijing Olympic games, saying China hasn't done enough to help end ethnic conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

Spielberg stepped down as an artistic adviser for the games' opening and closing ceremonies, he said in a statement. He had left his contract unsigned for a year because of concern over China's failure to press for change in the African country, according to the statement.
Spielberg, director of films including "Munich'' and "Saving Private Ryan" said he will use time that would have been spent on the Olympics to seek an end to the conflict. Ethnic and political violence in the region in western Sudan has taken the lives of as many as 400,000 people and left 2.3 million homeless, according to the Web site Save Darfur.

"My conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual,"Spielberg said in the statement. " Sudan's government bears the bulk of responsibility for these on-going crimes, but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more.''


Militias backed by Sudan's government have attacked civilians as part of a campaign against rebel groups in the region, according to Save Darfur. China is in a position to help because it is Sudan's top trading partner, with investments in the country's oil fields, the Web site said.

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