'Mr Rogge, your silence is killing the Tibetans'

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{image-beijing games_19032008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Lusanne (Switzerland) March 19: Tibetan activists demonstrated outside the International Olympic Committee's headquarters on Tuesday, demanding the Himalayan region and three neighbouring provinces be withdrawn from the Beijing Olympics torch relay.

Protesters handed over a letter from the International Tibet Support Network which also urged the IOC to "make a public statement about the discrepancy between China's promises to uphold human rights... and its violent crackdown in Tibet over the last five days."
"We are saddened and feel that the IOC has failed in its job of telling the Chinese people that this is not what the world expects," the president of Tibet's unofficial Olympic Committee Wangpo Tethong said as he handed over the letter, signed by 150 Tibetan organisations.

Around 600 pro-Tibet demonstrators gathered outside the building, carrying banners that accused the IOC and its president Jacques Rogge of tacitly encouraging the Chinese government's military crackdown.

One banner read "Mr Rogge, your silence is killing the Tibetans", while another asked "IOC, how can you accept the bloodshed in Tibet?"
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao earlier said the riots in the Himalayan region had been incited with the aim of sabotaging the Aug. 8-24 Games and reiterated China's view that the Olympics should not be politicised.

Anti-China protests in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa turned ugly on Friday and threaten to overshadow the run-up to the Olympic Games, which Beijing hoped would project an image of a united and prosperous society.

The torch relay, which starts next Monday when the Olympic flame is lit in Ancient Olympia, Greece, is scheduled to go to Tibet twice.
The International Tibet Support Network said its letter to the IOC had demanded that the torch relay not go through Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces, all home to ethnic Tibetans

"Unless the IOC wants the Olympic Torch to become a symbol of bloodshed and oppression, they must immediately withdraw all Tibetan provinces from the Olympic Torch relay route," a spokesperson was quoted as saying in the statement.
The torch relay schedule was drawn up by the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) before being given rubber-stamp approval by the IOC last year.

The IOC still expects the relay to go according to schedule.


"The IOC adds its voice to the world's desire for a peaceful resolution to the tensions of the past days in Tibet.
The Olympic Torch Relay, which embodies the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence, is due to travel to Lhasa in June," it said in a statement late on Monday.

"The Olympic Torch is a powerful symbol which inspires people from all over the world to overcome their differences and come together in mutual understanding in anticipation of the Games which it heralds.

"The IOC's expectation is that the 2008 torch relay will go ahead as planned," it said.
Wen earlier accused the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of orchestrating the riots that erupted in Lhasa last week, leaving dozens dead.

OneIndia News 

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