Singapore opposes boycott of Beijing Olympics

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Singapore, Mar 19 (UNI) Singapore has opposed calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games in August, saying the sports celebration should be kept out of political links to the violence in Tibet.

Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said, '' Singapore is a firm believer in the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. The Games will provide a golden opportunity for athletes from all over the world to compete on a friendly basis, interact with each other, and carry out fruitful dialogue and build lasting relationships.

A boycott will mean many missed opportunities for better cross-border and inter-cultural understanding.'' ''It will also be a great disappointment for all the athletes who have trained so hard to fulfill their dreams of competing in the Olympics. I believe it is vital to keep sporting competitions and politics separate. We must not let politics obstruct the celebration of sports and all that it stands for, '' he said in a statement last night.

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