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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Parliament vice president calls for EU to boycott Olympics

October 6, 2007

EU countries have been urged by one of parliament’s most senior MEPs to
boycott next year’s Beijing Olympics unless China intervenes in Myanmar.

UK Tory deputy Edward McMillan-Scott has written to the EU’s Portuguese
presidency and British premier Gordon Brown asking them to discuss
whether athletes should oppose the games.

McMillan-Scott, one of the assembly's vice presidents, is backed by the
EPP-ED, parliament’s largest group, and ALDE, the third biggest.

“The consensus around parliament is that China is the key. It is the
puppet master of Burma. The Olympics is the only real lever we have to
make China act,” he said.

“The civilised world must seriously consider shunning China by using the
games to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not
acceptable.”

ALDE group leader Graham Watson said, “The EU must push for common
action as a bloc or via the UN general assembly on China and its Asian
trade partners over Burma.”

China publicly called for restraint in Myanmar, formerly Burma, for the
first time on Thursday.

Parliament last week adopted a resolution condemning the recent military
crackdown in Burma and called for ‘targeted’ economic sanctions if the
ruling junta fails to heed calls for democracy.

MEPs also “applauded the courageous actions” of the Burmese monks in
confronting the regime in Burma.

“This religious mass movement is finding echoes all over Asia including
China, Korea and Tibet,” said McMillan-Scott.

“You cannot kill faith, if you try it will kill you.”

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