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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?"

European Parliamentarians support Team Tibet

November 13, 2007

November 8, 2007

Brussels: The Tibet Intergroup of the European Parliament and the
participants of Europeen Parliamentarian Conference on Tibet gave a warm
welcome to the members of Team Tibet and called in a resolution on the
IOC to let the Tibetan athletes participate in the Olympic Games.
Members of Team Tibet spoke at the European Parliamentarian Conference,
convened by the Tibet Intergroup, and asked for the support of the
conference participants to make their dream become true.

Kelsang Gope, coordinator of Team Tibet, gave an introduction to the
initiative and an overview of the progress and activities. Under the
slogan «Bring Tibet to the 2008 Games» Tibetans and Tibet supporters all
over the world started in May 2007, beside other activities, an
initiative to bring a Tibetan Team to the Olympic Games to Beijing next
year. Pema Yoko (sport: table tennis, age: 24), Dhondup Gelek (soccer,
age: 29) and Dominik Kelsang Erne (table tennis, 26), members of the
team (now numbering more than 30 athletes), said that it is their hope
to walk alongside the other athletes of the world in the opening
ceremony of the games.

Wangpo Tethong, president of National Olympic Committee Tibet, explained
to the conference that Tibetans shouldn't be denied the right to
participate in the games if the IOC is serious about the basic principle
as envisioned by its founder Coubertin. He announced NOC Tibet's efforts
will be intensified in the lead up to the IOC Executive Board's meeting
on December 10th in Lausanne/Switzerland.

In the adjacent panel discussion, Pal Schmitt, member of the IOC uttered
some concerns considering the candidature of the Team Tibet and referred
to the terms of the Olympic Charter. Yet the possibility to join the
games was not ruled out by him.

Peter Stastny, carrier of the Olympic Order, Participant at four Olympic
winter games and member of the European Parliament, reported from his
experiences carrying at the games the flag of Slovakia in to the stadium
and encouraged the Tibetan Athletes in their intentions. “Rules are
there to be changed if the situation is affording it. Also the Olympic
Charter has already been changed several times.” stated Stastny.

Also Dieter Baumann, who won the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in
Barcelona, argued for the Tibetan Athletes and invited them
spontaneously to participate with him in a footrace in Germany.

At the closing of the first day of the conference the members passed a
resolution that claimed for the participation of the Team Tibet in the
Olympic Games 2008.

Notes to editors:
1. For information on the National Olympic Committee Tibet, see
http://www.noc-tibet.org

2. For more information on Team Tibet, see http://www.teamtibet.org.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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