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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?"

Bjork ends China concert saying "Tibet! Tibet!" after song

March 5, 2008

SHANGHAI, China, March 4 (AP): Icelandic singer Bjork has ignited
criticism from Chinese fans after she declared "Tibet! Tibet!" to end
a passionate performance of her song "Declare Independence" during a
concert in Shanghai.

The outburst at the finale of Bjork's Sunday night concert drew rare
public attention inside China to Beijing's often harsh rule over the
at times independent Himalayan region of Tibet.

Bjork's statement was not reported in the state-controlled media, but
online sites were aflame with angry comment after word leaked out.

"If she really did this, then this woman really makes people throw
up," one comment on popular Chinese Web site said.

Some at the Shanghai concert said the politically tinged finale made
audience members uneasy,

"The atmosphere was very strange, uncomfortable compared to the rest
of the concert," said audience member Stephen Gow, a British teacher
who lives in Shanghai. People didn't boo, Gow said, but they left the
Shanghai International Gymnastic Center hurriedly.

Officials at the China-based company promoting the concert, Emma
Ticketmaster, said they had no comment.

Bjork has used "Declare Independence" — the lyrics include the
entreaty "Raise your flag!" — to declare political support for various

She dedicated the song to Kosovo while performing last month in Japan.
Her video for the song shows her in a jumpsuit bearing the flags of
Greenland and the Faroe Islands, far-flung territories controlled by

China's 58-year rule over the formerly independent mountain nation of
Tibet has drawn frequent condemnation from foreign governments and
activists, often inciting a prickly nationalism among the Chinese
government and ordinary people. Many Tibetans consider the exiled
Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as their rightful leader.

In a sign of Bjork's reputation for unpredictable behavior, Shanghai's
English-language newspaper, Shanghai Daily, last month heralded her
concert date with the headline "Bjork's Shanghai Surprise."
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