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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?"

EU Parliament Expresses Solidarity With Tibet

March 28, 2008

"We declare our solidarity with the Dalai Lama," the EU's parliamentary
president said

Deutsche Welle
27.03.2008

European parliamentarians offered Tibetans and their leader, the Dalai
Lama, their full support in their conflict with the Chinese government.
Most, however, rejected a full boycott of the Olympic Games.

Speaking to the European Parliament in a special session called to
address the Tibet crisis, Parliamentary President Hans-Gert Poettering
on Wednesday, March 26, appealed to China to seek a solution to the
unrest via dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

Poettering also extended a clear invitation to the exiled spiritual leader.

"I put it to this house to join with me in saying that the Dalai Lama is
welcome in this house whenever he wants to come," he said.

Poettering read out a message from the Dalai Lama, thanking the European
Parliament for its "sympathy and support at a time of great difficulty
for the people of Tibet."

Tibetan leader in Brussels

A Tibetan monk lies on the streetBildunterschrift: Großansicht des
Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Tibet's parliamentary leader said 135
deaths had occurred in the crackdown

On a visit Wednesday to the EU Parliament in Brussels, the head of the
Tibetan parliament-in-exile Karma Chopel told reporters that the number
of confirmed deaths in China's crackdown on Tibet has risen to 135.
China has reported 20 deaths.

"Killings and massacre are going on," said Chopel, who is to address the
UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. "It's high time for
people to speak up for the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people."

EU leaders debate boycott options

Both the EU's Slovenian presidency and the European Commission rejected
calls for a boycott of the Olympic Games, set to take place in August in
Beijing.

"The presidency believes that a boycott of the Olympics in the year of
intercultural dialogue would not be the right response to open political
issues," said Slovenia's Secretary of State for European Affairs Janez
Lenarcic. "It might also mean a loss of an opportunity to promote human
rights."

Earlier on Wednesday, several MEPs advocated a complete boycott of the
Games.

Daniel Cohn-BenditBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der
Bildunterschrift:  MEP Cohn-Bendit called for a boycott

Greens leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit, donning a Reporters Without Border
t-shirt with handcuffs in the form of Olympic rings, compared the
Beijing Games with those in Nazi Germany in 1936.

"The EU must altogether refuse to attend the opening ceremony, because
it is a political act," Cohn-Bendit said during a parliamentary session.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the only European leader who has
suggested the possibility of a complete boycott of the Games. However,
Poettering on Wednesday proposed a European boycott of the Aug. 8
opening ceremony.

"I genuinely say that all politicians must ask themselves whether they
can attend the opening ceremony if China fails to take part in
dialogue," he said.
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