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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Fraser boycotts Olympics

April 10, 2008

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday April 9 2008

When you hear the Tibetans tell their terrible stories about what the
Chinese Government has done to them, and what their forces have done to
them, it is just awful

Australian Olympic legend Dawn Fraser will make her own protest over
China's treatment of Tibet, refusing to attend the Beijing Games in August.

It will be only the second Olympic Games the four-times gold medallist
has not attended since making her Olympic debut in Melbourne, in 1956.

Fraser missed the 2004 Athens Olympics after a spat with the Australian
Olympic Committee in which she claimed it had failed to invite her to
the event, a charge the committee later denied.

"As a spectator, I am making my own statement by not going," Fraser told
AAP.

"I support the Tibetans [but] I don't support the violence that the
protesters are creating.

"It's a shame it's taken place during the torch relay but I don't think
it will dampen the Olympic spirit at all," she said.

China should also never have been awarded the right to host the Games on
account of their human rights record, she said.

"Mainly because of the human rights and what they've done to Tibet.

"When you hear the Tibetans tell their terrible stories about what the
Chinese Government has done to them, and what their forces have done to
them, it is just awful."

The future of the international Olympic torch relay is now in doubt
after pro-Tibetan demonstrators shadowed the Olympic torch relay as it
progressed through Europe, violently clashing with police and officials
on the streets of London and Paris this week.

Local interest in the Games will remain strong even if the International
Olympic Committee cuts the torch relay short, Fraser said.

"Here in Australia we are sport mad and we will watch the Olympics [on
television] whatever happens in China," she said.

Fellow former Olympic swimmer Susie O'Neill has also spoken out over the
torch controversy, saying the relay had been hijacked by protesters and
should be scrapped.

"Everyday, everybody is talking about the Olympics but you've got bad
publicity. So I'd probably just scrap it if it was me," O'Neill told ABC
radio today.

"In retrospect I suppose it was pretty obvious that it was going to
happen, [but] I just get a little bit angry when people use the Olympics
as their protesting forum. It's so removed from politics."

The torch relay will continue in San Francisco tomorrow.
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