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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?"

Over 40 Olympic athletes in Beijing download Tibet solidarity album 'Songs for Tibet'

August 20, 2008

China's official media reports that Chinese internet users denounce
top-selling Tibet album

Press Release
International Campaign for Tibet
August 18, 2008

Washington, DC -- The album 'Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace,' a
top-selling rock download in the US, Canada, several European
countries and Japan - which reached #4 on the Billboard album
download charts in its first week of sales - has been downloaded by
more than 40 Olympic athletes competing at the Beijing Games. China's
official media published a provocative online article that reported
many "angry" Chinese 'netizens' are "denouncing" the project and that
some have called for a boycott on companies that make the pro-peace
album available for sale on the web, and a ban on those involved in
making the album from entering China. Over a hundred download sites
and on-line retailers sell the album worldwide. Twenty musicians
contributed tracks, including Sting, Dave Matthews, Alanis
Morissette, John Mayer and Moby.

Michael Wohl, Executive Director of the Art of Peace Foundation which
initiated the project, said today: "We are delighted that Olympics
athletes took the opportunity to download this unique album, which
conveys a message of hope and solidarity with the Tibetan people, as
well as a commitment to freedom of expression that cannot be suppressed."

Over 40 Olympic athletes in North America, Europe and even Beijing
contacted The Art of Peace Foundation by email and through the
Foundation's website. Athletes downloaded the album as an act of
solidarity with Tibet. International organizations including the
International Campaign for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, and Team
Darfur helped contact the athletes. Several of the athletes, who were
assured anonymity, thanked the Art of Peace Foundation. In one case,
an Olympian commended the Foundation's "efforts, music and passion for peace."

Following international media coverage of the album and its success,
an article about the album - which referred to "angry netizens" who
"are rallying together to denounce internet retailers that offer
'Songs for Tibet' for purchase" was published on two Chinese
websites, china.org.cn - the authorized government portal site to
China, managed by the Information Office of the State Council
(http://www.china.org.cn/china/national/2008-08/08/content_16161481.htm)
- and http://www.chinanews.com, a semi-official internet news portal
which operates under close scrutiny and control of the Communist
Party. This follows demonstrations by overseas Chinese against some
companies (such as the French supermarket chain Carrefour) and
broadcasters (CNN and the BBC) that have occurred since the
international community has criticized China for its crackdown in
Tibet, and in the buildup to the Olympics. The demonstrations and
outpouring of Chinese nationalism, particularly linked to protests
against Chinese government policies at the time of the Olympic torch
relay, have been fueled by misinformation and propaganda from the
Chinese authorities.

"The predictably hostile response to the album from Chinese internet
users and an official website at this time reflects continued
attempts to suppress any support for Tibet at a time of crisis for
the Tibetan people, as well as the level of entrenched misinformation
about Tibet propagated by the Beijing government among the Chinese
public," said Kate Saunders from the International Campaign for
Tibet, which is supporting the project.

The double album, 'Songs for Tibet' celebrates peace, the Dalai Lama
and Tibet. Twenty artists, including Sting, Alanis Morissette, Dave
Matthews, John Mayer and Moby contributed songs for the release.

Proceeds that the foundation receives will support initiatives for
promoting peace and Tibetan cultural preservation projects. Details
at http://www.artofpeacefoundation.org. The video for the album,
'Songs for Tibet - Freedom is Expression,' is available on YouTube.

Contact:
Kate Saunders, International Campaign for Tibet
Email: press@savetibet.org
Tel: +44 7947 138612

Michael Wohl, The Art of Peace Foundation
Email: mikew@artofpeacefoundation.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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