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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?"

Tibet speech back on

April 2, 2009

Strait Times (Taiwan)
April 1, 2009

HONG KONG -- A TALK in Hong Kong by an
international activist for Tibetan
self-determination which was postponed after
China voiced its disapproval has been
rescheduled, organisers said on Wednesday.

Kate Saunders, the communications director for
the International Campaign for Tibet, had been
scheduled to speak at Hong Kong's Foreign
Correspondents' Club (FCC) last month.

The event was delayed after the Hong Kong office
of China's Foreign Ministry suggested to the FCC
that the talk was too one-sided and should
include a speaker representing Beijing's views.

The speech, entitled 'A Great Mountain Burned by
Fire: Reflections on New Expressions of Dissent
and the Crisis in Tibet", has been rescheduled
for Monday. Saunders will speak alone.

Ernst Herb, the president of the FCC, said the
club had hoped to find a high-profile speaker who
would put forward Beijing's point of view on the issue.

'We took something of a gamble on this,' he told
AFP. 'Once the foreign ministry got in touch and
said they didn't like it, we asked why didn't
they bring someone on their side. We thought that would be more of a scoop.'

Herb said the club was still in talks with the
ministry about a possible speaker and hoped to
organise an event later in the year.

Tibet remains an extremely sensitive subject for
China. Authorities have launched a massive
security clampdown in recent weeks in a bid to
quell possible unrest as Tibetans marked the 50th
anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese
rule in the mountainous region.

Hong Kong has a different legal system from
mainland China and enjoys much greater freedoms,
including a free press, and it is sometimes a
focus for anti-China protests. -- AFP
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