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

More Stars Put Off by Beijing's 'Genocide Olympics'

February 22, 2008

Epoch Times
February 21, 2008

American actress Uma Thurman has joined the growing chorus of
celebrities speaking out about China's human rights record in the lead
up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Referring to Steven Spielberg's recent decision to resign as artistic
consultant to the Beijing Olympic because of China's involvement with
Sudan, Ms. Thurman said the U.S. film director could add a few more
things to his list of concerns.

"Although there is so much good in China and in the Chinese people,
the human rights record of the Chinese government is appalling. I
think Steven Spielberg could have written a longer list. Steven,
please waste a little more ink on it".

Ms. Thurman, the daughter of Robert Thurman, a scholar of Tibetan
Buddhism and the first American to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist
monk, was particularly concerned about the plight of Tibetan Buddhists
in China but noted there were many other human rights issues.

"I'm not joking", she told the BBC, "China's human rights record is
horrible and there are marvellous, caring, wonderful people amongst
the community of Chinese people who also are unhappy about the record
of the Government and some of their choices and behaviours."

Steven Spielberg said the situation in Darfur was rapidly
deteriorating and his conscience would no longer allow him "to
continue with business as usual."

"At this point, my time and energy must be spent, not on Olympic
ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the
unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in
Darfur," he said in statement.

Ms. Thurman and Mr Spielberg join a growing list of celebrities and
senior statesmen that have expressed concern about China's continued
human rights abuses.

Earlier this month Prince Charles, announced he had declined an
invitation to attend the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, noting in a
statement that he had a "close interest in Tibet".

Last August a Global Human Right Torch Relay was launched in Athens to
raise awareness of religious persecution in China, particularly the
severity of the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners.

Human Rights Torch Relays have since been held in cities and towns
across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and parts of Asia,
drawing Federal, State and local community leaders to express their
concern that Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co exist.

The Relay is presently in Israel and will commence its route through
the United States around March to finish in Asia in August.

Earlier this month a group of Nobel laureates, politicians and Olympic
athletes sent an open letter to the Chinese government calling on it
to stop supporting Sudan.

Signatories included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actors Mia Farrow, Emma
Thompson and Joanna Lumley, singer Angelique Kidjo and British
Playwright, Tom Stoppard. Human Rights Watch has welcomed the
celebrity concern about Darfur but warned that unless human rights
abuses were addressed within China, little would be gained.

"Repression in China is on the rise and Olympic sponsors, governments,
or world leaders—especially those planning to attend the Games—can't
pretend otherwise," said Minky Worden, media director at Human Rights
Watch, "These influential players

should be prepared to show the steps they are taking to address the
worsening rights climate in China, or they risk being tarnished by a
human rights debacle."

Last year, a group of 57 lawyers, academics, editors, writers and
civil rights campaigners within China joined the voices of thousands
of Chinese rural workers who signed a petition saying "we want human
rights not the Olympics."

The group pf dissidents signed an open letter condemning the arrest of
human rights activist, Hu Jia and urged the government to improve
human rights ahead of this year's Olympics.

Since then Hu remains incarcerated and the numbers joining him are growing.

"Nobody apart from the International Olympic Committee seems to
believe the government will make a significant human rights concession
before the Games start," said press freedom agency Reporters Without
Borders in its 2008 annual report. "Every time a journalist or blogger
is released, another goes into prison. (...) China's dissidents will
probably be having a hard time this summer."

The Chinese Communist Party, however remains paranoid about anything
that might blemish its image during the Olympics.

"We believe that any political issue that has nothing to do with the
Olympics should not be linked to the Beijing Games," Liu Jingmin,
executive vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the
2008 Olympic Games, told a news conference last year, Reuters
reported.

"I believe that the preparations for the Olympics have tremendously
boosted the development of human rights in China," he added.

One wonders what the thousands of innocent people languishing in
labour and detention camps scattered around China's particularly harsh
winter countryside would make of that—if they were to ever gain a rare
word from the outside world.
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