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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?"

Bjork's Tibet cry angers fans in China

March 6, 2008

Telegraph.co.uk
05 March 2008

Bjork, the Icelandic singer, has caused controversy in China by
seeming to end a concert in Shanghai with an appeal for Tibetan
independence.

The singer, who has a track record of supporting political causes,
ended her concert by singing her song "Declare Independence" as an
encore. Before its final rallying cry of "Raise your flag!" she
intoned "Tibet, Tibet" repeatedly.

The song, originally written in support of independence movements in
Greenland and the Faroe Islands, includes lyrics such as: "Declare
independence! Don't let them do that to you!"

The singer spoke and sang in English, and the Chinese who made up half
the audience may not have understood her. Tibet is known as Xizang in
Mandarin.

There seemed to be no reaction at the time but condemnation was swift
on China's hyperactive and often nationalistic internet bulletin
boards and blogs.
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"If she wants to be political, please go home and mind her own
business, please don't buzz about other country's inner affairs,"
wrote one contributor on the English-language danwei.org.

"It was obviously arranged in advance," wrote another on the popular
Tianya forum. "To play with people using language difficulties is
contemptuous."

Others pointed out that not only would she be unlikely to be invited
back to China, but she would make it more difficult for other
performers with "edgy" reputations to be granted permission to come.

"At this gig, she may have taken a stance and made a name for herself
- but it's a big loss for Chinese music fans and music agencies,"
wrote "doudouwei", from Beijing, on the Chinese website douban.com

However, the authorities may be kicking themselves for not doing their homework.

Last month, Bjork had an invitation to perform in Serbia dropped after
she used the same song to welcome Kosovo's declaration of independence
at a concert in Japan.
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