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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

One year to Beijing 2008: Team Tibet launched globally

August 04, 2007

Local Tibetans and supporters host sport event to highlight China reality

(Montreal, Saturday, 4 August 2007) – A team of local Tibetans played against sympathetic Montrealers today in a friendly soccer game with a serious message, demanding that China undertake meaningful action for Tibet prior to the start of the Beijing Olympics next year. “The Olympics cannot be allowed to cover up China’s brutal occupation of Tibet, and it is our duty as people concerned about human rights to expose the truth and push for dramatic change,” said a member of Students for a Free Tibet Montreal while at Parc Jeanne-Mance.

The soccer game came four days prior to the one year countdown to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, an event being widely criticized internationally due to China’s repressive policies and military occupation of Tibet, amongst other issues.

“Today, here in Montreal and in cities across the world, Tibetans and their supporters are launching Team Tibet, a campaign that will escalate over the next year to shine the Olympic spotlight on Tibetans’ lack of freedom as a nation, which is symbolized by their inability to participate in the 2008 Olympics,” added Canada Tibet Committee Executive Director Dermod Travis.

Thousands of people are taking part in this global call for action. Hundreds are demonstrating in several American baseball stadiums, while similar events are being organized from Mexico City to New Delhi.

Last April, four activists, including a Tibetan, were arrested at the Everest base camp while opposing China’s plan to run the Olympic torch to Tibet’s Mount Everest.

Today’s game was hosted by the members of the Montreal branch of the Canada-Tibet Committee, Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Cultural Association of Quebec.

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