Tibetan independence activist Lhadon Tethong has been in Beijing risking her life to “investigate and expose Tibet-related Olympics Propaganda in lead up to One-Year Countdown”. Tibetan rights advocates assert that the Chinese government is attempting to use the 2008 Olympics to legitimize its illegal occupation of Tibet and gain acceptance as a leader on the international stage despite its standing as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. Latest reports on the website www.beijingwideopen.org
(specifically created for the purpose), says that she has been repeatedly trying to meet IOC President Jacques Rogge since Tuesday to talk about Tibet and human rights issues. (By Phurbu Thinley/Phayul.com/ August 8, 2007)
Beijing, Aug 8: Chinese police detained another Tibetan independence activist on Wednesday in Beijing, when she tried to meet International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials visiting the city for the one-year countdown to the 2008 Olympics.
Lhadon Tethong, executive director of New York-based Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), was detained as she was en route to Beijing's Tiananmen Square, Kate Woznow of SFT told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone from Hong Kong.
IOC President Jacques Rogge and top Chinese officials planned to join a celebration of the one-year mark in the square on Wednesday evening.
Lhadon, an ethnically Tibetan Canadian citizen, had confirmed her arrest via a text message from her mobile telephone mid-afternoon, but her whereabouts were unknown, Woznow said.
Another activist, Paul Golding, was detained with her, SFT said in a later statement.
The arrests came one day after police detained six other Tibetan independence activists for hanging a giant banner promoting their cause on the Great Wall.
The Chinese foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that six foreigners 'engaged in illegal activities in China' on Tuesday and that the authorities had 'already dealt with it according to the law.'
It was not immediately clear if the statement meant that China had already decided to expel the six protesters.
Lhadon had made several requests to meet Rogge in Beijing but neither he nor any other senior IOC official has ever agreed to meet SFT activists to hear their position on Tibet, Woznow said.
'And that's why we wanted to have Lhadon on the ground in Beijing while the IOC was there,' she said.
The refusal to meet representatives of the group 'shows the IOC's unwillingness to address the issues that they promised to address,' Woznow said.
On Tuesday, the six activists hung a huge banner bearing the message 'One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008' in English and Chinese on the Great Wall near Beijing.
The stunt was a protest against China 'attempting to use the 2008 Games as a tool to legitimize its illegal occupation of Tibet,' SFT and the Free Tibet Campaign said in a statement.
The six Great Wall activists were residents of the United States, Canada and Britain, the groups said.
Lhadon wrote an open letter to Rogge earlier this week, demanding that the Chinese government 'not pass the Olympic torch over Tibetan soil, and that the opening and closing ceremonies contain no references to Tibet: its land, its culture or its people.
'We are calling on the IOC to publicly oppose these propaganda efforts, and use its influence to affect substantive progress on human rights in China and a meaningful resolution to the occupation of Tibet,' she said in the letter.Click here to view a recorded videoconference with Paul and Lhadon at an Internet cafe about a day ago. Click here to view Lhadon's interview on Canadian Television a day before she was detained.