InterContinental security staff tries to evacuate the protesters from the hotel entrance, London August 5, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, August 6: Tibetans and supporters Monday carried out a unique campaign ‘In bed with China’ at the InterContinental flagship hotel in London to protest against Intercontinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) project to build a luxury hotel in Lhasa, Tibet's capital city.
A day ahead of the IHG quarterly results, the activists from Free Tibet, a UK based NGO, and Students for a Free Tibet, UK, blocked the entrance to the InterContinental Westminster hotel with a double bed, in which activists wearing masks of IHG Chief Executive Richard Solomons and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged money bags, while the sheet over the bed reads “Selling out Tibet”.
The bed protest managed to block the entrance for a while but was however moved to the pavement outside the hotel by security.
“InterContinental’s choice to do business in China put its reputation at risk from day one. The decision to open a luxury super-hotel in Tibet in 2014 has blown a hole in its credibility as a responsible business,” said Eleanor Byrne- Rosengren, Director of Free Tibet. “IHG is out of its depth in Tibet; ill-equipped or unwilling to recognise the impact of selling an illusion of paradise in an occupied country that is a global black spot for human rights abuse.”
"InterContinental’s hotel in military-occupied Tibet is serving China's repressive regime and human rights abuses against Tibetans. More than 120 of my fellow Tibetans have self-immolated calling for an end to the Chinese rule. The 'Lhasa Paradise' will serve Chinese business and political interests only and is a gross insult to the Tibetan people,” said Padma Dolma, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, UK.
“Getting into bed with China may open up an important market but Tibet is not China and the sooner IHG recognises that, the better it will be for business. Now is the time for IHG to admit its mistake and pull out.”Eleanor added.
IHG group, which owns Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands – plans to open the 1,000+ room “InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise” in 2014 in partnership with Deng Hong of Sichuan-based Exhibition and Travel Group, a Chinese businessman with “close links” to the Chinese Communist Party.