IOC chief says boycott of Beijing Olympics over Tibet won't 'solve anything'
AP[Saturday, March 15, 2008 22:18]
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - The president of the International Olympic Committee is pouring cold water on calls for a boycott of the Summer Games in Beijing over China's crackdown in Tibet.

President Jacques Rogge (zhahk ROH'-geh) says a boycot won't solve anyting and would only penalize athletes.

Speaking to reporters on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, he called this summer's Beijing Olympics "something that definitely is worthwhile organizing."

Below is a press release issued by National Olympic Committee (NOC Tibet)

IOC’s continued silence on Tibet encourages China to intensify repression

Zürich, Switzerland - The National Olympic Committee of Tibet sent a letter of protest to IOC Jacques Rogge, president of International Olympic Committee. NOC Tibet denounces IOC’s silence on the situation in Tibet and states that the IOC policy on Tibet and human rights has encouraged Chinese repression. NOC Tibet also expressed its strong protest about taking the Olympic torch to Mount Everest, one of the holiest mountains in Tibet.

Wangpo Tethong (President NOC Tibet) wrote to Jacques Rogge (President IOC ) : "The tragic events in Tibet are the result of the repression that has been intensified all over Tibet in the lead up to the 2008 games. The Chinese government made promises to improve the human rights situation. But neither the IOC nor the sponsors bothered to hold the Chinese to their promises. Instead, your cowardly silence encouraged the Chinese to continue with the repression in Tibet."

It was foreseeable that sooner or later the situation would explode. The crackdown and the bloodshed could have been avoided. IOC has a played a deplorable part in causing these tragic event, says Tethong.

NOC Tibet presented three demands to the IOC:
  1. To immediately get in contact with the Chinese authorities and ask them to release all the Tibetans who have been detained in the past months in connection to the intensified repression
  2. We urge you to stop the Chinese plans to the Olympic torch to Tibet and to the Mount Everest. This can only be understood by the Tibetans as a further political provocation and violation of our holy sites and ignite further protests.
  3. NOC Tibet has applied to send a team or individual athletes. We haven’t heard a word from you. If you are still serious about the Olympic ideals of reconciliation as envisioned by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, let the Tibetans be part of the Games and meet with their Chinese.

Contacts: Wangpo Tethong (President) +41 78 744 30 10, Lobsang Gyalpo (Board member) +43-1-440-2375 (Home) +43-650-440-2375 (Mob)

Media Relations
National Olympic Committee (NOC TIBET)
Binzstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich Switzerland