Do not spoil the Games - French athletes appeal to Hu Jintao
Phayul[Saturday, March 29, 2008 16:18]
A pro-Tibet supporter at a rally in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Photo: Tenam)
A pro-Tibet supporter at a rally in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Photo: Tenam)
Paris, March 28 - To an appeal launched by Le Nouvel Observateur "A Way between the boycott of Olympics and the silence", around twenty top French athletes called on the Chinese government to fulfil its commitments to freedom of expression and human rights in China.

Notable amongst the signatories are Christine Arron (4 x 100 World Champion 2003), Murielle Urtis, (200 m Indoor World Champion 2003), Vanessa Boslak (pole vaulter, record-holder for France), Marie Collonvillé (World record-holder Decathlon 2005) and many other French champions.

Adressed to Hu Jintao, the appeal pointed that to win the right to host the 2008 Games "the Chinese government promised to respect human rights. Yet, the violent repression in Tibet seriously questions this commitment given to the Olympic movement".

Rama Yade, the State Secretary, Foreign affairs and human rights under Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed recently that she will meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his August visit to France.

In a poll results released by Le Figaro and LCI today, on the question 'If the Situation in Tibet worsens, should France boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing?' 66% responded in affirmative.

Tibetan community and Tibet supporters have been holding a week-long rally in front of the French foreign ministry this week. This Monday, 31 March when the Olympics flame reaches China, a rally in front of the French Olympics Committee in Paris has been planned.

Tenam can be reached at tenam[AT]tibetwrites.org

http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=20159&t=1