Sarkozy Threat to Olympic Opening

From BBC:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he has not ruled out boycotting the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in China over the situation in Tibet.

His aides said France was still opposed to a full boycott but that it might pull out of the opening ceremony in Beijing on 8 August.

The recent unrest in Tibet has sparked worldwide concern.

Olympics chief Jacques Rogge said last week he was “heartened” that no major government had backed a boycott.


Mr Sarkozy again called for China to talk to the Dalai Lama

British newspaper The Guardian reports: Miliband attacks China’s rights record and calls for Tibet talks.

The Foreign Office yesterday criticised China for its “poor” human rights record, warning that international scrutiny would increase as the Olympics approached, in a report that included a scorecard on 21 “major countries of concern”.

However, the British government was accused of hypocrisy by campaign groups which said Britain continued to sell arms to most of the countries portrayed by the Foreign Office as the worst offenders in its annual report on human rights around the world. Activists also called on Gordon Brown to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

In the report, China was rebuked for its extensive use of execution, torture, detention without trial, the lack of an independent judiciary, and restrictions on religion. The report, written before the unrest in Tibet, also complains of widespread “violations” in the region.

Launching the report, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, said global concern over China was “justified and proper”.

Read also: ‘I want to send a strong message to China‘:

A Thai environmental activist chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it crosses the kingdom in April has pulled out in protest against China’s crackdown on unrest in Tibet.

Narisa Chakrabongse, chairperson of Thailand’s Green World Foundation, said in a statement that Olympic host China had violated human rights in the remote Himalayan region.

“I want to send a strong message to China that its actions are not accepted by the world community and China should urgently review its policy toward Tibet,” Narisa said in the statement released over the weekend.


Two PLA soldiers stand guard in Kangding, Sichuan province. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters


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