Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ireland must boycott Olympic ceremony

I guess the big talking point around the world at present concerns the Olympic Games this year in China and the recent protests in London, Paris and San Francisco denouncing China's human rights record and their treatment of the people of Tibet.

I'd like to state that I fully support those who have protested and I think it is a disgrace that such a country has been chosen to host the games.

I was disappointed to hear the comments of Pat Hickey, Irish Olympic Council President, who said that the Irish team and its athletes would be taking part in the Olympic ceremonies regardless of any political or diplomatic boycott. What's worse is that he added the council had not yet received ANY inquiries from athletes on the matter:

"There is no talk about any boycott of any opening ceremony or anything."

Well there should be a boycott of the opening ceremony, Mr Hickey. I do have sympathy for the athletes involved as they have trained long and hard for their respective events and they shouldn't have been put into a situation like this in the first place. Still, you'd think they would come out and express some concerns.

I agree with Independent Senator Joe O'Toole that the Irish government ought to boycott the opening ceremony. I note that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not be in attendance - and they are hosting the next games which makes that a gutsy stance in my view. I see US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has also urged George W. Bush to join Gordon Brown in boycotting the opening ceremony.

I would personally like to see the European Union do something positive for a change and call upon all EU nations to boycott the opening ceremony. Hopefully America would follow suit as well as some other nations. It would be a wake-up call to China that western countries aren't happy with their behaviour and it would be tough to explain to their people why representatives from a huge chunk of the globe are not on parade.

Something needs to be done no doubt about it. It goes to show what a bunch of stinking hypocrites we are in this country since every Easter we pat ourselves on the back for standing up for our nationalist principles in 1916, only to ignore the plight of Tibetan nationalists - giving a hearty endorsement to the oppressive Chinese government in the process.

I visited the official website of the Beijing Olympics and shook my head in disbelief at the garbage the Chinese are coming out with. Apparently the official slogan of the games is 'One World, One Dream' (seriously) and in their own words...

"'One World, One Dream' is simple in expressions, but profound in meaning. It is of China, and also of the world. It conveys the lofty ideal of the people in Beijing as well as in China to share the global community and civilization and to create a bright future hand in hand with the people from the rest of the world. It expresses the firm belief of a great nation, with a long history of 5,000 years and on its way towards modernization, that is committed to peaceful development, harmonious society and people's happiness. It voices the aspirations of 1.3 billion Chinese people to contribute to the establishment of a peaceful and bright world."

I missed the bit where it says 'Tibet not included'. I don't want my country endorsing these liars.


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