Letter to the Ottawa Citizen Re: Former MP pushes for Beijing Games boycott, Kilgour spearheads drive against ‘Bloody Harvest Olympics, Aug. 9.
The statement of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa that “any attempt to politicize the games violates the spirit of the Olympic movement” necessitates some comments. The call for boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing is an appreciation of human life; it shall express the wish of hundreds of millions of people that torturing people to death because of their belief is not an option in the 21st century. This applies in particular for the country that runs for hosting the Olympic Games. The term “politics” doesn’t hold the monopoly over the right to live, and calling for a dramatic improvement of basic human rights cannot be understood as an exclusive domain of politics. The call for boycott certainly cannot be called “shameful”— if Sudan would be the host of the Olympics in 2008, all of us wouldn’t hesitate to call for a boycott. In 1980, the Olympic Games in Moscow were boycotted by 62 countries due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Among the boycotting countries: the People’s Republic of China! Thus, the Chinese government may be advised to reconsider its policy of banishing the idea that Olympics indeed could be boycotted. If politicizing of the Olympics was prohibited, as the Chinese Embassy demands, would the Chinese leadership also stop promoting its communist doctrine while hosting the Olympic Games but instead display the 5,000 years of Chinese cultural possessions? The Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin should be a reminder for us that the integrity of the country hosting the Olympic Games is of utmost importance. Participating in the Olympic Games as usual would send a wrong signal to the Chinese government. The Global Human Rights Torch Relay of the Coalition to Investigate Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) in China is the most diplomatic way to call for an improvement of the human rights in China. The Chinese government has ignored the calls for these basic rights for years; harvesting organs from living people is just the latest disclosed tip of the iceberg of crimes against humanity. The call for boycott of the Olympic Games addresses the Communist government in Beijing and not the Chinese people.