Monday, April 14, 2008

Olympic Torch Protests - Actions Politicised the Olympics Games

China's hopes of winning international prestige by sending the Olympic torch through 135 cities on five continents ahead of the August 8 opening of the Olympic Games had been damaged by bout of protests in her human rights record.

The early stages in London and Paris were overshadowed by demonstrations against Beijing's repression of protests in Tibet, and the third stage in San Francisco was also drastically curtailed and seen by relatively few people.

However, the most recent relays in Buenos Aires and Dar es Salaam passed off with little incident. The Olympic torch is expected to get a rare protest-free outing Monday in a parade through the capital of the Sultanate of Oman on the Middle Eastern leg of its journey to Beijing.

Many world leaders like British prime minister, Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN chief Ban Ki-moon and French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, would boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said a boycott of the opening ceremony, where every competing country marches into the main Olympic stadium behind their national flag, would perhaps hurt athletes but nobody else.

How could the Olympics, a beautiful game promoting friendship and sports around the world be use in such extent to propagate somebody's political agenda? China human rights record had been in doubts much before the coming Beijing Olympics, why did protests on Tibet only surface recently? Would China's human rights records be changed overnight or drastically just by protesting the passing of the Olympics torch?

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