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- 12 07 2001 - 21:37 - katatonik

Sportolitics

According to Shedrub Namgyal (Chinese name Xi Zhu Lang Jie), Party Committee Secretary of the Tibet Sports Bureau, a successful Chinese bid for the Olympics would help Tibet in many ways: it would promote the image of Tibet to foreigners and undermine the influence of “splittists” – this is how the Chinese government refers to exile Tibetans, especially the exile government in India -, it would “encourage more Tibetans to do exercise”, and attract more foreigners to Tibet and thus assist economic development. Such statements can be read on the homepage of the China Tibet Information Center. The center is “constructed by Intercontinental Pan-Chinese Network Information Technology Co., Ltd., a comprehensive and leading Internet media focusing specially for Tibet />

“Our goal is to provide a window through which people can look more clearly at Tibet, get to know its true face by unveiling the so-called “mystery”, and build up a bridge for better communication and understanding between us. You are welcome to smell, breathe, touch, and feel this pure and mysterious land through our numerous news, stories, photos and videos.”

It is not clear to me who these people are, but the pro-Chinese-government orientation is shouting at you from every single page. The picture below shows “A Lot of People Singing and Dancing Before the Potala Palace to Support Beijing’s Bidding for Hosting the Olympic Games”.

see how they cheer

“Middle-aged and Old People Holding A Big Performance to Support Beijing’s Bidding for Hosting the Olympic Games” can be seen here.
Exile-government organizations, or their affiliates, as well as representatives of free-Tibet-organizations, are protesting.
A few weeks ago, the sides were reversed. Sort of. In Copenhagen, the Tibetan soccer team played Greenland. Formed in 1998, the team boasts 26 players, all drawn from the refugee population in India and Nepal. The Chinese government protested, but as neither Greenland nor Tibet are FIFA members, there was nothing official to be done. To be sure, pressure was exerted: Greenland was threatened to have its prawn exports to China curbed, the Danish Soccer Association was apparently contacted by the Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen. But the game was played. It was a historic moment. CNN was there. The BBC was there. Radio Free Asia covered the game live; allegedly, this was the first sports event ever to be broadcast in Tibetan language. Greenland won 4:1. After the game, the Tibetan players did a round on the field, carrying the Tibetan flag.

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