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Tibet and Olympic shouldn't be mixed: Paes

Indian Davis Cup captain Leander Paes feels that boycotting Olympic torch relay for political reasons is not right.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2008 06:12 PM IST

Indian Davis Cup captain Leander Paes, who has been invited for the Olympic torch relay, said he has not yet made up his mind in this regard but feels boycotting the event for political reasons was not right.

Paes, who would be participating in his fifth Olympics in Beijing, said the protests over China's handling of the Tibet issue should not have targeted the relay, which stands for peace and harmony.

"Olympics is very dear to my heart and I have been invited to carry the torch. Whether I accept it or not, you would know soon," Paes told reporters ahead of the Davis Cup tie against Japan starting on Friday.

When asked whether the disruptions along the relay's international route by Tibetan and human rights activists were justified, Paes said the Games should not have been embroiled in the controversies.

"We have to recognise that there is a difference between the Olympic movement and the Tibetan movement... Mixing them is not correct. The Games are most important," he said.

"When my father (Vece Paes) collected his medal in Munich (1972), Black September had happened. But that didn't stop anything. So that's the whole point, these (Tibet and Olympics) are two different issues," he added.

Meanwhile, the Japanese team when asked about the issue, chose to keep mum.

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