Tibetan groups in Canada protest China’s human rights violation
As the Beijing Olympics have commenced, Tibetan groups in Canada are staging protests to highlight occupation of the plateau by China and condemning the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) “complicity in sports washing” human rights violations there.
Multiple protests have already been held by a coalition of Tibetan groups in Toronto, which demonstrated in front of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) offices in the city, as well as the official broadcaster of the Beijing Winter Olympics, CBC.
The protests are being organised jointly by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Toronto (RTYC Toronto), East Turkistan Association of Canada, Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario, Tibetan Women Association of Ontario, Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk Canada and Students For A Free Tibet Canada.
RTYC Toronto is a branch of the organisation headquartered in Dharamshala in India and its president Sunny Sonam said the protests have drawn over 200 participants despite the severe winter weather afflicting Canada’s largest city.
In a joint statement, the groups joining the protest called upon athletes participating in the Games to “show their support and solidarity” by “returning the blood-soaked” medals they win at the Games as these were made from “minerals extracted by exploiting the rich natural resources of the Tibetan plateau”.
The protestors accused China of continuing human rights violations in Tibet as it “continues to demolish and destroy the monastic institutions” there as evidenced by the destruction of a 99-foot tall Buddha statue as well as the burning down of 45 prayer wheels “amid a wave of ongoing demolitions in Drago and other parts of Tibet”.
They also alleged the Chinese communist regime continues to “detain and imprison” Tibetans.
“The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics run a serious risk of legitimising these abuses. Despite the increasing abuses against Tibetans, Uighurs, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese and Inner Mongolians, China has faced no challenge from the IOC,” the statement said.
Sonam said they selected the site of the COC offices in downtown Toronto as it symbolised the attitude of the IOC in “sports washing” the “Genocide Games”. Similarly, the protest outside the CBC headquarters last week was against the broadcast of the Games as the protestors called upon Canadians to boycott viewing the events being shown.
The Canadian government announced in December that it was diplomatically boycotting the Beijing Olympics and in a statement on the opening of the Games, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Ottawa remains “extremely concerned by reports of human rights violations in China, including the persecution of Uighurs”.
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