More disturbing news from Tibet. An interesting post by James Forsyth in Coffee House, suggesting it may be time (and notwithstanding realpolitik) to think about whether we should boycott Beijing 2008. He links to Vaclav Havel’s letter in Comment is free on Guardian.co.uk, which is headed “Asking China to exercise restraint in Tibet is not enough: the international community must use its influence to halt human rights abuses”, and finishes
“Merely urging the Chinese government to exercise the “utmost restraint” in dealing with the Tibetan people, as governments around the world are doing, is far too weak a response. The international community, beginning with the United Nations and followed by the European Union, Asean, and other international organisations, as well as individual countries, should use every means possible to step up pressure on the Chinese government to allow foreign media, as well as international fact-finding missions, into Tibet and adjoining provinces in order to enable objective investigations of what has been happening; release all those who only peacefully exercised their internationally guaranteed human rights, and guarantee that no one is subjected to torture and unfair trials; enter into a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people.
Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the International Olympic Committee should seriously reconsider whether holding this summer’s Olympic games in a country that includes a peaceful graveyard remains a good idea.”
For a less reverent comment, see Robert Shrimsley in today’s FT, Carrying a torch for China in Tibet. This imagines all you need to know about our lords and masters (?) in Europe.