Free Tibet campaign should not use Olympics as basis for boycott

May 2, 2008 — by Tiffany Tung

Seven years ago, when the Olympic Committee chose Beijing as the location for the games, the Free Tibet campaign didn’t do anything substantial to prevent China becoming the host for the Olympics.

Free Tibet, a campaign that protests the abuse of Tibetans by the Chinese government, has decided to take action by boycotting the Olympic games. This act is unreasonable and only shows how desperate the Free Tibet campaign has become, relying on such an important event to make their cause come to light.

China’s civil right issues have been in the spotlight since the country was chosen as the host for the summer 2008 Olympics, but the Olympic Games should not be affected by China’s political disputes. The purpose of the Olympic games is to promote harmony and peace among countries. And it is shameful for the protesters to politicize the Olympics.

On April 9, the Olympic torch was brought to San Francisco. Due to the number of activists living in the Bay Area as well as the exiled Tibetans who flew to the Bay Area to protest, the torch route had to be changed, and the closing ceremony was canceled. However, boycotting the Olympics is not the answer and will only result in failure. The Olympics is something that is global, something that impacts the entire world, and it is unjust for one to think that the Olympics is only about China.

In 1980, the Summer Olympics in Moscow was boycotted to protest the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. However, the boycott did not change anything. Has the world learned that there is no point to boycotting the Olympics?

The Olympics were established for friendly competition between all countries. To boycott it because of this campaign only defiles the peaceful nature of the Olympic Games.

This issue in Tibet needs to be addressed, but using China’s time in the spotlight is not the right idea. Corrupting the ideals of such a significant event is no excuse, and the Free Tibet campaign needs to stop.

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