Sunday, March 30, 2008

NDTV.com: Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics

Sunday, March 30, 2008 (New York)

The Indian American Intellectuals Forum has urged the United States to boycott the coming Olympics to send a ''clear and strong'' message to Beijing that Washington would not tolerate suppression of and brutalities against peace-loving Tibetans.

''This will be a minimal symbolic gesture of our solidarity with the Tibetan people,'' said the Forum President Narain Kataria in a letter to President George Bush on Saturday.

Kataria said that in 2002, US Congress had passed the Tibetan Policy Act that calls for the preservation of culture and identity of Tibetans living in exile and in Tibet.

''Under that act, it is the sacred duty of United States to protect the non-violent Tibetans from the brutal wrath of Chinese army,'' he stressed.

Pointing to ''reign of terror and repression'' let loose by the ''world's largest military dictatorship on ''hapless non violent'' Tibetans, Kataria said ever since China forcibly occupied the nation, there have been many reports of ''widespread mistreatment of civilians, torture of detainees and political prisoners.''

''There is a string of serious and severe violations of human rights,'' he said.
Tibet, the letter said, is overwhelmingly of the Buddhist faith. As Buddha was born in India, Buddhism is like a sister religion to the Hinduism.

''Hindu people in India even believe Lord Buddha to be an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu. There is a symbiotic relationship between Hindus and Buddhists and hence, the Hindu people are very concerned about the miserable plight of Tibetan civilians at the hands of Chinese army,'' he added.

Stating that there is precedent, Kataria recalled the boycott of Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

NDTV.com: Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics

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