Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-03-26-Speech-3-069"
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"Ladies and gentlemen, the Olympic Games are a symbol of peace and reconciliation. We, the citizens of Europe, must stand firmly by our common values: respect for human dignity, liberty and human rights. We, my friends, cannot simply stand by in silence while a government murders its own citizens. We cannot tolerate wholesale trampling on human and minority rights. This is why the group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) demands that the Chinese authorities call a halt to the violence and the intimidation of their citizens and the Dalai Lama, and we call upon them to initiate peaceful dialogue on reconciliation and autonomy in Tibet. We consider His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be our friend and a figure of unquestionable moral authority, and we welcome the responsible stance he has taken regarding the current situation. I welcome the responsible statement made by the President of this Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, that we should deploy every possible means at our disposal to urge the reluctant Chinese authorities to halt the violence and respect human and minority rights. Ladies and gentlemen, as I mentioned earlier, the Olympic Games are a symbol of peace and reconciliation, and this is what they must continue to represent. The Olympic Games are a symbol of human achievement and of the values that bind human beings together, and this is what they must continue to represent. Do the Chinese authorities seriously think, indeed do we seriously think that it is possible for the world’s sportspeople to come together and compete happily and harmoniously while the government that is hosting the Games is simultaneously murdering its own citizens? Do the Chinese authorities seriously think Do we seriously think, ladies and gentlemen, that we freedom-loving people will be able to shake hands with leaders who are holding a machine gun in their other hand? Ladies and gentlemen, the time is not yet ripe to call for a boycott; the Olympic Games are still five months away. We must, however, state our opinion with absolute clarity, namely that we call upon the Chinese authorities immediately to halt their power-crazed behaviour on the issue of Tibet, which is jeopardising this great world sporting event. They must end the bloodshed, they must end the violation of civil liberties – of press freedom, freedom of association and religious freedom – and they must stop intimidating this man of peace, the Dalai Lama. Stop the massacre, stop the violation of civil liberties, stop the intimidation of the Dalai Lama!"@en1
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