POSTED: June 10th 2015

Young Tibetan activists stage dramatic protest during Beijing's pitch for 2022 Olympic Games

Protests in front of the Lausanne Palace Hotel where the meetings were taking place © FABRICE COFFRINI AFP
Protests in front of the Lausanne Palace Hotel where the meetings were taking place © FABRICE COFFRINI AFP

The protests started outside and then moved indoors © No more bloody Games
The protests started outside and then moved indoors © No more bloody Games

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) and LAURA WALDEN at the LAUSANNE PALACE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Beijing 2022 bidding committee became victims of a noisy protest in the Olympic Capital managing to slip through security to reach key areas to make their point. It is not the first time nor will it be the last time that activists have used the Olympic to promote their political aspirations.

Veteran reporters in the media area got a vision of deja vue from the last time Beijing was bidding for the 2008 Games in  2001 in Moscow.

While Chinese Government representatives were presenting their case for Beijing to be awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics Games at the Lausanne Palace Hotel outbursts broke out from the official presentation room as members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were called upon by Tibetan activists to reject the Beijing 2022 bid.

The protestors' message was backed by Golog Jigme, a Tibetan monk who was jailed and tortured in 2008 by Chinese authorities.

Golog Jigme expressed, "I stand here today as a witness to this. But this is not only about me. Many Tibetan human rights defenders and protesters have been jailed and killed. In 2008, my monastery was encircled and raided by the security forces - monks were beaten and the monastery was vandalized. Everywhere in Tibet the Chinese authorities executed this brutal repression in 2008."

He added, "If the Olympic Games should be awarded to China again, you - the IOC - will be responsible for such atrocities too. If you cannot support us, don't treat us like toys for the sake of flattering the Chinese Communist Party. We the Tibetan people are citizens of this world, too, and our dignity and rights must be respected."

Furthermore, while Chinese officials displayed the Beijing 2022 plans to the media, three Tibetans were able to upstage the presentation. The protesters unveiled a banner with the Olympic Rings displayed as bullet holes while chanting "No More Bloody Games," "No Beijing 2022," and "Free Tibet." The protestors were eventually taken away by police.

Swiss-based Tibetan protestor and Vice-President of Tibetan Youth Association Europe, Palmo Brunner stated, "Here in Switzerland we can express our views freely, something that is sadly not possible for our brothers and sisters inside Tibet due to Chinese oppression. Today Liu Yandong has no other choice than to face our protest and views here in a free country. We, the young Tibetans in Switzerland, will not sit by and quietly watch China being rewarded again for its repression in Tibet!"

Part of the Beijing delegation in Lausanne was the Vice-Premier of China's State Council, Liu Yandong. Her presence showed the high political importance China places on this bid. Also, reporters were told by a bid committee member that no questions regarding human rights were asked by the IOC during the presentation.

Beijing Deputy Director, Yan Lang claimed, "by hosting another Olympic Games it's a great enhancement of human rights and social progress of China as a whole."

Tibet campaigners sent the IOC Executive and its members a report in March. The report outlined the failed improvement of human rights in China and Tibet, which IOC claimed would improve when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics. The report also stated that China was emboldened to increase its repressive crackdown.

In 2007 and 2008, Tibet activists received worldwide attention with their international campaign that included deportation of campaigners in Beijing, protests around the torch relay, and a demonstration on the Great Wall of China.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Tibet · China · Olympic · IOC · Beijing 2022 · human rights

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