Olympic Boycott Warning Made Outside Australian Parliament
By James Burke
During a rally supporting the over 22 million people who have quit from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an investigative coalition consisting of high profile members has called upon the Chinese communist regime to end the worst of its human rights abuses or it will support a global effort to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“In order to win the right to host the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese regime promised to improve human rights in China,” began the statement from the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China that was read during the rally held outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Thursday, May 24.
“However, recent reports from UNHRC and Amnesty International have clearly proven that the human rights situation in China is deteriorating; particular hard hit is the community of Falun Gong practitioners,” it continued.
The signatures of the statement included Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Edmund Rice Centre, the National Civic Council, Dr Noel Preston AM who is the former Director Uniting Care Centre for Social Justice and Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM, the former Human Rights Commissioner.
The statement demanded that if three points were not given a satisfactory response on or before August 8, the coalition “will support a public effort from around the globe to boycott the 2008 Olympics.”
The first of the three points in the statement was that the communist regime must: “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong immediately and release all practitioners incarcerated for their faith”; secondly, “stop the persecution of friends and supporters and defence lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners (eg, Gao Zhisheng, Li Hong)”; and thirdly, “allow unfettered inspections by independent investigators from the international community to confirm (1) and (2) above, and be exonerated from the continuing live organ harvesting allegations,” from living Falun Gong practitioners.
Another statement was read out from one of the coalition members, Peter Westmore, President of the National Civic Council, who repeated the coalition’s demands while also congratulating those Chinese who have resigned from the CCP.
“This rally marks the resignation of 22 million people from the Chinese Communist Party, an event unprecedented in the history of any Communist Party, and indeed, of any political party anywhere,” Mr Westmore stated.
“Yet in spite of the fact that the CCP has lost the confidence of so many of its members, and undoubtedly a far larger number of ordinary Chinese people who were never members of the Party, the regime stubbornly refuses to submit itself to the will of the people.”
Also supporting the rally, organized by the Free China Association and the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, was Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, the Australian Democrats’ Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. In her statement, the Senator said her party “believe that human rights and democratic representation should be fundamental and inviolable principles for every society. The Chinese Communist Party must understand that these principles are not secondary to the maintenance of absolute power.
“The mass resignation of Communist Party members sends the Chinese government a message that the Chinese citizenry are increasingly disillusioned with their totalitarian rulers,” she said.
“The Chinese Government must heed this message-respect human rights and allow true political opposition to flourish. I have no doubt that the growing weight of people power will ultimately win the day.
“The Democrats have consistently called for the Chinese Government to adhere to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and we offer our support and commendation now to those who are gathered to speak out for freedom in China,” the Senator’s statement said.
Also speaking at the rally was Anne Zhong from the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, Mr Fang Yuan, chairmen of the Chinese Labor Party and also the Secretary of the Coalition of Democratic Parties of China. James Scott and Megan Stout from Tears of the Oppressed, an interdenominational Christian human rights organisation addressed the rally as did two Falun Gong practitioners; Sandra Hattingh and Guy Harvey both from Sydney.