Religious Freedom Panel Urges Bush to Boycott Beijing Games

April 7, 2008

Author: Kevin Eckstrom

Source: Pew Forum

Wire Service: RNS

A federal religious freedom watchdog panel has urged President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics unless "there is substantial improvement" in China's treatment of Tibet.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said China must open "direct and concrete talks" with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibetan Buddhism, before Bush attends the opening ceremonies.

If those talks do not occur, the nine-member commission called on Bush to first visit the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, and urged Bush to request a meeting with Chinese political prisoners or dissidents during his visit.