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Tibet: News International Tibet flags at Germany football match receive widespread media coverage

Tibet flags at Germany football match receive widespread media coverage

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Tibet-Protest-Germany-Freedom-2017Berlin, Germany — Peaceful protesters unfurled national flags of Tibet at a foot-ball game in Mainz, Germany causing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch— has received widespread coverage across a variety of international outlets.

A tour of Germany by China’s under-20 men’s football team has been suspended after their first match was met with protests. The remaining games in Germany will be postponed, the German Football Association said, after a group of protesters unfurled Tibetan national flags causing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch. The association has not given a date for the rescheduled games, according to media reports.

“We believe this adjournment is essential in order to give us the time needed to discuss the situation calmly and openly and find a reasonable solution,” said Ronny Zimmermann, vice-president of the German association. “The two federations will try to work out a way of relaunching the project again quickly.

China invaded Tibet in 1949 and international rights groups regularly condemn Chinese communist government policies in the region, including restrictions on speech and religion. Displays of the hundreds of years old Tibetan snow lion flag and photographs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are strictly prohibited in the occupied Tibetan territory.

The event received widespread coverage in media, including the BBC News, Guardian, Times, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera, Channel News Asia, Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, ESPN FC, Indian Express, South China Morning Post, Hindu, Hong Kong Free Press and many other international outlets around the world.

The Chinese team was set to play in Frankfurt on Saturday before the announcement and was originally scheduled to play a total of 16 matches through May 2018. The team lost its first match 3-0 to TSV Schott Mainz in front of about 400 fans, but the game was interrupted at one point for 25 minutes when the Chinese team refused to continue after a group of six spectators unfurled the national flags of Tibet.

With the match being televised live in China, the juniors only agreed to continue after the protesters from “Tibet-Initiative Deutschland” – four Tibetan refugees and two Germans – took down the flags.

When you play in Germany you have to deal with the fact that anyone can express their opinion. “We cannot ban the protests, there is the right to freedom of expression here and certain rules apply,” said Zimmermann. ”However, we also want to be good hosts and as a result we are not happy with this incident.”

The Communist Chinese authorities complained about the incidents and called for the Germans to show “mutual respect”. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that China’s government was “firmly opposed to any country or any individual offering support to separatist, anti-China and terrorist activities or activities defending Tibet independence, in any form or under any pretext”.

Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association, defended the right to free expression and said in response: “It has been made clear to the Chinese federation that when you play in Germany you also have to deal with the fact that anyone can express their opinion.”

“I know that our fans have registered a banner pointing out freedom of expression in Germany and they also want to hang up a Tibetan flag,” FSV Frankfurt’s president Michael Goerner told local television.

“We do not deviate an inch from the basic rights of our democracy, which includes the freedom of expression,” Goerner said in an interview with two Stuttgart-based papers.

Tibet was invaded by the Communist regime in China, starting in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 Tibetans died as a direct result of China's invasion and continued occupation of Tibet, over 6000 monasteries have been looted and destroyed. The communist regime continues to call this a 'peaceful liberation', that the "Tibetans are living in a Maoist socialist paradise."

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 November 2017 21:13 )  


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