DHARAMSALA, 31 Jan: Activists have unfurled a Tibetan National Flag on the top of Yser Tower in Belgium to support the diplomatic boycott of the soon to be held 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Tibetan National flag has been flying since Saturday afternoon on the Yser Tower in Dixmude, in support of the diplomatic boycott movement against the Olympic Winter Games that Beijing will host next week, reports rtl.be, a Luxembourgish-based international media company.
According to the report, it was collectively initiated by “various Flemish organizations defending human and minority rights.”
Along with the Tibetan flag hoisted on top of the 84 meters ( 275,59 feet) high tower, a flag of East Turkistan was also erected at the top of the Peace Gate, another monument in this historic site.
The Yser Tower (Dutch: IJzertoren) is a memorial along the Belgian Yser river in Diksmuide. It’s a peace monument that commemorates the soldiers killed on the Yser Front during World War I. It’s also an important place within the Flemish Nationalist movement.
Andy Vermaut, a member of the International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) has said that the action was collectively organised to “denounce the many misdeeds committed in China.”
“We know that in China people are locked up in labour camps, that critical voices are silenced and that minorities are forced to give up their organs. It is urgent that the rest of the world know this too,” he added.
He further stated that the Yser Tower was selected as the venue because “there is clearly a link with the struggle for Flemish emancipation. Thanks to this struggle, the Flemish now have rights and their own parliament. Our culture is also protected. But in China, the regime systematically oppresses all minorities, whether in Tibet, South Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or East Turkestan. With the upcoming opening of the Olympic Winter Games in China and the diplomatic boycott of members of our government, we wanted to put this item on the agenda again.”
The Games are scheduled to be held over 4 -20 Feb, but calls to boycott it continue to get steam over China’s crimes against humanity and genocide.
So far, the US, the UK, Lithuanian, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Kosovo and Taiwan have all announced the diplomatic boycott of the winter games.
Besides, the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Dutch and Australia have all reportedly issued similar advice to their “athletes, coaches and staff to refrain from using their personal electronic devices while in China due to surveillance concerns, and use ‘burner’ phones rather than their cellphones.”