The Human Rights Torch Relay will arrive in Canberra on December 11. The welcoming ceremony will begin at 12:30 pm in Garema place, with the Relay making its way toward the Chinese Embassy in Yarralumla, on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin. The ceremony will feature speeches from respected community members, human rights groups, and prominent individuals concerned with human rights and human dignity. There will also be local Canberra musicians performing songs meant to inform, entertain, and inspire.
The Torch Relay has received strong support from the Darfur, Tibetan, Burmese and Vietnamese communities in Canberra, as well as other highly esteemed groups and individuals. The Torch Relay is widely recognised as a peaceful way of bringing attention to the Chinese communist regime’s gross human rights abuses before the Olympic Games in 2008.
The Human Rights Torch Relay will also feature many prominent persons from the ACT Region, including Dr Deb Foskey, Member of the Legislative Assembly and leader of the ACT Greens; Bishop Pat Power, Catholic Bishop for Canberra-Goulburn; Bishop George Browning, Anglican Bishop for Canberra-Goulburn; and Matilda House, Aboriginal Elder for Ngunnawal Country and 2006 ACT Citizen of the Year, who will be conducting a Welcome to Country. These persons will be speakers and/or Human Rights Torch Bearers.
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Bishop Pat Power has hailed the Relay as “a wonderful opportunity to be in solidarity with persecuted and minority groups in China,” and expressed hope that the Relay “will bring to the attention of Australians the denial of justice and basic freedoms in China. The 2008 Olympics should not be allowed to appear as an endorsement of such abuses of power.”
The abuses perpetrated by the Chinese communist regime are extensive and terrible. They include indirect assistance with both genocide in Darfur and suppression of protesters in Burma, and widespread persecution of many groups within China. Persecuted groups include Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, Christians, and defenders of basic human rights. Methods used to attack these peaceful groups include torture, illegal imprisonment, psychiatric abuses and forced labour. Falun Gong practitioners are even singled out for live organ harvesting on demand, to supply organs for the billion dollar transplant trade (http://organharvestinvestigation.net). On a systematic scale, they are injected with potassium to stop the heart, their organs removed from the neck down, and their bodies incinerated.
Because of these truly horrendous, shocking, and tragic crimes, the Human Rights Torch Relay was initiated to bring a message of hope and justice around the world, highlighting the principles of the Olympic charter, and reinvigorating the Olympic Spirit. The Relay is an opportunity for every group and all kind hearted individuals concerned with the cause of justice, Olympism, and fundamental ethical principles, to raise their voice. Take part in this inspirational, life-saving event!
The community in Canberra plays a pivotal role in supporting the Relay by attending the welcoming ceremony, and inviting family and friends to come along. For more information, please phone 0431 761 894.