Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ontario to voice `concern' over Tibet

With protesters outside the Legislature and politicians wearing Tibetan scarves inside, the Liberal government waded into the controversy over China and human rights.

Deputy Premier George Smitherman asked the Legislature, "as a long-standing friend of China," to "express concern with the current situation in Tibet and encourage the parties to engage in meaningful dialogue."

This followed days of criticism from opposition parties about the government's plan to go ahead with a trade mission to China this weekend and a lengthy protest by hundreds of Tibet supporters on the front lawn of Queen's Park yesterday.

"Ontario (is) a jurisdiction that enjoys a good degree of human rights and sees as necessary the expansion of these rights across the land," Smitherman said. The motion expressed "a unified face and view" of all Ontarians, he said.

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