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The Great Wall of Indifference

2 days ago, The Independent announced a global campaign to shame China into doing more to help Darfur. And the reaction from those who could actually change things? President Bush rules out boycott and says 'I'm going to the Olympics'. Major Games sponsors refuse to raise the issue with the Chinese.

So much for principles.....

The Independent writes in "The great wall of indifference":

"An international coalition of human rights activists has urged corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics to call the Chinese government to account over its support for Sudan or face a series of protests and consumer boycotts in the approach to this summer's Games.

As international condemnation mounted over China's reluctance to censure Khartoum for its conduct in Darfur, campaigners pressured multinational companies including Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Adidas, to end their "silent complicity" with the regime.

The new focus came after a letter that demanded China to use its extensive links with oil-exporting Sudan to press for peace in Darfur was sent to President Hu Jintao by a coalition of Nobel laureates, athletes, celebrities and politicians. The trenchant text, printed on the front page of The Independent, yesterday made further headlines around the world but received a cold welcome among those leaders best positioned to act on its message.

President Bush distanced himself from the letter, as well as the decision of the film director Steven Spielberg to stand down in his role as the Games' artistic director. Mr Bush said he regarded the Olympics as a "sporting event"."

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