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Mt. Everest, the Oppressed Mountain
Olympics being used by China for Propaganda
Florian Godovits, The Epoch Times
7/5/2008

The planned Olympic torch relay to the summit of the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest, is a farce, says alpinist Reinhold Messner. According to him, the torch will not be able to burn at such heights without extra oxygen, and the TV-footage of the event has already been shot.

Mt. Everest is being abused for a propaganda campaign, he says –even if we donīt like to hear it – in 1936 it was the same thing with the Nazis, back then the Olympics were abused for a propaganda campaign as well. May 8th will be the 30th anniversary of the first conquering of the highest mountain of the world without oxygen bottles. Messner and his friend Peter Habeler were the first ones to succeed in doing so. The mountaineer and former member of the European Parliament, Messner, is angry about the current actions in Tibet.

He has raised a Tibet-flag 60 square metres in size at his museum in Sigmundskron in South Tyrol, Italy. It was blown away by the wind, but now we will get a new one, bigger and more stable, says Messner. China has missed the chance to be liked by everybody by granting Tibet more freedom, he continues. The world would be at Chinaīs feet. He canīt understand why China has not realised this chance.

Tibetīs heritage belongs to the whole world

The Tibet issue is one that should concern the whole international community, because Tibetīs heritage belongs to the whole world. Its culture is a very rich one, hence all of mankind should strive towards it. This should happen with appropriate means. „Todayīs weapons are words. We should ask for more democracy, says Messner. The Olympic torch relay should continue to be used to expose the plight of Tibetans.

In todayīs China, a communist system pairs up with absolute capitalism and fascist elements. If that coincides, the devil isnīt far, says Messner.

When the Olympic games were allocated, it was thought that the human rights situation in China would improve. But the opposite has happened. And politicians would be in a difficult situation right now. They would, according to the mountaineer, get beaten from all sides. In his opinion the Olympics should be used as a platform to call attention to human rights abuses.

Reinhold Messner reflects on the 30th anniversary of his first conquering of Mt. Everest without oxygen bottles. In the 90īs we have put the mountain in chains and ropes, he says. He criticises the commercialisation of climbing Mt. Everest and the lack of ecological conscience of the mountaineers. In Sigmundskron he shows a sculpture made up of 100 kilograms of trash collected on Mt. Everest. Mountains have got their strongest charisma if we donīt tame them. Itīs our christian belief, that we want to make the earth our subject – itīs a pity the Asians have taken this on.

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