[LETTERS to the editor]Needed action, but no reaction

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[LETTERS to the editor]Needed action, but no reaction

With breathtaking spectacles and gasp-worthy performances, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games began on Aug. 8. Literally the whole world watched as the Olympic torch was ignited. In the following two weeks, the world’s best athletes will compete amid the support and attention of just about everyone on the face of the earth. Even royals and presidents, prime ministers and high government officials have turned up to watch the Games.

Sure, medals and awards are a source of great national pride, not to mention individual patriotism, but aren’t there problems to be solved now? I admit I am supporting Korea’s national team, and hoping for our victory, but I believe that there are issues of great magnitude going unnoticed, maybe even ignored.

Currently, while swimmers are diving, marathoners running, and archers shooting, some of the world’s greatest breach of human rights go unnoticed, or rather, people - the ones who can indeed help - are turning a blind eye to it.

The persecution of Uighurs and Tibetans who, although their country is seen as a part of China, rightfully protest and call for their liberty and independence, has gone too far.

Some say that because Tibet is internationally recognized as part of the Middle Kingdom now, their claim is illegitimate, and it is right for China to suppress them.

But when the Japanese took over Korea, did we not protest? Did we not fight for our rightful freedom? There is no reason Tibet should be made an exception. Regardless of nationality or position, both legal and territorial rights of Tibetans and Uighurs should be respected.

We must also realize that there is a war raging between Georgia and Russia. Even military and diplomatic experts admit that Russia has crossed the reasonable line.

Many nations, including the United States, are doing close to nothing about the situation. Action must be taken.

Lee Kang-yeon, Sunae Middle School,

Bundang, Gyeonggi

*e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219
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