National Post: OTTAWA -- Calling China "the worst human-rights abuser in the world," Tory MP Rob Anders is heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., Frday to meet with the Dalai Lama to discuss concerns about the upcoming Olympics in China.
"I want to go and talk to the Dalai Lama," Mr. Anders said Thursday.
"Partly, by doing so, I think we're highlighting the issue, but, as well, I want to ask him about the cultural genocide that is going on there."
Mr. Anders compared this year's Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Games held in Berlin when Germany was under Nazi rule, arguing that China is the wrong choice to host the Games.
"I absolutely 100% think it compares to the Berlin Olympics in 1936," he said.
"You've got Falun Gong practitioners, which are not allowed to participate in the Olympics. Adolf Hitler had issues with Jews being able to participate in the Olympics in 1936."
Adherents of Falun Gong say they follow Buddhist tenets of "truthfulness, compassion and tolerance" through meditation and exercise, but the Chinese Communist Party has banned the practice, calling it an "evil cult" that threatens state security.
MR. Anders, the MP for Calgary West, is an outspoken critic of China and a member of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, an all-party group formed in 1990 by members of Parliament and senators concerned about the political situation in Tibet.
Eight years ago, Mr. Anders also crashed a Chinese New Year's event on Parliament Hill wearing a Free Tibet T-shirt.
Mr. Anders called China "the worst human rights violator in the world, right now."
"And, I think their record in terms of deaths and atrocities far overshadows those in the Second World War. If you look at the people who were killed during the Great Leap Forward and the cultural revolution under Mao, it makes the deaths on the Russian front in the Second World War look small in comparison," he said.
Mr. Anders stopped short Thursday of calling for an outright boycott of the Olympics, but he did say no Canadian politician should attend the games, nor should any Canadian athletes be used as "propaganda tools."
"I'm sensitive to the fact that we've had Canadian athletes . . . who have trained for years," Mr. Anders told a CBC radio program, the Calgary Eyeopener.
"They're good athletes; they want to have the opportunity to compete. But I don't want to see them used as a propaganda tool for the Chinese communists."
MR. Anders said many Chinese Canadians are also frustrated with the Chinese government.
"If people could see the forced labour camps [in China], they would understand. . . . There's goods that are being purchased in Canada today that are made in forced slave labour, in Chinese labour camps."
When told of MR. Anders remarks, the president of the Chinese Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association of Calgary said: "Rob Anders - he's amazing."
Hujun Li said he totally disagreed with the remarks and said Mr. Anders had gone too far.
"He's just trying to do something to hurt Chinese," said Mr. Li, who lives in Anders' riding.
Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Foreign Affairs, said Mr. Anders was speaking as an individual and his comments are not reflective of government policy.
Others expected to meet with the Dalai Lama at the University of Michigan are Senators Consiglio Di Nino and Mobina Jaffer, MPs Ken Boshcoff, Diane Bourgeois and Peggy Nash, as well as Ontario provincial politicians Cheri DiNovo and David Ramsay.Calgary Herald, Canwest News Service