India should boycott Olympics, disrupt torch relay: Fernandes

March 30th, 2008 - 12:23 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Former defence minister George Fernandes has criticised the government for having “surrendered” to China on the Tibet issue, even as he urged India to boycott the Beijing Olympics and called for disrupting the torch relay in the country. “India has sold out to China,” Fernandes told Karan Thapar in an interview to CNN-IBN’s Devil’s Advocate programme that will be broadcast Monday night. He was asked a question on his assessment of India’s response on the Tibet issue.

He said that India should be insulted by the praise from China on the former’s handling of protests here. “It’s a disgrace that China should say that India has done well.”

He said that it was a “shame” that the Indian ambassador had to answer summons by the Chinese foreign ministry at 2 in the morning Sunday, adding that the envoy could have waited till the next day.

“Elsewhere that’s what would have happened. Our government having (once) surrendered, surrenders everywhere,” said Fernandes, who was a senior member of the previous National Democratic Alliance government of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

On the journey of the Olympic torch to India, he asserted, “It should not be allowed to cross our borders.”

“I’ve asked all my colleagues and those who are with Tibet that they should prevent China from crossing our border with this torch,” said Fernandes.

He also called upon India to shun the Beijing Olympic Games in August and advocated an international boycott of Chinese goods.

He felt that India’s response to China has been conditioned by “what happened in ‘62″, referring to the Sino-Indian border war.

Fernandes said that the decision of the Vajpayee government to recognise Chinese sovereignty over Tibet in 2003 was an “error”. He also said the NDA government’s expulsion of then Pakistan high commissioner Ashraf Jahangir Qazi was “a mistake”.

During the interview, he revealed he was halfway through writing his autobiography that would “hang” several people.

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