Lithuanian prime minister not to attend opening ceremony

Other News Materials 10 April 2008 14:46 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas in solidarity with Tibet will not attend the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, but will allow the Baltic nation to participate in the Olympics.

"Possibly as a sign of solidarity with Tibet, state leaders should not attend the opening of the Olympic Games," Baltic News Service quoted Kirkilas as saying Thursday.

"I believe that the Olympic Games should take place, and politics should not be mixed with sports. The idea of the Olympic Games is to preserve world peace. They are attended by various countries of various regimes," Kirkilas said.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus has not decided if he would attend the August 8 opening ceremony, his spokeswoman Rita Grumadaite told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Human rights watch groups urged world leaders not to attend the opening ceremony in protest against the Chinese government's actions in Tibet.