Bjork backs Tibetan independence during Shanghai concert like she did for the Faroes

WTN -jb-

Monday, March 03, 2008

Shanghai - Icelandic pop singer Bjork backed independence for Tibet during her concert on Sunday in Shanghai. She called out "Tibet! Tibet!" followed by the songs line 'Raise your flag!' to end a passionate performance of her song "Declare Independence"

Her protest at the Shanghai International Gymnastics Centre is likely to anger China's communist government, which has previously expelled foreigners for making public protests in favour of Tibetan independence.

The words 'Raise your flag' are part of the standard lyrics of the song (see below).

At a similar concert in Tokyo, Japan, last week, Bjork dedicated her performance of 'Declare independence' to supporting Kosovo's declaration of independence. This statement concerning Kosovo led organizers of a Serbian music festival planned for July to drop her from the lineup, citing security fears.

The Icelandic singer initially dedicated "Declare independence" to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which still have formal links to Denmark. The video for the song shows her in clothing bearing their flags. Its lyrics include: "Don't let them do that to you. Raise your flag! and her video for the song shows her in a jumpsuit bearing the flags of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, far-flung territories controlled by Denmark.

Her Shanghai protest came as several Tibetan independence groups are running high-profile campaigns to promote their cause ahead of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against the occupation of Tibet by Chinese troops since 1951. He remains as popular as ever among ordinary Tibetans. China's 58-year rule over the formerly independent mountain nation of Tibet has drawn frequent condemnation from foreign governments and activists, often inciting a prickly nationalism among the Chinese government and ordinary people. Many Tibetans consider the exiled Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as their rightful leader. Most Tibetans support calls by the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's highest leader, for greater autonomy for Tibet within China, although many still favour independence.

Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the London-based Free Tibet Movement, said the group was delighted by her remarks, contrasting them with Gordon Brown and David Miliband's "shameful" decision not to raise the issue publicly on their recent visits to Beijing.

"Speaking out while in China has shown it is perfectly possible to make a high-profile visit and raise the ongoing plight of the Tibetan people," he said.

First, Stephen Spielberg upset Chinese internet users after resigning as artistic adviser to the Olympics over Darfur. Now, Bjork is under attack after her outcry "Tibet! Tibet!" at the end of her song, made the Chinese rightfully uneasy. Her remark and the incident are oppressed in the official Chinese media.

Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGC0VVobi6E

declare independence

Lyrics by Bjork

'Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
(Justice)
Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
(Justice)

Start your own currency!
Make your own stamp
Protect your language

Declare independence
Don't let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don't let them do that to you

[x4] Make your own flag!

[x6] Raise your flag! (Higher, higher!)

Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!

Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!

Damn colonists
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes

Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!

With a flag and a trumpet
Go to the top of your highest mountain!

And raise your flag! (Higher, higher!)
[x5] Raise your flag! (Higher, higher!)

Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don't let them do that to you!

Raise the flag!'


 

 

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