BEIJING (AFP) — Sting, Dave Matthews and a host of other music stars have added their voices to the pro-Tibet movement on a potentially sensitive album for China ahead of the Beijing Olympics, promoters said.
Other artists involved in the project, entitled: "Songs for Tibet", include Moby, Alanis Morissette, John Mayer and Suzanne Vega, the International Campaign for Tibet said in a press release received here Tuesday.
"This album will focus people's attention on the importance of Tibet, the gifts of its culture, and the crisis the Tibetan people are facing today," said one of the album's organisers, Michael Wohl.
The album is due for global release on iTunes on August 5, three days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It will then be available through other outlets the following week, the statement said.
Wohl, from the Art of Peace Foundation, said the timing of the release was deliberate.
"We wanted to express our support for the Tibetan people and their message of peace through music, a fundamental means of expression, at a time when the eyes of the world are on China," he said.
Many groups critical of China's rule of Tibet are seeking to use the Olympics to highlight their concerns and express their support for the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
One group is urging athletes at the Olympics to make a simple T hand signal to indicate support for the Tibetan cause.
In March this year, Icelandic artist Bjork earned the ire of Chinese authorities when she yelled "Tibet" several times during a concert in Shanghai. Beijing later said it would toughen restrictions on foreign performers.
China has ruled Tibet since 1951, a year after sending troops in to "liberate" the Himalayan region.
Many in Tibet, as well as the Dalai Lama who fled his homeland in 1959, say its people have suffered widespread political, cultural and religious repression under Chinese rule.
Protests in Tibet against Chinese rule erupted in March, and China was condemned internationally for its ensuing security crackdown that Tibetan exiles said left more than 200 people dead.
China insists its forces killed just one person, and have blamed Tibetan "rioters" for killing 21 people.
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