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UN chief not to attend Olympics opening ceremony
April 11, 2008 00:45 IST
Ban's spokesperson Marie Okabe said on Thursday that the UN chief would not be able to make it to Beijing in August due to 'scheduling problems'.
Ban had been invited by China but the Secretary-General "conveyed to the Chinese government some months ago that he may not be in a position to attend this important event as a result of scheduling issues", Okabe said.
Several human rights and activist groups have urged the world leaders not to participate in the ceremony to protest against repression in Tibet [Images] and failure of the Chinese government to pressure its close ally Sudan to end the genocide in Darfur.