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Mackeben rows back on robe protest


MACKEBEN OF GERMANY CELEBRATES HIS GOAL AGAINST RUSSIA AT THE WATER POLO OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFICATION …A German water polo player who had earlier this year floated the idea of his team wearing orange robes a symbolic protest at the Olympics against China’s Tibet has changed his mind, saying the Tibet issue is far too complex and that he knows too little about China to organise such a demonstration.

Soeren Mackeben, 29, told Der Spiegel news magazine this week:  “I’ve become more sceptical towards all sides in the meantime.” Mackeben had first proposed wearing the orange robes — the same colour as the Tibetan monks — in an interview in March.   

“I was asking during an interview about the events in Tibet what sort of protest I could envision and that’s when I mentioned the robes,” Mackeben said. “That naturally had quite an echo in the media. In the meantime, I’ve learned that the issue is too complex to take a clear position on it.”

Mackeben said he did not know enough about China, even after studying the issue and paying a visit to China’s ambassador to Germany in Berlin.