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Posts Tagged ‘Tibet’

Olympic torch lit despite protest

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 24, 2008

Olympic Torch Relay ProtestThe Olympic torch has been lit at a ceremony in Greece that was briefly disrupted by pro-Tibet activists. Protesters from media rights group Reporters Without Borders broke through the cordon of 1,000 police officers in Olympia as China’s envoy spoke.Activists had vowed to protest over the violence in and around Tibet.The torch will now be carried around Greece before being sent to China to start a journey through 20 countries, returning to Beijing on 8 August.

The route includes the torch being taken to the top of Mount Everest and through Tibet.

See map of Olympic torch relay route

As Liu Qi, head of the Beijing Olympic organising committee, spoke ahead of the torch lighting, three men broke into the ceremony venue.

One ran up behind him attempting to display a black flag depicting the Olympic rings made from handcuffs.

The men were from the France-based media rights watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders, or RSF), which has called for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the games. More…


Posted in Olympics 2008 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good Call from Nancy Pelosi

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 21, 2008

A senior US lawmaker, Nancy Pelosi, has called for an independent investigation into China’s claims that the Dalai Lama instigated the violence in Tibet.
Dalai Lama and Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi and Dalai Lama

Ms Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, also called on the international community to denounce Chinese rule in Tibet.

She spoke out while holding talks in northern India with the Dalai Lama.

The Chinese authorities are continuing to tighten security following days of protests by Tibetans.

China says 16 people have been killed by rioters in Lhasa, the main city. The Tibetan government-in-exile – headed by the Dalai Lama, regarded by many Tibetans as their spiritual leader – says at least 99 people have died in the crackdown by Chinese troops.

The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world
Nancy Pelosi

Chinese officials have accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of organising violent clashes in Tibet in an attempt to sabotage this summer’s Beijing Olympics and promote Tibetan independence.

This is a nice and accurate call by Nancy Pelosi, the question is if the International Community will heed this call. China’s Human Rights violations in Tibet, and its accusations against the Dalai Lama has been going on since the 1950’s, and nothing has basically been done by the UN or others. Why would it be any different this time? I agree that something has to be done, but I don’t know who would have the power and strength to do that, except the US, and they are in bed with China on this issue. The US will not Iraq China, simply because they have nothing to gain – no oil, no other natural resources the US can grab as their reward. It maybe that Pelosi is a democrat, and someone I like and wouldn’t mind as the President of the United States, but not even a democrat in the White House will make any difference for Tibet.

China has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, so an independent investigation conducted by the UN will not happen – all China has to do is use their Veto, and nothing will come of it, even if the other members (minus the US) votes for an investigation.

What might work are sanctions, trade embargoes and diplomatic pressure. However, since China is a Totalitarian State, we would most likely see what we saw in Iraq – the general population suffering, rather than the Leaders, and we know that the Chinese People is already poor and suffering from the actions of their leaders. So all we can hope for is that keeping focus on China, internationally, supporting the dissenters and natural political evolution will eventually make China a democratic nation.

Posted in China/Tibet | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Activist Choice

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 19, 2008

I received this in my mailbox today:
Boycott Bejing
Big, nice and strong. The sender asks me to boycott the Olympic Games in Bejing. A request I respect although I am not going to do that. There are many reasons for this, however the most prominent reason is that SILENCE and IGNORING isn’t going to change anything. Focusing the world’s spotlights on China, its Human Rights Violations and speaking up during the Games, will eventually give results.
Another reason is that if I were to resort to boycott as a means of protest against human rights violations, I would have to boycott every country in the world, stop eating anything I have not grown myself (including not using any seeds grown elsewhere than in my own garden, which I do not have) and possibly move to a non-existent island somewhere, G-d knows where. I believe that there are other ways and other means to protest and achieve my goals.
Will I be silent? No. Will I stay away from the Games? No. I plan on be blogging about the Games and about the Human Rights violations that takes place in China during the time of the Games. So many people are not aware of what takes place in China. Media will not be silent – see even if the media representatives in China cannot say anything, the media out-side China have no obligation to be silent, and I doubt it will. People who are not normally interested will be informed, awareness will reach out into homes world-wide, where China at best is known for making cheap toys at worst is a white spot on the map.
If, and only if, the entire world chose to implement a sports embargo on China, like it did with the Republic of South Africa, then we would be talking about measures that would work in the way boycotters wish. Against such measures I have no objection. I just wish there would have been a movement PRIOR to the IOC suggesting that China host the Olympic Games in 2008.
I think my choice to not boycott, but instead intensify my vocal protest is as much activism against human rights violations as that of those who chose to boycott.

Posted in China/Tibet | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chinese Target Practice

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 17, 2008

At least 80 people have been killed in unrest following protests by Tibetans against Chinese rule, the Tibetan government in exile says. Indian-based officials said the figure was confirmed by several sources, even though China put the death toll at 10.

The Dalai Lama called for an international inquiry into China’s crackdown, accusing it of a “rule of terror” and “cultural genocide”.

Chinese troops were out in force in Lhasa, Tibet’s main city, on Sunday.

Chinese Target Practice

Hong Kong Cable TV reported that about 200 military vehicles, each carrying 40 to 60 armed soldiers, had driven into the city.

Loudspeakers broadcast messages, such as: “Discern between enemies and friends, maintain order.”

China tightly restricts Western journalists’ access to Tibet and it is sometimes extremely difficult to verify what is going on.

This is one of the issues I targeted in Anti-Semitism, A Global Issue as one of the issues that does not get enough attention by Human Rights Groups and Organizations.

2008 is an Olympic Year, and yet the protests and the actions are few and far between. A Free, or at least Autonomous Tibet has been an issue since 1950, almost as long a Israel/Palestine. Yet it has not sparked as much controversy or agitation as Israel/Palestine, especially not in those who most vocally claim to be Guardians of Human Rights for the Downtrodden. It’s pathetic.

Oh, there are a few devout souls of fire who have done more than most, and who relentlessly have brought the plight of the Tibetans to the eye of the world, but China is not being criticized as harshly, or as mercilessly as f.i Israel/Palestine by f.i the Left. The neo-cons will criticize, but their criticism is mostly based in political concerns, rather than in a true sense of out-rage that human rights are being violated. In this respect, the New Left is no better than the Neo-cons when it comes to China and Tibet.

China has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and a veto vote, why it’s really hard to get to China through UN actions. Another reason the UN needs a thorough reform.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) — The president of the International Olympic Committee rejected the idea of boycotting the Summer Games in Beijing over China’s crackdown in Tibet, saying it would only hurt athletes.

Bejing 2008

“We believe that the boycott doesn’t solve anything,” Jacques Rogge told reporters Saturday on this Caribbean island. “On the contrary, it is penalizing innocent athletes and it is stopping the organization from something that definitely is worthwhile organizing.”

Demonstrations against Chinese rule in Tibet on Friday — the most violent riots there in nearly two decades — left at least 30 protesters dead, according to a Tibetan exile group. Tibetan exiles in India reported as many as 100 dead.

China ordered tourists out of Tibet’s capital and troops patrolled the streets on Saturday.

On a six-day tour of the Caribbean, Rogge expressed condolences for the victims and said he hopes calm will be restored immediately. He declined to say whether the committee would change its stance if violence continues or more people are killed.

“The International Olympic Committee has consistently resisted calls for a boycott of the Olympic games,” Rogge said. He declined to comment further on Tibet during a brief news conference.

The head of the Swiss Olympic Committee told state-owned DRS radio that he is against a boycott but wants the IOC to intervene with China over the troubles in Tibet.

“The Rubicon has been crossed,” Joerg Schild said. “I can’t bring myself to say that we’re going to go there and do sport.”

Personally I agree with Rogge on the issue of mixing sports and politics, however I think that it was mistake to even nominate China, and then accepting that it would host an Olympic Game as long as it hasn’t cleaned up its Human Rights record.

Jacques Rogge promised that Human Rights would be high on the priority list when the IOC discussed the 2008 Games with China. He is now going back on his promise – and no “declined to comment further on Tibet during a brief news conference.” I am sorry, Jacques, but you have your rear full of Tibet and China’s Human Rights violations, all because you did not keep your promise.

Olympic Gag Order

British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China’s appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1936 – immediately provoked a storm of protest.

The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes’ contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.

It is contained in a 32-page document that will be presented to all those who reach the qualifying standard and are chosen for the team.

From the moment they sign up, the competitors – likely to include the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips and world record holder Paula Radcliffe – will be effectively gagged from commenting on China’s politics, human rights abuses or illegal occupation of Tibet.

This is a gag-order. As far as I know, Britain isn’t the only country to take this measure. It is a violation in itself of the Athletes’ Freedom of Expression. It also plays into the hands of the Chinese Government as they will see how Democratic Countries deny the Human Rights of it’s citizens.


Posted in China/Tibet | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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