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Outrageous Happenings in Tibet: Boycott the Olympics Outrageous Happenings in Tibet: Boycott the Olympics
by Alexandra Pereira
2008-03-19 10:20:34
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Every citizen of the supposedly democratic western and eastern, northern and southern countries should not only be shocked, but also show his/her repulsion towards the recent happenings in Lhasa and the almost 60-year-old occupation of Tibet by China, following abominable policies of ethnicl genocide and religious and cultural erasure.

240pxflag_of_tibetThere is blood dropping from the “Roof of the World”!

Public opinions and opinion-makers around the world should unite to the struggle of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama, and show their respect for an admirable culture and history and the rights of Tibetans once and for all. Economic values can’t overcome human values anywhere, and they certainly can’t smash human rights. The whole world is connected, there is no flight site – for as high or isolated as it is. And it’s our responsibility (of each and every one of us) to announce we don’t admit illegal occupations, ethnicl and cultural cleansings.

tibet_400Boycott the Olympics

With all its marketing campaigns, the Chinese government can’t outstep the truth. And blaming the Dalai Lama is not any far from ridiculous. Strange “Liberation” ordered by Mao Zedong in 1949-50: it became one of the most shameful and horrifying occupations. Strange “make up” of Nixon with Mao: it meant giving permission to a brutal genocide.

It isn’t but our duty, even because of past faults and indifference, to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics. During the second half of the 20th century, the Dalai Lama would become one of the most venerable living symbols of freedom and peace worldwide, and also Buddhism gathered many more followers, thanks to its teachings of wisdom and moderation, understanding, inner and outer knowledge and... non-violence.

National parliaments should be urged to manifest their repulse and disagreement with the Chinese repression of Tibet. Politicians and leaders should assume a very clear, determined position, instead of cowardly mumbling something on human rights.

Where I am from, the Portuguese public opinion already found a slogan to express its own disgust: “There’s a Timor which doesn’t gaze the sea – Freedom for Tibet!”, or even more audaciously: “We did it for Timor, we’re going to do it for Tibet!!” Let’s cross our fingers and speak it out. People are here, on the other side of Europe, deeply revolted and strongly upset with these recent infamous news.


    
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Asa2008-03-19 10:38:52
You must marvel at China's naivety at not seeing all this coming. Of course Tibet are doing this in the Olympic year, since it certainly makes a stronger statement - Taiwan and Tibet should tag team.


Thanos2008-03-19 10:45:04
On todays news: more than 100 people have turned themselves in to Chinese police following the anti-China riots in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa.
No more comments!


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-19 10:49:06
“Economic values can’t overcome human values anywhere, and they certainly can’t smash human rights.”

I am afraid that the so called People’s Republic of China which is neither a republic nor does it belong to the people is out to unmask the hypocrisy of the West and prove that indeed economic values can trump human values and human rights. After all, is human rights are not inalienable and inherent in a human nature as created by a Creator, then logically it is the almighty state that grants them or withholds them at whim; which is to say: might makes right. There was a US President, Jimmy Carter, who called for and obtained the boycott of the Olympics when the former Soviet Union (another people’s republic) invaded Afghanistan. He is not considered a good president because he put too much emphasis on human rights and less on economic values. Will that boycotting feat be repeated in the name of common decency? Perhaps, but I am not too sanguine about it, and the reasons for such the skepticism were expressed in a rather lengthy article just two days ago. In its light, I for one cannot but conclude that our brave new world will now declare pious pronouncements about the abuse of human rights and do absolutely nothing. I hope I am wrong!

P.S. An historical footnote: in 1949 Nixon was not even vice-president yet.


AP2008-03-19 12:39:27
I have one comment, Mr. Thanos: they turned themselves in dead or alive?


AP2008-03-19 12:42:41
Mr. Paparella, another "footnote":
"The CIA funded a secret guerrilla war [in Tibet] until President Richard Nixon decided to make up with Mao in 1969"


Thanos2008-03-19 13:32:52
That was my question as well Mr. AP and I presume they are going for intensive ...education!!!


AP2008-03-19 14:01:19
It's Miss AP LOL Alexandra Pereira


AP2008-03-19 14:09:57
Yes, FREEDOM for one of the most peaceful cultures of Humanity.


Nunobark2008-03-19 14:14:00
"Economic values can’t overcome human values anywhere, and they certainly can’t smash human rights" well, actually they do overcome human values and it's not only in China. You just have too look for the difference (in the living standards) between the poor and the rich, even in a world that produces enough food to surpass the nutritional needs of every human being alive we still can see millions of people starving to death. In China they have anti-riot police, in the west we have prozac and corporate misinformation (and when things get rough we also have anti-riot police), the method is different but the aim isn't that different. We are all living in a world where money speaks louder than life (just look at the environmental crisis) and we should all feel ashamed.


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-19 14:26:19
Ms. Pereira, true enough about the CIA secretely conducting covert operations against China's Communist government, but still not true that Nixon had anything to do with that in 1949. When Kissinger established the entent with China to divide it from the Soviet Union he should have known he was bargaining with the devil who had said to the Dai Lalama's face that "religion is poison" and intended to destroy Tibetan culture. But he was more interested in power games (which he called the ultimate aphrodisiac) then in human rights. Mr. Nunobank, you are on target: we should all be ashamed in the West as we go around preaching to our ex colonies. Indeed we reap what we sow. Your silence on Jimmy Carter's effective call for a boycott is also intriguing.


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-19 14:39:34
P.S. Another historical footnote:


In 1904, the British sent an Indian military force under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Younghusband, which, after some fighting, occupied Lhasa. In response, the Chinese foreign ministry asserted that China was sovereign over Tibet, the first clear statement of such a claim.

So, as the other article of today makes clear the Chines have been imitating some of the worst features of Western colonialism for a long while now. Communism itself is a Western ideology which declares religion "the opium of the people."





AP2008-03-19 14:45:41
Yes Asa, it's an Olympic Year, shame on the rest of the world for not having "cared" about what was going on there for almost 60 years. 1/6 of Tibet's population was killed by the Chinese, 80% of Tibetans now living in Tibet are illiterate and more than 6.000 monasteries have been demolished by the Chinese. Tibetans became a very tightely watched minority in their own country due to Chinese migration policies and they can't speak to foreigners about. Tibetans are very often arrest and tortured in an arbitrary way, due to their religion or any sort of demonstration against the Chinese occupation. Any activity related with politics or human rights, even if peaceful, is punished with life sentence or death sentence. The Tibetans are condemned because of having a picture of the Dalai Lama, holding the national flag or shouting "Free Tibet" in peaceful demonstrations, glueing posters, translating to Tibetan, divulging the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or simply talking about the situation of human rights in Tibet with tourists or foreign journalists. More than that, the ecosystem of Tibet's upland has been destroyed and is today used by China for nuclear weapons' production, a risk for the entire planet.


AP2008-03-19 14:57:46
Mr. Paparella:
No one was talking about Nixon "in 1949", except you! How about calling for a Boycott NOW, to the Games??


AP2008-03-19 15:41:00
Just to underline once again: latest credible reports talk about at least 80-100 dead people in Lhasa this last weekend. That's not an anti-riot police action, that's a massacre.
Nunobark:
Of course you are right, we should do same thing about Iraq, Guantanamo, ecc.


AP2008-03-19 15:46:06
AND the Darfur!
I'm also really curious to hear about the position of the International Olympic Committee on all this!!


AP2008-03-19 16:27:56
"Chinese Special Representative on the Darfur Issue Liu Guijin recently struck out against calls to boycott the Beijing Olympics. At a press conference held earlier this month upon Mr. Liu's return from his fourth trip to Sudan, a reporter asked him a question about calls for boycotting the Beijing Olympics because China was not doing enough to help end the violence in Darfur. Mr. Liu responded, "... for those few who attempt to tarnish the Olympic Games on the pretext of issues totally unrelated to the Olympics, like the Darfur issue, we are firmly opposed to such attempts."

Similarly, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi maintains that China is opposed to the "politicization" of the Beijing Olympics by trying to link the Games with human rights abuses occurring in places such as Darfur and Tibet. An Associated Press reporter recently asked Mr. Yang about the Chinese government's opposition to the politicization of the Beijing Olympics. Mr. Yang responded, "... not to politicize the Olympic Games is what is laid down in the Olympic Charter. Those people who attack China often talk about the importance of abiding by laws and regulations. Then why are they openly violating the relevant provisions of the Olympic Charter?" One implication Mr. Yang is apparently making in this statement is that China does not mix politics with the Olympics. A look back in the history of Olympic boycotts is instructive here. As it turns out, China has actually boycotted the Olympic Games twice."


AP2008-03-19 16:36:57
The excert above is by Eric Sears.

"Some 100 exiles and their supporters ran through central Tokyo's Yoyogi park relaying the "Tibetan Olympics" torch and waving flags while shouting "Free Tibet"."
More on this issue can be read here:
http://www.tibetanolympics.com


Chris2008-03-19 18:00:00
Thank you, Alexandra. Even in Tibetan dynastic times (7-9th ct. AD), there was a tension in Tibet between those in favor of Chinese alliance and those in favor of Indian and Perisa alliance. In our day the PRC has annexed Tibet. Over the years the Dalai Lama's voice of patience, tolerance, and non-violence has been strong enough to keep many angry Tibetans from going that way. It is difficult to know if the DL has lost his voice in stoping those who would use violence to gain freedom. It is difficult to know what outside powers, for or against the PRC in Tibet, are in motion. I saw a clip of a Tibetan regee band singing Bob Marley's "Stand Up for Your Rights" a couple of days ago, and they did not sound pacificistic. I saw a guy on the news in America say that the Tibetans are only guaranteeing further torture and clampdowns by making a problem. America's concern with Tibet is long-lived, as has been noted. I don't know if America has anything to gain by helping the Tibetans at this time. China considers Tibetan issues "internal affairs," and not topics for diplomacy. What can be done?


AP2008-03-19 20:19:35
Thank you for your comment, Chris.
Dear Chris, it is obviously very easy, for as pacificist as a culture/people might be, that after 60 years of continuous oppression, murder, torture, exile, obstruction of access to basic education and health and an almost complete cultural and religious genocide some aggressive impulses might arise among the Tibetans, nevertheless one should never, ever obliterate that we are here talking about one of the most peaceful cultures on Earth, and about Buddhists! The Dalai Lama has had an amazingly clever and clear position towards this, with his continuous peace appeals. The lineage of Dalais goes all the way back to 1391, a time when the Europeans didn't even dream of America and Spain was facing anti-Jewish riots. Tibetan culture is a deeply threatened one, as one of the future dangers (among all the others) is that the Chinese government wants to choose the next Dalai Lama when Tenzin Gyatso dies (and has been doing all the efforts for that matter).


AP2008-03-19 20:49:09
"I don't know if America has anything to gain by helping the Tibetans at this time"
Well, in Portuguese Constitution, as in most democratic countries, we have consacrated the right of different people and cultures to self-determination and freedom (from colonialism, exploitation, violence, genocide and human rights' abuse). I think that's the case of America as well?
"What can be done?"
ANY INTERVENTION IN FAVOR OF TIBET SHOULD BE PACIFICIST, OF COMMON CITIZENS AGAINST INDIFFERENCE (OF THEIR GOVERNMENTS, OF THE UN, OF INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS), AS WELL AS STRONGLY DIPLOMATIC. In the US, you should strongly and publicly support people like Richard Gere, who have been denouncing these crimes for years, and other peace activists as well. People can do demonstrations (something they can't in Tibet) to pressure their governments to assume clear positions and the action of the UN. To boycott the Olympics is a pacificist measure but very determined one politically. People can demand this from their Olympic Delegations as well. Tibetan translators and teachers have such a fundamental role!! As well as most Tibet Culture houses and Tibetan Buddhism practicers spread around the world! But beware: this is a COMMON CITIZEN STRUGGLE ABOVE ALL!





AP2008-03-19 21:07:00
"There are a growing number of communities and organizations that support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics due to China's abysmal human rights record both at home and abroad. The Chinese government has been particularly sensitive about calls for an Olympics boycott. This is understandable; China has worked hard to engineer the Beijing Olympics as its grand entry onto the twenty-first century stage as a harmonious and peaceful emerging world power."
---> still the excerpt of an article by Eric Sears


AP2008-03-19 21:54:11
"When the International Olympic Committee assigned the 2008 summer Olympic Games to Beijing on 13 July 2001, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Six years later, nothing has changed. But despite the absence of any significant progress in free speech and human rights in China, the IOC’s members continue to turn a deaf ear to repeated appeals from international organisations that condemn the scale of the repression.
From the outset, Reporters Without Borders has been opposed to holding the Olympic Games to Beijing. (...) Around 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s. (...) Several thousands of Falungong followers have been jailed since the movement was banned and at least 100 have died in detention.
A short while later, it was the turn of then Vice-President Hu Jintao (now president) to argue that after the Beijing “triumph,” it was “crucial to fight without equivocation against the separatist forces orchestrated by the Dalai Lama and the world’s anti-China forces.” In the west of the country, where there is a sizeable Muslim minority, the authorities in Xinjiang province executed Uyghurs for “separatism.” (...) Every year, several thousand Chinese are executed in public, often in stadiums, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck or lethal injection [due to Chinese "Hit Hard" campaign against crime]."




AP2008-03-19 21:57:21
"The IOC cannot remain silent any longer (...) And anyway, it is China that has taken the games and the Olympic spirit hostage, with the IOC’s complicity. The world sports movement must now speak out and call for the Chinese people to be allowed to enjoy the freedoms it has been demanding for years. The Olympic Charter says sport must be “at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” Athletes and sports lovers have the right and the duty to defend this charter. The IOC should show some courage and should do everything possible to ensure that Olympism’s values are not freely flouted by the Chinese organisers. (...) And the IOC should not bow to the commercial interests of all those who regard China as a vital market in which nothing should be allowed to prevent them from doing business."






AP2008-03-19 21:58:41
"Reporters Without Borders calls on the National Olympic Committees, the IOC, athletes, sports lovers and human rights activists to publicly express their concern about the countless violations of every fundamental freedom in China."

--> From the site of Reporters Without Borders, here:
http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=174



Simon2008-03-19 22:11:57
China is in for a rough few months.


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-20 13:57:04

There are three demands that the Tibetans have made and which explains their protest: 1) first and foremost a demand for greater religious freedom, 2) secondly, independence for a deeply Buddhist Hymalian region which considers religion integral part of their heritage and culture, 3) finally, the return of their legitimate spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

It is intriguing to me that in the above exchanges, and the dust and noise raised around them, not once the deep-seated causes for the demonstrations in Tibet have been clearly mentioned and calmly discussed. In lending our moral support to the demonstrating lamas and Tibetan people (for that is the least we can do, and by all means we should do it!) does it not behoove us to first know clearly what they are demonstrating about so that we may later assess how successful those demonstrations and our moral support for them have been? Which is to say, is our support motivated by empathy for the plight of the Tibetan people or by our activism on behalf of abstract civil and human rights? Whichever it is, we ought to be clear-headed about our conscious or unconscious motivations.


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-20 14:08:39
The last sentence in the call for boycott of Reporters without Borders are worth transcribing here:

"Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky’s outraged comment about the holding of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow - “Politically, a grave error; humanly, a despicable act; legally, a crime” - remains valid for 2008."

Hence Jimmy Carter's stance vis a vis human rights ought to be remembered and emulated not only by reporters without borders but everybody else. For indeed, those who forget their history are condemmned to repeat it.



AP2008-03-20 15:25:20
Mr. Paparella:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.


Emanuel Paparella2008-03-20 15:50:23
Ms.Pereira,
I could's agree more. That is something that Jimmy Carter seemed to know and Nixon and Kissinger misguidedly ignored. Indeed, we always reap what we sow but we should be clear about the seeds of what we sow so that we will not be surprised later at the fruits we reap. When Mao told the Dai Lalama "religion is poison" we should have known from that seed what the fruits would be. We are reaping them now, sixty years later.


Sand2008-03-20 16:23:05
Nice that Carter is getting approval. Especially since he characterized Israel's treatment of Palestinians as apartheid.


Linda L2008-03-23 06:48:35


Somehow, I thought this reminded me of what Tibet would feel like as a free place, with freedom of speech and religion, sort of floating up like a sky flower.

What is less obvious is how China's invasion of Tibet has colored my life. 29 years of studying the extrodinary lamas' revered methods, seeing our world through their global view, within a completely universal framework. They are ruthlessly loving.

You may ask - why don't the Tibetans still in Tibet just leave their ancient homeland, leave their farms and houses, and friends? They can not under fear of death. Many fewer Tibetan snuck across their southern borders to nations such as Nepal. There is real fear. We do not recognize them as refugees, and therefore they can not obtain passports in most cases except illegally.

China is trying to paint her face like an old lady to appear young, or in this case from brutal ruler to a forward thinking host of the Olympics. It appears the effort has backfired.

From the Tibetans living in Nepal, and foreign business people on my last trip there in Oct-Nov, if you travel just 30 KM outside of the Olympic Games area, there exists extreme poverty. IN the Himalyan borders the soldiers shoot first, never ask questions.

I lucked ouf because the Chinese invaded Tibet. I benefited because China was power hungery.

How I made this image= at work a couple of weeks I've been waiting for my software to arrive. So I made this, in stages as I learned another graphics package. Easy.

Among other things I was warned not to discuss religion - one lama told me that Americans have freedom of religion, but they don't believe in freedom of religion.


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2042/2349490274_86cfe1f7fe.jpg


Sand2008-03-23 07:00:24
Since one of the fundamentals of any religion is that it has formulated the only correct view of the universe and that any other view is inherently an attack on that view there is a basic antagonism built into any religion against any other religion. It is an unshakable difficulty between religions and causes terrible problems.


LL2008-03-23 07:11:33
Good point - except in an universal religion which believes that everything is empty of inherent existance. Pretty difficult to enforce that.


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