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Current Affairs > Tibet and China (and the Olympic Games)

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message 1: by Tim (last edited Mar 17, 2008 05:22PM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
"Hundreds dead in Tibet unrest: parliament-in-exile"

"Chinese troops parade handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in trucks"

"China blocks media due to Tibet unrest"

"China blocks YouTube"

" Foreigners barred from Tibet, mass arrests reported"

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman claimed: ""No bullet has been fired. No lethal weapon has been used. The Chinese government has nothing to conceal"


When a nation bans foreign journalists and blocks and censors access to independent media you know the shit has and is about to hit the fan. I wonder how so many have died when no lethal weapons have been used :(

While i am in general against foreign involvement in domestic affairs, I do feel that we can certainly voice our concern and anger that liberties are being so harshly stamped upon. One thing we can do is boycott the Olympics in China, and Chinese products.

message 2: by Tim (last edited Mar 17, 2008 05:44PM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
Well the deadline has passed for Tibetan protesters involved in an uprising against Chinese rule to give themselves up.

Tibet borders are effectively sealed while China seeks to clean up house. They are perversely offering rewards for citizens to report on other citizens to find out the protesters..

Here is hoping that the Chinese promise of "harsh" treatment of protesters will not result in widespread murder.

"If these people turn themselves in, they will be treated with leniency within the framework of the law. If these people could provide further information about the involvement of other people in those crimes, then they could be treated even more leniently . . . [otherwise] we will deal with them harshly."

message 3: by Tim (last edited Mar 18, 2008 12:35PM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
I must also point out that the Chinese are claiming that Tibetan protesters have been burning and looting and that they are allegedly responsible for the deaths of some ethic Chinese. It is hard to blindly accept these words from the regime that is seeking to crush the protest. Until and unless we have independent reporters gaining access i fear we will not know many truths.

I do however find it far fetched to believe the claims that the Dalai-Lama is behind and to blame for any violence.. He has however, as in the years past, said that he will resign if violence does not end.

There are some video and image reports actually making it out

"On Tibet Frontlines, Protestors 'Shot Like Dogs'"

Here there are images of bodies of Tibetans, killed in the last days, one can only assume by the paramilitary police.

message 4: by Tim (last edited Mar 21, 2008 07:00AM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
"Thousands of troops are on the streets of the Tibetan capital Lhasa amid reports of a huge military build-up, as China admitted for the first time it had shot Tibetan protesters over the weekend. "

What are your thoughts about China's human rights history, this current oppression in Tibet and the Olympic Games?

Is a full or partial boycott something which should be considered or not?

Are claims that a boycott is a ridiculous idea because it should only be about the athletes and the Games are in no way political..?

Personally, i think the Games are economical and political. I would welcome a full boycott.

The athletes can compete elsewhere, so the excuse that they will miss out could not be easily used to prevent actual consideration of having the balls to boycott China like this.

Cricket and rugby teams have boycotted cricket tours in countries which had human rights abuses, for example.

message 5: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Well, while not being a "sports" girl, I am a rediculous fan of The Olympics. I'll watch anything, ping pong...greco roman wrestling, you name it! But, it is after all, a bunch of people running and jumping and batting balls around and things..."it pales in comparison" fails to describe the nothingness that it is when compared to China's treatment of Tibet. I agree with Seek, a boycot would be a clear message to China...a much needed message from the rest of the world. I agree that charging in there like "The World Police" is not the answer. But, we need China to see more of an example and feel some effects of the rest of the world's view. The bumper stickers, "Free Tibet" just aren't cutting it people. If things remain as they are...I will not watch. It will pain me, but I will not watch a single event! It won't matter in the end, I am sure, whether I watch or not...but watching because of that would be so wrong.

Seek, we can talk about this, bandy it about on the internet all day long, buy more bumper stickers for our SUVs and complain about the "wrongs" we see on news coverage. But, what difference does it make? Just a little girl from Oregon here...what difference can I really make?

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry i've been silent
this needs a political response for sure
and if we (our government) doesn't say anything, it is because of economics
so...definitely we need to boycott all chinese products and manufacturers who outsource and let them know we are boycotting
wouldn't it be nice if our athletes boycotted the olympics?

message 7: by Tim (last edited Mar 22, 2008 08:26AM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
I just heard that last month China actually deported some US citizens who were travelling and made a protest at the base of Mount Everest..

Well said Amy and I agree Maureen.

Another thing to remember is calls a few months ago for boycotts over China's decision to not take any action of the atrocities in Darfur. Stephen Spielberg resigned, in protest, as artistic director to China for the Games. This in turn has led others, like the UK director "Daryl Goodrich, who has just made a promotional film for the Olympics, admits he now questions his involvement in the games."

A couple of things we can do and encourage others to do if they feel the same way:

1. Boycott the Beijing Olympics Sponsors

Offical list here

A blogger who has listed them:

Main names of note:

* Coca-Cola
* General Electric
* Kodak
* McDonald’s
* Panasonic
* Samsung
* Volkswagen
* Johnson & Johnson
* Adidas
* Air China
* Budweiser
* Snickers

2. If the olympic flame ceremony comes near you, protest there. A brief news piece about protest plans in Greece at the start of the ceremony.

3. Support athlets who have the balls to stand up and make some form of protest. A german pole vaulter intends to do this. She is brave and sadly i doubt many will join her.

4. If you blog, blog about it. Citizen journalism is something we can do, every piece of writing increases the odds of others becoming aware and possibly also protesting.

5. Support politicians who have the balls to make a stand.

"European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering urged politicians to consider boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games to protest against China's crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet in which dozens may have died."

"French diplomat talks about boycotting Olympics' opening ceremonies" Even if he falls short of calling for a full boycott, at least he is bringing up the issue.

6. Write to your countries olympic committee, letting them know how you feel.

7. Write to athletes, letting them know how you feel.

There is a little article posted in the Guardian and some of the commentators then discuss this.

Some great comments in there that rightly raise the points that who are we to call for a protest when our own countries have equally terrible examples of human rights abuses and illegal actions.

In some ways it pains me to see support for a protest against China (in some ways an easy target) when there are not similar calls for protests over Western nations abuses. *sigh* Be that as it may, one must do what one must do impo. To not act in one instance because of failings previously does not make matters better.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

you get the offensive crown for the day dude

china invaded tibet and killed every lama they could chase down

richard would you please correct this man's history?

message 9: by Tim (last edited Apr 05, 2008 09:36AM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
Chinese police kill eight after opening fire on monks and Tibet protesters. They cried long live the Dalai Lama, then the firing started

In brief:

Chinese police raided a monastery, confiscated phones and desecrated pictures of the Dali Lama. When two monks protested this, they were arrested. The rest of the monks and villagers went to the police camp and protested.. the, police (of which it is reported there were up to 1000) open fire upon and killed protesters.

message 10: by Tim (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
I appreciate your reasoned thoughts Charly and i would tend to agree. However... do you not think there will be a "victory" or some sort of condonement for the Chinese actions in Tibet, if there is no protest?
I think it is ideal that the Games should be free from politics and economics etc, but i dont know that it actually is these days. You are right that perhaps the Games should never have gone there, we are there now though.
I know there was a lot of resistance to sporting boycotts in history, like when South Africa was excluded from rugby and cricket tours. I know that innocent fans and players suffer from this. I can't help thinking however that China will benefit from there being no protest and that that may somehow allow them to feel vindicated.

Then ye hint at.. if we boycott China due to its action, then one should probably boycott the USA and UK's sporting events for its war of aggression in Iraq...

Oh for the days of Games when billions of currency were not spent on it. That very fact makes it political/economic etc

message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
Actually i guess i am being hypocritical..

Human rights abuses should be dealt with through the right channels. Boycotting the Olympics is not necessarily it.

Cheers for helping me see this.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

i think we are entering another era of protest
i say protest everything, everywhere
sacred cows got to go
the olympics are a perfect pulpit because it is a huge pr campaign for the host country
if the citizens can convince their governments to stand up for the tibetans rights
the chinese may convince us to stop our human rights violations
let bush be the hypocrite
let world opinion censure him some more

i guess i am saying that shutting up because there is blood on my hands doesn't do anyone any good
so i can't look at myself in the mirror on iraq
maybe i can be noble about tibet
maybe if i practice pointing out the mote in your eye
you'll tell me about the beam in mine and i'll do something about that too

and i am hollering about iraq so hollering about tibet isn't hypocritical on a personal level
maybe if i can find my voice about one abuse
i can find my voice about another

message 13: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 67 comments Wow, I just joined this group today and
was excited to see this discussion.

I asked a question about the Olympics
on Linkedin. I thought you might be interested
in seeing some of the answers.

With Joy, Colleen

message 14: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) Charly, I just keep looking at the impressive smog hanging in the air, and all the man-made lakes. They really went all-out for this! But Usain Bolt takes the cake, I love watching him cruise across the finish line like it's some kind of game!

I don't think boycotting an Olympic games is ever a great idea, or a productive one - would it really force the media to stay home too? In a free economy, could you even stop them?

The only time where politics and ethics enters into it is when the IOC is deciding who gets the next Olympics. I remember something about Beijing being constantly refused the Olympics because of their poor human rights record, but in the end the IOC caved to their persistance (or was it something else?).

It's up to the IOC to make a political stand with dishing out the Games, and the only time when it could matter to the hopeful-host country - like the EU forcing countries like Turkey to clean up their act before letting them join. Denying athletes their chance, after years of training, to compete seems grossly unfair and wouldn't do a thing towards helping the Tibetans shake off the yoke of Chinese authoritarinism.

That said, I wish more pressure had been put on China, but they're utterly unapologetic. They want to create a good impression to the world about their country - but replacing that little girl who sang at the opening ceremony with a prettier one does not give me a good impression of their values.

message 15: by Kristjan, Ye Olde Bard of Fate (new)

Kristjan (booktroll) | 51 comments Mod
Shannon said: I remember something about Beijing being constantly refused the Olympics because of their poor human rights record, but in the end the IOC caved to their persistance (or was it something else?).

I believe that the IOC thought that the games would encourage China to change because of the increased World attention and their desire to make a good impression. It is not the first time the West has failed to fully understand the Chinese society.

message 16: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) I was listening to the radio this morning - they were talking about the controversy regarding the ages of two of the Chinese Gymnasts - and they said something like "300 democracies in the world and they give the games to the only dictatorship" and "after China got the games the IOC handed over control to the Chinese Government", so the IOC has had no involvement in the Beijing Olympics, I guess.

Kristjan, I think so - is the IOC naive or what? ;)

message 17: by Kristjan, Ye Olde Bard of Fate (last edited Aug 22, 2008 01:12PM) (new)

Kristjan (booktroll) | 51 comments Mod
Shannon Kristjan, I think so - is the IOC naive or what? ;)

They certainly seem to be in this case ... of course, when Iraq disbanded a reportedly corrupt National Olympic Committee, the first thing the IOC did was bann Iraq from the games stating that they would not tolerate government interference? Right ... 'cause the IOC is so obviously above politics I want to scream sometimes.

message 18: by Wendy (last edited Aug 23, 2008 06:56AM) (new)

Wendy (wendywins) | 103 comments One thing I would toss in is that I would be surprised if there are not CIA folk ON Olympic committees.

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