Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Technorati labels this blog "403 Forbidden" - is that because of criticism of China and support for the Dalai Lama?

Now what is this all about? I hope this has nothing to do with China's aversion to press freedom and open criticism of its egregious human rights record!

It is curious that official hectoring of critics has become more strident and pro-China supporters more fanatical the closer we get to this tarnished Olympics. The IOC must be alarmed that China obviously hoodwinked the movement to win the games and is now rubbing its collective noses in it. Did'nt the criteria for awarding the games include improvements on the human rights front and greater press freedoms?

The world has been subjected to rent-a-crowd spectacles of unrestrained hyper-nationalism, which has left a sour taste at all stops along the way, except of course in supplicant client states. The Chinese populace should have been free to celebrate these games in an atmosphere of cultural pride and international inclusion.

Rather, the repressive policies and strategies of the regime have exposed China to opprobrium. We have been regaled with a latter day version of the red brigades stamping on dissent and shouting down opposition.

If this was to be an open platform for China to showcase her economic and cultural wares and to progress her claims for due recognition as a good international citizen, it is failing on all fronts. Propaganda and dissembling shadow plays don't work. They might satisfy a quiescent and credulous population yearning for international respect, but this is not the way. What a shame!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

China has some serious choices to make

Decades of Han Chinese migration to Tibet, accompanied by a swathe of discriminatory social engineering policies toward ethnic Tibetans, including religious persecution, inequitable economic development and cultural marginalization, have amounted to a form of cultural genocide. The number of deaths associated with state policies are unknown but believed to be above a million.

The absolute denial of basic rights to Tibetans is a terrible tragedy that the international community has failed to address. The tired polemic that China swept aside feudalism and brought modernity to Tibet is somehow meant to justify the savage suppression of a whole people reduced to second class citizens in their own land. The claim that Tibet is part of China is where the lie began.

China should never have been awarded the Olympics. You can act now!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blog re-awakes - the plight of Tibet and China's propaganda must be exposed

I have decided to break out of a short hibernation to focus on the situation in Tibet. China has a capacity for greatness but if it continues down the current path of authoritarianism, suppression of human rights and press freedoms, its reputation will be irreparably sullied. China can choose the path of righteousness and be a force for positive change in world affairs or it can continue down the dark path of the repressive bully.

It is alarming to see the vehemence with which young, educated, middle class Chinese have attacked critics of China's Tibet policy. They have been served a carefully managed diet of state-sponsored propaganda on Tibet, such that fair-minded and well-intentioned Chinese are under the impression that Western media reporting on Tibetan protests is biased and distorted. Under the misapprehension they're defending their national dignity, young people in China today are just as misled as the cultural revolution youth gangs of the past.

Of course, switched on human rights activists in China are doing their brave best to counter the upsurge in jingoistic rantings by the state machine and a credulous populace, but it is a losing battle given the state's information controls and media manipulation.