Thursday, August 14, 2008

China's police state Olympics - the 'no fun' games

The IOC have still to justify their abject failure to ensure China fulfills its commitments on human rights and press freedom.

Citizens are nowhere to be found at these soulless games. PLA units in civvies were deployed to contrive a human presence in areas such as the cycling route, but it did'nt fool anyone. Party apparatchiks have obviously been issued large swags of tickets, but only show up when China is a key participant.

Rights to protest have been denied the citizenry, despite claims to the contrary by the regime. Any foreigner who deigns to raise a voice of protest is quashed ruthlessly. A British journalist covering a 'free Tibet' protest has been roughed up by secret police.

Let's face it, this is a police state that denies its citizens the rights people in progressive democracies take for granted. It cannot abide criticism, although it clearly has inordinate power. It is an immature body politic that is insecure and lacking self-confidence in its image of itself.

Despite the synchronized extravaganza of the opening ceremony, one got the feeling that key areas of the China narrative were suppressed. However, the cultural chips are on full display. A young girl was'nt allowed to sing at the ceremony because she was not pretty enough.

Echoes of the cultural revolution can be heard resounding through the empty spaces and seats that are characterizing these Games, bereft of real people and closely guarded by the regime's praetorian guard. Armoured vehicles outside the media centre is an abiding image that a studied eye cannot missconstrue.

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