Sunday, July 27, 2008
Can you really forget?
In a little more than a week, the Beijing Olympics will start. I won't be watching. The Chinese have done little to honor the commitment they made, in receiving the hosting of the games, to improve their human rights record.
In 1989, as many as 3000 people [Chinese Red Cross number] may have been killed when the government suppressed the Tiananmen Square Protests. Ten years later, the Chinese cracked down on the Falun Gong movement. This peaceful movement grew rapidly and threatened the government by peaceful protest of thousands of people throughout China. Their movement was banned and suppressed.
The Chinese Communist Government is virtually the only country doing business with the Military Junta of Burma. Chinese silence during the slaughter of Burmese Monks allowed it to continue. China could have shut the Burmese response down, but, apparently aware of the contradiction, they did nothing. The Chinese have their own problems with Buddhist Monks in Tibet. They couldn't very well admonish Burma for doing something they have been doing in territory they claim as their own for years. The recent violence from both sides in Tibet is unfortunate and unhelpful.
Against this backdrop, it was amazing to me China was allowed to host the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee claims it is nonpolitical. By giving the Chinese Communists this venue for whitewashing, they have gone beyond mere politics. In turning a blind eye, they have given the Chinese an undeserved platform for propaganda; let alone the international recognition.
Further, the construction of Olympic Venues has resulted in the destruction of historic neighborhoods in Beijing and the forced evictions of many people. I've heard a report that I can't confirm of a Human Rights Activist whose release from jail has been delayed. Who knows what else is happening behind the Silk Curtain?!
This is easy for me, I am not a sports person. Moreover, I am not asking for you to do anything but remember who you are dealing with.