Posts Tagged ‘china’

Olympics brass ignore China’s role in ongoing Darfur genocide

April 20, 2008

An article from Mia Farrow….

There are few institutions in the world that claim to embody and protect humanity’s highest dreams and values. The International Olympic Committee, custodian of the Olympic Games, is one of them.

Any organization that lays claim to the lofty moral goal of protecting mankind’s universal dreams and aspirations should, from time to time, be subject to a reality check; rhetoric of morality and peace is without substance if words are not matched by deeds.

The situation in Darfur presents such an opportunity. There is a direct connection — financial, military, political and strategic — between this year’s Olympic host, China, and the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur that has been called the first genocide of the 21st century.

Entering its sixth year, it is unclear how many have died from the conflict between the Arab-dominated government in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and the non-Arab tribes of the region of Darfur. Most estimates say there have been at least 200,000 casualties, though that is likely an undercount. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced.

As we speak, humanitarian aid is scaling back because the situation is so dangerous for aid workers. If there is no protection for the delivery of food and medicine, there is no aid.

And so, in addition to the recent spike in government and Janjaweed attacks that killed so many, most Darfurians are now dying a slow death of starvation and disease.

What does Darfur have to do with the International Olympic Committee? The IOC chose this year’s Olympic host, China. China is underwriting the genocide in Darfur. And the IOC has remained silent.

“Respect for universal fundamental ethical principles” is what the IOC’s Charter demands. When awarding the Olympics to China, the IOC said the Games would serve to “open up” China to the world on human rights issues. In fact, China’s promise to improve its record on human rights issues was reportedly part of Beijing’s pitch to the International Olympic Committee to win the privilege of hosting the Games.

Yet as the Games approach, the IOC has proven reluctant to mention, much less address, the human rights complaints about China. It was only recently, following large protests that dogged the Olympic Torch Relay in London and Paris, that the IOC President Jacques Rogge called for the peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue. Responding only to the squeakiest wheel, Rogge ignored the plight of Darfur.

And so has China. Despite intense international scrutiny, China has not yet substantially altered its mutually beneficial relationship with Khartoum, nor used its leverage to increase security for the citizens of Darfur.

Instead, China has condemned anyone who has dared to raise such issues — including the IOC. Shortly after Rogge, in his first — and tepid — comment about Tibet, made mention of a need for “moral engagement” by China, high-ranking Chinese officials publicly reprimanded him, saying the IOC should “stay out of politics.”

The Olympic Charter clearly claims that Olympic sport exists in the service of a better, more peaceful mankind, stating: “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

There is still time for the IOC to make a difference and live up to its ideals. The IOC should immediately employ the singular tool available to it, the Olympic Truce, with respect to Darfur. The Truce calls for a cessation of hostilities for a period before, during and after the Games. To implement the Olympic Truce for the 2008 Games, the IOC should call on the UN Security Council to implement the full deployment of UN Resolution 1769 immediately so that civilians will be protected in Darfur before the Games commence.

The IOC has said that the Olympic Truce is symbolic — it stands for an idea. That’s exactly right.

If the IOC takes such an action, its leaders will be able to say it upholds the standards and principles entrusted to them by athletes and the world community.

If the IOC remains silent on Darfur, the leader of the Olympic movement will have proven itself unworthy of continuing to guard the Olympic flame.

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Clinton on Genocide AND Economics

March 21, 2008

I just ran across this and found it fitting with my previous entries:

Rwanda

On Rwanda, the Obama campaign is eager to diminish Hillary’s advocacy. Hillary visited Rwanda in 1998 and made forceful public statements about the administration’s failings. This is how she described the trip and the administration’s followup in her book, Living History:

Expressing great regret for genocide in Rwanda and our legacy of slavery sent a message of concern and respect to Africans who confront the intertwined challenges of poverty, disease, repression, starvation, illiteracy and war. But Africa needs more than words; it needs investment and trade if its economics are ever going to develop. That requires both significant changes in most governments and a partnership with the United States. That’s why the African Growth and Opportunity At, which Bill proposed and Congress passed, is so critical. It creates incentives for American companies to do business in Africa.” [Living History, pg. 457]

The Obama campaign spends considerable time trying to “prove” that a private conversation between Hillary and President Clinton never happened.

Clinton argues for growth economics in Africa and the need for us to do to promote economic growth. Yet, I would argue she is promoting American growth and investment- for American benefits over African. Africa is a prime place to continue our investments as there are large natural resource deposits,  growing economies and cheap labor. China has discovered and exploited this; they continue to invest and are also active in peacekeeping and development as this helps to create the stability needed to make investments profitable. If Clinton is going to advocate this position she needs to be thinking about all aspects of business: stability, crime, ethics, profitability.

China, the Dalai Lama and Genocide

March 19, 2008

A round of recent news on this topic, because I certainly can’t figure out exactly what is going on:

 Over 100 Surrender:

The Dalai Lama said Tuesday he would step down as leader of Tibet’s government-in-exile if violence by protesters in the region worsens. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, made the statement after China’s premier blamed his supporters for the growing unrest….. “If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence he would have to resign because he is completely committed to non-violence,” Tenzin Takhla told reporters. “He would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama.”

Premier: Claim of China’s “cultural genocide” in Tibet nothing but lie

To be fair and honest- why not?

Could Tibet Become Another Tiananmen?

That’s all that I have to say on this topic- unless someone justifies it as genocide, I don’t think its appropriate fodder for the blog.

The Chinese Goverment Responds to the Dalai Lama

March 18, 2008

The following article sums it up, EXCEPT that if this is really an ethnic issue and not a cultural issue its easier to bring in the word genocide. Let’s stop arguing semantics and start arguing facts……..

China dismisses ‘cultural genocide’ charge

Beijing: China on Monday rubbished the Dalai Lama’s charge that it has unleashed a “cultural genocide” in Tibet and accused the spiritual leader of working with a long-term separatist agenda.

It was not “an ethnic issue, not a religious issue and not a cultural issue” but separatist activities of the Dalai Lama with a long-term view to “separate Tibet from the motherland,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news briefing on Monday night.

“He (the Dalai Lama) has told a lot of lies to mislead the media and the public,” the spokesman alleged.

Liu said Tibet was an internal affair of China and it had the capability and determination to safeguard its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

He also rejected the demand of the Dalai Lama for an international investigation into the handling of the protests in Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

Liu insisted that the law enforcement agencies have shown “maximum restraint” in dealing with the protests and charged that the large-scale violence was “well managed, organised and planned” by the “Dalai clique”.

“The law enforcement agencies showed maximum restraint. They did not bring in or use any lethal weapon. No curfew is imposed. No martial law,” Liu said.

He said the “massive scale” of violence showed the “true nature” of the “Dalai clique” and “we have evidence that it was involved and organised these series of violence”.

“We will release the information in due course.”

“I can confirm that. No bullet has been used,” Liu said, when persistently asked about reports about gunshots being heard during the process of controlling the unrest. Liu said the security personnel had not used “any lethal weapon in the whole process”.

He also said the People’s Liberation Army was not used to handle the protests and they were now engaged only in assisting the local authorities in works like clearing the roads. Well…now who do we trust, the inflammatory Chinese goverment or the inflammatory statement of the Dalai Lama. Perhaps we can judge the merits of the claim of genocide if anyone knows the facts…….

The Dalai Lama and “Cultural Genocide”

March 17, 2008

Let’s talk “cultural genocide”. To begin with I have no idea what this means. Let’s suppose that it means the systematic attempt to wipe out a culture.  Okay, I can buy this, sort of.

The Dalai Lama seems convinced of its legitimacy as a concept and after all who is really going to argue with the Dalai Lama…

He has stated that organizations need to look into whether the events in China over the weekend constitute a cultural genocide. He claimed that “The Tibetan nation faces serous danger. A cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet.”  He further notes that “local Chinese leaders were relying on the use of force to ensure peace and stability and their attitude to Tibetan Buddhism was very negative.” Okay…..

Let’s talk incendiary language. If you want to kill a cocktail party or bring out some serious opinions in people mention one of the following: Tibet or Genocide.  If you want to make world news about your cause put them together in the same sentence.

The Dalai Lama is right in claiming that what the Chinese are doing is wrong- they have shut down a city after all. However, he has also claimed that China, as the world’s most populous nation, deserves to host the Olympics but it must look seriously at repairing its human rights record “in order to be a good host.” He laughed at suggestions that the exile government was fueling the anti-Chinese protests, saying it was the natural result of deep resentment caused by China’s treatment of Tibetans as second-class citizens in their own land. Okay, but this is not a strong enough situation for the term genocide.

He is wrong in coining and continuing to use the phrase “cultural genocide” as its just amping up the attention to an already fraught conflict. In this instance he is using the overly strong language to drum up support by creating a situation in which thier is a victim and an abuser rather than showing shades of graduation. This is not a situation of outright evil with untold of numbers of dead.

I think we all need to stop latching on to the word and take a step back to analyze the situation as a series of protests and counter-reactions; this is not a genocide. Cultural genocide can happen as a by-product of an actual genocide. I’m not sure it can happen the other way around.

Your thoughts?

The Saturday Morning Genocide Round-up

March 15, 2008

Saturday mornings I rarely have time to write a thought provoking post; thanks to the glories of the internet and the brians of others! I’m writing a little round up of other bloggers postings and news articles for you to check out. Please see what others in our community are saying!

How Croatia and the US Prevented Genocide in “Operation Storm” 

Chinese Arms to Darfur Carnage (This shouldn’t be too surprising to those who study Africa)

 The Impact of the Rwandan Genocide on the Congo (I’ll be writing posts about this- its more than just the guerrillas!)

Samantha Powers (I couldn’t resist)

India Should Not Collaborated in the Genocide of the Tamils (Can’t wait to learn more about this!)

So, forget pancakes and fluffy talk about the weather- learn something new, respond, start communicating!