Sunday, March 23, 2008

Does China Deserve The Olympics?

I'm still trying to figure out what possessed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bestow upon China the honour of hosting the 2008 Olympic Games. A country that continuously, and flagrantly, violates the rights of its own citizens.

The following statement graces the home page of the IOC :

"The Games have always brought people together in peace to respect universal moral principles. The upcoming Games will feature athletes from all over the world and help promote the Olympic spirit."
Peace? Respect? Moral principles? Shouldn't the host country adhere to some, if not all, of those principles? Though China has evolved, somewhat, by joining the global economic community (and it did so out of necessity) it has not changed a whit, when it comes to the darker issues of human rights abuses. China does not respect its citizens, and it certainly has no concept of universal moral principles. I've written about their execution buses, their forced abortions. And witness what's occurring right now in Tibet, a country they have no legitimate rights to, but have been occupying for ages. First-hand accounts (as reported to Radio free Asia -RFA) chronicle the unwarranted brutality perpetrated by Chinese security forces against Tibetans:

"They tried to pull down the Tibetan flag that had been raised by protestors at the town headquarters building on the 17th, and when the protestors peacefully resisted, the security forces opened fire, killing two protestors. Their names were Kyari and Tsedo. Both were from Tseshul village. Another eight persons, including Yeshe Dorje and Tabke, were seriously wounded and were taken to Serthar county hospital."

“Many Chinese security forces have arrived in the Serkar monastery in the Kham Gapa area to impart re-education programs among the monks. But all the monks refused to participate in the program and instead raised slogans demanding religious freedom and human rights. There are around 500 monks. The Chinese army before leaving the monastery threatened the monks that they were going to come back the next day to deal with them. I have not received any further information after that.”

These are not isolated incidents. I posted, back in September, about the shooting of innocent Tibetan refugee/pilgrims crossing the Nepalese border with Tibet. They were headed, in the snow, to India. Caught on tape by some foreign filmmakers, one emotion-filled witness declared, "They are shooting them like... like dogs". And so they were. 2 people were killed, including a young Tibetan nun.

Since the recent anti-China protests in Tibet, there have been crackdowns on Tibetans in China, as well. One Tibetan writer, Tsering Woeser, and her Chinese husband have both been placed under house arrest. And, apparently, her blogs were blocked (last year) after merely publishing a photo of the Dalai Lama.

And, not surprisingly, there is talk of the banning of live broadcasts of the games, and there have been warnings to tourists about Chinese government monitoring of hotels and other public and private areas. I'm not sure who would want to attend the Olympics, given the current circumstances and China's inability to temper its grievous behaviour; but there will obviously be attendees, and China will continue on its merry way.
Frankly, China does not deserve hosting what, in my mind, represents the spirit of friendly competition and universal brotherhood. At least, until they clean up their act.


WomanHonorThyself said...

youre so right Incog...the human rights violations against women alone is enough!..Holiday hugs to u my friend!:)

Karen said...

Happy Easter, Incog!

I have not decided about the Olympics decision to meet in China. I would like to think it'll shine a light on the horrid human rights violations for the people but I am realistic enough to know the government will be in full damage control. My husband has been there several times for business travel and I do wonder about all the air pollution for the track and field participants. He said the air is about unbreathable.

American said...

Great most Incog, and most timely...

"Does China deserve the Olympics?"

In a word NO!

So much for the guarantees given to the IOC about human rights and media freedom back when the 2008 games were awarded.

Where is the condemnation from sports bodies and the International Olypic Commitee now that they’re regressing on the agreement?

Typical is not it; the deafening silence...

Happy Holidays!

Pat Jenkins said...

great topic here incog. (and i look forward to your commentary during the games!! he he!!) is the ioc scared of china, or sympathetic to communism? obviusly they had no problem awarding the games to the old soviet union!!! keep up on this...

Incognito said...

WOMAN: Thanks Angel, you too!

KAREN: You too, Miss K. Thing is, we don't need to shine the light on their violations, they are so blatant as it is. You don't reward the bad guys. Have heard that about the air pollution. Frankly, I'd be scared to go there considering their laxness on everything from food to meds. Though I swear by acupuncture. :-)

AIS: Thanks Otto. I truly believe they don't. France has been talking about boycotting the lighting of the flame but not the games themselves. And not a peep from the network and sponsors that have paid millions for live coverage.

PJ: I will... peej. I think they are just pandering.

Mustang said...

China’s treatment of its own people is a matter of record, one lasting thousands of years. They are not going to change now and we all might as well get used to it. But the underlying issue here is spot on. The attitude among “civilized” nations, recognizing nations such as China and awarding them with Olympic Games, simply reinforces negative behavior.

Even as I realize that western values are incompatible with Chinese history and culture, we all know when nations behave badly. For example, we can pretend that genocide never occurred in Kampuchea, or that Hezbollah backed Albanians never exterminated thousands of ethnic Serbs, but we do know the truth. Our tendency to “pretend” only makes our world a more dangerous place because in doing so, we encourage brigand nations not to change their ways.

Will we ever learn?

Righty64 said...

To answer the question. NO! Red China should have never been awarded the olympics. But, the IOC is not one to have great foresight. You know, they did award the games to Berlin in 1936.
But, I do not want to walk down boycott road again a la Carter. We should send our team, participate in the opening ceremonies and find a way to show solidatity with Tibet. That is what I want to see.

Monday through Sunday said...
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