I was browsing around the internet today when I came upon RR’s homepage and the badge on the right hand pane. I am a member of Blog Catalog but in all honesty I joined the place because I had seen the icon on alot of blogs around the internet. To my astonishment, the people at Blog Catalog in conjunction with Amnesty International are making May 15th: “Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day.” I am a firm believer in Human Rights having being born into a country where the color of my skin made me a second class citizen for a long time however in the present day I am lucky enough to live in a country where I am free to express my views no matter how crazy they may be.
Many of us living in the Western Hemisphere forget how lucky we are; countries like China employ over 30,000 people to actively censor blogs like this one. This was proven to me earlier on this year when I tried to send the link to my blog to two friends of mine in China who cannot access it to this day. This kind of censorship is wrong as all people are entitled to read, express and voice their views on any subject. 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the U.N declaration of human rights therefore I hope many of the other bloggers that I know will blog about this issue on Thursday. Some topics for consideration:
The wrongful imprisonment of journalists covering assemblies.
Governments that ignore the plight of citizens left to the mercy of gangs.
The censorship of the Internet in order to prevent freedom of expression.
Harsh punishments that include torture, forced labor, and starvation.
Sexual assault against women by members of military or militia.
A friend, Mr. Howard Kuff recently forwarded the link to this video about a Channel 4 documentary that was aired on March 31, 2008. I am ashamed to say that I have Channel 4 but hardly ever watch it with the exception of a few comedies. Here is an excerpt from the Channel 4 website:
As Tibetan protesters take to the streets in the biggest and most bloody challenge to Chinese rule in nearly 20 years, Dispatches reports on the hidden reality of life under Chinese occupation after spending three months undercover, deep inside the region. Dozens are feared dead after the recent clashes and crackdown by Chinese troops, but with reporting so rigidly controlled from the region little is known of living conditions inside Tibet.
He sees for himself the impact of the enormous military and police presence in the region, and the hunger and hardship being endured by many Tibetans, and hears warnings of the uprising taking place across the provinces now.
To make this film, Tibetan exile Tash Despa returns to the homeland he risked his life to escape 11 years ago, to carry out secret filming with award-winning, Bafta-nominated director Jezza Neumann (Dispatches Special: China’s Stolen Children). Risking imprisonment and deportation, he uncovers evidence of the “cultural genocide” described by the Dalai Lama.
He finds the nomadic way of life being forcefully wiped out as native Tibetans are stripped of their land and livestock and are being resettled in concrete camps. Tibet reveals the regime of terror which dominates daily life and makes freedom of expression impossible. Tash meets victims of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and “disappearances” and uncovers evidence of enforced sterilisations on ethnic Tibetan women.
The documentary is fairly long, about 48 min from beginning to end. I would recommend that you let the video cache (let the grey bar move all the way to the end) before you begin watching so that there is no interruption. Many people might question the authenticity of this video but given the digital age, almost anything can be fabricated so how do you determine whether there is any truth behind this video? The best way is to reason it out, what do Channel 4 gain by making up such a documentary? Absolutely nothing therefore to the best of my knowledge this is 100% real and absolutely horrifying.
The Dalai Lama described what was going on in Tibet at one stage as a “cultural genocide”, this is quite true. The Chinese government is systematically dismembering the tibetan culture and the people. If you have a look at the english translation of Woeser’s blog ( A Tibetan lady blogging out of Beijing), she describes how the Chinese government has locked down the capital of Tibet while forcing people to write negative things about the Dalai “Clique.” The Chinese media is also using various methods to demonize the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Prize Winner, he must be some Demon!
The worst part about all of this is that nothing is being done about it, the Western media has shelved the story because of pressure from the Chinese government as well as their own governments. It also comes down to ratings I think, however I honestly hope that Channel 4 will allow this documentary to be shown on other news channels so that the truth can be known about the atrocities commited by the Chinese government in the name of the “One China Policy.”
The whole furor with regards to the Olympic Torch is quite interesting because I was watching the “Daily Show” on Comedy Central the other day when John Stewart mentioned that the Torch relay ceremony started in Germany during 1936. I was literally shocked at that statement (yes you historically aware people can laugh) because I had always assumed like the Olympics that the Torch ceremony was invented by the Greeks. I could not have been more wrong and here is an excerpt from a PDF available on the IOC’s website:
In 1936, Carl Diem, Secretary General of the Organising Committee of the Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin, proposed the inclusion of a torch relay in the programme of the Olympics. The flame was lit in Olympia and transported to Berlin via a torch relay.
From 1936 leading up to the start of World War II in 1939, you can consider 1936 to be a growing Nazi Germany and some critics of the Olympic Torch relay have stated that the whole process of the Torch Relay was started as a way for Germany to advocate their Aryan theology. This is quite a conincidence in 2008 where we have Beijing pushing for the Torch Relay as not being political yet many people ask whether we can seperate the policies of China from the olympics? I don’t think so since the Torch Relay was started during questionable times and might even end in questionable times according to the latest statement by the IOC. They insist that the relay will not be cancelled this year however for the next Olympic games, that might be a different case.
Now I am not normally a conspiracy theorist but one cannot help but wonder if the Chinese government “greased the palms” of the members of the IOC. This would not be the first time if you think back to the Salt Lake City Olympic Games:
Philadelphia Inquirer - NewsBank - Jan 13, 1999 International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch should resign because of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, the only person ever to quit …
This “greasing” could go as far back as the IOC awarding the olympic games to China. Given the human rights record of the PRC, you have to wonder of the logic involved in that decision back then and even now. The basic human rights that all people to are entitled too are not given to all groups in China, freedom of the press is still squashed with major news organizations like CNN and others still banned from attending major press events. If you look back at the press coverage from within China of the torch relay, they unsuprisingly show no distruption in the relay (I have CCTV here In Ireland can bear witness to this fact). Curious? So my final question to everyone, is whether the man below this text is taking money from the Chinese Government? (In case you did not know, this is the current president of the IOC)
I came across these video’s on Youtube but I wanted to point out the difference between the Chinese government handling a protest and the American government handling a protest. All credit goes to the people at Digg for finding this great video and of course to the relevant uploader.
Video 1: LAPD at March 15 Anonymous Scientology Protest