March 17, 2008

THOSE AREN'T RINGS, THEY'RE CHAINS:

Chinese troops parade handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in trucks (Jane Macartney, 3/17/08, Times of London)

The Chinese army drove through the streets of Lhasa today parading dozens of Tibetan prisoners in handcuffs, their heads bowed, as troops stepped up their hunt for the rioters in house-to-house searches.

As the midnight deadline approached for rioters to surrender, four trucks in convoy made a slow progress along main roads, with about 40 people, mostly young Tibetan men and women, standing with their wrists handcuffed behind their backs, witnesses said.

A soldier stood behind each prisoner, a hand on the back of their neck to ensure their heads were bowed.


Tibet protests spread in China: The government deploys thousands of troops. The Dalai Lama's office says it has learned of 80 deaths in the region. (Barbara Demick, 3/17/08, Los Angeles Times)
Defying a massive deployment of Chinese security forces, ethnic Tibetan protesters unfurled the banned Tibetan flag and burned a police station Sunday as the violence that by some reports has claimed 80 lives spread into Sichuan province and other parts of western China. [...]

The uprising presents the most serious challenge in years, if not decades, to China's iron grip over its restive minority population. It comes at the most inconvenient time, with human rights activists already calling for a boycott of the 2008 Summer Olympics, due to open here Aug. 8. In what now seems an absurd proposition, China had planned to route the Olympic torch through Tibet to underscore that the nation's minorities live in one "harmonious society."


The absurd proposition is returning the Olympics to another such regime, making the West once again handmaidens to evil.

MORE:
In Tibet, China dishonours Olympic spirit (March 17, 2008, Rediff)

What had to happen happened! As in 1959, 1987 or again in 1989, riots have erupted in Lhasa and other provinces of Tibet. The repression (and it is only a beginning) is said to be ferocious. But compared to the previous uprisings, this time the background is different: China is hosting the Summer Olympics, an event dedicated to world peace.

I am not sure if there is a Chinese translation of the universally known saying 'There is no free meal', but Beijing should have thought about it before bidding to host the 2008 Games. You can't have the glory of hosting the Games without having to pay the price for not following the basic spirit of the event. The Olympics are more than a commercial venture, they are a celebration of the highest values that mankind can manifest.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2008 7:28 AM
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