Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the opening ceremony to the Beijing Olympics because of China’s human rights abuses.
Hong Kong says they will deny entry to people they think will protest during the Beijing Olympics. One HK legislator says, “restricting protesters will tarnish Hong Kong’s reputation as an international city that allows freedom of movement.” It’s funny, everywhere we look around the world the Beijing Olympics are cause for places known for respecting civil liberties and democracy are becoming more and more like China. Hong Kong is a special case, as it is now part of China but retains meaningful autonomy.
Last month, while the uprising in Tibet was receiving global attention there was a similar large uprising in East Turkestan by Uighurs, who also live under a brutal Chinese military occupation. China had effectively kept the lid on the protests in East Turkestan for weeks and now are confirming the unrest.
Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has introduced a bill that would prohibit American government officials from attending the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. It wouldn’t apply to athletes, but would apply to President Bush.
China is jamming Voice of Tibet radio, which is “a channel for unbiased information and news to the Tibetans living under Chinese oppression in Tibet.” This has increased in recent weeks following the uprising in Tibet.
Elliot Sperling has a very interesting op-ed in the LA Times about the tension between the Dalai Lama’s pursuit of autonomy of an ever-diminishing nature with Tibetans unequivocal desire for independence. This is a complicated dynamic for people unfamiliar with the Tibetan independence movement’s history to get, but the reality is that like any other leader, many people disagree with the Dalai Lama about what the best solution to the Tibet question is. I strongly believe that the only solution is with full independence for all of Tibet and I think the Dalai Lama’s Middle Path will not quell the Tibetan peoples’ desire for freedom. Many Tibetans share the same position as me. This all speaks to the diversity of opinions and healthy political differences that exist in the Tibetan independence movement.
Apparently the violent crackdown by China in Tibet is bad for tourism. The New York Times has a story about how tourism companies and tourists are dealing with uncertain vacation plans. I could honestly not care less about how Tibetans struggle for freedom is impacting the bottom line of western vacation companies.