Pop politics at its best

Manjit Bhatia

Aug 25,08

from Malayisakini

From my hotel room window, China’s new national Olympics stadium is shrouded in a thick, gray mist. Visibility is approaching near hopelessness. Mr Magoo would’ve had no chance. Only it isn’t mist.


It’s smog. Pollution. The air outside, from which I had just escaped for the sanctuary of my hotel room, is thicker. The humidity is staggering. In the last few days more and more Beijingers began to wear facemasks, but many more braved the ‘mist’.

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Playing for human rights at Beijing

Playing for human rights at Beijing

Malaysiakini article by Vaclav Havel, Desmond Tutu et al | Aug 8, 08

beijing olympic games bird nest stadium with military personnal looking at fireworks display 040808VÁCLAV HAVEL is a former president of the Czech Republic, DESMOND TUTU is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, WEI JINGSHENG is an activist in the Chinese democracy movement, most prominent for authoring the document ‘Fifth Modernisation’ on the ‘Democracy Wall’ in Beijing in 1978 , ANDRÉ GLUCKSMANN is a philosopher and essayist.

The selection of Beijing to organise and host the 2008 Olympic Games was accompanied by the Chinese government’s pledges of visible progress on respect for human rights.

beijing olympics stadiumWe understood these as a condition whose fulfillment the International Olympic Committee would demand.

That is how this year’s Olympics could contribute to a greater openness and respect for international standards of human rights and liberties in the host country.


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Twenty years on, Burma’s opposition lacks unity

WHILE the whole world is busy watching the Beijing Olympics, many Burmese are preparing for the 20th anniversary of the August 8, 1988 uprising, or “8888”. But the question now is how many Burmese can seriously review this journey of 20 years and the goals of the democracy movement? There is no sign of any big ceremony inside the country as all key members of the 88 Generation Student Group, including Min Ko Naing, are in jail.

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Tibet like Burma

Tibet like Burma: the same abuse of power, the same suppression of human, civil and religious rights. In Tibet as well as in Burma mass protests have been led by Buddhist monks melting the religious and political parts of the society asking for a different regime. Records of 1988 demonstrations in Tibet show violence everywhere, beating ups, blood, police beating monks savagely and dragging them from their monasteries.

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Chinese leader pledges (FOREIGN)media freedom (ONLY) during Olympics

BEIJING (AP) – A top Chinese official reiterated Beijing’s pledge Friday to give foreign journalists unfettered access during the Olympic games, despite skepticism by human rights advocates and continued harrassment of reporters in China.

Li Changchun, the fifth-ranked official in the country, is encouraging foreign journalists to report “extensively” on the games, the China Daily newspaper said.

“China will earnestly abide by relevant regulations regarding foreign journalists’ reporting activities in the country,” Li was quoted as saying, while touring the newly opened Beijing International Media Center Thursday.

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As Olympics Approach, Oppressive Grip Tightens


By Ally Wang, Mimi Li, and Shaoshao Chen

Jul 09,2008

NEW YORK—In less than 30 days, Beijing will kick off its opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympics. While China prepares for its appearance on the world’s center stage, the Tibetans, Uighurs, Falun Gong practitioners, and political dissidents of China will undoubtedly suffer 30 days of persecution and oppression.

These groups who are denied rights by the Chinese regime cannot have their voices heard in China. But here in America, where freedom of speech is not muffled, protests and calls for human rights have strengthened recently as the start of Beijing ’08 draws closer.

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China detains 82 Muslims, wrongly accusing as terrorists

China detains 82 Muslims

wrongly accusing as terrorists


BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese police have this year detained 82 suspected terrorists in the nation’s Muslim-populated far northwest who were planning to attack the Beijing Olympics, state media reported on Thursday.

The 82 belonged to five groups that “allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics,” Xinhua news agency reported, citing the head of the police in Urumqi, the capital of remote Xinjiang region that borders central Asia.

It was the first time that Chinese officials had given a total number of suspects detained in a series of raids this year.

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