The world this year

from:Economist.com

The credit crunch turned into a full-blown global financial crisis in September when Lehman Brothers, one of Wall Street’s big investment banks, declared bankruptcy and American officials seized control of American International Group to prevent the giant insurer’s collapse. As panic spread, governments engineered the rescue of distressed banks or took them over directly. By the end of the month the remaining big Wall Street houses had either been absorbed by others or become bank holding companies.

Continue reading

The naked truth of sex and olympics

 The naked truth of sex and olympics

Even the Olympics may be deemed too sexy

based on reports like the following report –

Star Sports Page 57

Burma’s democratic revolution

US City Declares August 8 ‘Burma Day’

By LALIT K JHA / NEW YORK

Thursday,June 12,2008

Expressing solidarity with the people of Burma and their relentless struggle to fight for democratic rights, a university city in California has decided to observe August 8 as “Burma Day.”

Although Berkeley—located in northern California to the east of the San Francisco Bay—does not have much of a Burmese population, the city council at its meeting on Tuesday, June 10, unanimously passed a series of resolutions expressing strong solidarity with the people of Burma.

In the US Congress, the city is represented by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a well-known advocate of the restoration of democracy in Burma at Capitol Hill. Continue reading

8.8.08 – Don’t Watch the Olympics

8.8.08 – Don’t Watch the Olympics

Tibet: the West can use the Olympics as a weapon against Beijing

Tibet: the West can use the Olympics

as a weapon against Beijing

Excerpts from Michael Portillo, The Sunday Times

Adolf Hitler’s glee at exploiting the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a showcase for Nazism turned to fury when the black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals. The Chinese leadership must by now be wondering whether staging the Games in Beijing will bring the regime more accolades than brickbats. Be careful what you wish for, as Confucius probably said.

In defence of the Olympic movement, Berlin had been selected before the Nazis came to power. No such excuse covers the decision to award the coveted prize to Beijing. In 1989 the Chinese government crushed the peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square as the world looked on in horror. China still secured the Olympics and a propaganda triumph and has looked forward to showing off to the world.

The authorities must have reflected that other governments are rarely brave enough to boycott the Olympics. The Berlin Games proceeded even though the Nazis had by then implemented the infamous Nuremberg laws that deprived German Jews of basic human rights.

Admittedly the Americans led a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics because Soviet troops had stormed Afghanistan (Russian invasion bad, American invasion good). China knew that, short of marching into neighbouring territory, nothing it did would put its show at risk.

All the indicators suggested that China would be given a soft ride. When President Jiang Zemin visited Tony Blair in 1999 the Metropolitan police treated pro-Tibet demonstrators roughly. Double-decker buses were used to shield the protest from Jiang’s sensitive eyes. As Washington became embroiled in the scandals of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and extraordinary rendition, not to mention the tremendous loss of civilian life in Iraq and Afghanistan, Premier Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, must have been confident that America would avoid dialogue on human rights.

In any case we are all in awe of China’s economic power. When Gordon Brown toured there last month, he talked of business opportunities. Prime ministers loathe being asked to raise human rights issues that threaten to interrupt the smiles, handshakes and toasts by which the success of visits are measured. Brown probably limited himself to the vaguest urging of reform.

China’s economic sway is such that it has undermined US foreign policy with impunity. America aims to use its muscle to shape a world that embraces western values.

In developing countries it insists that governments respect the rule of law and reduce corruption as a condition for trade and aid. China, on the other hand, has extended the hand of friendship to gruesome regimes (including Sudan’s). Beijing’s requirement for natural resources is its only consideration. Maybe it has enjoyed thwarting America’s attempts to export its liberal values.

So China had every reason to expect a trouble-free Olympics that would show its best face to the world. In Berlin the anti-Jewish notices were taken down in the weeks preceding the Games. In Beijing the use of cars has been restricted to reduce air pollution.

In the modern world governments are not the only players. Steven Spielberg, the film director, withdrew as artistic adviser to the Games’ ceremonies, remarking that his conscience did not allow him to continue while “unspeakable crimes” were being committed in Darfur.

His decision has transformed the situation. In that moment the Beijing Olympics flipped from being an opportunity for the Chinese government and became a threat. China’s deep concern that the Games should be a success provides those who oppose its policies with a narrow window of opportunity. It delivers leverage both to domestic dissidents and to the outside world, unparalleled since Tiananmen.

With the news blackout imposed by China on the country’s interior we cannot know whether the Tibetan protests are opportunistically linked to the forthcoming Games. But the Olympics are a political factor and the situation is dynamic. The eyes of the world are turned disapprovingly on Chinese policies.

“If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights,” declared Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, before cheering crowds of Tibetans in northern India, where she had gone to meet the Dalai Lama. Such outbursts had not featured in China’s “script” for the Olympics.

Keep Tibet in the Spotlight

Calling All Bloggers:

Keep Tibet in the Spotlight

Posted on March 17, 2008 by chrismichael

Monks marching in the streets, students staging sit-in protests, midnight raids by the military, monasteries sealed off, towns and cities sealed off…this is Tibet. The most violent protests in nearly 20 years continue after last Monday’s pro-independence rallies commemorating the 49th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet. The Chinese government reports 16 people dead while the Tibetan Government in Exile, reports at least 80 deaths.

Watch videos of the protests here

International concern is growing as a result of house-to-house raids, imposed curfews, numerous arrests, and increased media repression.

The Chinese government has reportedly placed restrictions on international media coverage in Tibet, blocking or filtering websites like Yahoo! and YouTube and censoring the local feeds of news agencies including the BBC and CNN. However, first-hand accounts, photos, and videos (mostly from cellphones) are making their way out – and onto the Hub. We are collecting these videos on the Hub and linking the latest resources and urgent actions you can take here.

We’re working to feature the latest video, audio and photos coming out of Tibet and linking news updates, resources and urgent actions that concerned citizens can take – but we need your help!

Bloggers and vloggers, help us keep Tibet in the spotlight!

1) Post about Tibet and embed Tibet-related media from the Hub
2) Upload – if you have or see Tibet-related video, photos or audio that are not on the Hub, upload or embed it now, or email us at tibet@witness.org
3) Spread the Word – help us with our call for cellphone video and images from Tibet. Please help us by spreading the word and urging folks to email tibet@witness.org with their interviews, updates, video and photos. We’ll get them online – and ensure they stay online.

More coming soon…

Filed under: Human Rights | Tagged: , , , , ,

Human rights violations in China

Human rights violations in China

 

By Niall Fraser
For CNN

HONG KONG, China (CNN) — With a year to go before the 2008 Olympics get under way, questions linger over China’s efforts to improve its human rights record.

art.stadium.officer.afp.jpg

Observers and pressure groups have criticized the efforts of the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since Beijing won the bid in 2001, rejecting assertions by both that the Games will lead to lasting positive change in the world’s most populous nation.

After praising Beijing’s preparations as “excellent across the board,” the IOC official charged with overseeing Beijing’s preparations, Hein Verbruggen, sparked further anger from advocacy groups with his recent comments that, “…the way the Games are being used as a platform for groups with political and social agendas is often regrettable.”

The International Federation for Human Rights claimed his remarks will “embolden” hard-line elements within the Chinese Communist Party to ignore international pressure over human rights promises. But the IOC says, there is a widespread misconception that a list of “human rights promises” was ever sought by the IOC in the first place.

Read more in Niall Fraser

China Olympic Games and Repression

China Olympic Games and Repression

Repression continues in China, before Olympic

Myanmar democracy activists urge

Olympics boycott

BANGKOK (AFP) –

Myanmar democracy activists called Monday on people across the world to boycott televised coverage of this summer’s Olympics in Beijing, in protest at China’s support for the ruling military junta.

The 88 Generation Students group, which includes some of the country’s top pro-democracy leaders, also urged viewers against buying any merchandise linked to the Games.

The Olympics are set to open on August 8, the 20th anniversary of a pro-democracy uprising led by students in Myanmar.

The military, which has ruled the country formerly known as Burma since 1962, opened fire on the crowds, killing an estimated 3,000 people.

Leaders of the uprising were handed lengthy prison sentences, but when released they formed the 88 Generation Student group.

The group began new protests in August last year, harnessing public anger at a surprise hike in fuel prices that left many unable to afford even meagre bus fares to work.

Many of the leaders were again arrested, but Buddhist monks took over the protest movement, which swelled into the biggest anti-government uprising since 1988.

In a statement issued by leaders now in hiding, the group called “for citizens around the world to pressure the government of China to withdraw its unilateral support of the Burmese military junta and to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”

“China is a major trade partner, major arms supplier and major defender of the junta in the international arena,” it said.

“The military junta in Burma is still in power to this day, despite strong and continuous resistance by the people of Burma, because of China’s support.”

The group said that instead of supporting the regime, China should help to facilitate a national dialogue among the military and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest.

The military last week announced that it had completed drafting a new constitution that it plans to bring to a referendum in May. The document would bar Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize winner, from running in elections now slated for 2010.

 

     
 
Repression continues in China, one year before Olympic Games
The Reporters Without Borders list of nine things the Chinese authorities must do before the Beijing Olympic Games:
Reporters Without Borders also supports the eight demands of the Collectif Chine JO 2008 (China 2008 Olympics Collective), an alliance of nine human rights organisations based in France:
Reporters Without Borders wrote to IOC Jacques Rogge in June 2007

Repression continues in China,

before Olympic Games

When the International Olympic Committee assigned the 2008 summer Olympic Games to Beijing on 13 July 2001, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Six years later, nothing has changed. But despite the absence of any significant progress in free speech and human rights in China, the IOC’s members continue to turn a deaf ear to repeated appeals from international organisations that condemn the scale of the repression.

From the outset, Reporters Without Borders has been opposed to holding the Olympic Games to Beijing. Now, a year before the opening ceremony, it is clear the Chinese government still sees the media and Internet as strategic sectors that cannot be left to the “hostile forces” denounced by President Hu Jintao. The departments of propaganda and public security and the cyber-police, all conservative bastions, implement censorship with scrupulous care.

At least 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s. The government blocks access to thousands for news websites. It jams the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language programmes of 10 international radio stations. After focusing on websites and chat forums, the authorities are now concentrating on blogs and video-sharing sites. China’s blog services incorporate all the filters that block keywords considered “subversive” by the censors. The law severely punishes “divulging state secrets,” “subversion” and “defamation” – charges that are regularly used to silence the most outspoken critics. Although the rules for foreign journalists have been relaxed, it is still impossible for the international media to employ Chinese journalists or to move about freely in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Read more

And continue to read these

Petition

Support the international campaign by signing this petition that will be sent to Liu Qi, the president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games and secretary of the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China

Support the international campaign by signing this petition that will be sent to Liu Qi, the president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games and secretary of the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China

Pictures of the campaign

See photos of the operations carried out in Beijing, Paris, New York…

Media downloads

Download the “Beijing 2008” campaign graphic
Download the “Beijing 2008” web banner

in this country

15.10 – China
Reporters Without Borders activists rally in front of Olympic museum in Lausanne as Chinese Communist Party’s 17th congress opens
15.09 – China
New York Times researcher Zhao Yan freed on completing jail term
14.09 – China
Arrests and incidents involving foreign journalists show government is not keeping Olympic Games promises
31.08 – China
Congress passes law censoring disaster coverage
30.08 – China
Calling for lawsuit’s dismissal, Yahoo! says it is “political and diplomatic issue”

in the annual report

China – Annual report 2007

Chinese Difficulty is Burmese opportunity,

Boycott China Olympic

boycott_beijing2008.jpg

This blogger cut and pasted the original slogan ” British difficulty, is Burmese opportunity” which was a famous nationalist slogan during the British Colonial revolution.

This blogger feels that the time is over due to start the campaign to boycott the Chinese Olympic as Chinese Communist Government has avoided its responsibility as a communist party to support the oppressed Burmese People against the Imperialist Military Junta.

International community sees China as a new emerging superpower, which is able to play a pivotal role to solve the problem in country like North Korea and Sudan. Chinese Communist Government who has planned the Olympic , spent billions of Dollars for preparation, and for mega sports facilities for their up coming National Event.

At the same time, Chinese communist authority must be very nervous for any negative effect towards the ” Chinese Olympic” which will be a prestigious event for the Modern China. This event will be remembered in the history of China as its legacy.

Since Chinese Communist Government has blind eyes and deaf ears towards the 50 Million Burmese people’s voice, we should make Chinese Communist Government difficult and Shameful for supporting the world’s worse regime ” Military Junta of Burma”.

To Burmese freedom fighters, this is the time we should start the slogan

” Chinese Difficulty is Burmese opportunity”

This is the auspicious time , to start a campaign for boycotting the Chinese Olympic.

Sit Mone

China Olympic Games and Repression

Repression continues in China, one year before Olympic

     
 
Repression continues in China, one year before Olympic Games
The Reporters Without Borders list of nine things the Chinese authorities must do before the Beijing Olympic Games:
Reporters Without Borders also supports the eight demands of the Collectif Chine JO 2008 (China 2008 Olympics Collective), an alliance of nine human rights organisations based in France:
Reporters Without Borders wrote to IOC Jacques Rogge in June 2007

Repression continues in China,

one year before Olympic Games

When the International Olympic Committee assigned the 2008 summer Olympic Games to Beijing on 13 July 2001, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Six years later, nothing has changed. But despite the absence of any significant progress in free speech and human rights in China, the IOC’s members continue to turn a deaf ear to repeated appeals from international organisations that condemn the scale of the repression.

From the outset, Reporters Without Borders has been opposed to holding the Olympic Games to Beijing. Now, a year before the opening ceremony, it is clear the Chinese government still sees the media and Internet as strategic sectors that cannot be left to the “hostile forces” denounced by President Hu Jintao. The departments of propaganda and public security and the cyber-police, all conservative bastions, implement censorship with scrupulous care.

At least 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s. The government blocks access to thousands for news websites. It jams the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language programmes of 10 international radio stations. After focusing on websites and chat forums, the authorities are now concentrating on blogs and video-sharing sites. China’s blog services incorporate all the filters that block keywords considered “subversive” by the censors. The law severely punishes “divulging state secrets,” “subversion” and “defamation” – charges that are regularly used to silence the most outspoken critics. Although the rules for foreign journalists have been relaxed, it is still impossible for the international media to employ Chinese journalists or to move about freely in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Read more

 

And continue to read these

Petition

Support the international campaign by signing this petition that will be sent to Liu Qi, the president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games and secretary of the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China

Pictures of the campaign

See photos of the operations carried out in Beijing, Paris, New York…

Media downloads

Download the “Beijing 2008” campaign graphic
Download the “Beijing 2008” web banner

in this country

15.10 – China
Reporters Without Borders activists rally in front of Olympic museum in Lausanne as Chinese Communist Party’s 17th congress opens
15.09 – China
New York Times researcher Zhao Yan freed on completing jail term
14.09 – China
Arrests and incidents involving foreign journalists show government is not keeping Olympic Games promises
31.08 – China
Congress passes law censoring disaster coverage
30.08 – China
Calling for lawsuit’s dismissal, Yahoo! says it is “political and diplomatic issue”

in the annual report

China – Annual report 2007