Should Britain boycott the Olympics over Tibet?

March 17, 2008

tibet.jpgThe idea of a boycott of this Summer’s Beijing Olympics in protest at the handling of events in Tibet is not yet an official policy of any government or major human rights organization.

But actor Richard Gere, chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, has told Reuters he believes it would be “unconscionable” to attend the Games if China fails to deal with  peacefully with the latest unrest.

Do you think Britain — or Britons — should boycott the Games over Tibet?

Britain has long regarded Tibet as autonomous while recognising the special position of the Chinese there but has often been criticised by activists who accuse it of being supine over the issue, preferring not to rock the boat by, for example,  allowing the Dalai Lama to meet the prime minister on his visits to the UK and refraining from trenchant public criticism of Beijing over human rights in Tibet. The Dalai Lama next visits Britain in May.

With international attention increasingly focused on China ahead of the Games, has the time come to take a stand, or would such a move merely aggravate the lot of the Tibetans? 



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The international community needs to belly up to the table and strike while the iron is hot. Weather the games go on or not any body with a pulse and any sense of decency needs to put their money where there heart is and push for a full press Boycott of not only China but the massive corporations supporting and advertising in the games and prostituting the Olympic Rings for the sake of financial gain. The large corporations like Coca Cola and Mc Donald’s and many more should be ashamed of their shifty misguided rhetoric that all this is a “Hands off, Government of China deal”…….and as far as loosing your money or your shareholders money……SUCK IT UP you made a deal with the devil. Grow a spine and do the right thing and if you need help figuring that out just as the people of Tibet.

As for the Individual…..Buy one less Big Mac, Stop buying Coke….boycott one purchase at a time and take back our national integrity. Quit selling America so Cheaply !!! We will not forget the people of Tibet, we are with you!!!! Free TIBET….. FREE TIBET !!!

Posted by Ugly American ** Colorado Springs, Colorado | Report as abusive

What is behind the Tibetan riot? A look from a different angle:

I guess that I finally get tired of reading all these stupid discussions of Tibetan culture or whatever and the ignorance demonstrated in these discussions. I bet none of you know more Tibetans than I do. I’ve never been to Tibet myself, however growing up in the neighborhood (Tibetan Affairs Office of a province next to Tibet) I knew more than 3 dozens of Tibetans when I was in China, some of them were so close that they told me everything about their private life and even showed me the Dalai Lama’s icon they carried with them, and I used to be able to speak a little bit Tibetan language. By the way some of my family members often travelled to Tibet for work and sometimes brought Tibetan colleagues/comrades to our apartment.

Due to my unique experience I have developed some kind of interest in Tibet so while I was doing my graduate degree a decade ago in a university in Chicago area. I read extensively about Tibet. Here, if you wouldn’t mind and have a few minutes to kill, I’ll share some random thoughts with you guys. Before I start, I’ll have to say I’m not endorsing any idea or support any sides of the discussion. It’s just coming from my own experience.

OK. Let’s start. Tibet was officially or at least in name under Chinese rule since Qing dynasty. However up to middle of 1950s, no Chinese government had cared about how Tibetan lived. So Tibetan people only recognized their Lamas (in case you don’t know, Lama means ‘living Buddha’ in Tibetan language), not central governments. Tibetans are scattered around a vast area and they have never developed a sense of a country. I’m told there was no equivalent of the word ‘country’ in Tibetan language until very recent time in history.

Tibetan society used to be a mixture of religion and politics, which means government and politics are dominated by religious class or circle. Monks (temples) enjoyed huge prestige in the society. They were the top cream in Tibet. Tibetan society (outside of religious class) used to be kind of like slavery system (in agriculture area). For the people with slave status (kind of like old Indian caste system), they remained to be slave forever. 90% of the population outside of religious class was illiterate at that time. Life was tough for those people (partially due to the harsh natural environment). So for a lot of people what they can only hope is to get a better life for their next life.

How to get a better next life? The answer is in temples. They believed that they had to send at least one of their boys (if they had one) to temples to be a monk. Monks are educated to read (religious scripts) and write. They don’t have to worry about meals. They are the only hope of many people for a better next life. There is no status difference between monks. They are the embodiment of all good things in the world for general masses. In the history of Tibet, at its peak, about 40% percent of male populations were monks.

Since the middle of 1950s, communist government started to abolish slavery system in Tibet. For those rich people who cooperated, government granted them some of official positions/titles. However for those who refused to cooperate, their property was taken away by force. This movement angered those rich and elite groups in Tibetan society, which eventually lead to the uprising of late 1950s and the exile of Dalai Lama.

By the way, there were two Lamas at that time, namely Dalai Lama and Bansan Lama. Dalai and Bansan were rivals. In terms of influence, Tibet is divided in two parts: front Tibet and back Tibet. Dalai and his group controlled Lhasa and it vast surrounding area. This area was considered as the center of Tibetan culture (Bansan obviously didn’t agree with that).

Both Bansan and Dalai were invited to Beijing to see Mao. Dalai was 18 at that time and Bansan was much older. Probably partially due to his age, Bansan was more smooth and appealing to Mao. Dalai wasn’t good at that. Being young and inexperienced, Dalai heavily depended on his advisers for opinions. Obviously he and his advisors miscalculated or were misinformed. He thought that PLA had planned to arrest him (or kill him) and so he ran to India in a hurry. Based on the document released in late 1980s, PLA knew exactly when and via which route he and his inner cycle followers would take to get to India, but for whatever reason PLA did not attack him and his followers (perhaps PLA indeed didn’t have any plan to arrest him). PLA soldiers, however, hid close by from the road Dalai and his people passed and filmed them (the film was made public in late 1980s, which I saw myself.).

By the way, abolishing slavery was not very successful initially. Not everybody with slave status liked it, since many of them had been slaves for who-knows how many generations and that was the only life style they knew (probably they had got used to it).

Another thing communists did was to set up an education system in Tibet for general population (primary and middle schools, eventually higher technical schools). This, in my opinion, was one of the main factors that resulted in the riots of late 1980’s and recently.

Educations open people’s eyes and let people see more options. With education of general population, slowly religious class lost their old appeal and status in the society. To send a son to a temple to be a monk is no longer the only option for a better life for many Tibetans, but one of many options, and probably not the best one. This created huge resentment among religious class.

Since 1980s, mass media, TV, popular culture started to enter Tibet, the religious class became further marginalized in Tibetan society. Nowadays, in cities and large towns, not many Tibetans want to send their sons to temples to become monks unless these kids want to do it themselves. So in this sense, Dalai Lama was correct in saying that where has been genocide in Tibetan culture and tradition.

Although since 1980s Chinese government has spent huge amount of money to renovate temples (in Tibetan’s eyes, Chinese government tried to compensate the damage done during the culture revolution), however nothing can compensate and replace the loss of social status, power and influence of the religious class to Tibetan society and its people. Those good old days are gone. This explains why in each of the last couple of riots in Tibet, monks were always at the front and lead the way.

Looking ahead, the future doesn’t look good. I can’t see any way that can help ease the conflict between tradition and reality. Business is new to most Tibetans and they are not, in general, good business men. When it comes to commerce, they are far behind Han and other ethnic groups. This can only create more frustration and resentment.

On the other side, Dalai is not correct in saying that Chinese government doesn’t want him to go back. During the fifty years absence of his holiness, a couple of generations of Tibetan cadres have been educated, matured and gained the control of the power. Most of these people benefit from the economic development of recent years in Tibet. They have become the new elite in Tibet. I can hardly imagine that this group of new elite is willing to relinquish their power to anybody.

Most members of this group are educated in inner areas in China or brain-washed as Dalai said. Regardless how Dalai think of them, they are the new reality of Tibet. They may still carry Dalai’s icon, as some of the Tibetans I knew did, but they are somewhat independent thinkers. They want their kids educated (probably in a university in inner China), definitely not ending up in temples as monks, although they still respect monks, as some of them explained to me.

Based on the Tibetans explained to me, their carrying Dalai’s icon is something like some Chinese tax drivers carrying Mao’s icons. These tax drivers need some sort of protection from accident, but they certainly don’t follow Mao’s instructions.

Anyhow, in my opinion, no matter what Chinese government do, the situation will get worse before it gets better. There are a lot of little things Chinese government can to relax the situation, but if you look at the big picture, at its core this is the conflict between tradition and a rapidly-changing reality (forget about those labels like human rights, freedom etc.). So don’t be surprised to see more riots in the future.

Posted by LuKai | Report as abusive

DingDing,i am so like U.

Posted by lh1869006 | Report as abusive

Excellent Post LuKai!!! I must say that despite on the ongoing war of words, no many people truly know and understand about Tibet, its culture, its people and its current circumstances. Thank you for providing some insights for the world to see. I believe those who genuinely care about Tibet’s wellbeing out of good will (not out of anti-China sentiment) will find it useful in their understanding of Tibet!
By the way, boycotting the Olympic game is meaningless, it will only generate more hostility and resentment and it is extremely unfair to the 1.3 billion Chinese. Believe me, whoever you are, you DO NOT want to anger 1.3 billion Chinese people!

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

I don’t forget the opium war. The royal marine of the old queen killed and maimed millions of chinese to protect their opium business, drugging Chinese men and women, young and old alike. Now the old habit reignites, Peter Grimes is at his business again, of course using a different weapon; the human right voice, to wreck China’s unity in Tibet.That is the real motive.Very sinister indeed!
Now, keep your bloody hands away from the sacred Olympic games, and don’t even whisper about boycotting .
You are being judged from what you did and not what you write. Your past is horrible. Your report card is D, I afraid if not E.
If you cannot do the right thing , don’t do the wrong thing again.

Posted by See clearly | Report as abusive

if the UK and france and plus the USA will boycott the olympic game, i will pleasure in the results. because in my opinion I didn’t support that China shouldn’t held the big game in china. the game should spend lots of money in the end. and there are lots of families are living in poor conditions, if the money spend in the game, there are less money to save these poor people. secondly, the country is leaded by communist party, that the “human right” records is “well” contries shouldn’t accept the communist countries to held the game. the Russian hold olympic game in last century had been boycotted by western country for unacceptable reasons.
in my opionin, the UK sport just the football is OK, the others subjects is weaker step by step. if they join the game, the country should humiliate of the past empire and sovereign country.

Posted by Cao zheng mao | Report as abusive

That is the Uk domestic problem.

To LuKai: I’m a Chinese. I think I quite agree with you, especially your view on the conflict between tradition and reality.

To Others: I’ve never been to Tibet, and I don’t know much about Tibetans. But I know that the Chinese government has been putting great emphasis on the economic development of the ethnic groups in China, including Tibet of course. I’m a Han, sometimes I even think that the government treats Han in an unfair way. The ethnic groups in China have much more cultural and economic privileges in China. Just take one thing for example, the kids of ethnic groups can be enrolled in universities with much lower marks under the same condition. When I was in the University in Wuhan, Hubei province, I had heard that the university had invited several Uigur cooks from thousand-mile-away Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, only because the newcoming Uigur students were not accustomed to the Han food.
Therefore, please do not mention “Human rights” just for this or that sort of things, which may be improper in your eyes or according to your value.
Those who are for the “Free Tibet” must have known only a little about Chinese history, and your information about China may be from the books written by somebody or media with biased views on China. Tibet has been one part of Chinese territory since at least Qing Dynasty (at that time, the central government set provincial office there in Tibet. Actually, Tibet had submitted to the central government even from Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The most well-known temple in Lhasa was built for the Han Princess married to the Tibetan leader.)and it will be.
Everyone in China loves peace and stability. On the Tibetan issue, the government hasn’t done anything wrong. In my opinion, the riots have resulted from the conflict from tradition and reality. It is reasonable that Dalai Lama and the monks whose power has been weakening would resent government and would work to their utmost to instigate some of the innocent Tibetan people to resist the government. Besides, any government would not let it go.
I hope China will not be viewed with bias. China has some problems, which any country has their own. The government is trying to make the people live better.

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

I am sickened by the comments and much of the new coverage in the west! It is very apparent to me that there are elements in the west that is not anti-communist but anti-chinese. That I can not understand. Here is why:

1. Tibet’s history is complicated. But it has been a part of China since 1600′s if you used a multi-ethnic definition of China. Or if you define China as a single race of Han — it would be similar to defining UK or the US as a single race of the English. More on this later.

2. The rioting in Tibet was horrendous. The mob in the street killed dozens of innocent people who had done nothing to offend. The mob attacked people indiscriminately, cut off people’s ears, burned people alive, looted shops, and not only do you not condemn these hooligan/terrorists. You sing their praises. It is one thing to attack government interests, but after attacking civilians (some of the victims are ethnic Tibetans also) and looting banks and store, what do you expect the chinese government to do in response? Give the rioters medals?!!!! Pat them on the back and send them home?!

3. Those who say that the movement of other Chinese ethnicities into Tibet is some kind of “Cultural Genocide”. What is wrong with you?! One of the most fundamental human rights is the freedom of movement. The other is not to be judged based on your race or your religion (or not have one forced upon you). To be treated equally regardless of your ethnicity or religion is the fundamental right of every individual. This we learned from you the West, who gave us Rosseau and Marx.

If you are a Chinese citizen and you are not allowed to go to another part of China just because of your RACE, is that freedom? Isn’t that a little like saying that a black man can not move and live in a white neighborhood? I lived in Shanghai and Chengdu. Tibetan people are free to travel and to live in both cities freely. And there are large Hui, Uighur and ethnic Korean populations in both cities also, and all races have lived in harmony under the principle of Secularism. They follow the same laws and enjoy equal opportunities. As far as I know that is true else where in China also. The most famous and well funded Buddhist temple in Beijing is Tibetan. Go there. See it for yourself!

These small groups of tibetan rioter proclaim that they want freedom. But look at the detail of their demands: they want to cleanse tibet of all other ethnic groups, establish a single religion as THE state religion and physically attack anyone who does not share their beliefs! If you who lives in the West can not tolerate that why should the Chinese? THAT is what they want! And why does China have to tolerate THAT! Why does China not have the right to defend itself against such subversions?! The police used tear-gas and clubs. What is wrong with that? Last time I checked that was also the standard practice in the UK and the US. And if you loot, arson and murder, you get arrested.

After creating ethnic cleansing situations in Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, why doesn’t the West look at themselves and say: “Hey maybe trying to separate all the ethic and religious groups is the reason why there are so many genocides in the last half century — AND A REALLY BAD IDEA” And the antidote is what US and UK practices at home, and that is to have societies that incorporated all ethnicities and enforce separation of the Church and the State. China asks for is the same, no more no less: No theocracy within our borders. No official religion in Tibet. No restriction on ethic purity as a requirement of anything. Otherwise you are free to practice your faith and traditions as you wish!

What is wrong with you people!?

Posted by Yen Choweng | Report as abusive

Its important that individuals of all nationalities boycott China and the olympics in their own way. For example, by not watching it on tv, by not attending the events, by not buying olympic memorabilia. China has been able to get away with the genocide in Tibet because the victims are not white and not Judeo-Christian, and because China is important to the multinational corporations which support the China lobbies. In the end, only individuals can make a difference. We must take a stand against the Chinese genocide against a peaceful people, which began with the illegal occupation of Tibet and which has already cost the lives of at least a million people.

Posted by barry kumar | Report as abusive

a lie repeated thousand times will become truth – by BBC, CNN, VOA, etc. western media.

Posted by anti-bbc | Report as abusive

Boycott the Olympics to show the Chinese that they may control things in their country but they do not in the global community. Let them know that to be a part of a global community that they have to be more open and accepting of other cultures, thats what the Olympics is all about, open competition. Also we should not buy Chinese made goods during the Olympics. Free Tibet and keep Tiawian free as well! Don’t forget that China is communist!

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

the genocide in Tibet
Watch ” True Face of Western Media” you will know how your so called “genocide” was forged and how you were brainwashed by the media in your state!

Posted by DingDing | Report as abusive

Yen Choweng, a man with clear thought.

Posted by DingDing | Report as abusive

Human Rights or arrogance?

Tibetans are human, they have human rights. Chinese people are also human, they also have human rights. Athletes are human as well, they have human rights as well. Who has the superior “human right” to end athletes’ professional career? Tibetans have the “human right” to win a true and highly autonomy; Chinese people don’t deserve the Olympic Games which they have prepared for 7 years, do they? “Tibet is not free”(BBC news title) is not news! The whole Chine is not free. These are all long-standing issues. Would Chine be free and Tibet have a highly autonomy if a sports meet was boycotted? Several months before the Beijing Olympic Games, such human rights activities seem more like blackmail than true solutions.
“Today, China can no longer be ignored.”(“Playing the Games” by Joshua Kurlantzick). I want to say that ignoring more than 1.3 billion people is irresponsible for the human beings. China is already open and Chinese people keep their eyes opened to the rest of the world: Should the Olympic Games be boycotted if it was in a US city in 2003 when the War of Iraq took place and opposed by almost all of the world? Should the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games be boycotted if there was an Olympic Games in Paris in November 2005 when French government “crack down” the riots in Paris suburb? President Sarkozy should not forget his hardline comments saying the government would not allow “troublemakers, a bunch of hoodlums, think they can do whatever they want”’ (BBC News). Although we have a lot of sympathy to Tibetan people, what happened outside Chinese embassy in Brussels showed that Chinese government should not allow “a bunch of Tibetan troublemakers, think they can do whatever they want”.

Americans enjoy very much their “football” which most people of the world don’t understand. Boycott or not, one out of five of the world’s population can be many enough to play good Games. Compared with Americans, what Chinese people lack is self-confidence. On the way to catch up with “developed countries”, “developing countries” are so sincere and active to participate in any international event because they don’t have enough self-confidence and eagerly seek the recognition from the international community. This encourages some Western people to even more self-confidently believe that they represent justice and boycott can work. Those who, compare Beijing Olympic Games to Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, are too ignorant to understand that Chinese people consider the Games an opportunity to be recognised by the world and to join the international community. That is what Berlin sought in 1936?!

Some people from “developed countries”, or the “West”, are too self-confident. They never suspect what they are told, taught and believe in. Whenever they have different opinions from the rest of the world, the reaction spontaneously is: Their brain is washed by their government. Why don’t ask yourself: maybe our brain is washed by our media or our government? People having higher GDP per capita don’t naturally represent human justice and what they see or believe in is not surely more correct than others.

The world needs more communication, more understanding, more compromise and more harmony. Otherwise, self-confidence would become arrogance.

Posted by Chen | Report as abusive

I would like to honour the Dali Lamas non violent protest against China by not buying any of their goods. Are any of their goods sold in supermarkets or other chain stores under the store’s name? I don’t know. How can we tell? Is there a list? I think it is appauling that a peaceful people like the tibetans are treated this way. Its about time people started doing something about it. Leaving it to governments don’t seem to work.

Many people on this blog shared very biased views against China without even sufficient knowledge about China in general, not to mention any sophisticated understandings of its people, culture, and history. Do some research about the history, you will know Tibet has been part of China for many centuries. Using Olympic Game for advancing your political aganda is the abuse of the true spirits of Olympics. Boycott or not, China will successfully host the Olympic Game.

Posted by Wei | Report as abusive

True face of Reporters Sans Frontieres:

Reporters Sans Frontieres pretends to be defender for the freedom of press in its French and English web site. However, its Chinese web site reveal its true face: At the end of the page of “Who We Are (In Chinese, I translate it into English here)”, it writes “This web site can be accomplished due to the corporation person, Taiwan Foundation For Democracy (In Chinese, I translate it into English word by word)”, even with its logo. This page almost become an advertisement of this Foundation.
Taiwan Foundation For Democracy is on the “green” side in Taiwan which even can’t represent the majority of Taiwanese people (The “Green” side in Taiwan only got 41 percent in this election and never got more than 50 percent in each election). How can a non-governmental so-called “human rights” organisation, bought by such Foundation, represent the human justice? Receiving such strong financial support from such Foundation, how can Reporters Sans Frontieres be objective to Chinese issues? However, objectivity is the essential of journalism. Reporters Sans Frontieres is very ugly.
Few Westerners can understand the Chinese language and Chinese people inside China can’t visit the web site of Reporters Sans Frontieres. So, lacking communications between China and the rest of the world, Reporters sans Frontieres is manipulating the whole world.

Posted by Chen | Report as abusive

the game is vital for our chinese,we have long long history, one of four ancient civilization countries, the people kind, brave. they love peace,they cherish the peace which all the people had strived for! we want to show us before the world! the game is the party for all the athletics, not for some politicians. somebody want to take advantage of the game to blackmail our china! they take the wrong way! for the justice,we’d rather sacrifice all the things to fight for!

Posted by tony | Report as abusive

Tibet is a holy part of China like Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa are holy parts of UK, Taiwan a holy part of Japan and Holland – all fortunes of war, all colonies. The only difference is that Japan and UK gave them back to the rightful owners and China is still unrepentant.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

This American is not buying McDonalds, Coke, or Samsung products and will not be watching the Olympics.

Posted by Charlie | Report as abusive olence/
petition for peaceful solution of tibet crisis – it’s been signed by over 1,5 milion people during two weeks. Please sign it, if you don’t agree with violence there.

Posted by molly | Report as abusive

Boycott or not, China will successfully host the Olympic Game. You cannot even stop your own people to buy China made goods, invest in China. wake up!!!

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

China is improving, dont u see it?
Tibet was a part of china for thousands of years. Dont you know that? Tibetan have more rights than Han chinese, know this? Just dont only listern what you can get here, go and see there.

Chinese government has a lot of problems, but we should see their efforts.

What you guys doing? destroy that country!

I don’t think Boycotting the Games is the answer. I think the protests we’ve seen in London and Paris will send a message loud and clear to China that things need to change.

Boycotting the games themselves will only do more harm than good. We need to support the athletes who have trained all their lives for the honour of representing their country at the Olympics.

Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

No, it would not be fair on athletes which have trained for several years. China could solve the dispute in Tibet then after the games invade Tibet later when all the fuss has died down. It is the Tibetan people that is going to suffer in the end.
It is up to the global market to stop buying and importing goods around the world. China has such a demand for their goods.
I personally was going to visit China but after seeing their Human rights in Tibet have decided to stay away, maybe more people should do the same.

Posted by Patricia | Report as abusive

Does the name George Soros mean anything to you?(you know, the guy who made so many millions speculating against the British pound a few years ago) Remember after the “spontaneous” Orange revolution in the Ukraine it was suddenly discovered that Soros had been financing the training of the “rebels” right from the start. Well .. guess who’s financing the Dalai Lama these days .. yep, got it in one, dear old George ( and you thought there was only one ruthless, cunning George over there?)

Posted by Geoffrey | Report as abusive

Mention the word “boycott”, and everyone always seems to focus on what governments or “governing bodies” ought to be doing. What about the most powerful body of all, the television viewers? I’m not going to watch the Games, mainly because the field-testing of designer drugs doesn’t interest me particularly. The Tibet situation makes it even less likely that I will watch. If everybody just turns their televisions off, the ultimate boycott will have taken place without any politician even having to claim credit for it (though no doubt many of them will).

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Perhaps the media will boycott the Olympics. Or would that cost them too much money?

Posted by Mike T | Report as abusive

I see the Chinese propaganda brigade is out in force. This is the same lot that can’t access basic information on the massacre in Tianenmen Square on google from China but are willing to tell the world about Tibet! And don’t try justifying your brutality by going back to the Opium wars – yes European colonization happened, but most former colonies got over it and moved on. If you are lot are SUCH a “super power” why do you still have an inferiority complex about Britain? Get real – your little communist party slips are showing.

Btw, I DID grow up with Tibetans – all refugees – in India, and there is no gentler, more compassionate people in the world anywhere. They have been a model refugee population, dying for the countries that gave them refuge, contributing to local cultures and economies. I am proud that my nation (India) hosts the Tibetan government-in-exile, has provided a home to the refugees since the invasion. And I am VERY angry that our current government is bending over backwards to appease Beijing.

And DONT talk about the Dalai Lama unless you have seen His Holiness and the compassion he carries within him – EVEN for the Chinese.

Finally, to Julie de Souza – GOOGLE Buddhism. The Gautama (Siddharth) was a warrior before he gave up material world to seek the truth and found it in boundless compassion. And I agree with Michael – read Dunham’s Buddha’s Warriors – if only to realise how the Chinese troops forced innocent civilians and children to humiliate monks and rape nuns, have since tortured, killed, resettled and “re-educated” Tibetans.

Posted by Sunny | Report as abusive

Boycotting the Beijing Olympics is a pointless and stupid exercise, it did not work in the past. The only people to suffer will be the Athletes and the people of Tibet.
Look first at own backyards and clean them up first as we all live in glass houses.
How many of the demonstrators have been to China? For example Shanghai is a far more organised city compared to London or Sydney with NO Bank robberies or ATM ram raids plus they have to cope with a population of 27 million in Greater Shanghai.
I feel safer in Shanghai then I do in my home City and have never experienced any personal of religious harassment.
As for the French posturing about the Beijing Olympics look at their track record on human rights.
So folks CLEAN let’s clean up our own act before we go off and tilt some windmills.

I’m in favour of boycotting the Chinese Olympics. China is using these games for propaganda and sees any acceptance of their games as being acceptance of their terrible behaviour. If it was the 1936 games and we knew then what we know now, would we boycott the German games run by Hitler. Yes we would. So there are situations that morally justify a boycott and I think China is another.
Their shocking human rights abuses, their intimidation of other countries in the region, their massive increase in the size of thier military and weapons, their anti-satellite weapon that increased the amount of debris in orbit by 20%, their supply of billions of dollars of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and missile technology to many countries in defiance of numerous treaties, etc, etc. They act without ethics or morality but wield a big stick economically that most countries are afraid to inflame. We need to support China’s victims such as Tibet.

Posted by DavidL | Report as abusive

The Tibetan people’s life expectancy under Dalai Lama’s rule was only 35.7 years. Now, their life expectancy has reached 67 years and their population doubled in the past 49 years.
I am not against anyone who advocates for a Free Tibet, but just don’t fan hatred like Michael and Sunny. You can read Dunham’s Buddha’s Warriors, but what can a book full of lies do to advance the Dalai Lama’s cause?
One of the major baseless accusations is that we Chinese have killed 1.2 millions of Tibetans. A report sent by the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan government to the central government in 1952 said the Tibetan population in Tibet was 1.2 millions. If we have killed 1.2 millions of Tibetans, then where did the 2.6 millions of Tibetan people(2004 census) now living in Tibet come from?
History will prove that what happens this year is going to be a major setback for the free Tibet movement which is based more on lies than on facts. It is doomed more than ever to fail.

Posted by NZ | Report as abusive

Yes, boycott. The Olympic idea is beautiful, but more than any other previous Olympics, more than Berlin 1936, the Beijing Olympics are a cynical attempt by the Chinese communist regime to claim world-wide respectability for themselves.

@DingDing and others who work for the Chinese propaganda machine:

What is happening in Tibet is colonialism in its most brutal, violent, cynical form — hence it’s completely beside the point to criticize any former colonial power that has since rejected colonialism. It is like saying: “Stalin was a murderer, therefore it’s okay for me to be a murderer too.” That kind of argumentation does not hold good among free, intelligent, thinking people.


“Few Westerners can understand the Chinese language and Chinese people inside China can’t visit the web site of Reporters Sans Frontieres. So, lacking communications between China and the rest of the world, Reporters sans Frontieres is manipulating the whole world.”

Let the Chinese government stop manipulating not only our, but also the Chinese public opinion and unblock access in China to information from the rest of the world – as well as from Tibet, whether you call it ‘Chinese’ or not. Let Western journalists freely go to Tibet and see for themselves and write news for all us poor people who don’t read Chinese.

“The world needs more communication, more understanding, more compromise and more harmony. Otherwise, self-confidence would become arrogance.”

It seems that China is not setting a good example…

The news media put an end to the Vietnam war, and the Chinese know that – that is why they cannot tolerate freedom of expression, that is why reporters are not allowed to see Tibet.

The world boycotted South Africa and freed Mandela. China is worse than South Africa ever was, both in extent as well as intensity. Think about that, people.

Where decency and dialogue do not work to get an important message across, other means are needed. Subtlety is wasted on the brutal Chinese exploiter class that is maming and killing off the Tibetans who do not obediently toe their line. It’s a pity the French did not succeed in putting out the flame of shame. That would have been a unique protest.

Avoid “Made in China”. Avoid anything that gives the goons more power.

Did the Chinese Communist Party pay these people to write these blogs? The Chinese government has invaded Tibet and held its population hostage. The Chinese government has one of the worst human rights records in recorded history. Christians are persecuted regularly—home churches are raided and Bibles are regularly confiscated. The official Chicom “Christian church” is a ruse. The “official” Chinese Bible is heavily edited. If the Chinese are so confident in their civilized progress, why are they so afraid of free speech and freedom of religion? I think it is a sham that the world has rewarded this bloody government with the honor of hosting the Olympics. It devalues the event and turns it into a propaganda stunt for the primitive Chicom elite.

Posted by Rooster | Report as abusive

People outside china do not understand the situation of and in tibet,or pretend not to know.
For western political people, they want to spoil the games, and china’a development, out of their evil cold war thinking and envy.
For ordinary people outside china, especially in west countries, their heads are whitewashed by their very strong propoganda machine.
human rights abuses, slaughter of their own people?
oh, please, come to china to see with your own eyes!
Or no, do not come to china, because you know what you are thinking and doing, therefore not welcome in China.
Please these men and women do not come to china games, I beg you.

Posted by lihtqd | Report as abusive

Before we do anything, please read the history first,
not from a single book, Tibet was part of China since more than 1000 years, longer than the history of US + Canada + Australia, if you know more about the history of Tibet, you will know more, and will not mislead by those people,

Most people in Tibet were slave before 1950, one of two boys of the family has to be a lama,

I do not know people like you will to support such kind of violence against Olympic.

Open your eyes , wider !

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

boycott? how very stupid an idea! Tibetans were killing people, Tibetans were burning stores and civilian vehicles, Tibetans were throwing stones at pedestrians. Why boycott the government! Doing so would turn the whole nation into your foe, because the Chinese government has the support from the great majority of the Chinese population. Would you be able to fight us, a population of 1.3 billion? You’re no match!

Posted by Ronan | Report as abusive

What is human right? Is to allow and even instigate some Dalai mob to kill innocent civilian,to burn stores,to rob of bank? I think any government never permit any mob to ruin country’s public security.Before post your comment on Tibet,you’b better read its history carefully first,even go there and realize Tibetan’s normal life,not only trust on some media and newspaper like CNN,BBC etc.

Posted by Gawain | Report as abusive

Boycotting the Olympics tries to nullify a very spirit of the Games, which is a consensual unity of folks round a globe for peace and a better life for all.

Perhaps, this ancient notion is among a few traditions should really be kept through epochs.

Posted by Michael Kerjman | Report as abusive

I wanna know how many of you who critic Chinese human right as if they knew the truth,have ever been to China?Do you know the truth of the riot happened in Tibet? Or you just accept the news from BBS or other media without any thinking even it’s A BIAS?

In the past years,what i hear about you western people is that you have ideas of your own,you can tell right from wrong.but now i doubt this very much because you trust whatever the media say ,both right and WRONG.

Here,I am proud to tell you that I AM CHINESE! I’ve been living in China for 21 years and i think i have a louder voice on the fact of human rights in china than you guys who critc it but lived hundreds of thousand miles away.I dare say that the human rights in China is no worse than any western countries.The U.S always critics the human rights in China,but what about the fact of his domestic human rights?—wars in Iraq,maltreating the captures,high crime rate etc. Why there is a double-criteria in human rights? why the human rights in the western country is always GOOD ?

sometimes when i read news about tibet riot from the west media i felt that the west media are so “considerate”.they are so” pitiful” to us Chinese .it seems that they know us chinese more clearly than ourselves.The fact that we are living a happy life turns into a deep distress in their descriptions.
Obviously ,there is a cabal,a cold war against China.

The reports from the main west media all with distorted voice astonished us.Look at the media’s great creation!Even vilify the riot happened in Nepal and Indian to tibet . who attacts whom on earth? why lots of the west media have selective BIAS,neglecting truth? Thanks to CNN ,BBS,Spiegel,all the liar western Media .Their behavior have educated a whole generation of young Chinese what the western Media really is. There are always various obstructions on the process of Torch Relay,but We all chinese people will spare no effor to guard the Olypic torch ,to guard our GREAT MOTHERLAND -China!

what the human righs really is in China and what the truth of tibet riot is on earth,TIME WILL TELL!

Posted by I LOVE CHINA? | Report as abusive

I am near to Hong Kong. So I could read messages from both western and Chinese media. I realize this is a kind of Cold War propaganda. I was bred in a most populous Tibetan province. And I studied the history of Tibetan area. The Chinese Communist government blocks the news and reports because western sociaty is a kind of superior sociaty than that in developing countries and easily overthrows their regimes.

Posted by xiang | Report as abusive

Tibet is of China’s sovereignty in history. And Dalai Lama system was constituted by Mongolian military group and Mandarian(Qing) monarchy. At the start of this century Tibet was almostly colonized by British. But the central government at that time never signed an official treaty to quit the sovereignty. When the Chinese Communists unified the country, they viewed the local Tibetan government as a kind of Guomingdang’s (Chinese Nationalist Party) regime and forced them to sign a peaceful liberation treaty. But they kept Dalai Lama’s ruling as a kind of minority nation policy. It was the peasantry slaves who saw that labouring people outside Tibetan area had had overthrown their exploiters’ ruling and demanded land and more equal political status with the feudal and religious ruling class in Tibet. This annoyed the ruling monks and official class greatly. They decided to organized a rebellious army and was exiled in 1959. So how comes the exiled Tibetan government. In this point of view it was the Communist Party who unified the country. Now once 90% population of Tibetan peasantry slaves become Chinese citizen and never want to go back to feudal monarchy’s ruling again. But the western propaganda still can influence some people, especially the monks because they need not to labour in the old system.

Posted by xiang | Report as abusive

What I want to explain is that what the effective independence was and how the substantial unification was realized. And the innocent people should be aware and cautious of what will happen in the future.

Posted by xiang | Report as abusive

The Dalai Lama was recently in Seattle and I heard him speak. He spoke on several issues and I began to educate myself on Tibet, the monastaries, the invasion by the military, the destruction of a people that didn’t fit into the desired ‘way-of-life’ of the ruling party in China. I have read information from several areas, not from one country but several. The human right’s violations always come when one ‘class’ of people decide they are more important than another. Several of the chinese comments say that things are better in China now. I don’t understand these comments unless they are coming from the ruling class, the mandarin chinese, the govt., and the military. The chinese people in this blog say that they stopped slavery, why then did so many people flee to India? Are you saying that the destruction of a people’s way of life and the imprisonment and torture of so many is okay? Not only Tibetans but other political prisoners. Tibetans are unable to practice their religious beliefs without threat of reprisals. Tibetans admit that there were people who worked the fields, there was conflict with power seeking religious people, etc. Many countries have been violating human rights and it breaks my heart that there has been so much suffering. If my culture was being systematically destroyed, I don’t know how easy it would be to sit idly by… when religion is part of any conflict though, there are no winners or losers, we all end up losing. We all need to question ourselves and determine what is right and wrong. Do we want to continue the violence, the wars, the killings, the greed? This world will suffer unless ‘people’ decide that we have suffered enough.

Go to Tibet and see by yourself.

Posted by xiang | Report as abusive

Support Beijing ! Support China ! Support Olympics !
Britishmen – Chinesemen : be friends forever !
Chinese are our friends forever !

US is trying to split Tibet from China, to steal their resources. The Tibetans including the Dalai Lama are just puppets, and everybody is BRAINWASHED…again. Dalai Lama and Tibetan monks had slaves, serfs, feudalism and theocracy. Britain invaded and stole Tibet in 1904. CIA initiated the monks to revolt in 1959, and has been funding the Free Tibet movement around the world since. US has military bases surrounding China. BEST EXPLANATION of what’s really happening: ontext=va&aid=8673 ontext=va&aid=6530 ontext=va&aid=7355 ontext=va&aid=8442 ontext=va&aid=8462 ontext=va&aid=8697 ontext=va&aid=8693 ontext=va&aid=8617 ontext=va&aid=8656 ontext=va&aid=8731 ontext=va&aid=9109

Posted by Curt | Report as abusive