IOC blaming Tibetans?
In his year-end reflections on the Beijing Olympics, International Olympics Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge blamed Tibetans for the difficulties faced by the IOC in dealing with the Chinese government (“IOC was surprised by Tibet unrest, Rogge says,” Jan. 1, page 20). At a time when the violent conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate and the need for peaceful reconciliation is ever more urgent, it is irresponsible and inaccurate to accuse the Tibetans of turning to violence and “bloody unrest.”
The overwhelming majority of more than 130 protests against Chinese rule that swept across Tibet last year were peaceful, largely because of the example led by the Tibetans’ exiled leader — Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama — and the influence of Tibetan Buddhist culture. But the crackdown against them by the Chinese government was brutal.
Rogge’s comments are in line with Beijing’s propaganda, which seeks to represent the six-month cycle of largely peaceful dissent in Tibet as one violent riot in March.
The reality is that last year, Tibetans risked their lives to convey the message to the outside world that the Dalai Lama represents their interests, not the Chinese state, and to express their resentment against repressive policies undermining their religion and culture. In response, the Chinese government resorted to repressive and heavy-handed tactics that owe more to the political extremism and paranoia of the Maoist era than to a 21st century would-be superpower.
Chiu Yi’s ‘boring’ comment
I have to admit to being utterly speechless and dumbfounded to read the words spoken by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅). In what I can only assume to be an effort to console KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), Chiu said the job of legislator was “boring anyway,” and that she could take heart in the knowledge that she could do better in other fields (“Diane Lee quits KMT over dual citizenship scandal,” Dec. 31, 2008, page 1).
What sheer idiocy to make such a public statement. How heartless and base to utter such words! At best, this person is hopelessly out of touch with the every day world.
As if governing some 23 million people could be considered “boring” — especially during an economic crisis when many people have lost their jobs and some are having difficulties even putting food on the table.
There are many, many people who would gladly work very hard for one-eighth the wages earned by a legislator. Perhaps Chiu might give some thought and consideration to their plight.
It is a total disgrace, and even a little perverse, for Chiu — with his extremely high-paying sinecure post — to pronounce such risable inanities. Does Chiu seriously expect any pity for himself or for Lee? Can anyone in their right mind view such a notion tenable in the least bit? I have absolutely no pity for either Lee or Chiu.
With their sinecure positions and numerous privileges, Taiwanese legislators are among the highest paid in the world. And yet, all too often, certain members among their ranks brawl like drunken sailors on shore leave and in brothels, or like chimpazees in a zoo. Here in the US, Taiwanese legislative sessions serve as nightly entertainment on television, with snide commentary provided.
Perhaps if Chiu were to use a infinitesimally small portion of his brain, he could come up with some ideas to make his sinecure post less “boring.” For example, I can think of many things along the lines of social welfare and civil liberties. How about struggling for the dignity of Taiwan? In other words, perhaps he should make an attempt to do the job he was elected for.
East Hartford, Connecticut
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