19 June 2008


The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, will be celebrated from August 8, 2008, to August 24, 2008, with the opening ceremony beginning at 08:08:08 pm CST (12:08:08 UTC) at the Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Some events will be held outside Beijing, namely football (in Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin), equestrian (in Hong Kong) and sailing (in Qingdao). This will be the third time the Olympics are held under the jurisdiction of 2 different NOCs (Hong Kong and mainland China compete separately).
The Olympic games were awarded to Beijing, People's Republic of China after an exhaustive ballot of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 13, 2001. The official logo of the games, titled "Dancing Beijing," features a stylized calligraphic character jīng (京, meaning capital), referencing the host city. The mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing one color of the Olympic rings. The Olympic slogan, One World, One Dream, calls upon the world to unite in the Olympic spirit. Athletes will compete in 302 events in 28 sports, just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens games of 2004. Several new National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have also been recognized by the IOC.
The Chinese government has promoted the games to highlight China's emergence on the world stage, amidst concerns about environmental issues and human rights violations, particularly in Tibet. There have also been growing concerns of major nations boycotting the Olympics in protest of China's actions in Tibet. Earlier in 2007, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had said that he believes that the Beijing games will be "the best in Olympic history".

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Coronation: 17 November 1950
Full name: Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso
Born: 6 July 1935 (1935-07-06)

Tenzin Gyatso (born 6 July 1935) is the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama. He is often referred to simply as the Dalai Lama. Tibetan Buddhists all around the world highly respect him regardless of sect although he is from the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and as leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family in the village of Taktser, or Tengtser, of the Tibetan province of Amdo: he was originally named Lhamo Dondrub (Wylie: Lha-mo Don-'grub). His first language was the Amdo dialect of Tibetan. He was proclaimed the tulku (rebirth) of the thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of two.

On 17 November 1950, at the age of fifteen, he was enthroned as Tibet's Head of State. Thus he became Tibet's most important political ruler just one month after the People's Republic of China's invasion of Tibet on 7 October 1950.
According to the non-government Save Tibet website, the Tibetan people are denied most rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the rights to self-determination, freedom of speech, assembly, movement, expression, and travel. Elliot Sperling, an Associate Professor of Tibetan Studies at Indiana University, in a statement to the Human Rights Watch, also detailed human rights violation in Tibet. The Tibet Justice.org claims that according to UN Development Programme data, Tibet is ranked the lowest among China’s 31 provinces, and is ranked 153 out of the 160 countries on the Human Development Index.

how could anyone kill a monk?

Amnesty International has stated that political prisoners are often beaten and tortured, and sometimes summarily executed. Since the 1988 ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture by China, 69 Tibetans are recorded as having died as a result of torture in Chinese prisons. Human rights groups have confirmed by name over 700 Tibetan political prisoners in Tibet, many of them detained without charge or trial.

Tibetologist Thomas Laird claims that there is no evidence to support China's claim that Tibet is autonomous, as all local legislation is subject to approval of the central government in Beijing.

The Tibetan exile government claims that China does not allow independent human rights organisations into Tibet, and foreign delegations invited to Tibet are denied independent access to meet with Tibetans. The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy claims that more than 11,000 monks and nuns have been expelled from Tibet since 1996 for opposing "patriotic re-education" sessions conducted at monasteries and nunneries under the "Strike Hard" campaign.
Thomas Laird also claims that China continues to encourage the transfer of Chinese settlers into Tibet. This threatens the survival of the Tibetan religious, cultural and national identity. The Free Tibet website claims that unemployment in schools, discussion of Tibetan cultural, religious and social issues is discouraged, and Chinese culture is promoted.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy claims that unemployment among Tibetans is high. An unequal taxation system further exacerbates the conditions of poverty for Tibetans in rural areas.Many basic rights, such as the right to housing, education and health, remain unfulfilled.

murdered monk floating in the river


June 16th, 2008 by DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, TMV Columnist

You might remember my reports on the monk’s, nun’s and Burmese people’s protests in September of last year, how my contacts in Yangon (Rangoon) dried up within days as cpu’s were confiscated, cell phones smashed, communications wires cut, and various deeply good souls arrested, many children, men, women beaten, many murdered by Than Shwe’s evil orders. It was agony and remains so, not to know the fates of those specific contacts/blogger/photographers who were bravely and desperately funneling information and photos out of Burma to literally anyone who would receive them.
I pray for highly endangered bloggers and journalists and radio and broadcast press people everyday. But after such brutal crackdowns as the smug dictator Shwe’s in Burma, for instance, I dont know the storytellers’ whereabouts, if I should pray for them on earth, or perhaps they have been killed and are in heaven. So I pray for them wherever they might be, that they be given all mercy possible, that they be made invisible at just the right moments, that they somehow know we know; that they can be assured that their courage work did not fall on stones.
I would like a monument to The Unknown Bloggers of the World. I would. I am deadly serious. Those who risked their lives to tell the story. Those who gave their lives to tell the story before they were cut down.
Here is more on the hugely disturbing free-form arresting and harming of bloggers, a practice that despite public knowlege, continues without effective intervention… In this report from University of Washington, a reported 64 bloggers arrested for publishing their views in 2003, to a 192 bloggers reported arrested in 2007, the numbers only increase. It is poignant to note that ‘reported’ numbers does not include those who are maimed, disappeared, murdered. Nor does it include, as the article states, those arrested in place just like Burma where the government gives the evil eye to anyone who asks after the welfare of any citizen.

From BBC

…A University of Washington annual report….

More than half of all the arrests since 2003 have been made in China, Egypt and Iran, said the report.
Citizens have faced arrest and jail for blogging about many different topics, said the World Information Access (WIA) report.
Arrested bloggers exposed corruption in government, abuse of human rights or suppression of protests. They criticised public policies and took political figures to task.

The report said the rising number of arrests was testament to the “growing” political importance of blogging. It noted that arrests tended to increase during times of “political uncertainty”, such as around general elections or during large scale protests.
Jail time followed arrest for many bloggers, said the report, which found that the average prison sentence for blogging was 15 months. The longest sentence found by the WIA was eight years.
It acknowledged that the true number of bloggers arrested could be far higher than the total it found as, in some cases, it proved hard to verify if an arrest had taken place and on what grounds.
For instance, it said the Committee to Protect Bloggers has published information about 344 people arrested in Burma - many of whom are thought to be be bloggers - but the WIA could not verify all the reports.
It also noted that many nations, perhaps as many as 30, imposed technological restrictions on what people can do online. In nations such as China this made it difficult for people to use a blog as a means of protest.
The report pointed out that it is not just governments in the Middle East and East Asia that have taken steps against those publishing their opinions online. In the last four years, British, French, Canadian and American bloggers have also been arrested…
The Chicago Tribune reports that Chinese blogger and activist Hu Jia has been arrested. The charge is “subverting state authority,” though in China, as in many countries that repress expression, the actual charges might as well be “consorting with leprechauns.”

The reality is Hu Jia blogs about sensitive issues and has been arrested before. The couple had been under house arrest since May. Perhaps it’s true that this part of a new storm of repression prior to the 2008 Olympics to take place next summer in Beijing.

Hu and his wife, 24-year-old fellow blogger Zhen Zinyan, were under house arrest when police barged into their Beijing home Thursday afternoon. Activists say the police disconnected the couple’s telephones and Internet connections and seized a computer, memory sticks and documents. Zhen, who gave birth six weeks ago to a daughter, was not taken into custody.

Information from Reporters Without Borders indicates the triggers for this latest arrest may have been Hu’s participation, via webcam, in a European parliamentary hearing about human rights in China that took place in November in Brussels, Belgium, and another webcam appearance at the Foundation de France award ceremony in Paris on December 5, at which Hu accepted a free speech award.

Using his webcam, Hu participated in a European parliamentary hearing in Brussels on 26 November on the human rights situation in China. He said at one point during the hearing: “It is ironic that one of the people in charge of organising the Olympic Games is the head of the Bureau of Public Security, which is responsible for so many human rights violations. It is very serious that the official promises are not being kept before the games.”

I will continue to pray for all journalists and bloggers in China and all over the world where freedom of speech and freedom of expression are not allowed. These blessings are just a dream to so many people.
I propose a complete and total BOYCOTT on these games.
The Olympics is NOT about the athletes as so many think.
Its about a different set of games.
China does not deserve the games.
They never should have been chosen.

jailed Chinese blogger, Hu Jia.
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