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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Men of Conscience Should Boycott the Beijing Olympic

September 22, 2007

Asian Tribune
Sat, 2007-09-22

Prof. Kanbawza Win

The original purpose of the Olympic Games, both ancient and modern, is
to foster the ideal of, “A sound mind in a sound body,” and to promote
friendship among the nations. The Official Olympic Anthem runs “Immortal
spirit of Antiquity, Father of the Beautiful and Good.” How can these
ideals be applied to Beijing, when it is the very heart of all the evil
and President Hu Jingtao ranks as the most ruthless human rights
violator of the world? People have to consider the consequences of the
government already a totalitarian and dictatorial against its own people
and other nations particularly Burma and Sudan.

The Beijing Games serve as a conclusive proof that sports and politics
are connected and is purely an image booster in the international arena
and legitimacy at home. Lamentably sports has become politics nowadays
as it bring image to the country and that major international companies
and business enterprises and all top athletes no matter of what country
they came from are professionals, to show their prowess in the world.
Since Socialist states especially China consider, a sport victory as an
affair of state importance, these athletes are trained and treated as
state assets. It became increasingly difficult for athletes of other
smaller countries like Burma, ASEAN, Africa and Latin American
countries, who do not have the resources to train professionally to
compete or to realise the political implications and values to compete
successfully against China and other big countries.

The Beijing Olympic organizers are evicting tenants to make room for
castors, shutting down factories to reduce pollution, plotting to
control the weather, staging rallies to teach English and ordering
Beijing’s brusque citizens to mind their manners. What ever it takes,
the organizers are determined to put on the grandest Games and make them
a symbol of the Communist nation’s arrival as a global power to be
reckoned with. A series of recent scandals involving contaminated food
and consumer goods in China has only heightened the urgency for Beijing,
to put on a good face for the more than 10,000 athletes and over half a
million visitors expected. China will dole out a record of $40 billion
on stadium and airport and subway improvement more than twice of what
Greece spend on the last Athens Olympic. It wants to show off its model
of efficiency as sports venues and athlete houses were completed well
ahead of the schedule time.

However, the other side is that well documented humanitarian groups has
proven that the Chinese government has evicted more than one and a half
a million (according to the Geneva bases Centre Housing Rights and
Evictions) people to clear the way for venues and other Olympic
facilities. At least in this aspect it has copied from the Burmese
military Junta of forced relocation and eviction meted out to the
Burmese people. Just like the Burmese army had done, many of Beijing’s
displaced tenants have been given little or no notice and forced
evictions have been violent with fatalities. The evicted residents are
given little or nor compensation at all and many of them have become
homeless. In fact the Chinese clearance of residence is unprecedented
double the number relocated by the Seoul Olympics of 1988 except that it
could not beat the Burmese Junta in this aspect.

Pollution is a chronic problem in Beijing, there is usually a yellowish
mix of factory emissions, car exhaust and Gobi Desert sand and for this
Beijing will spend $ 3 billion on pollution control alone. It will
ordered one million cars of gridlock streets to cut traffic and auto
emissions, last year alone Beijing removed 15,000 old taxis and 3,000
buses much to the hardship of its citizens. It has closed several
factories and leading factories as Capital Iron and Steel Works are
schedule to reduce production before moving to an island in Bohai Bay.
At a time when International Energy Agency says that China is surpassing
USA as the world’s top produce of greenhouse gas, the Chinese are also
tooting their efforts to create an environmentally friendly green
Olympic. What more the Olympic officials are planning to control the
rain to keep outdoors events dry. They will blasts clouds with rockets
carrying chemicals designed to make it rain quickly, so the storm will
be over before the events begin. Besides zapping the clouds, the Chinese
will roll out their technology to impress the world. Athletes won’t
carry keys in the Olympic village, their room doors will open when they
show up their faces. Camera on the doors will be linked to the digital
recognition scanners.

What can the world do in face of such a formidable giant, will
humanitarian have a say in Beijing Olympics? Obviously the Chinese will
not tolerate dissent. When the Olympic torch relay route was announced,
Tibetan activists oppose Beijing’s plan to take the torch to Mount
Everest and Taiwan wants the torch to pass through it, were of no avail.
Wang Wei, the Secretary General of the Beijing Olympic Organizing
Committee said that “we have laws that if you want to protest you will
have to apply”, which they will not approve. They will arrest anybody
that dares to protest and shipped them thousands of miles away.

The London based Amnesty International says that China has failed to
improve human rights, a promise which the government makes before it was
awarded the Olympics. Persecution of civil rights groups and the
censoring of domestic media are still going on in might and main. What
more the Chinese government misuses it “re-education through labor”
system to detain activists. This system has been in place since 1957 and
can keep an activist for four years without trial. No doubt the Beijing
Olympic will be on the model of the Moscow Olympic of 1980 where the
late President Ronald Regan was bold enough to boycott but in Beijing
one of the smiling faces will be President George W Bush, a barometer of
how American morality has changed.

Burma is the first nation outside the Communist bloc to recognize the
People’s Republic of China in 1949; the first to conclude a Treaty of
Friendship and Mutual Non-Aggression in 1961; the first to achieve a
boundary settlement with China in 1961; and one of the first to patch up
relations with Beijing after the Cultural Revolution. But also
ironically is the first dictator to congratulate Beijing’s crackdown on
demonstrators in Tiananmen Square when Beijing made a carbon copy of the
Burmese army shooting into the crowds on the 8th day of the 8th month
(August) of the year 1988 better known as 8888. Now to mock the Burmese
democracy movement, the Beijing Olympic is schedule at 8 pm on the 8th
month of the year 2008 as 8 is the lucky number for the Chinese in as
much as 9 is the lucky number of Ne Win and his cohorts.

Every patriotic Burmese should join the boycott of the Beijing Olympic
and we should support of what Ko Aung Din of US Campaign for Burma, to
demonstrate in front of every Chinese embassy of the world to show our
disapproval. Every Burmese Diaspora people should joined the conscious
people of the international community to protest this genocidal Olympic.

China had sold jet fighters, frigates and other heavy military equipment
for the Burmese military Junta to crack down on the ethno democratic
force and together with Russia is also the first nation to veto the
Burmese problem from discussing at the UN Security Council effectively
stuffing out the ethno democratic aspirations of the Burmese people.
Very lately the Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win made an unpublicized,
if not a secret; visit to meet Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan in
Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the Chinese government to confirm the
Chinese veto in case Burma was put up at the UN Security Council by the
West particularly from European Union. Earlier in June, China hosted a
secret meeting between senior US State Department officials and Burmese
ministers in Beijing with the aim of diffusing the vocal critic of
Washington over Burma, even though the Burmese Premier was already brief
by Wen Jiabao of the Chinese support in the 9th ASEAN plus China, in
Kuala Lumpur. The bottom line is that, aside from packages of aid and
business deals, Burmese leaders can’t bark or bite without China’s
political and moral support resulting in the organized thugs roaming at
will with ferocity as the year advanced.

China's long-touted policy of not interfering in the "internal affairs"
of other states is running contradictory to a broader definition of
national interests and a greater willingness to embrace global
institutions and international norms -- and to use them to advance its
foreign-policy goals as a way of shoring up the Olympic game in Beijing.
It seems hypocritical to witness a small Chinese army contingent as part
of the UN and African force to stop the violence in Darfur region, when
it has all the time supporting the Khartoum based Sudanese government
with oil purchases and weapon sales, another bigger Burma scenario. If
China wants to play a magnanimous big power role in Southeast Asia, she
should support the genocide regime of Burma. Any way there is a Burmese
saying of “Khwe Mee Kaug Che Dauk Sout”` meaning one cannot make the
tail of the dog to be straight by just putting it into a bamboo pipe as
the Burmese call them they will be just Tayoke meaning Mr Mean. The
classic example being their critical role in North Korea’s ambition of
the atomic bomb and even now is opposing the coercive action of Iran.
Burma is just a small fry, the true color of the Chinese will appear
once the Beijing Olympic is over.

An international outcry over Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games
has grown steadily louder. How can the premier event in international
sports be hosted by a nation complicit in the most heinous international
crimes? The Chinese regime is guilty of perpetrating the ongoing
destruction of Tibet, supporting the vicious Burmese Junta, engaging in
gross domestic human rights abuses, and, perhaps worst of all,
facilitating genocide in Darfur and Burma? Beijing's currently enabling
attitudes is a real threat that "their" Olympics will be redefined, made
the occasion of an unprecedented shaming campaign. Much more potent than
a simple boycott--which does more to punish athletes and the entire
international sports community--such a campaign, broadly supported, will
create precisely the powerful forum for outrage that Beijing works so
hard to suppress domestically. But, if the world pretends that the 2008
Games occur in a moral and political vacuum and yet if Darfur and
Burma's agony continues, these Games will inevitably be remembered as
the “Genocide Olympic”.

Burma has a long recorded history of fighting the Chinese for 2,000
years and if our fore fathers could successfully fought why we can’t? We
have always known that Chinese’s Imperialism, is using the policy of a
great nation to lord it over its peripherals and would not allow a
country at its back door to become democracy. Even at the height of the
8888 demonstrations when the US warships including aircraft carrier
Coral Sea appeared in the Burmese waters and rumors were rife that the
US would come and help the people of Burma against the hated Tatamadaw,
China was massing up its army at the border region to take Shan State
with the then Communist Party of Burma as a front man (read the theory
of Maung Aung Myo) thus proving the Burmese oracle of Ta Yoke Ka Phi,
Shan Ka Ei, She The Bama A Nauk Hmar meaning the Chinese will press on
to lord over the Shan while the Burmese will let it happens staying in
the side lines at the back. The Chinese had taken Sip Hsong Pannafrom
Shan State and now they want all of Shan state especially east of the
Salween River.

Even now the unofficial count of the Chinese in Burma comes to five
million who are highly prosperous, while the country of fifty five
million plus are desperately poor and with the monks and the 8888
generation movement heightening the tensions every day, there is every
possibility that the law takes into its own hands and obviously the
first attack will be on the hated local Chinese. But the men from the
Dragon throne are willing to pay the price, for this will give China a
good pretext to invade Burma.

Now that Burma’s problem has gone up to the UNSC where Gambari has
informed that the developments in Burma have serious concerns in the
international community and once again underscore the urgency to step up
the international efforts, while the United States Ambassador to the
United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad referred to Burma as a threat to
regional peace and security.

This means that the Security Council will have to decide at which point
the situation warrants a response. Even though most members are expected
to have a low-key briefing US and EU particularly UK might push for some
sort of Council action. The paradoxical Chinese position is that still
adheres to the old position of Burma is not a threat to international
peace and security and probability will use another veto. However the
sly Chinese try to appear to be opened to assisting any country that is
trying to normalize relations with Burma, as it has brokered talks with
the US at the end of June. Countries like Indonesia, South Africa, Congo
and Qatar, which abstained when the draft resolution was put to a vote
in January, are still at the cross road to have to decide in agreeing to
formal Council action on this issue. The bottom line is that China
cannot allow democracy to flourish in its backdoor. It must be like him
to run the country with an iron hand. Hence every Burmese must do its
best to protest the Chinese and shame them in the international eyes,
proving beyond doubt that this big bully is not worthy of leading the
international community. One can start with the boycott of the Beijing
Olympic game.

Professor Win, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Prime Minister
of Burma has served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Menno
Simons College of University of Winnipeg and later as a Senior Research
Fellow at the European Institute of Asian Studies, Brussels is now the
incumbent Dean of the Students of the AEIOU Programme, Chiangmai
University Thailand and Professor of the School of International
Studies, Simon Fraser University, of British Columbia, Canada, filed
this report from Paris.


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