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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

A celebration of Lies

August 27, 2008

Jamyang Norbu
August 25, 2008

As the Beijing Olympics comes to a close there are probably not many
people on this planet who have not heard, read about, or witnessed
the series of lies, deceptions, scams, manipulations,
control-operations, and cruelties that the Communist Chinese
authorities perpetrated during the Olympic Games in Beijing. In fact
there were so many that it might be a good idea to list them all down
since I am sure that most people have overlooked one or two, or
forgotten a few, if they were noting them to begin with.

First of all we had the spectacular computer generated giant
"footprints" that were "added" to television broadcast of the
firework display at the opening ceremony.

Did you know that the one thousand or more massed drum-performers at
the ceremony were all PLA soldiers and members of the wujing or armed
police? Probably on rotation or R & R from torturing people or
shooting them in the back in Tibet or East Turkestan.

Then there was the annoyingly perky nine-year-old, Lin Miaoke,
portrayed as singing the "Ode to the Motherland," while in fact she
was lip-synching to a recorded version sung by a girl who was deemed
less attractive, the seven year old Yang Peiyi. If he was watching
this on TV the real Panchen Lama (under house arrest in Beijing)
might have had a deja vu kind of moment.

Ai Weiwei, the original designer of the Birds Nest stadium, and one
of the very rare Chinese of any artistic or intellectual stature who
still has a mind of his own, said that "the ceremony deceived and
humiliated its six hundred million spectators." In 2007 he condemned
Zhang Yimou and Steven Spiegel for choreographing the opening
ceremony, and accused them of moral failure in not living up to their
responsibility as artists.

One of the events in the opening ceremonies was a procession of
children bearing a large Chinese flag into the stadium, each child
wearing a costume representing one of China's "ethnic minorities."
Actually the children were all Chinese. Minorities were probably
considered too barbaric or too troublesome for such a task. One of
them might have shouted "Bhod Rangzen!."

Actually it could just be that there were no "minorities" left in
Beijing. We know that nearly every Uighur and Tibetan had been kicked
out of Beijing, not just students and visitors but even the poor
amala selling trinkets at the subway station. Tsering Shakya's neice,
Lhamo Pemba, was expelled even though she was a British national and
had a visa and residential permit. We also know that transient
labourers, out-of town petitioners and many other Chinese had all
been forced to leave the capital.

But let's not make too much of that, after all even Joey Cheek, an
Olympian Gold Medalist speed skater, and activist, had his visa
revoked because he spoke out against China's sponsorship of genocide
in Darfur. If Olympic Gold Medalists can't attend the Olympic Games
then who can?

While on the subject of activists we should note that Beijing human
rights activist Zeng Jinyan disappeared on the eve of the Opening
Ceremony. A number of other Chinese dissidents and activists appear
to have suffered the same fate including Ji Sizun, a lawyer. A friend
claimed that even the telephone line in her apartment had been
disconnected. They disappeared, just like that. Like the
desaparecidos in South America in the seventies.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 22 foreign journalists were
attacked or arrested during the Games. At least 50 human-rights
activists were arrested, harassed, or forced to leave Beijing.

All Beijing hospitals were ordered to lock up their psychiatric
wards. Patients were not allowed outside during the period of the
Olympics. The authorities might have done this for cosmetic reasons.
A New York Times report noted the absence of old people in Beijing
during the Games. But there could be a direct security connection, as
many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of dissidents,
labour-organizers, Falun Gong members, and others have been committed
to special state-run psychiatric institutions called Ankang, where
according to Human Rights Watch they are treated with drugs, electric
shocks and psycho-surgery (possibly even pre-frontal lobotomies) to
cure them of their anti-social behaviour.

On to the actual games. There were reports that at least three
Chinese gymnasts, including the gold-medalist He Kexin, were under
the required age of sixteen. A computer security expert for the New
York-based Intrepidus Group, performed a detailed forensic search for
He's age that confirmed the growing accusations. What is interesting
is that the US Olympic Committee is not asking for an investigation.
If He Kexin and other were disqualified on an age basis the US would
have much to gain but it seems that no one wants to upset the Chinese hosts.

In the individual women's competition the American gymnast Nastia
Liukin had the same exact score as He Kexin but ended up with the
silver due to a "very complicated voting procedure." So complicated
that no one in the public was really informed how that decision was
made. The Americans kept quiet on this one also. The Bible says
somewhere that "the borrower is a slave to the lender".

Brazilian pole-vaulter Fabiana Murer said Olympic officials lost her
pole during the finals at the Bird's Nest stadium, costing her a
chance to compete for a medal. She was clearly one of the likely
medal winners on the basis of the heat results. Murer says she's
'never coming back to China'. This could have been screw-up by
officials, and on the whole China's athletes have, according to most
reports, been sporting and well-behaved. Its specially admirable when
you have to consider what some of them have to go through in life.

The New York Times published a couple of articles about the many
professional athletes in China who were performing under compulsion.
Such gold medalist as canoeist, Yang Wenjun -- the son of peasant
rice farmers, and Ma Pengpeng, a provincial rower from Handan City,
were recruited compulsorily as children. They were deprived of an
education in order that they dedicate their entire life to train for
the sport that the authorities had chosen for them. There were other
stories of gold medalist weight lifters dying of poverty and disease,
and other washed-out athletes dumped like garbage after their
usefulness to the state had ended. Another article reported on the
unusually high incidence of injuries sustained by China's athletes
because of compulsory overtraining. This is not to say the West does
not have it own problems with sports and athlete's health, but the
extreme degree of compulsion and state-control over the careers, even
lives, of athletes is another thing altogether.

To backtrack a bit. There appears to be an on going discussion about
the authenticity of the Chinese summit of Mt Everest with the Olympic
torch back in May. There are serious charges that it was faked. The
Chinese made sure that every foreigner, even on the Nepalese side of
Everest was kicked out, including the BBC team camped out in Khumbu
to cover the event. Even foreign journalists who had earlier been
invited to record China's great victory found their invitations
revoked at the last moment. The Everest torch team of thirty people
did not have a single non-Chinese journalist or outside observer.
According to Nepalese blog, Blogdai, a most compelling evidence of
the fakery seemed to come from the official footage of the alleged
summit, as released to the western media. No old, faded prayer flags
that mark the summit and have been known to stay in place for a few
seasons or more. A complete lack of visual reference points --
specific peaks, ridges and other things in the background. Climbers
too chatty for the altitude, etc., etc. One theory is that the
Olympic torch wouldn't light on the summit in May, so they simply
enacted the great moment for the cameras further down the mountain.

About a week into the Games came the revelation that a 21-point
instruction list had been issued by the authorities to all Chinese
journalists, itemizing the kinds of negative reporting they were to
refrain from during the Olympics. The list was revealed at an IOC
(International Olympic Committee) press conference, but the IOC
spokesman denied knowing anything about this and questioned the
authenticity of the list. As a part of the deal for Beijing hosting
the Games the Chinese government had agreed to allow press freedom
not only to foreign but to Chinese journalists as well.

We should remember that China had also guaranteed the freedom of
speech to its citizens as well, for the Olympics. Everyone now knows
of the infamous official "Protest Zones" that were set aside by the
authorities during the Olympics, where people would be allowed to
protest and demonstrate. And we also know that those Chinese who
applied for permission to protest (77 applications) were not only all
refused but many applicants were even arrested. But surely the
decision by the authorities to sentence two frail grandmothers, Wu
Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, to a one year "re-education
through labour" (láojiào) for applying to protest, must be regarded
as the most extraordinary of the many inhuman, heavy handed and
repressive actions taken during the Olympics. AFP said that Wang and
Wu would be allowed to serve their sentences at home, but would be
sent to a labour camp if they caused further trouble.

Wang and the nearly blind Wu were just two of the 1.5 million men,
women, and children whose homes in Beijing were bulldozed to make
room for the construction of Olympic facilities and urban
beautification projects. According to a Boston Globe column "To clear
them out, the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions
found, Chinese authorities resorted to "harassment, repression,
imprisonment, and even violence." Demolitions and evictions
frequently occurred without due process. Many dispossessed residents
were not compensated; those who were usually received a fraction of
the amount" -- as in the case of our two grannies.

The Boston Globe's "China's totalitarian games: appears to be a part
of a growing expression of outrage and condemnation that the world
press is finally allowing itself to make about China's repressive and
untrustworthy regime and the International Olympic Committee's
disgustingly self-serving pusillanimity. Also check out The New York
Times editorial "Beijing's Bad Faith Olympics." Is this all just a
temporary phenomenon? Will everyone just shove their snouts back in
the China trough, once the novelty of moral indignation has worn off?
I hope not. Perhaps this time the cracks in Beijing's facade are just
too many and too wide to be papered over that easily. If the
awareness does hold, then the IOC must, in a sense, be thanked for
unwittingly performing this service for freedom and democracy. By
awarding the Games to China and by allowing the Chinese authorities
every opportunity to indulge in their lies and oppression, they
alerted the world to the inherently deceitful and evil nature of
Communist China .

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