Friday, March 14, 2008

China cracks down on Tibet -- again

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the NYT:

Chinese security forces were reportedly surrounding three monasteries outside Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, on Thursday after hundreds of monks took to the streets this week in what are believed to be the largest Tibetan protests against Chinese rule in two decades.

The turmoil in Lhasa occurred at a politically delicate time for China, which is facing increasing criticism over its human rights record as it prepares to play host to the Olympic Games in August and is seeking to appear harmonious to the outside world.

Needless to say, China is one of the world's worst abusers, and its brutal oppression of Tibet is a decades-long crime against humanity.

And yet it was awarded the Olympics -- which says a lot about the IOC.

And multinational businesses are thriving there -- which says a lot about corporate ethics and priorities.

And Western liberal democracies like the U.S. are playing along, profiting where possible and offering mild and ineffectual criticism where necessary -- which says a lot about our alleged commitment to the spread of freedom and democracy.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan people, like other people under the Chinese yoke, are continuing to suffer -- and to fight for their freedom.

They deserve our support, our committed and meaningful support. Instead, all we are doing is enabling their oppressors.

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