07
Apr
08

On air: Are protestors ruining the Olympics?

Is this what you have in mind for the Olympics? A torch-holder surrounded by Chinese ‘flame attendants’ who in turn are being helped by police while protestors noisily voice their opposition to Chinese policies and try and get to the torch. An event intended to hold 3000 people at the end of the procession, was attended by 300. That was London yesterday, much the same is playing out in Paris today. So who to blame?

The protestors
The Olympics gives great pleasure to millions, from torch relays to the opening ceremonies to the events themselves. Every country is accused of human rights abuses of one sort or another (just read the annual Amnesty report), so do these anti-China protestors have the right to disrupt this Olympic year as they are doing? Thousands of Londoners loved the torch-relay in 2004, they weren’t allowed to have the same experience this time. Should protestors find other ways to make their point?

The IOC
Is the real problem here the IOC for thinking it could speed change in China by awarding the Olympics to Beijing? Has it bitten off more than it can chew by assuming a role in China’s evolution and in so doing has it jeopardised these Olympics?

China
Or is this about China? Some of you say those ‘flame attendants’ were menacing and the last kind of people you want in Olympic tracksuits. Rumours continue to fly that they are ex-security service personnel, and neither the British Olympic Minister nor the Chinese Ambassador to London are able to tell us exactly who they are. Is this another example of why Beijing was the wrong choice?

Either way, is the Olympics being ruined?


235 Responses to “On air: Are protestors ruining the Olympics?”


  1. 1 Chris Clarke-Williams
    April 7, 2008 at 14:07

    I think that the IOC have done quite enough to ruin the Olympics in so many ways over the years. Allowing China to hold them is just the latest in a long line of hypocrisies.

    Shame on us for allowing the Olympic flame to be brought here before these Olympics, yes I know we are the next hosts but it would be nice to think that we do have some standards, clearly this is not the case.

  2. April 7, 2008 at 14:15

    Are protesters ruining the Olympics?” No!!
    —————————————————————

    I am pro-protesting. It is a good thing to let voices heard and show what we think about the current situation. Although it is really annoying to know that the population of China won’t see anything about the protests here and don’t know anything what is happening at the moment and what discussion there are about the Olympics vs China.

    A colleague just came back from China, (holliday). She told me she received an modified travel schedule and they were not allowed to be and go any where in the neighborhood of Tibet, nor speak open about it with the population of China.

    The Chinese media will not release any negative news about the Olympics to its citizens. It has been censored on television, news tabloids and radio.
    —————————————————————–
    “Is the real problem here the IOC for thinking it could speed change in China by awarding the Olympics to Beijing?”

    IOC=naive. The only change that will occur is change in the treasure of the Chinese government. There will be no improvements for the Chinese citizens itself.

    In my opinion the current problems has been caused by a bad judgment call by the IOC to give China the Olympics.

    Cheers,

  3. April 7, 2008 at 14:17

    Events like the Olympics are a political tool and should, must, be used as such.

    Politicians, governments, regimes et al, those ‘in power’, spend billions on propaganda; promoting their cause, putting out their message.

    The media used is mainly in private hands and the hidden agendas are, thanks mainly to the Internet and (at great risk of ending up in the ‘BrownNose” column of Private Eye), broadcasters like the BBC, of which there are not a lot.

    Governments, and lets face it, are not exactly doing a good job.
    It is not a happy planet.

    If those without the resource of billions at their disposal chose to play Ikido, or Judo; that is using the media to make a point back to the politicians, I say that’s pretty smart.

    Yes, use these horribly expensive globally publicised political events, with taxpayers money being spent, to make a point. That is what they are there for.

    Malc
    Berlin

  4. April 7, 2008 at 14:18

    It’s not what I expected, but I like it. Protest is good. It’s how the ‘powers the be’ react to protest that is important. And if the Chinese react poorly, or violently, or even just stupidly, then we will all know, won’t we? (Not that we don’t now.) Boycotting China (By the IOC) would have been the smart move. Or China bowing-out, seeing as they had\have so much to hide. But they are there, so now you go on as best you can, and keep taking very good looks around while there. Boycotting the Olympics will do nothing, we already know that. We, the U.S., bowed out once, ironically over the U.S.S.R. moving into Afganistan, and it did nothing; barely brought a light on the subject. You don’t make the athletes pay for poor coorporate decision making. Just keep your eyes open, now that you’re there.

  5. 5 John in Salem
    April 7, 2008 at 14:24

    A little premature for that verdict, isn’t it? The Olympics is more than simply the passing of the torch and I doubt you’ll see any of these people at the games.
    I’m just hoping that the press doesn’t ruin the Olympics by turning every negative observation or comment into a major P.R. event.

  6. April 7, 2008 at 14:25

    No. “To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes COWARDS of men.” This is an IOC gaff, for money, of course. They needed to pull the Games from China when the conditions were not met. Now, you go; you don’t make the athletes pay for poor coorporate decision making. AND, you keep eyes and ears open, and show them up for they are. Either way. Beside: it is an eccellent forum for protesting. Look at Munich.

  7. 7 Zita
    April 7, 2008 at 14:45

    Hi Ros!
    About protestors ruining the Olympics, I would like to echo the thoughts of a person I heard on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. i.e. It is a good thing to protest. If I was living through the problems in Tibet, I would hope that the fair minded people living in Western and other democracies will do all they can to bring home to the ‘agressors’ message to stop what they are doing and solve the problem by peaceful negotiations. So I think the idea of using theh Olympic torch ceremony should be viewed in this way. The protestors are not acting against the Olympics as such but using the high profile ceremony to make themselves heard. And England and France are democratic countiries. One cannot forbid it if one believes in free speech.
    Good Luck with the programme!
    kind regards,
    Zita

  8. 8 Ros Atkins
    April 7, 2008 at 14:45

    There is a great deal of truth in this question.

    There is also a great deal of truth in the media exposing one set of human rights abuses- China’s- while systematically ignoring others elsewhere.

    If anything can be concluded about this mess it is the media now makes events as much as reports them.

    I frankly wish the human rights violations going on inside the USA today, MKUltra and the Monarch Project, were reported and behavior modification such as we are seeing in the torch run protests applied to something closer to home, with healthy results for the American Citizens suffering under these abuses and a virtual news black out.

    China needs to clean up it’s act: the human rights abusers in the USA need to clean up their act also.

    George USA

  9. 9 Ros Atkins
    April 7, 2008 at 14:51

    Hi Ros,
    Maybe its the fortunate group that has access to pleading or telling the world,because months before the torch,people from AFRICA,ME INCLUSIVE requested the boycott so as to express the plight of the people of DARFUR.Nobody bothered;Let CHINA PUMP its OIL-BUSINESS AS USUAL. If the TORCH relay route passed thru DARFUR it would never be seen again because the anger is much,much and I mean plenty more.

    TOGO KASORO
    KAMPALA-UGANDA

  10. April 7, 2008 at 14:53

    While people have a right to protest, what is going on with regards to the Olympics is not a protest. In fact, the attempt to take the torch away from one of the torch bearers [former Blue Peter Presenter Konnie Huq] is counterproductive. Any attempt to boycott the 2008 Olympics will only hurt those who are participating. I can still remember when the USSR [Russia] invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and Carter [US President] boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980. I myself wrote to my family in Cuba, as well as to Radio Polonia, Radio Prague, Radio Bucharest [now Radio Romania International], Radio Budapest, and Radio Berlin International [defunct shortwave station of what was East Germany] in order to obtain souvenirs of the Moscow Olympics of 1980 which I received. There were people in Ohio who crossed Lake Erie to go to Canada to buy souvenirs of the Moscow Olympics 1980 and others defied Carter and actually went to Moscow from Canada. So much for boycotts and protests.

  11. April 7, 2008 at 14:55

    I also want to add that the USA should clean up its act [of censorship] by allowing coverage of the Olympic Torch Passing through different countries on its way to China.

  12. April 7, 2008 at 14:57

    As have exposed by print and electronic media and eyewitnesses stating atmosphere is not favourable for olympic games in China.

    The conditions,as put forwarded by the French president must be carried out in the first instance so that riskless circumstances may appeare .

    One hand china,is involved in human rights violation and on the hand trying to become host of Olympic Games.

    Bejing should consider the existing situation and solve it as soon as possible.

  13. 13 Ros Atkins
    April 7, 2008 at 15:04

    Ruining the Olympics? It’s more than the Chinese could hope for. First off they haven’t started yet and secondly the publicity will certainly help. I actually miss the old protest days. Now everything is planned and canned. Only what the government wants you to see. This is refreshing. The Bush White House now wants to change the famous mall in DC to limit free expression to whatever they approve of. Where will it end?
    GB

  14. 14 Anthony
    April 7, 2008 at 15:10

    Well, I’m someone who really doesn’t care about the Olympics, so I’m glad that so many people are able to rally around common ground and make a political statement.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. 15 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 15:10

    Chris Clarke-Williams:
    I totally agree with you that
    1) “the IOC have done quite enough to ruin the Olympics in so many ways over the years.” Allowing Britain to hold them is just the latest in a long line of hypocrisies – an encouragement to the US-Britain occupation, killing, torture of Iraq people.
    2)” Shame on us for allowing the Olympic flame to be brought here before these Olympics.”Absolutely. Lets start boycotting torch relay for the Olympics 2012 in Britain NOW!!! Chris Clarke-Williams, you must start organizing this boycott now, otherwise it will be too late.
    3) “yes I know we are the next hosts but it would be nice to think that we do have some standards.” Well said. Let’s show your “standards” by boycotting any sports event in the US and Britain to protest the human rights disaster done by the US and British aggression.

  16. 16 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 15:15

    Interesting: where were those people supporting boycotts when South Korea held the Olympics? Don’t tell me you didn’t know (still don’t know) that South Korea was a dictatorship at that time and was beating and killing protestors.

  17. 17 Tom Hastings
    April 7, 2008 at 15:20

    The international spotlight swings around to China in ways we can all ignore, usually. The Olympics give a brief opportunity to oppressed people to state their grievances for that moment. They should try and we should listen. As a U.S. citizen contemplating such an Olympic venue in the U.S., I would absolutely support any and all nonviolent protest and resistance to the U.S. by Iraqis, Afghans, or any of the people who have to put up with our heavy military footprint globally. And I would join them. The Tibetans in diaspora should move hard at this moment to draw our attention to China’s illegal and immoral occupation of their land. They are in Pioneer Square every day now at 4 p.m. and I hope all Portland Oregonians go support them–and that China is not allowed to pretend as though it can crush people who would be free without the rest of us helping to make that unacceptable.

  18. 18 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 15:21

    “If a nation expect to be ignorant and free… it expects what never was and never will.” Unfortunately, some people seem to quite confident that their ignorance does not matter since they live in a “free society.” Here is something that those people who want to boycott the Olympics may want to read before they try to grab the torches from the runners.
    http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html#notes

  19. 19 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 15:24

    GB-

    Everyone loves to see a bully misusing authority have good old fashion public ridicule.

    Public protests are healthy for our nation.

    The manipulation of the media in the USA to skip coverage of major public protests and stories has undermined this.

    That mall in DC is the cradle of Democracy and the nation:

    it belongs to the citizens for whatever the people of the USA want to say.

  20. 20 Paulo
    April 7, 2008 at 15:29

    Well, the actual processions are certainly being ruined by protestors. The question is whether they deserve to be ruined. I think trying to grab the torch from the athlete and put it out is a little over the top. A well done protest can change the world. A poorly done protest is just obnoxious.

    I was in Philadelphia this weekend, and there was a Tibet protest group in front of Independence Hall. But all it consisted of was two people chanting with one starting the chant and the other echoing the chant, and the rest of the crowd just standing there. Shouting meaningless slogans is pointless. Give us some details! Make a speech! Don’t just shout “China lies, people die!” If you give no information, it makes me think that they have no evidence to reference. I have been pretty sympathetic to the plight of Tibet, so how many people who are ill-informed or on the fence are they losing by not managing their protest campaign intelligently?

  21. 21 Xie_Ming
    April 7, 2008 at 15:29

    Should “spoiled-brat protesters” be tolerated? Whales, seal hunt, atomic tests, etc.

    There is a right to carry placards and to peacefully assemble, but there is no right to block traffic or assault, or to riot.

    It seems that those who cannot influence their government through legal means will seek to do so through illegal means.

    Publicity is often a goal of such actions? Should the media accomodate them?

    Is there a “slippery slope” of illegality leading to terrorism and assassination?

  22. 22 Peter Gizzi UK
    April 7, 2008 at 15:33

    Is The Olympics actually a sporting event? Montreal is I understand still paying for the 1976 Olympics. Do correct me if I am wrong. If right this suggests The Olypics is very much a commercial event. The wonderful sports persons who take part actually take second place. Money rules.

    At least in The UK we retain the right to protest, different in China. As I live fairly close to London I would have happily been there yesterday to protest as well. I was required elsewhere. Sadly our protests come to nothing with what is effectively fast becoming a dictatorship. Nobody listens to us anymore!

    I do feel slightly hypocritical. In my home there are at least 8 electrical items made in China!

    Will we be paying for The London Olympics for the next 30 years too? How will we the ordinary people of The UK benefit? I in fact have no interest in sport at all so will not watch China or London if I am still alive by then.

  23. 23 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 15:44

    I am constantly amazed by a common feature of those people who are quick at pointing fingers at others in those discussions recently, whether it is Olympics in China or the increase of Muslim population — they never forget to add a favorable line or two to praise themselves. They feel nice “to think that we do have some standards,” or they belong to “the only civilization to have outgrown this narrow and dangerous tribal mindset,” or their Christian religion is superior to all other faiths because of the architectural complexity of their cathedrals. Wow…..
    It must be nice to be one of those people since their “standards” always lead to a self-glorying experience. It seems that their “standards” have not changed since 18th century. On the other hand, they seem to have a very different set of standards when discussing themselves.

  24. 24 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 15:47

    TOGO-

    I agree with you:

    the magnitude of genocide in Darfur compared to far lesser events in Tibet

    cry out “Aburd!” to the protests.

    It looks like Tibet and the Dahlia Llama SELL better than genocide of people starving in huts.

    I thought Darfur was going to be THE issue of Olympic protests:

    “Genocide Olympics”

    but that has been switched by media coverage.

    But since both are China policy maybe some good will come for Darfur as spin-off.

  25. 25 Julie P
    April 7, 2008 at 15:49

    The protestors have not ruined a thing. The Olympics were ruined when they were awarded to Beijing.

  26. 26 Ros Atkins
    April 7, 2008 at 15:53

    Hi Ros.

    The security detail and subsequent arrests in London and Paris show only one thing: China is pressuring the torch’s host countries to crack down. The scene from London yesterday was nothing better than the secret police cracking down on dissidents, and as the head of Reporters Without Borders said today, China wants to turn Paris into another Tiananmen Square.

    Time to stop accomodating China.

    ZK
    Singapore

  27. 27 Brett
    April 7, 2008 at 15:55

    George
    That mall in DC is the cradle of Democracy and the nation:

    it belongs to the citizens for whatever the people of the USA want to say.

    It is my understanding that the national park service is trying to change this, banning protest on the mall. The plans can be viewed in the NPS website, IIRC its an 18 or so page document detailing plans they are pushing to get approved for the revamping of the parks in DC.

    Are protestors ruining the Olympics?
    They are contributing to the ruining of the Olympics. But then in their defense, they think that China is ruining the Olympics by not stopping their actions or changing their course in whatever issues the protestors are crusading for; Thus forcing them to go ahead with their protests.

    I’m all for peaceful protest and assembly, but some of this stuff is getting out of hand. Then again, China’s actions are out of hand too in some regards.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  28. 28 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 15:55

    Xie- welcome to the rest of the world.

    Peter-

    A Sporting Event is a horse race on an improvised course on the 4th of July.

    The Olympics is big business and geopolitics now.

  29. 29 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 16:00

    Peter Gizzi UK: “At least in The UK we retain the right to protest, different in China. …Sadly our protests come to nothing with what is effectively fast becoming a dictatorship. Nobody listens to us anymore!” — you have my full sympathy.
    Of course, It feels nice to think that you have the right to protest. But what does it do if your protests do not matter? What did the one-million people protest before the Invasion of Iraq do? How many anti-war protests in the US have taken place since the start of the war (how many I have marched with?), but the war is still going on after 5 years and over one million Iraqis are dead? In essence, “the protests” are becoming just an embellishment and decoration, giving legitimacy to the regime– since it allows you to protest, its policy must be based on “democratic” and “free” principles. Peter Gizzi UK, I think you are not in a place that is “different in China.”

  30. 30 Jennifer
    April 7, 2008 at 16:08

    Jenn from New York

    I’d love to put all the blame on the IOC for choosing Beijing…..it was a poor choice, and subsequently, they are going to get flack for it. I also blame the protestors, but only in as far as I’m disappointed that they are interfering with the relay. I am a huge supporter of protesting to make your point and raise awareness….however; I think interfering with the torch runners is taking it too far. March with them, and carry signs and make a big fuss….Hey! I’m all for that; but the Olympics are bigger than politics. It is about sport, and fair play, and about competition. The athletes, should they choose to compete, should be left alone, and the Olympics …the actual competitions should be left alone. If you disagree with the politics and policies of the host country, than that’s who you protest against. If you have issues with the IOC for their choice…that’s you point, and it should be made clearly….and loudly……! The runners in the torch relay are all honored to be participating, regardless of whether or not we approve of the host country’s politics, and no one should be allows to take that away from them. But I’m all in support of using the media coverage from that relay to point out the political and social issues in China….absolutely. Perhaps the IOC will use the bad media coverage as an example of why better choices should be made in the future.

  31. 31 Angelina
    April 7, 2008 at 16:15

    Hi Ros!
    Yes,protestors are ruining the spirit of the Olympics.I feel strongly against what’s happening in China…but I think politics should not be allowed to affect such a great sporting event as the Olympics.It comes once in four years,after all.
    Kind regards,Angelina

  32. April 7, 2008 at 16:16

    @Chen “….Peter Gizzi UK, I think you are not in a place that is “different in China.”

    Do you really feel yourself a prisoner in the country you live in right now? Do you really feel that you country is not any different the China.

    Point is that we have the right to demonstrate, regardless if it had a purpose or did anything to the decision a government will make. Point is we can speak up, we can let our voices be heard.

    “the protests” are becoming just an embellishment and decoration, giving legitimacy to the regime– since it allows you to protest, its policy must be based on “democratic” and “free” principles”

    Sounds like you have given up… “democracy”, “freedom of speech” If you think the way you put it, you can just stay home, alone and say nothing, because it wouldn’t matter anyhow according your statements.

    Why bother posting in the WHY’s anyhow?

  33. 33 Justin from Iowa
    April 7, 2008 at 16:24

    On the other hand, chen, at least the ability to protest and put forward your views give people hope for change, misplaced or not. Which is better than the hopelessness of having no voice and being beaten up and imprisoned if you try to express a voice.

    Nobody and no country is perfect. But “we can do it because they do it” is not and has never been a justification for doing what is wrong. Aspire for greatness, put your best foot forward, respect your fellow humans… these are ideals which the Olympics have been built upon. Whether Western, Eastern, Southern, Northern or whatever part of the world you come from, this is what you should aspire too.

    The “west” isn’t there yet. The “east” isn’t there yet. That doesn’t provide justification for either one to point fingers and ignore their own atrocities of human rights. And neither one is better. Maybe further along the path in one way or the other.

    Everyone needs to get off their high horse and face their own problems.

  34. April 7, 2008 at 16:28

    Protestors can not and will not spoil the Beijing olympics,this is because similar protests in the past did not spoil olympics events hosted by countries whose humanrights records were worst than that of china.
    Ros you suggested for the discussion of this topic on the HAVE YOUR SAY programme because you are not conversant with the insensitiveness of third world leaders on the welfare and rights of their citizens
    Anyway i agree that the olympics torch relay across major cities of the world can afford policians viz-aviz journalists the opportunity to make some noise but ultimately it can not stop the olympics in Beijing come August 2008,nor can it in any way help the Tibetans from the (political)naked grips of the chinese.

  35. 35 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 16:34

    It is a very insightful observation of Geroge USA: “It looks like Tibet and the Dahlia Llama SELL better than genocide of people starving in huts.” Maybe, people should ask “why?”
    How many people really know the history of Tibet and Chinese “invasion?” How many know about the millions of serfs and slaves who were property of the fighters for “Free Tibet” and their parents and grandparents? How did the huge number of “peaceful” monks and Lamas in Tibet support themselves? It is ironic that those Tibetans who now are trying to “free Tibet” refused to free their slaves in 1959? How many people know that his Holiness the Dalai Lama has been receiving millions of CIA dollars for years and his “fighters” were trained in Colorado? How many people know that the symbol of human rights his Holiness Dalai Lama asked the Spanish court to free Pinochet of Peru?
    Pablo was quite right– “ Shouting meaningless slogans is pointless. Give us some details! Make a speech! Don’t just shout “China lies, people die!” If you give no information, it makes me think that they have no evidence to reference.” Maybe, people who are truly interested in the lives of Tibetans, not any other unspoken political goals, should sit down and learn something about Tibet. For beginners, the 1904 book “The Opening of Tibet” by “Times” reporter Percal Landon would give a picture of the lives of millions of the slaves in Tibet. Or for a quick reading, Michael Parenti’s article on Tibet history at http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html#notes would give you some perspectives.

  36. 36 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 16:49

    Brett-

    the national park service is trying to change this, banning protest on the mall. The plans can be viewed in the NPS website

    …….

    The day assembly and protest by the citizens of the United States of America is banned from the DC mall,

    fly the US flag upside down across the land

    and head for the hills.

  37. 37 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 16:54

    Smackie, to answer your question: “Sounds like you have given up… “democracy”, “freedom of speech” If you think the way you put it, you can just stay home, alone and say nothing, because it wouldn’t matter anyhow according your statements. Why bother posting in the WHY’s anyhow?”
    It is clear from my comments that I have given up on “democracy” and the effect of “freedom of Speech” on some governments (maybe as well as the hundreds of millions of Americans who do not vote), but nothing I said indicates that I gave up on BBC and the ordinary people like you — unless you are suggesting that BBC is the government, and the listeners like you are government agents? If it is true. I “can just stay home, alone and saying nothing” as you suggested. However, I am afraid I have to disappoint you by remaining here to let the BBC and BBC listeners have a view from place other than Washington and London. — I will not give up on people. By the way, I assume you know that “Democracy” is not the same thing as the will of people – it never have been and never will be. Democracy is the will of the majority which can be racist, imperialistic, arrogant, and can be fooled as any individual. The fact that a country which has “democracy” at home does not mean that the country will not mistreat other nations, trade slaves, invade other countries, killing two million Vietnamese and one million Iraqis. You must remember the warning of the founding fathers against the “dictatorship of majority,” don’t you?

  38. 38 Peter Gizzi UK
    April 7, 2008 at 16:56

    A brief reply to Chen. I can at least post my comments! I do feel thanks to our membership of The European Union this country is no longer my own. If I speak out against The European Union then my comments are supressed!

  39. 39 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 17:05

    Justin from Iowa: I truly respect your view and appreciate the comment, really.
    Just to clarify, I am not trying to justify whatever crimes China is accused of by the logica “we can do it because they do it.” What I have been trying to do is
    1) asking people to find out what is really true about Tibet before they point fingers;
    2) exposing to the unbashaful sense of “superiority” of some from the “west,” and their double standards towards themselvs and others.

  40. 40 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 17:07

    Chen-

    Protest of government policy is the voice of the people in the USA.

    You are dead wrong about Iraq- the people were lied to and did not protest that.

    If enough people go to the street, or the hills, there is going to be a change in the government.

    THAT is what the rulers of China are afraid of, and what the Bush administration is afraid of.

    As long as people can be beat down, those misusing authority can continue abuses for their own interests.

    When people voice en mass opposition to policy and practices change takes place.

    …………

    As to the CIA, some work for the interests of USA, some work for the New World Order against the USA.

    Even those inside that place don’t know who they are working for most of the time.

    So they are everyone’s cross to bear, not just yours or China.

  41. 41 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 17:08

    To Peter Gizzi UK: I am very glad that you” can at least post my comments! ” I am also glad to inform you that many Chinese can post their comments on this website as well. I will try to spread the word and make sure that they read your comments.

  42. 42 Iain Croft
    April 7, 2008 at 17:14

    Alice from the ‘Students for a free Tibet’ is coming on the programme tonight. She was one of the protestors in London yesterday. She was arrested and held for an hour in handcuffs before being released without being charged.

    She sent us this video of her protest and arrest: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PbDplAop_oo

  43. 43 Brandon Vig
    April 7, 2008 at 17:20

    I don’t see these protests having a long term effect on the upcoming olympics..If anything, I think the publicity will increase the viewing audience on the olympics this summer. But, I think it is hard to turn a blind eye to all the negative attention China has been receiving the last 3 or 4 weeks with the recent riots in Nepal. But what it boils down to is that Bejing was not a good choice to host the olympics this summer.

    -brandon
    Corvallis, Oregon

  44. 44 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 17:21

    1. George USA: you said “You are dead wrong about Iraq- the people were lied to and did not protest that.” Well, why didn’t this “democracy” stop and prevent the “lying?” How come “the people” were so easily to accept the lies since we have double safety “democracy + freedom of speech?” How come the war is still going on since “the people” has already realized that they “were lied to?” From my windows, I don’t see any march to the Hill to stop the war. I did see the fighters for “free Tibet” and carriers of “China Stop Killing Tibetans” signs on the other day walking freely under the welcoming cherry blossom.

  45. 45 Iris
    April 7, 2008 at 17:22

    Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery on Tibet:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1207434781/

    “Hey! Take your hands off Tibet!” the international chorus is crying out, “But not from Chechnya! Not from the Basque homeland! And certainly not from Palestine!” And that is not a joke.

    LIKE EVERYBODY else, I support the right of the Tibetan people to independence, or at least autonomy. Like everybody else, I condemn the actions of the Chinese government there. But unlike everybody else, I am not ready to join in the demonstrations.

    Why? Because I have an uneasy feeling that somebody is washing my brain, that what is going on is an exercise in hypocrisy.

    I don’t mind a bit of manipulation. After all, it is not by accident that the riots started in Tibet on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing. That’s alright. A people fighting for their freedom have the right to use any opportunity that presents itself to further their struggle.

    I support the Tibetans in spite of it being obvious that the Americans are exploiting the struggle for their own purposes. Clearly, the CIA has planned and organized the riots, and the American media are leading the world-wide campaign. It is a part of the hidden struggle between the US, the reigning super-power, and China, the rising super-power – a new version of the “Great Game” that was played in central Asia in the 19th century by the British Empire and Russia. Tibet is a token in this game.

    I am even ready to ignore the fact that the gentle Tibetans have carried out a murderous pogrom against innocent Chinese, killing women and men and burning homes and shops. Such detestable excesses do happen during a liberation struggle.

    No, what is really bugging me is the hypocrisy of the world media. They storm and thunder about Tibet. In thousands of editorials and talk-shows they heap curses and invective on the evil China. It seems as if the Tibetans are the only people on earth whose right to independence is being denied by brutal force, that if only Beijing would take its dirty hands off the saffron-robed monks, everything would be alright in this, the best of all possible worlds.

  46. 46 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 17:23

    George USA: you said “As to the CIA, some work for the interests of USA, some work for the New World Order against the USA.” So, for which purpose did CIA sponsor the Dalai Lama for? I bet the CIA must give money to his holiness to “work the New World Order against the USA,” do you agree?

  47. 47 Marty Helgeson
    April 7, 2008 at 17:35

    Duh? A little forsight would have helped here. Letting China host the Olympics is the lamest thing we’ve ever done. Please, a communistic country? What did we think was going to happen. You bet there are going to be protesters heard! Only the bravest will come out and protest against oppression – and they are probably just the people who care the most about their fellow Chinese. I think the question is immature! “Oh darn, a bunch of totally oppressed chinese people are going to ruin our big party!” Of course we can all turn our heads and look the other way while many of them are beaten to death for protesting. Maybe we shouldn’t have invited the big bullies of earth to the party!!!

  48. 48 Marty Helgeson
    April 7, 2008 at 17:36

    Duh? A little foresight would have helped here. Letting China host the Olympics is the lamest thing we’ve ever done. Please, a communistic country? What did we think was going to happen. You bet there are going to be protesters heard! Only the bravest will come out and protest against oppression – and they are probably just the people who care the most about their fellow Chinese. I think the question is immature! “Oh darn, a bunch of totally oppressed people are going to ruin our big party!” Of course we can all turn our heads and look the other way while many of them are beaten to death for protesting. Maybe we shouldn’t have invited the big bullies of earth to the party!!!

  49. 49 Justin from Iowa
    April 7, 2008 at 17:41

    Chen, unless you can back up speculation, its just speculation and whispers in the wind. I’m not saying the CIA is or isn’t doing anything, I’m just saying unfounded accusations don’t advance any discussion forward… Is the CIA sponsoring and training the Tibetan resistance? How are they doing this? Is this part of a grand hidden agenda? These are all topics for a different discussion.

    Today’s discussion is on whether the protests, or any protest, are appropriate for the Olympic games and whether they are justified or not in this instance of the Olympics in China, and why… lets not get too sidetracked in our discussions.

    I personally see the protests as a consequence of awarding the games to China. As has been stated in past related discussions and this one, if they didn’t meet the IOC’s benchmarks they shouldn’t have been awarded, and the games being awarded is seen as a betrayal of the spirit of the games by the world. The protests now are a natural extension of the world perception that a betrayal of the Olympic spirit took place, and is fueling protests to greater size and violence that just Tibet itself as an issue might arouse.

    Ultimately its on the head of the IOC in my opinion, for cheapening the games and betraying the Olympic spirit. Change in China will come at its pace, and I would rather have seen a celebration of China in a few years when the changes the Chnese people desired had truly come about in China’s own time and pace. This rush to award the Olympics to the Chinese prematurely, in my humble opinion, has caused the greatest amount of damage.

  50. April 7, 2008 at 17:43

    One cannot protest an issue by using an unrelated event as the vehicle – it muddies the main point of the protest. The quickest path from point A to point B is a straight line. Protesters needs to bypass the Olympics and focus on the China/Tibet issue to gain world wide support. If protesters continue using the Olympics as a vehicle it will be very difficult for them to gain world wide support and sympathy for their cause.

  51. April 7, 2008 at 17:46

    No, the Olympics got ruined the minute the IOC gave Beijing the right to host the Games–for political reasons. It certainly wasn’t given to them because they were a role model and complied to the Olympic Charter. Since 2001, Beijing has focused its energy on getting rid of the undesirables before the Games–which has increased their human rights abuses in a big way–they were already on the black list back then.

    For example, they’ve rounded up about 2000 Falun Gong members since Jan. 1. The crackdown on the Tibetan monks is another which has revealed the true face of China worldwide–except for China–they got to hear the CCTV side of the story and blamed the whole thing on the Dalai Lama. Let the truth be known. Let’s not forget that Beijing is paying for the Darfur genocide and then there is Burma.

    The Olympics is a noble institution–it’s the Olympic host that need a bit of work including the IOC.

  52. 52 Marisa
    April 7, 2008 at 17:54

    People in London and in Paris came to the streets to express their solidarity to Tibetans. The French Minister for the Sports said that sports and politics are two separate fields, that the Olympic Games are about sportives and not political issues.
    Some other people share this vieuw. But my question is: aren’t we all citizens, in the first place? And subsequently, aren’t sportives also citizens? Is the Olympic flame compatible with the situation in Tibet? No, it isn’t. Francesca Martinez said that we are all in politics from the very first moment we were born. And she was very much right. Politics is eveywhere. It is a very naïf and even dangerous thing to pretend you can isolate politics from the rest.

    Marisa in Belgium

  53. 53 Hope
    April 7, 2008 at 17:56

    I think everyone should have every access possible to air his or her view. If the issue between China & Tibet happened to be from a region in Africa, the Olympic would have been cancelled. Most world powers turn their left ears to what’s going on between China & Tibet in agreement with China.

    Hope
    USA

  54. 54 Gaurav in Singapore
    April 7, 2008 at 17:59

    While protests were probably inevitable once China got the Olympics, I think it’s China mismanagement of Tibet in the last month (and the linking of China with the protests in Myanmar earlier last year) which has really put them into hot water. After hearing of media blackouts, mass arrests and army-enforced curfews, the rest of us can’t help but sympathise with the Tibetans. If China had managed the riots better, had shown signs of genuinely listening to the woes of the Tibetans (instead of continually repeating their own propaganda), and had been more trusting of the foreign media, they probably won’t have to face the problems they do now.

    I’m just watching the scenes in London and Paris on the news, and wondering how bad its going to get once the torch reaches New Delhi …

  55. 55 Xie_Ming
    April 7, 2008 at 18:02

    Nearly all posters do not distinguish between peaceful protest and illegal conduct, e.g. disturbance of the peace, blocking traffic, assault and riot.

    The issue may be civil rights in China and Tibet in the momentary focus of our TV generation, but the more important question is why what I call “spoiled brats” think that they have the right to influence government by extra-legal means.

    [ I remember two such whose mothers paid their airfare from Brooklyn to Lima, where, in the cold night, they went about with petrol, setting fire to people’s homes in the slums- their intent was to generate a protest]

    Such brats formed the Red Army Faction in Germany and many other terrorist operations. Once the young person decides that government does not understand the problem and that he and his friends know better, what limits does he recognize?

  56. April 7, 2008 at 18:03

    I am not sure whether the issue is solely a matter of the IOC making a bad choice, which it now appears to be the case; but also, whether the concerns that affect China in terms of human rights or the lack thereof (according to most Western media) can, necessarilly, be addressed by awarding or not awarding the Olympic Games to them as hosts this year.

    Surely, there are plusses in terms of increasing China’s profile as more open in its attitudes towards Western interests. However, the ongoing struggle for independence in Tibet, environmental and other human rights breaches in China, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, cannot be realistically addressed by bringing the Olympic torch relay into disrepute in, of all places, London and Paris.

    I was quite shocked to hear that the flame had to be defended against attacks from anti-China protesters yesterday! What has this world come to, is all I can wonder in this instance.

  57. 57 Kalypso
    April 7, 2008 at 18:04

    bravo! bravo! bravo!
    keep it up, protestors!
    we must not stay quitely and simply watch the flame moving to china.
    Bravo, protestors! you are great!

    kalypso in Vienna, austria

  58. 58 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 18:05

    “If the issue between China & Tibet happened to be from a region in Africa, the Olympic would have been cancelled.” – Well, if that “African” country is rich in Oil and has a pro-American dictatorship (reminds you of some country close to Africa, Saudi?) the Olympic would have been a great success full of supporting of free media.

  59. 59 Seth
    April 7, 2008 at 18:06

    Unfortunately, China’s human rights abuses have been ignored for so long that radical action has to be taken to spread awareness. I fully support those who are attempting to stop the passage of the torch in order to send a message to the world about how wrong it is to turn a blind eye to China’s misdeed.

    Seth from Portland, Oregon, United States

  60. 60 Jonathan
    April 7, 2008 at 18:07

    Human rights and freedoms vs. how far can a man throw a spear??? Are we seriously going to argue this??

    Sport is one of the biggest sources of national pride.. How can anyone argue that sport and politics are seperate??

    Jonathan,
    BC, Canada

  61. 61 Ottilie
    April 7, 2008 at 18:13

    Someone has to stand up for the Tibetans. China’s view of itself as innocent victims in this matter is laughable. I fully support the protests.

    Ottilie in Prague

  62. 62 Tedla
    April 7, 2008 at 18:14

    Citizens of the world are protesting the current crack down of Chinese against the Tibet in Greek, London and today in Paris. These protests will put China in spotlight but hardly make any difference. We remembered the well organized protest in many cities around the world five years ago before Bush led war against Saddam Hussein and we failed to stop the war.
    The protest in cities while the torch is crossing is spectacular but as the well organized protest against the Iraq invasion it will not make any difference and the big companies who wanted to do business will do business with China and they will not be left out from China. The next step is to boycott those companies who are doing business with China. Let us not buy anything China for the time when Olympics is staged this summer.

    Tedla

  63. 63 Michelle
    April 7, 2008 at 18:16

    I am in no way for how China treats it’s people, but I think what the protesters have done is outrageous. Those torch runners have waited sometimes all their lives for the honor of running the torch (a symbol of peace and cooperation). It is wrong to block the torch, or attempt to stop it. They are impeding that symbol peace. If you want to protest, there are so many ways that you can do it without ruining the moment for the runners.

    Michelle, Kansas City, Kansas, USA

  64. 64 john rutherford
    April 7, 2008 at 18:16

    I think that most people are really callous and hide behind the whole ‘politics should be separated from sports’-thing…

    I think it is justified for protesters and sympathisers to protest NOW… This is the critical time when the eyes of the world are focused on this subject…

    To say this is not about politics, is putting your head in the sand.

    What if the world had done this when there was WW II raging? Where would we have been if we’d said: this is for THEM and we should not “meddle”?

    We live in a democracy and we have the right to protest and voice our opinion PUBLICLY and we must use our voice to PROTEST against all the injustice in the world.

    If your friends, family and loved ones were living in Tibet, you would WANT to have the whole world up in arms about it.

    As for the subject that POLITICS do NOT mix, I just want to say this: Olympic athletes compete for a country and not for their own honour. If that isn’t nationalist and political, then what is?

    And, we know that politics and entertainment DO MIX… every year half a billion people watch the Eurovision Song Contest where countries do nothing BUT political voting…

    I think that everybody who says: Protesting is bad and not the place and time, are cowards and callous… Let’s face it… at the end of the day, we do not care one way or another about Tibet… it is about money and not rocking the boat… and yes… the Olympic games should have NEVER been awarded to China… end of!

  65. 65 Brian
    April 7, 2008 at 18:17

    I fully support the Free Tibet Protest, and hope that it succeeds in spoiling the torch run in every country in the World and at the Games itself. China has for too long gotten away with with the shame of it’s actions in Tibet for over 50 years!

  66. 66 Charles Griffin
    April 7, 2008 at 18:17

    I am amazed that individuals using the olympics to protest rights abuses in China have no concern at all in regard to their abuses of the rights of all those around the world who have prepared for and awaited their chance at the Olympics. The protesters are demonstrating extreme disregard of the righs of the whole world. The Olympics belong to the world, not to China. These are useless gestures that have no affect except to hurt those participating in the Olympics.

  67. 67 Tom
    April 7, 2008 at 18:17

    Free Tibet? How about something Americans really can have an effect on, how about Free Iraq, by impeaching and trying Bush/Cheneyand getting the US out?!

    Tom
    USA

  68. 68 jeffrey
    April 7, 2008 at 18:19

    the protesters are ruining the olympic just for the fact that China is holding it. Nothing to do with the tibet problem.

    If this is the case of human rights, people should start protesting during the next olympic in London. Protesting for the cruelty of colonisim.

    Stop being racist.

  69. 69 Ethan
    April 7, 2008 at 18:21

    China want’s to have its cake and eat it to. The recent expulsion of journalists from Tibet shows clearly that the strides we’ve all hoped for in the years leading up to the Olympics are merely window dressings. If student protesters returned to the streets, it would be dealy with in the same way, with the state media concocting yet another foreign interest to blame. They are still using the same playbook. The real qualities that would make China a great nation are not the games, export numbers, space programs and the like, but how the nation treats people, especially its own.

    Ethan in the US

  70. 70 LC
    April 7, 2008 at 18:21

    Most Chinese people are frustrated at the West totally ignoring the fact that China was invaded and destabilized by the West in the past. We haven’t heard apologies from the West on the colonization of China.

  71. 71 Carlos
    April 7, 2008 at 18:21

    I don’t agree that from now on every single olympics torch relay will be disturbed on the basis that every country has some human rights issues to deal with. It hasn’t happened up to now in the history of the olympics, nor have all olympics been under the threat of boycott. It’s happening with China because China was completely the wrong choice of site for the olympics, given it’s poor human rights track record.

    Carlos
    Mexico

  72. 72 Kevin
    April 7, 2008 at 18:22

    I can’t believe the Olympic officials expected anything less when they chose china,by their response maybe they are telling us all they want to affect this world only on a shallow level?!

    Kevin in Trinidad

  73. 73 John
    April 7, 2008 at 18:22

    Not just because of Tibet, but Dafur, Tienanmen, Taiwan, Pollution, Product Safety, Worker Safety, Civil Rights, Intellectual Freedom, China does not deserve to attempt to gain legitimacy by using the Olympics. It is good that Londoners and Parisians are making this clear and I plan to exercise my right of protest shortly here in San Francisco. China was a bad choice for the Olympics, and they should understand that they can’t solve their image problems with better marketing.

    John
    San Francisco

  74. 74 Bel
    April 7, 2008 at 18:23

    Politics cannot be removed from such a prestigious and internationally conspicuous event as the Olympics. Peaceful protests are important for encouraging dialogue at all levels- between the people in power and different national populations. We should all be proud of the sense of global solidarity with Tibet that these protests are showing.

  75. 75 Katarina Anthony
    April 7, 2008 at 18:23

    First of all, I think this question is biased and am horrified that it comes from the BBC. While I feel for the runners who took part in the relay – I think that we cannot condemn our right to free speech. They were not demonstrating against the games, but against China. And in all honesty, what was China expecting? When you become the host you need to live up to the image of the Olympics. And, unfortunately for China, that does not include the violence taking part in Tibet and the general human rights violations in China.

    Katarina, Spain

  76. 76 Anonymous
    April 7, 2008 at 18:23

    Does China have any right to hold the games whilst oppressing millions? There is no doubt it was a big mistake to give the games to china. Protesters have the right to protest..

    Anon

  77. 77 Don
    April 7, 2008 at 18:24

    Everyone has the right to protest against injustice. It is not only Tibet, but China’s general disregard for human rights. Do these protestors bring politics into sports and the Olympics? NO! The countries and the IOC have done more to do that than any protest. Giving China the Olympics was a political decision. Adding professional athletes was a politcal decision. Medal counts by country is politics. The ideals of the Olympics has been damaged long ago.

    Don, Kentucky, USA

  78. 78 Simon
    April 7, 2008 at 18:24

    The last place of refuge against the invasion of the Egocentric self important one sided conversations that plagues crowded commuter trains is now lost!
    It is loud and unpleasant enough sitting in a plane. Let’s encourage a culture of politeness when it comes to mobile phones. Cover your mouth, don’t scream, ask your neighbour if they mind. As for “business travellers” I would assume that the two precious airborne hours are but scarce moments of relief from being handcuffed to the office.

    Yours OUTRAGED and FURIOUS and generally FUDDY DUDDYish

    Simon, Germany

  79. 79 Andrew
    April 7, 2008 at 18:25

    And why shouldn’t people protest this. After all China is exploiting the Olympics for their own political ends. Reasonable people should be able to voice their opposition to what China is doing in Tibet and what it stands for also to show China up for the hypocrites they are. They think they can deflect world opinion with shiny stadiums and precision organisation. Chinese spokespeople go to pains to stress that the Olympics are supposedly about peace, harmony and all the tired clichés. Well, call me a cynic, but in this day and age the Olympics are only about personal glory for athletes to improve their advertising bankability and for states to stir up nationalistic fervour. As for Cecelia Lee – my point to her is when she points her finger at others and says, do you really know what is going on in Tibet… well do YOU really know what is going on there? I seriously doubt that you do and your government would not want you to know what is going on. That is the nature of communist and repressive regimes.

    Andrew in Australia

  80. 80 Ryan
    April 7, 2008 at 18:25

    Athletes yes; China no.
    China has no business playing host to the Olympics, and I have zero sympathy for the Chinese complaints about protests against them. The Olympic torch is a symbol of everything the Chinese government suppresses in their country, and their hosting of the Olympics is an abominable hypocrisy, to say nothing of the dreadful air quality that the worlds’ athletes will have to endure in order to compete in Beijing. Shame on the IOC for granting China the games, and I hope China continues to be embarrassed by torch relay protests and national leader boycotts of the opening ceremonies.

    Ryan

    Alexandria, VA

  81. 81 John
    April 7, 2008 at 18:26

    The IOC and China “ruined” the Olympic Games by attempting to gloss over the shameful treatment of China’s conquered territories with shiny pagentry. The systemic repression of Tibet and the Uygurs of Xianjiang is usually invisible to the world media. If China wants the glory of hosting the Olympics, it must also be ready for the humiliation of facing its own national actions. The Olympics are bigger than the Chinese government and represents the best of all of us, however the Torch is should be extinguished rather than carried into a country that makes a mockery of the ideals for which the torch stands. These Olympic games have been described as China’s “coming out party,” but it’s human rights record (to say nothing of it’s environmental, labor and trade practices) make it clear that it is a country not yet ready for an equal place in the community of nations.

    John in Washington, DC
    USA

  82. 82 Thirza
    April 7, 2008 at 18:26

    The issue is Tibet – it’s been ignored by the world for almost 50 years whilst troops were moved into countries like Kuwait, Kosovo etc. when they were invaded.Olympic ideals are fine but now Tibet has a chance to get some publicity. Can you blame the Tibetans and their supporters who remember the horrors that occurred when China moved into Tibet? Does the young Chinese lady on your program know anything about that?
    Thirza – (old enough to remember)!

  83. 83 Maya
    April 7, 2008 at 18:27

    What would we think of protesters who objected to the torch being taken to the Hitler Olympics? Where are the Buddhist monks in Burma? In concentration camps, murdered, tortured, starved, deprived of their calling, do we know? Yet we do know that Burma’s military regime survives only because China supports it. On Tibet, the Chinese are looking to destroy the Tibetan culture, spirit, soul, persona, and the Dalai Lama who has inspired millions around the world, and that is why there are protests today and there were none for Hitler’s Olympics. The Olympics are not more important than concentration camps and a repeat of the destruction of today’s European Jews, the innocent peaceful people of Burma and of Tibet.

    Maya

  84. 84 C.H.C.
    April 7, 2008 at 18:27

    Greetings from KALW Land

    Since 1976 China has exterted every means of political pressure to exclude teams from Taiwan from competing under their own flag in Olympic as well as all other international sports events. After using politics to pollute sports for over 30 years, time has come for China to get a taste of its own medicine.

    As for the Olympic Spirit, the IOC deserves its own protest for letting China come within 3 votes of hosting the games only 3 short years after Tiananmen. It’s not about Tibet, its about human decency.

    For the best summary of China’s propaganda, listen to Quintin Summerville on From Our Own Correspondent, available on line this week.

  85. 85 Denise
    April 7, 2008 at 18:27

    We should not point fingers on the issue of the Olympic torch, either in England, France or the U.S. While we are rightly concerning ourselves with the human rights abuses of China, how about those of the United States By some accounts we are responsible for millions of deaths, torture and maiming in Iraq and Afghanistan, directly and indirectly. Our history is replete with murderous forays into other territories both in the U.S. and around the world. We need to remind Americans on a continuous basis, not just one or two days out of the year.

    Denise
    San Francisco

  86. 86 Pro Tibet
    April 7, 2008 at 18:27

    The protesters are right! Thank you IOC for this great opportunity to protest.

    I have been to China and Tibet, so I know where I speak about…

  87. 87 Bel
    April 7, 2008 at 18:27

    Politics cannot be removed from such a prestigious and internationally conspicuous event as the Olympics. Peaceful protests are important for encouraging dialogue at all levels- between the people in power and different national populations. We should all be proud of the sense of global solidarity with Tibet that these protests are showing.

    Thank you Bel, Leeds, UK

  88. 88 Zak
    April 7, 2008 at 18:28

    Who has the moral authority to judge the Olympics in any one country. If they did wouldn’t they have stopped the Munich Olympics in 72? Moreover people are as hypocritical in buying goods from China and criticizing it as those countries that don’t allow women in sports. If no one can say definitively that people will be targeted at those Olympics then saying that Olympic games should be regulated based on just the “right to censor” is as biased as China’s Human Rights policies. Let freedom ring.

    member: KALW

  89. 89 Rob
    April 7, 2008 at 18:28

    So if a whole crowd of protesters lined up along the torch route dressed in Tibetan colors with Tibetan flags, in which countries would they be arrested? I find the whole thing interesting from that aspect.

  90. 90 Joel
    April 7, 2008 at 18:29

    I don’t think protesters are hurting the olympics, I think that they are hurting peaceful demonstrations to come. The olympics are a symbol and will continue to be one in the future. In this day in age these events will be forgotten in 6 months by the general public.

    I think that these protests should happen and do not have to do with just the human rights violations, but also their large negative environmental impact, their unlawful occupation of tibet, the rise in their economic power, and their refusal to admit any wrong.

    China is a threat on so many levels that I think that the passion for these crimes committed by china and the passion for the olympics are meeting and it is only natural that there is a conflict. This should have been foreseen and it is a shame that it cannot a peaceful one.

    Joel

    USA

  91. 91 Lindsay
    April 7, 2008 at 18:29

    Though I do not agree with using violence as a protesting tactic, I am proud that protesters are using this opportunity to voice their disdain for human rights abuses, and I hope to see it continue for any human rights abuses that are seen to be perpetrated by any future holders of the Olympics. What better world stage to have for bringing greater awareness to many human rights issues that have been a turned a blind eye in the past. The question arises in what is more important in the global perspective, a sporting event or the lives of a people , a class, a race, a member of the human race?

  92. 92 Neil
    April 7, 2008 at 18:29

    The only way a torch relay for a Games of the future would have similar challenges is if the IOC were to select another controversial host.

    Neil
    Mentor, Oregon USA

  93. 93 Cosi
    April 7, 2008 at 18:30

    I am one of many who believe that Amercan citizens (I am one) have little right to protest the human rights and international policies of any nation however I will be protesting the appalling quality f the goods sold to this country. Goods for which the U.S. has given up its manufacturing soul. I will be protesting petfood, toys and toothpaste that kills our chidlren and pets. I will be encouraging our local politicos Senator Feinstein and Speaker Pelosi to bring pressure to bear and Washington and China to increase federal oversight wihtout which we will continue to receive medications and goods that are fatal at worst and inadequate at best. As to the local run on Wednesday – it is my hope that people respect the runners and the torch, and show the gracious and forgiving side of San Fancisco that has kept me hear for 30 years.
    But I doubt it, people who can’t even find the relative countries on a world map will be out there spoiling it for everyone.

    Cosi
    San Francisco

  94. 94 Jake
    April 7, 2008 at 18:30

    Because demonstrations are violently put down within China, why shouldn’t people demonstrate throughout the world? The idea that the Olympics are supposed to be a politics-free event is hypocracy. This is a world event and is subject to same attentions as any other. From Tommie Smith & John Carlos to Joey Cheek, this field has been used to voice political statements that didn’t ruin the games- and may have even made them more relevent.

    Jake
    Portland, Oregon, USA

  95. April 7, 2008 at 18:32

    TORCH RELAY – LONDON LEG Shows just how out of touch & insensitive those in Beijing are – employing now much-detested CHINESE (FACES) to chaperone torch.

    Anon

  96. 96 James B
    April 7, 2008 at 18:32

    Protest every nation that has human right violations on record?
    Put it this way, it’s a slide rule; the worse and more numerous the violations, the more protesters will naturally occur.

    Also, I am saddened that WHRS can never seem to be able to get an intelligent, free-thinking arguer for China’s perspective. All they are ever able to get are naive young students whose responses are nothing but a broken record, the same thing over and over, never able to see the other side of things, or believe that their government lies to them, or at least they feel they are not ABLE to acknowledge this.
    Their generic response is: Have you ever been to China or do you just listen to the media? Then how do you know what’s happening? – Why not ask them if they’ve ever been to Tibet for a long enough time to know what’s happening for themselves or do they just trust their government’s media.

  97. 97 archibald in Oregon
    April 7, 2008 at 18:33

    The Olympics have become a mobile industry, seemingly above reproach, think again……….The protests are not a bad thing in my view, regardless of the disruption, the Olympics will continue because there is too much money invested for them not to, this is where the true problem lies.
    Meanwhile, wars, torture and oppression continue all over the world, funded by a short list of wealthy nations. This protest should be an example to all nations, that the truth will always get out and if you do not change, change will be made for you………….

  98. 98 Kate
    April 7, 2008 at 18:33

    Sports are simply a reflection of our society. They are inextricably intertwined. I hope this will push China to finally change.

    Kate
    Berkeley, california
    kalw listener

  99. 99 Robin
    April 7, 2008 at 18:33

    The olympic spirit has been ruined by the host countries making the games a statement of nationalist pride. If we’re to talk about the olympic spirit, the torch relay shouldn’t be staged as a major publicity event for the host city. It should really start from Greece and go on foot to where the games are held.

  100. April 7, 2008 at 18:33

    I live in San Francisco, and following the recent demonstrations in London and Paris, I believe that there likely to be an even greater protest demonstration and disruptions during the torch relay here on Wednesday, since San Francisco has a reputation for political demonstrations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the San Francisco organizers change the timing and/or route at the last minute, or may even cancel the whole parade due to safety concerns.

    Paul

  101. 101 Tom
    April 7, 2008 at 18:34

    “The round-the-world trip is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to highlight China’s economic and political power.” The Olympic Torch relay is a political statement and a legitimate object of protest.

    Tom
    Berkeley, CA

  102. 102 Dave
    April 7, 2008 at 18:34

    If people want to protest against China, they should protest outside the Chinese embassy, not interrupt the Olympics.

    Dave

  103. 103 Bod
    April 7, 2008 at 18:34

    The Chinese dictatorship is using the olympics as a nationalist show like the Nazis did in 1936. They are taking the torch into Tibet while committing horrendous terror against Tibetans since the 1950 military invasion. The protest are not anti-Chinese people or anti-olympics, but pro-Tibetan cry for freedom from oppressive Chinese colonial rule. But the blind Chinese nationalism and their regime-manipulated hatred against the Tibetan people is really scary. How can you make Chinese understand that Tibetans are totally different people and want their freedom back??

    Bod

  104. 104 Brian
    April 7, 2008 at 18:35

    The olympic torch made its first appearance at the 1936 olympics, with its main champion being Dr Joseph Goebbels. It would have been far better if there had been protests then. We cannot ignore the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and their continued oppression of Tibetans, and permit China to use the olympics for its absurd propaganda. The protesters stood up for human rights. They acted in accordance with world feeling about the injustice of the Chinese treatment of Tibet and Tibetans.

    Brian in Melbourne

  105. 105 Julian
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    Have your say team,

    Protests – what about the septuagenarian who has been sentenced to LIFE IMPRISONMENT for standing silently in front of the US embassy in Burma holding a placard protesting against the junta.

    Please understand all this is happening to force China’s hand over so much DEATH & MISERY; Tibet, Dafur, Burma, support for NKorea, Human rights in China…

    When will China realise – they cannot pretend that these issues are not important.

    Julian Pieniazek,
    Nakhon Ratchasima

  106. 106 Jeff
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    Tibet is virtually enslaved by the Chinese military. The Chinese brutality is the cause of these protests. Why are the Chinese so afraid of the Tibetan point of view? How can we have honest dialogue about the injustice in Tibet? Non-violent protest is far more civilized than brutal military oppression. This has nothing to do with the Olympics. Anyway, the Olympics are about fair athletic competition, not vain ceremonial pomp.

    Jeff

  107. 107 Scott Millar
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    This is not even up for debate. In democracies people have a right to protest even if this “ruins the Olympics.”

    The Olympics are by definition political! It is a nationalistic competitive sporting event. Centered around countries competing against countries for the most “wins.”

    This flagrant display of jingoism is and should be up for political scrutiny. It is not just about “sport” as so many people want us to believe. It is about competition, flag-waving and a “we are better then you are!”

    -Portland, Oregon

  108. 108 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    “The only way a torch relay for a Games of the future would have similar challenges is if the IOC were to select another controversial host.”
    Well. With its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan ,and the occupation of Northern Ireland, Britain seems to be a very safe choice.

  109. 109 Thomas
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    Regarding the earlier question you asked about whether the Olympics could be used to protest ANY human rights violations from now on. I think the answer is actually quite a simple one: If a cause is strong enough to create a strong enough protest movement in several cities then, by doing this, it validates the cause. China has enough human rights violations on its shoulders (it’s not just Tibet you know!) to create this large movement. I’m not sure as many people would protest against “any” other country.

    Thomas (Berlin)

  110. 110 Joey
    April 7, 2008 at 18:36

    Ros and WHYS, you’re question is brilliant. Way to be, instead of the media telling us how it is, you ask the perfect question.
    I don’t think there is an answer to the question, and unfortunately the rest of the world debating what China should do is useless.
    If the San Franciscans don’t put on a better protest than in London and Paris I would be shocked. I mean by that more banners, t-shirts, etc. Make it real colorful!

    Joey
    Colorado, USA

  111. 111 John E
    April 7, 2008 at 18:37

    These are the Olympic GAMES. Human rights take precedence over sports every time.

    If the purpose of the Olympics is to promote peace and good things like that they could start by treating the people of Tibet like human beings.

    The inherently hypocritical posture of the Chinese government should be opposed at all levels and all places. I would advocate boycotting the games entirely.

  112. 112 Jianping Li
    April 7, 2008 at 18:37

    As a Chinese studying in Ireland, I feel the protest indeed ruining my feeling of Olympic games.

  113. 113 Kurt
    April 7, 2008 at 18:37

    YES! I hope the torch is utterly STOPPED here. I am thrilled at the people’s response to the shameful parading of the Olympics through Beijing. I know that in the future, when my children asked me what our response to the Tibet Massacres of 2008 was, I can proudly say that we ensured that everyone knew that something was not right in Tibet. In response to your Chinese Government Mouthpiece: YES, dear, we KNOW all about Tibet. If you had lived outside of China for the last 30 years, you would have witnessed our growing interest in and learning about the Tibetan story.

    Kurt
    San Franciso

  114. 114 Conrad
    April 7, 2008 at 18:39

    The rest of the world of that. The protests are not ruining the Olympics,China had already tainted them by their actions in Tibet.

    Conrad,Prague

  115. 115 Todd
    April 7, 2008 at 18:40

    While it is true that every host country could be a target of protest when it hosts the Olympics, in practice this will happen only when there is a current, salient issue of justice and a strong belief by many that the host country is not making progress in addressing it. China has failed that test, hence the protests. If the UK wants to avoid protests over northern ireland or the iraq war, the message of this week is that it needs to address those issues ahead of the games.

    Todd in San Francisco

  116. 116 Jeff
    April 7, 2008 at 18:40

    Tibet is virtually enslaved by the Chinese military. The Chinese brutality is the cause of these protests. Why are the Chinese so afraid of the Tibetan point of view? How can we have honest dialogue about the injustice in Tibet? Non-violent protest is far more civilized than brutal military oppression. This has nothing to do with the Olympics. Anyway, the Olympics are about fair athletic competition, not vain ceremonial pomp.

    Jeff in Portland OR USA

  117. 117 Alexutis
    April 7, 2008 at 18:40

    The only thing China ever understands is pressure. Look at what they are doing or not doing about Darfur. Roll on and ramp up the protests. I am not too concerned about the egos of torchbearers. They should take a leaf out of the book of the Thai representative.
    China has some sick aspects to its society, and I am pleased if people bring this to the attention of a hitherto naive and unsuspecting world.

    Alexutis
    Mumbai

  118. 118 Megan
    April 7, 2008 at 18:43

    Individual expression is not going to be calm and organized. The protests don’t surprise nor upset me. I’d be more concerned if this torch relay went undisturbed.

    Megan from Dallas, Texas

  119. 119 Jack Beninble
    April 7, 2008 at 18:43

    Your guest, Cecelia Lee, claims that the Tibet question is “complicated.” I disagree, it’s about as uncomplicated as a back-alley mugging. The Tibetans had a country, China took it away and doesn’t want to give it back. That’s about as complicated as it needs to get.

    China is ruining the Olympics by coopting its ideals for its own corrupt purposes.

    Every country has Human Rights abuses. Not every country has run down young people with tanks. Not every country has invaded it’s neighbors and held and oppressed its residents for 50 years (in the case of Tibet) and almost 100 years (in the case of East Turkestan).

  120. April 7, 2008 at 18:43

    China vital to the world economy?? What a laugh. It’s vital only to greedy Western businesses – and colluding politicians like Bush, Blair, Brown & Sarko

    Anon

  121. 121 Brian
    April 7, 2008 at 18:44

    Has Cecilia Lee ever been to Tibet? She says that Tibet has been part of China for thousands of years. Not even Chinese government propaganda to the west says that. China never ruled Tibet until it invaded in 1950. Its claims to historic sovereignty on Tibet are based on the fact that the Mongols invaded Tibet, and then later invaded China. Those claims are specious.

    Brian

  122. April 7, 2008 at 18:45

    Rising China is becoming gradually the rising threat to environment and human right. The protesters did the right deed.

    Anon

  123. 123 Daniel
    April 7, 2008 at 18:45

    Please ask Ms. Lee to answer the same questions she herself asked Alice early in the program. The BOCOG organized and financed the torch relay, so I believe the relay is representative of the Beijing Games and not just the Olympic spirit. Beijing was the wrong choice to host and the IOC should not be surprised and should acknowledge the gravity of this situation.

    Daniel
    Cleveland, Ohio USA

  124. 124 Bob
    April 7, 2008 at 18:45

    I personally know someone who was able to visit Tibet 5 years or so ago. She came back with horrific stories of oppression and an ongoing systemic attempt by the Chinese government to destroy Tibetan culture. Too bad about the torch ceremony; the Tibetans have had their years ruined for nearly half a century. Right on to the protesters.

    Bob
    Cleveland, Ohio USA

  125. 125 Ramen
    April 7, 2008 at 18:46

    I congratulate the protesters for protesting against a country wrongly choosen for 2008 Olympic.

    Ramen in India

  126. 126 Abdul
    April 7, 2008 at 18:48

    The Olympic torch belong to the athletes of the world and the people of the world. Disrupting the torch by aggressive means is affront to the sporting world and democracy.

    Abdul in the UK

  127. 127 Larry
    April 7, 2008 at 18:48

    The real question about protests in England, France and those to come is: Would they be possible in China? Don’t think so.

    Larry

    Kent, Ohio

  128. 128 Bod
    April 7, 2008 at 18:48

    To the Chinese nationalist lady:

    Claim that Tibet and Tibetans have “belonged” to Chinese emperors and now Chinese communists for thousands of years is ludicruos. Tibet gave religious services to the Mongol empire, then Chinese and then Manchu empire in last millenium, but before Mao invaded Tibet was ruled by Tibetans! Why do you insist on colonizing totally non-Chinese people today, and destroy Tibet’s culture, language and identity?

    Bod

  129. 129 Andrew
    April 7, 2008 at 18:49

    In answer to what Cecelia Lee just noted on my earlier point, I must add that you cannot forget that the Chinese government is communist, that is the nature of how such regimes operate. That is the nature of the flow of information out of such nations. The state media is inherently biased towards getting their own ‘spin’ on events to protect their image and their regime. It is the tool of the regime to control information. I have had the advantage of spending time in and around China and to compare their standard of truth and journalism to the west and say it is just and fair is just not valid at all.

    Andrew

    Australia

    and yes.. up late!

  130. 130 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 18:51

    “Tibet is virtually enslaved by the Chinese military. The Chinese brutality is the cause of these protests. Why are the Chinese so afraid of the Tibetan point of view?” Shocking. I am afraid the millions slaves and serfs freed in Tibet after 1959 will disagree with you. If the Chinse are so afraid of the Tibetan point of view, why dsome Westernes like you are afraid of finding the truth about Tibet? The road to your local library is not blocked by Chinese military.

  131. 131 Chuck Paugh
    April 7, 2008 at 18:51

    It is hypocritical for individuals to call for the boycott of the Olympics due to Chinese internal policies when these same individuals shop at a retailers who import billions of dollars per year in merchandise to sell from China such as Wal-Mart.

  132. 132 AGNAR THOR
    April 7, 2008 at 18:51

    I would like to know who the FLAME GUARDS are? They look more like the Chinese Secrete Service or from the Military Guard more than athelets. Why would the local police not be the one guarding the flame or local atheletes if you need FLAME GUARDS at all!!! I think a detail like that clearly shows how China is treating the Olympics in general. Lets not forget the purging of people that speak up against the Chinese Goverment, they all seem to be heading for jail before the Olympics. Wander why.
    The Olympics should never be giving to a non-democratic nations, they should only be held in the Free World.

  133. 133 Brett
    April 7, 2008 at 18:52

    Hillary is trying a last ditch attempt to appeal to Baracks younger left-leaning base with her comment on Bush boycotting the opening ceremony.
    Tisk Tisk Tisk Mrs. Clinton.
    Although this is somewhat in line with her strong stance of ignoring leaders and international problems she does not like.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  134. 134 JM
    April 7, 2008 at 18:53

    I think these protests are more for the Chinese to see, since they are allowed to see nothing in China but what is face-saving and supportive to the Maoist government. Many of the things that Americans have done wrong were only able to be brought to our attention because of pleas from outside our country, because we have lived in a controlled media environment. The Maoists have 1.2 Million people policing the internet alone to suppress the information on their misdeeds, the Chinese people need to wake up, as many many of us have here. To pick on the Dalai Lama, the most peaceful man on earth, as the cause of their genocidal 1950 invasion of Tibet and their failure to honor their commitments to at least not DEGRADE human rights, the Olympics were conditionally awarded on, shows that these are people who have no honor, and therefore they shame their ancestors. Try saying “Democracy” in China and see what happens to your human rights!

  135. 135 Scott Millar
    April 7, 2008 at 18:53

    This faulty logic by callers and bloggers that the USA or other countries have no right to protest because of actions by their own countries is absurd and childish. No countries hands are clean, nor will they ever be. Who decides who is clean enough to voice criticism? Who are these moral police? Protesters are individuals, even if they reside in a country with an egregious human rights history it doesn’t mean their own personal record isn’t clean.

    -Portland, Oregon

  136. 136 Mike
    April 7, 2008 at 18:53

    Great program

    I find it curious that some would say that you shouldn’t mix politics with sport when the very people who awarded the Olympic opportunity to China used it as a carrot to encourage the government to clean up its human rights issues. The issue with Tibet is simple. They are a country taken over by a larger more powerful country and deserve their sovereignty. There is much more to say about the myriad human rights issues with China as well as other countries, but those other countries have not been granted the opportunity to host this important event. If some people’s pleasure is disrupted for the sake of other’s oppression or injustice, I say it is just trade-off.

    Thanks for bringing this issue forward.

    Mike in Eagle Creek USA

  137. 137 Bruce
    April 7, 2008 at 18:54

    I am listening from Traverse City, Mi., U.S.A.

    I am puzzled by the host’s continued statements the Olympic flame protests must be separated from a discussion about Tibet. It is ALL about Tibet. To those who say the Olympics should not be politized I say the Olympics have ALWAYS been politized. Not only as previously referenced on the show regarding the 1980 U.S. boycott of the Soviet hosted games, but the “black power” demonstration at an awards ceremony in 1968 as well as Hitler’s failed attempt to demonstrate Aryan supremacy at Berlin in 1938. The whole process of keeping medal totals to demonstrate the athletic power of any given country is inherently political in showing a country’s athletic supremacy.
    The protesters are simply keeping the world’s attention on another form of suppression of freedom practiced by the 2008 Summer games’ host country.

    Bruce

  138. 138 David
    April 7, 2008 at 18:54

    I think if China can have the privilege of using the Olympics to promote itself on the world stage, than people who are negatively affected by China also have the right to use the Olympics to promote their cause with/against China

    Kind regards
    David

  139. 139 Bill
    April 7, 2008 at 18:54

    What about the human rights of the bearers? These are free countries they are running through. The need for guards would be irrelevant if the protesters would respect the rights of the bearers to carry the torch regardless of what it represents.

    Bill D

    Vancouver Washington, USA

  140. 140 hui
    April 7, 2008 at 18:55

    I am a Chinese working in San Francisco. I sympathize with the protesters: they have their right to have their voices heard. But I don’t think what they did will solve any issues. You cannot use violence against violence. What I think might be a fundamental solution is that both parties–the Chinese government and the protesters–should initiate open conversations. Especially the government, they need to make things in China more open and transparent. What they are doing now just mystify everything going on, good or bad in China.

  141. 141 Kent
    April 7, 2008 at 18:55

    Given the relative age of the flame guardians from the YouTube video I watched, I highly doubt any of them have a past in U.S. Secret Service. They all appear to be to young to have much of a history anywhere other than maybe in a regular army.

    Kent
    Iowa(US)

  142. 142 Brad
    April 7, 2008 at 18:55

    Cecilia Lee states that she knows better than Westerners what is going on in Tibet because she reads English and Chinese. But does she speak or read Tibetan? And is the ability to communicate with Tibetans and know what they think important to her in the least?

    Brad (San Francisco)

  143. 143 Nick
    April 7, 2008 at 18:55

    The notion that politics and sport should somehow be kept separate may have merit when the two parties involved are in conflict. Although it was before my time it must have good for countries to come together during the Cold War and play sport and who wouldn’t like to see Israel play football against the Palestinians. This putting aside of differences isn’t the putting aside of politics – it is just brining to the forefront different politics. I don’t think it fair to argue that sport is somehow sacred and exists on some plane of existence that gives the parties involved immunity from criticism. The politics being protested aren’t the differences between two political parties or the merits of different tax policy, what is being protested is the actions of regime that go against our basic values. These are the same arguments that occurred around the Springbok tours of New Zealand in the early 80s.

    Nick

  144. 144 Heather
    April 7, 2008 at 18:56

    The Tibetan and Chinese conflict is very delicate, and has been ongoing for years. one cannont expect to china to host a world wide event and not expect this to become a political platform. It is inevitable. I support the protestors, i find it quite disturbing that the china was picked to host the olympics to begin with due to the chinese governments history of human rights issues.. maybe rwanda or darfar should be considered for the 2012 games.

    Heather
    portland, oregon usa

  145. 145 David
    April 7, 2008 at 18:56

    The chinese claim to Tibet deserves the Nobel prize for fiction! Their use of phony propaganda may have influence in their own country but the world recognizes their lies. Their continued presentation of false claims make them look ridiculous.

    David

  146. 146 Billy
    April 7, 2008 at 18:56

    truly wonder how many people protesting actually know the history of Tibet-China relations. I am exposing my own ignorance that I do not know much about the history between Tibet and China, but as with any massive protest, I question the motives of a majority of the crowd. The athletes should not be hurt by these protests, but the Olympics are almost never protest-free

    -Billy
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

  147. 147 Jon
    April 7, 2008 at 18:57

    In the spirit of making the best of a situation, perhaps we have a new Olympic event developing here, a variation on the relay race, but with fire and a opposing team blocking the runners. Could be a lot of fun, and only mild burns all around.

    Jon
    Portland, Oregon, US

  148. 148 John
    April 7, 2008 at 18:57

    The protesters aren’t ruining the olympics. They have a message to put across. They have found a perfect way to attract world attention. And we are listening. The problem is, China isn’t listening yet.

    John

  149. 149 Rajiv
    April 7, 2008 at 18:57

    Currently Nepal is run by a 7 party coalition government and the historic Constituent Assembly election is just around the corner. As a Nepali citizen I was shocked to see monks being beaten up. It is not only in Tibet that China is violating human rights but a Nepali police beating a monk may as well be the result of Chinese pressure to this fragile Nation. Even today the Chinese Ambassador warned the prime minister of Nepal to take strict action to any anti China demonstration in Nepal. We cannot live without Human Rights maybe we can live without Olympics.

    Good Londoners…
    Rajiv
    Kathmandu, Nepal

  150. 150 Ryan - Oklahoma
    April 7, 2008 at 18:58

    A man standing on top of a hill, lets loose a ball, do you blame the ball for rolling down the hill? Or perhaps the hill for being… a hill? No, if you want to point blame, you point at he who dropped the ball. The protests and issues that we are dealing with now were foreseeable, and blatantly obvious. These protests were bound to happen, and will continue. The Chinese government is well aware of the abuses it commits, and the global environment in which it operates. If it didn’t want to see these tremendous shows of ill will, it should have drastically reduced its controls over the press, and massively revamped its efforts to defend and uphold civil, political, social and perhaps even labor rights. And until it manages to provide these freedoms and rights to their people, issues and events like these will never cease.

  151. 151 Travis
    April 7, 2008 at 18:58

    It never ceases to amaze me how the expatriate Chinese community can be relied upon to be apologists for the cultural genocide carried out by the PRC. Most of them seem to be graduate students and their presence in the heart of liberal freedom, universities, seems to have done nothing for their understanding of human rights and seems only to have empowered them to make the absurd claims of Chinese sovereignty sound plausible because it is spoken in English.

    As one who has american relatives living in China, I can tell you that the Chinese media has not presented an even remotely balanced view of what is happening in Tibet. Did the Olympics in Berlin help to moderate Hitler or serve as a sound stage for Leni Reifhenstahl’s propaganda? The “its sport” argument holds no water as non-sporting factors are used to make the decision about where the games will be held: how much is the host country willing to spend? what is the composition of the Olympic Committee in any given year. If political reasons are used to grant the games it is fair for political reasons to be used to withhold the games.

    Travis
    Portland, Oregon, US

  152. 152 Raun
    April 7, 2008 at 18:58

    I understand the point provided on the panel by those who are against the protests. However I think what they are failing to see is that the common man on the street will never be able to protest in the UN as one guest suggested. What we are seeing are inherent rights for people to protest and to stand up for those being opressed in Tibet in the full view of the world. The Olympics are the only venue in which the world stage is tuned in. If indeed the Olympics are meant to unite the world, that should include all peoples of the world, and all countries of the world.

    Raun in Texas US

  153. April 7, 2008 at 18:59

    Celia is wrong with regard to her assertion that “Tibet has been a part of China for thousands of years.”

    Anon

  154. April 7, 2008 at 18:59

    Isn’t it just a bit too convenient when our global society now equates “Human Rights” with “Politics”, -or perhaps worse, our media outlets equating Human Rights, our most common base element, as being similar enough to mix in under an umbrella called “Sports and Politics”??

    Michael on Cape Cod, MA USA

  155. 155 Christopher Sauvarin
    April 7, 2008 at 18:59

    The Olympic torch procession was apparently started by Adolph Hitler. How fitting that the procession of the Olympic torch should be used to highlight the Nazi-like oppression in Tibet and China’s aiding and abetting the oppressive regimes in Burma, Darfur and Zimbabwe.

  156. 156 Roberto
    April 7, 2008 at 19:00

    The Olympic Torch relay was instituted for the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Those Olympics were widely disparaged by those who were appalled by Nazi policies, yet were not widely protested.

    I don’t condone violence or the ever present anarchists, but lawful protesters are highlighting the deplorable human rights record of China and are also highlighting the brutal global corporate sponsership that has thrown the world into chaos.

    There is no nobility to wealthy professional athletes who are prone to cheat with performance enchancing drugs, so all this Olympic spirit stuff just a lot of nonsense. I’m not so naive to believe that if we had had protests in 1936, WW2 could have been avoided, but something serious needs to be done about these Olympics. The average man on the street will not be watching these Olympics because he’s too busy working like a dog or too poor to care or have the facilities to watch.

    At any rate, the Chinese have poisoned their environment so badly, many athletes to be at risk for health problems as they compete. 2008 will go down a global travesty orchestrated by wealthy and powerful bigshots who are uprooting the entire global community, creating global warming, forcing mass migrations and the creation of a new subclass of humans.

  157. 157 Ron
    April 7, 2008 at 19:00

    The question of protestors ruining the Olympics is perhaps relevant only to those with romantic notions that politics and the Games are somehow different things. States pour millions into every aspect of the Olympics in order to promote state interests. The IOC made an epic mistake for ‘awarding’ the Games to China in the first place. The protests are entirely appropriate since China is in violation of its agreement with the IOC. I am also very tired of Chinese spokespeople lecturing non-Chinese for being ignorant about Chinese history, particularly in regard to Tibet. This is simply another aspect to communist ad hominem aspersions.

    Cheers,
    Ron
    Toronto, Canada

  158. 158 Pradeep
    April 7, 2008 at 19:01

    There is no doubt. It’s a negative approach. Do they think China will cow down and grand independence to Tibet? America may publicly side with Tibetans, but really they are with the Chinese. Tibetans should work with China to get their demands fulfilled.

    Pradeep

  159. April 7, 2008 at 19:05

    It’s backward thinking to believe you can no longer separate politics from the olympics. To be sure,if I were an athlete and had trained for years to compete in the Olmypic forum,I’d be dissapointed at all these protests. But look, it’s time we put our collective feet down on this issue and weigh what’s more
    important: Devastating human rights abuses or the chance to run around an oval track and possibly hang a pretty metal necklace from your neck?

    Tim,
    Portland,Oregon

  160. April 7, 2008 at 19:08

    I do not understand why everybody seems to be talking about the “Olympic Spirit”, and that torch, which is claimed to be a symbol of peace and multicultural, international harmony – where there is none!
    Not only in China…

    Nations who keep ignoring basic human rights by using the means of suppression and violence are nations that MUST face boycott by those countries, who seek to keep these rights, the democratic ideals and individual freedom alive and encouraged within their own governments and states.

    It is sad that this should be under discussion anyway.

    How can you celebrate ALONGSIDE killings and riots and pretend not to have anything to do with it?
    Let me put it in a very simple though Kafkaesque vision:
    Do I stay at a birthday celebration I’ve been looking forward to all through the year, where it turns out the host is beating up his neighbours in the room next door for some reason?
    No – I make inquiries, negotiate, try to settle this, and if I cannot , leave the place, probably very disgusted…
    Do I personally have to do with a crime I am witnessing?
    Still I try to be of help…no?
    Is it then helpful to focus on the international sports people’s personal ambitions and lives’ goals whilst other lives’ goals are not only spoilt but the lives themselves are at stake?

    Countries in a situation like China cannot be HOSTS, that is simply paradox, if you look at what the nature of hospitality generally includes…

    I’m also aggravated by the clear position of this show’s host, in the way he’s been putting his questions so far.
    It is manipulative and judgmental, where it should not be.

    My respect to the people who denied to carry the torch and my encouragement to those who went on the streets to protest against this hypocrisy.

    It sure is not the majority of protesters who want to see riots and street fights, but of course, they are right to hinder the lightening of the torch, which indeed is a step further away from protests within the range of passive and peaceful resistance, I’m aware of that.
    Yet sometimes, I believe, an extreme situation may excuse and justify more activity than officially permitted…
    Sometimes it’s obviously hard to be heard – as we could hear from the report of that hoarse woman who was calm and fair during the interview, in spite of the talk-host who tried to twist and turn her words.

    I hope there will be many more peaceful protests all over the world:
    It is not right to light a torch and celebrate the Olympics in China as if nothing had happened…

    Nicole Haibach

  161. 161 Lotus
    April 7, 2008 at 19:08

    Unfortunately, as real and complicated as all the issues in today’s world are, China is the brunt of a Rorscharch test manipulated by anti-China interests who seek to make China the new Saddam Hussein of the media.
    Sincere progressives around the world should consider Mao’s thought, “Waving the red flag to defeat the red flag.”
    More specifically, read Workers World’s Gary Wilson about the colored revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, the role of Paula Dobriansky in the US State Department, and watch NATO’s role and the G7 who are working to maintain capitalism’s right to rule.
    Look for more Third World and independent sources.

  162. 162 Bri
    April 7, 2008 at 19:09

    Tibet is part of China; Northern Ireland and Scotland are part of the UK; and Quebec is part of Canada. The sooner people accept this, the better. I think I will protest the 2012 games in London, if Northern Ireland is returned to its rightful nation.

  163. 163 Lisa Green
    April 7, 2008 at 19:09

    All the protests are doing is giving China an oportunity to say how violent and so on “the west” is.

    China will go ahead with the olympics…. there is no question of that. It’s very likely that the government will actually feel smug and pleased with themselves after all the protests fail to stop the olympics… which they will.

    Protest by all means but let the protests be peaceful. China would be more impressed by thousands of people standing in silence perhaps with black armbands.

    Peaceful protest is the way… not this.

    Lisa

  164. 164 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 19:11

    Chen-

    The man who spins in circles firing wildly in all directions is afraid.

    I hear fear of protest, of people speaking their minds, arriving at some collective opinion and voicing it about the policy of a nation.

    From where China has come I can understand that,

    but it has worked in the USA based on Christianity and the Bible as the moral rule book.

    Do not confuse this US administration with democracy or the people of USA.

    If the government of China does not like egg on her face stop putting it there and clean it off.

  165. 165 Michael
    April 7, 2008 at 19:16

    The Torch

    Isn’t it just a bit too convenient when our global society now equates “Human
    Rights” with “Politics”, -or perhaps worse, our media outlets equating Human
    Rights, our most common base element, as being similar enough to be mixed in under a more convenient umbrella called “Sports and Politics”??
    In the latter scenario, responsibility for Human Rights is even more “Everywhere and No Where”.

    Michael on Cape Cod, MA USA

  166. 166 Harp
    April 7, 2008 at 19:25

    Ruining?
    They have RUNIED it.
    I think protestors should be used this platform little smartly.
    They should not have insulated the Olympics.
    What they could have done is walked along with the torch with posters, T-shirts, with message on them to make their point.
    This way people could enjoyed the games and at the same time get their voices heard around the world.

    Edmotnon

  167. 167 Addy
    April 7, 2008 at 19:28

    The anti-China protesters are exploiting the best opportunity to make their point. It was a mistake to award China the games.
    addy

  168. April 7, 2008 at 19:28

    I think Tibet supporters are reluctant to spoil the Olympics, but what choice do they have? 60 years of treading lightly on the Tibet issue have brought no results, other than increased arrogance on the Chinese side.

    Now, although China is experiencing some humiliation, at least the world is again being opened to what’s happening in Tibet.

    The Olympics are a great event of goodwill, and it was wrong-headed to award them to a country with such a bleak human rights record, especially so far as Tibet is concerned.

    So, although we don’t enjoy doing it, we must take the opportunity to stand up for the Tibetans. Their ongoing suffering is surely more important than the smooth running of a grand entertainment, and people of good sense will see that.

  169. 169 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 19:29

    AGNOR-

    I would like to know who the FLAME GUARDS are?

    ………….

    When protests explode because of votes in the UN protecting genocide and the boot is used to stomp colonials

    you whip up FLAME GUARDS

    rather than rethink policy.

    ………………

    FLAME GUARDS-

    Wooden plugs used in the bottom of a sinking strategic policy.

    You can bash in wooden plugs by the thousands but the policy is riddled and more holes appear.

  170. 170 Norman
    April 7, 2008 at 19:29

    Although no country is unscathed from human rights abuses, China is reached a severe magnitude that can’t be ignored. Besides its gross abuses inside in China, China has an abhorrent record with world’s human rights abusers,particularly their unequivocal support to the genocidal regime in Sudan.
    For those who buy the myth that sports and politics do not mix, even the Olympic charter contradicts this by saying “any form of discrimination with regard to a country or person of race,religion,politics ,gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”
    Do we honour China’s despicable record by the Olympics go on in full form and ceremony? Knowing what we know would we have the Berlin Olympics happen without reservation in 1936?
    The Chinese government needs a public flogging to drastically change it pernicious ways!

    Norman

  171. 171 Bod
    April 7, 2008 at 19:30

    Dear BBC,

    I understand that you can’t read many replies to your live radio show, but I am desperately disappointed that you let Chinese nationalist guest make wild and unfounded claims, like “Tibet has belonged to China for thousands of years”. People think this is a fact?

    This is rediculous myth spread by ignorant Chinese nationalist with no basis is history or truth. They don’t even know their own propaganda as some claim since non-Chinese Manchu dynasty rule and some claim since non-Chinese Mongol dynasty rule (13th century)! But it was Tibetans ruling Tibet until the Communist invasion of 1950!

    Please invite a Tibetan guest also and not only a Chinese nationalist.

    Bod

  172. 172 Kwabena
    April 7, 2008 at 19:32

    I live in Accra and no matter where the olympic torch passes, i wil support the protestors. China must learn to respect basic human rights. The olympics is about promoting world peace and tibetans need peace and freedom
    Kwabena

  173. 173 Steve
    April 7, 2008 at 19:33

    It’s quite odd that people are asking if disrupting the torch relays can “ruin” the Olympics. In 1972, Palestinian terrorists killed 10 members of the Israeli team and despite that, the Olympics went on. So I don’t see if that didn’t “ruin” the ’72 Olympics, how will some idiots grabbing torches ruin these Olympics?

    Steve
    USA

  174. 174 Kwabena
    April 7, 2008 at 19:33

    The I.O.C was right in awarding the olympics to china. It is achieving the aims the olympics, promoting world freedom and peace.
    Kwabena in Ghana

  175. 175 Elias
    April 7, 2008 at 19:38

    The question if protesters are ruining the Olympics?. The answer is simply that the protesters are most annoyed and disturbed at the ruthless way that China has killed people in Tibet who are demanding to be free of the occupation of their country. Not only in Tibet, any demonstration in China is put down by such forcefull means that killing demonstrators is their normal way in dealing with them. China knew when they occupied Tibet that no country had the power to stop them or be bothered to do anything about it. To put it simply it was the case of the Cineese lion that ate the Tibitan lamb.
    There is no doubt the Olympics will take place in China under very tight security and should protesters try to disrupt the games, they will be dealt with in the harshest of ways.
    The Olympic Commitee should consider a country’s human rights record before awarding the games to be held there in some way they are in my oppinion responsible for all those who have been killed.

  176. 176 Sunit
    April 7, 2008 at 19:42

    Use any opportunity to further human rights. I’m British and I’ll peacefully protest in 2012 against my country s crimes abroad.
    Sunit – Freetown,Sierra Leone

  177. 177 Mohamed
    April 7, 2008 at 19:43

    I am Mohamed in Somalia Protests against China hosting the Olympics should be halted immediately shame on protesters why didn’t you protest against other countries that hosted the Olympics.

  178. 178 Zanna
    April 7, 2008 at 19:47

    That Nigerian who said he d protest if the touch were here was really in the minority. Most Nigerians will escort the touch.
    Zanna, Lagos – Nigeria.

  179. 179 Sam
    April 7, 2008 at 19:49

    The Beijing olympic is already ruined, but the countries that would host subsequent olympics would also have such protests to contend with, no country or government is perfect. This is the begining of the end of the olympic games for ever.
    Sam, Jos, Nigeria.

  180. 180 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 19:51

    Bob-

    ““Tibet has belonged to China for thousands of years”. People think this is a fact?”

    …….

    Only in the sense that:

    America is part of Europe by pre-continental drift theory.

    Or

    millennium of Israel suddenly does not count because Muslims call it Palestine.

  181. 181 Patrick
    April 7, 2008 at 19:52

    We R 2 busy in Zambia trying 2 put food on our tables 2 worry about a touch de protesters wer probably wearing Chinese clothes/ using Chinese laptops and mobile phones
    Patrick – Lusaka Zambia

  182. 182 Shebz
    April 7, 2008 at 19:53

    The protests r becoming 2violent i wud luv 2see the torch pas thru my country.The protests could go ahead but they shud be caried out peacefuly.
    Shebz. zambia

  183. 183 Marmetus
    April 7, 2008 at 19:55

    The Chinese government must begin to respect the Tibetans if they want to be seen as a major world player.
    Marmetus in Enugu Nigeria.

  184. 184 Calvin
    April 7, 2008 at 19:55

    Protesters shud come to Zimbabwe where their effort wud be much appreciated.Leave china and olympics torch alone.
    Calvin,Lusaka,Zambia

  185. 185 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 19:59

    Ron of Toronto, Canada said “I am also very tired of Chinese spokespeople lecturing non-Chinese for being ignorant about Chinese history, particularly in regard to Tibet. This is simply another aspect to communist ad hominem aspersions.” Tired, so quickly? the Chinese have been lectured by the West about how to live their lives for decades, if not centuries, they don’t seem tired at all.
    If suggesting people to learn something about Tibet before they talk about it is “another aspect of communist ad hominem aspersions,” then the “communist” idea is certainly attractive from an educational point of view.
    Interesting, by using the word “Chinese spokepeople,” Ron seems to suggest that if a Chinese person dares to voice a different view on Tibet and tell people to learn, he must be a “spoke person” for Chinese government. So much for freedom of speech. This tactic is not new though: there have been times when everyone who dared to tell a favorable view on China was labeled Red and persecuted. I, of course a Chinese spokeperson, would suggest those people to read some books on American history before they label dissenting voices. Well, those people must be tired of lecturing them about American history as well – telling people to read American history must also be “communist ad hominem aspersions.”
    By the way, a definition of “ad hominem” is an argument “consist[ing] of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.” The suggestion to learn about Tibet is exactly “addressing the substance of the issue” –the facts of “massacre of Tibetans” and the lives of Tibet before and after “Chinese invasion” being claimed. If those “Non-Chinese” people think they have enough knowledge of Tibet, they should bring the facts instead of throwing labels such as “communist.”

  186. 186 Tom D Ford
    April 7, 2008 at 20:00

    Chen, you have made some interesting points and I am now reading the Michael Parenti article that you linked to:

    Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

    http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html#notes

    It is very interesting.

    I had always wondered why China invaded Tibet and whether the communist dislike for religious oppression was part of the reason. It seems that no religion has clean hands.

  187. 187 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 20:00

    We R 2 busy in Zambia trying 2 put food on our tables 2 worry about a touch de protesters wer probably wearing Chinese clothes/ using Chinese laptops and mobile phones
    Patrick – Lusaka Zambia

    ………………..

    Patrick

    I have striped and am sending this by morse code on a homebuilt rig.

    Please stop pointing out my hypocrisy, the weather is chilly.

  188. 188 Pawnbroker
    April 7, 2008 at 20:16

    The brass elephant is in the shop. The garden gnome has gone to visit u.n.c.l.e.

  189. 189 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 20:26

    Chen Chen Chen-

    Ron seems to suggest that if a Chinese person dares to voice a different view on Tibet and tell people to learn, he must be a “spoke person” for Chinese government.

    …………

    No one called you a communist.

    You vigorously defend the official line of the Chinese government above.

    You may rightly be called a spoke person for (favoring) the Chinese government policy and rhetoric.

    That is NOT an ad hominem on his part.

    But Projection is.

    You know what projection is Chen.

    Play nice.

  190. 190 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 20:29

    Justin, sorry for late response your question: “Chen, unless you can back up speculation, its just speculation and whispers in the wind. I’m not saying the CIA is or isn’t doing anything, I’m just saying unfounded accusations don’t advance any discussion forward… Is the CIA sponsoring and training the Tibetan resistance? How are they doing this? Is this part of a grand hidden agenda? These are all topics for a different discussion.”
    Justin, there are books written by people who are very fond of Dalai Lama that can back up what I said about Dalai Lama’s CIA money, the training of Tibetan fighters in Colorado. “The Dragon in the land of Snow” by Tsering Shakya is the one comes to mind. The author claims that he uses declassified CIA files to back up my “speculations.”

  191. 191 George USA
    April 7, 2008 at 20:48

    Roberto-

    “There is no nobility to wealthy professional athletes who are prone to cheat with performance enchancing drugs, so all this Olympic spirit stuff just a lot of nonsense. I’m not so naive to believe that if we had had protests in 1936, WW2 could have been avoided, but something serious needs to be done about these Olympics. The average man on the street will not be watching these Olympics because he’s too busy working like a dog or too poor to care or have the facilities to watch.

    At any rate, the Chinese have poisoned their environment so badly, many athletes to be at risk for health problems as they compete. 2008 will go down a global travesty orchestrated by wealthy and powerful bigshots who are uprooting the entire global community, creating global warming, forcing mass migrations and the creation of a new subclass of humans.”

    ………

    Ouch- you said it.

    Roberto do you suppose history is repeating itself?

    If WWII followed the 1936 use of the Olympic torch,

    what may follow the 2006 use of it?

  192. 192 bjay
    April 7, 2008 at 20:49

    Olympic & China.

    YE!
    The DRAGON has awakened.
    We are the one who’s feeding it.
    Mocking the inadequacy of the world?

    The OLYMPICS, keep your HANDS OFF OF IT!!!
    Do not try to Justify your interloping.
    LET THE NOBLE TOARCH BIRN IN EVERY INDIVIDUAL, IN EVERY 4 YEARS!

    YE!
    (Be active when Taiwan try to be Independent?!)

    bjay connotation with accent.

  193. 193 Bedoon Esam
    April 7, 2008 at 21:42

    We all know the HUMAN RIGHTS record of CHINA for many years now….using the OLYMPICS which is nothing but pure triumph of sports to send political message is a waste all we are doing is creating a big Hullabaloo and actually achieving very little for TIBET or its cause…

    You seriously want to protest against CHINA carefully check everything you buy refuse to buy anything that is CHINESE made that will make CHINA stand up and take note much faster than anything else…

    We gladly purchase cheap CHINA made goods daily so what is wrong if CHINA celebrates the OLYMPICS in 2008…we have lined their pockets to carry out all the Human Rights violations why only the TIbetians what about the millions who strive in Chinese sweat shops funded by International Business…Stop all that why stop only the Olympic Torch…

    HURT CHINA WHERE IT HURTS THE MOST BOYCOTT CHINESE PRODUCTS IF YOU ARE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT TAKING CHINA TO TASK ON ITS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORDS……

  194. 194 Kathy Gillis
    April 7, 2008 at 22:04

    Such a question reflects people’s confusion. Don’t blame the victims!
    It is not protestors who are ruining the olympics It is the Chinese Communist Party. Without the bloody atrocities of Chinese Communist Party none of these protests would have happened. We are seeing democracy in action. Democracy provides people with a legal means to show their feeling about tyrannical regimes. So put the blame where it belongs. The games will go on, the athletes will have their glory, but what the world is watching now is something else, the fall of the Chinese Communist Party.

  195. 195 Carlos
    April 7, 2008 at 22:15

    Good day WHYS

    Yes, the protestors are ruining the “spirit” of the Olympics, that is, they are introducing confrontation (and some violence) where their should be only fairplay, in the Olympics. The protestors are not playing fair. Why are they harrassing the athletes? The athletes are not the cause of Tibets imprisonment.
    If they really want to help Tibet they should not buying Chinese goods or protest before the Chinese embassy worldwide.

    Whatever happened to non-violent protests? Did it die 40 years ago with Martin Luther King? The introduction of violence in the Olympics and at this 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assasination is an insult to his memory and a show of contempt for the work that he has done.

    The propensity to use violence first is the reason why this world is in this dilema and is creating a continous cycle of violence. Look at what is happenning in Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Palestine, Lebanon etc. In all these countries and others non-violence/negotiation was not given sufficient time to bear fruit.

    All these misguide protestor are doing is strenghtening the resolve of China to remain obstinate and continue to abuse the human rights of Tibetans. If they think there are helping Tibet, they better think again because this (the violent protest) is the excuse China needed to increase the crackdown on Tibet.

    Sorry Tibet, your suffering and period of bondage is going to increase in direct proportion to the violence your misguided “supporters” are displaying. We need peace in the world not more violence and that peace must begin with you and me.

    The protestors are not only ruining the Olympics they are also ruining Tibets chance for freedom.

    Carlos, Kingston- Jamaica

  196. 196 Thomas Murray
    April 7, 2008 at 22:27

    A heartfelt yes!

    This morning three Tibetian protesters scaled a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge to unfurl a banner reading “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008.” This is two days before the torch comes to San Francisco. (Police are going to wait for them to come down before they arrest them for trespassing.)

    Waving protest signs is one thing — China must learn to tolerate peaceful protest — but it is possible to take it too far.

    Tibetian activists should heed world reaction to the professional exhibitionist who knocked Brazilian runner Vanderlei de Lima out of first place during the Olympic Marathon in the 2004 Athen’s Games.

    The Olympics represents the best ideals of human character.

    If the Tibetian protesters keep actively disrupting Olympic events, they will only turn the world against them — and prove China’s case about their lack of self-control.

    –Late again, but Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  197. 197 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 22:32

    George
    you said “You vigorously defend the official line of the Chinese government above. You may rightly be called a spoke person for (favoring) the Chinese government policy and rhetoric.”
    Well, if I happen to have an opinion about Tibet — based on my learning, my reading of Tibet history (by foreign writers), my life experience in both China and abroad — which is close to “the official line of the Chinese government,” and I therefore can be “rightly be called a spoke person favoring the Chinese government policy and rhetoric,” then I can do nothing by to accept this title from you. At the same time, I certainly hope your opinion on the issue is based on facts, knowledge, and your own efforts to find search for truth. I would rather to be a “spoke person” who encouraging people to look for answers then someone who advocates ignorance. You do know what ignorance is, don’t you George?

  198. 198 Chen
    April 7, 2008 at 22:51

    George
    You advised me to “play nice.”
    I play nice with people who play nice. I don’t play nice with people who don’t play nice. Play nice with people who play nasty is an insult to people who do play nice.

  199. 199 Andrew
    April 7, 2008 at 23:04

    How ironical–Olympic torch relay began by the NAZIs, and now the Chinese. Way back in 1936 the SAME ARGUMENTS were used by pro-Berlin people: Olympics is all about sports and no politics is involved.
    IOC, please don’t taint your record, in future, award the event to a mature, advanced democracy. Between now and this year’s Summer Games, there’ll be more protests, more deaths in China, years to come, history will look back at Beijing 2008 like how we remember Berlin 1936. Don’t believe me, just watch the opening ceremony laden with cultural propaganda–see how much of China’s non-Chinese ethnic minorities are included.

  200. 200 Yvette L
    April 7, 2008 at 23:33

    I know China’s history. It was wrong. But it was the past. All countries have their wrongdoings in the past and today. It is clear why the CCP cannot openly admit Mao’s mistakes. My point is that we must give China an opportunity to grow and improve. We have to ask ourselves, what we can do as Chinese to help achieve the goals that we all share for China. A more prosperous and more free China? By understanding the steps required to achieve the goal for the people, China has come a long way – by lifting 300 million people out of poverty. We cannot stop that sense of hope for our home country – for I have grew up in a Western Country, I have never give up that hope of making China a better place tomorrow.

    Just to let you know, I grew up in Australia, don’t read Chinese, been to China many times. I know China’s problems. I know them quite well. If people only keep focusing on the negatives – then you will always see the negatives of China only. In the West, I almost never even seen anything amount to positiveness about China. But the truth and the fact is, the CCP government has done more good to it’s people than bad over the past 2 decades. I don’t think it is possible to be achieved unless it is communism. Just remember world politics is based on a “zero sum game”.
    As a Chinese, I just think we should not lose hope of making China better – and this should not be just talk, but also action and yes, your right, I will do my small part in contributing to the overall good for the Chinese people and the world. I support a multi-polar world.

  201. 201 primal convoy in Japan
    April 8, 2008 at 02:22

    Of course there are many countries with human rights abuses. If not all, if we are all honest. Although this isn’t a “(insert present continuous verb of your choice here) contest” as such to see “who is without sin and thus can throw the first stone”, ask yourselves this:

    “is this BBC program going to be aired via radio or online, in China?”

    Didn’t think so.

    On with the protests then. China needs to grow up: fast.

  202. April 8, 2008 at 03:04

    Dear chen
    I see you are easily outnumbered and outguned.. I hereby gave you my total support. Thank you for showing me the website. I first came across the materials in Xinhua website. I could not make up my mind whether it was a propaganda or not.
    Any person elevated to high heaven is not a human being at all. Those that followed
    their entrenched, enclosed, arrogant perception is beyond redemption really.
    Here is the book I like to recommend: The arrogance of power by Senator William Fulright. It is people like him that illuminates.

  203. 203 George USA
    April 8, 2008 at 05:15

    Chen-

    China

    The proper response to “play nice”.

    Smile and say- OK, I will try a different way.

    You have been given a free pass out of a path that did not work.

  204. April 8, 2008 at 05:59

    “ARE PROTESTERS RUINING THE OLYMPICS?”

    No the protesters are not ruining the Olympics. Crimes against humanity they are ruining the world. There are crimes that governments commit the world are unaware of and will not be exposed.

    I condemn those who using dialog even insinuating it is wrong to use any means to expose and stop heinous crimes.

    Something is wanted in return with such dialog. It is for reciprocating agreement, that is what wanted in return, to hide ones own governments crimes against humanity.

    Mind control exists by nations to hide detrimental human research and human rights violations. To condemn the right to protest is to feed off of the suffering of others.

    The media has become the demonic tool of a government orchestrating the minds and actions of their public against their self.

  205. 205 sangye dorje
    April 8, 2008 at 06:15

    so china has been showing it olympic spirit in tibet recently? china’s olympic spirit rituals are a farce. people expressing thier opinions of china’s policy toward tibet are not spoiling the olympics (which haven’t started yet), they are simply trying to bring some relevancy to the mindless torch carrying ritual.

    bravo to Francesca Martinez, well said!

  206. 206 PHILLIP KIHUMURO
    April 8, 2008 at 07:08

    Hi ROS, I think that the PROTESTERS arent ruinign the OLYMPICS but ratehr trying to make a point. THey are justified.Though many of our countries have a bad human rights record, I believe it sshouoldnt be condoned.Some other countries like CHINA have had it over and over agiand and in the OPen but arent willing to get rid of these bad acts: Tiananmen Square, 1989; Lhasa Crackdown,2008! For how long shall we continue like this? I think we need to mix plotics and sport if hardliner regimes are to be got rid of and inhumane actions stopped. How I feel ZIM would be blocked from the tour of England, and any other tours.

  207. 207 PHILLIP KIHUMURO(Kampala)
    April 8, 2008 at 07:12

    Ros, was not quite happy yesterday during your show. You so much pressed the Chinese lady and it appeared as though the western media was trying to be pro-TIbet and agaisnt Chinese Policies( though I take the samestand).However, I pray that you journalists be more impartial in your discussions.

    Quite unhappy too with the way you treat African listeners( I feel we arent given enough time, and when we text, our messages aernt usually read).Tried teting in the first 15minutes so I could jon the debate but was not considered. Not een ma text was read.

  208. April 8, 2008 at 07:13

    In South Africa we have had two strong statements issued by religious leaders of the calibre of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, both supporting the Tibetan cause, the integrity of the person of the Dalai Lama, and condemning Chinese human rights abuses. Coming at this time, these statements might be viewed as ‘ruining’ the spirit of the Olympics, yet they have been made by people of high moral standing.

    AsTibet supporters, we in the SA Friends of Tibet have had our misgivings about humiliating the PRC and the Chinese people in the run-up to the Olympics. We aren’t happy to see their ‘moment’ being spoiled, and we wish there were another way to get through to them. Yet, judging from the Chinese response to all the protests and disruptions of the Olympic Torch relay, we note that they seem completely to lack the self-critical faculty. They are right; everyone else is misguided or misinformed.

    Therefore, we don’t see any other way than to keep up the pressure for the sake of those inside Tibet who have risked so much to bring their plight to the world’s attention. To fail to act on their behalf would render their self-sacrificing efforts vain.

    When China begins to look at itself openly, and to begin acknowledging that there actually is a problem in Tibet, and to allow outside help to assist in assessing and solving that problem, and stating a willingness to negotiate on the Tibet issue, that will be the time to stop ‘ruining’ the Olympics.

    We can’t simply act as though all is well in the Chinese-Tibet situation. That was the mistake made by the IOC in awarding the games to China, and by the world’s leaders in endorsing their choice.

    So, what is left but to protest, and protest vigorously? When will there be another opportunity as internationally visible as this one?

  209. April 8, 2008 at 08:52

    Politics and sport are connected , always have been. During apartheid in South Africa, South African athletes were not even allowed to participate, let alone us being allowed to host the Olympic games. However awful the apartheid regime was, China’s record in Tibet is certainly no better, and is probably far worse. The death of 1.2 million Tibetans under Chinese occupation, absolute repression of religion, arrested for possessing a photo of the Dalai Lama etc. If the western media are to blame it is for being silent for 60 years when the Tibetans engaged in silent non- violent protest that attracted no international attention, just got them locked up in jail. Let the world now take note and investigate what is really going on.

    Merriel Roebrt

  210. 210 Lee Roy
    April 8, 2008 at 11:11

    “ARE PROTESTERS RUINING OLYMPICS?”

    No the protesters are not ruining the Olympics.
    Crimes against humanity they are ruining the world.
    There are crimes that governments commit the world are unaware of and will not be exposed.

    I condemn those who using dialog even insinuating it is wrong to use any means to expose and stop heinous crimes.

    Mind control exists by nations to hide detrimental human research and human rights violations. To condemn the right to protest is to feed off of the suffering of others.

    Something is wanted in return with such dialog. It is for reciprocating agreement, that is what wanted in return, to hide ones own governments crimes against humanity.

    The media has become the demonic tool of a government orchestrating the minds and actions of their public against their self.

  211. 211 Ros Atkins
    April 8, 2008 at 12:10

    Hi Ros,
    Hope everyone is well.
    The answer to todays question is a simple yes! They are trying to ruin it, but they will not suceed. The beijing olympics will turn out as one of the best in living memory. Ros, to be honest with you, people like me are just tired of the hypocrisy and double standards that emanate from the West- These people who are so bent on protesting and ruining the Beijing olympics do not seem to find anything wrong when their goverments sign multi-billion dollar trade deals with China. They should go and sleep. China will become a more democratic and free country as time goes by.Surely, these people are not asking for a democracy in China “Iraqi style”- see what i mean? Democracy cannot be imposed, it develops over time. Ask the Americans, they are better placed to tell you more.

    Atsu 23
    Accra, Ghana.

  212. 212 Chen
    April 8, 2008 at 14:11

    To Growingworldcitizen:
    Thanks for your concern that I was “outnumbered and outgunned” on this forum. I expected it to be so.
    I didn’t have the slightest illusion that people from different social, cultural, and political backgrounds will change their views on things easily. We all are the prisoners of our mental frames. However, I am hopeful that my comment may make a few people to search for information behind the scenes not told by the “mainstream media.” I am hopeful that my tiny and lonely voice can make a few people curious enough to make personal efforts to read books and articles on the issues. I have the fundamental belief that more knowledge will make all of us free, less prejudicial, and more tolerant. I don’t ask people to accept my views as truth – it would be ridiculous. What I am asking people for is to make personal efforts to search for truth, to bring what they find to the table, and do not wait in their living rooms for the network news to deliver the “truth” to them. Democracy, freedom of speech, and whatever wonderful institutions will not work if the people are not informed. I think the war in Iraq, ( in war in Vietnam, the Mexican war, the Spanish war…) all illustrate my point. Ignorant people are much easier to fool – it is true in every society. Having the access to information is not the same as having the information. Even in a “free society,” truth is always something to search for in the dusty papers, and rarely something to wait for as home delivery.

  213. 213 Carlos
    April 8, 2008 at 14:12

    I think the protestors are not ruining the olympics because they are just trying to make the world pay atention on the Tibetian cause. The Dalai Lama himself said the protestors should not try to get it anyway. There must be patience and calm. The Olympics will be place normally.

  214. 214 Edina Chang
    April 8, 2008 at 14:23

    So many hypocrites complaining about China’s human rights abuses. The best US buddy which by the way also happens to be the best buddy of Prince Charles is the Saudis, who just incase no one realizes is a country with one of the greatest human rights abuses, China pales in comparison.

    Yes there are human rights abuses in practically every country including the so called ‘mature advanced democracy’ such as in the US, UK and Australia, so what?

    These demontrators behave in a dispicable manners, the way they harrass the torch relay is nothing short of disgusting. It speaks volumes about them doesn’t it?

    And to see so many Tibetan and their monks, kick and burn shops in Lhasa while the BBC reporter reporting on the violence by the Chinese security forces is incredible.

    WHY? Well for start I didn’t see any violence committed by the Chinese SF but plenty from the Tibetans. BBC is biased period! Shame on the BBC.

    Second, if the security is so tight and oppressive in Tibet, how come those mad monks and crazy Tibetans can do so much damage in the first place? Where are the security forces while all this is happening?

    Why there are some Chinese died, burned to death when their shophouses were burned by the mob? Yes, I bet neither the BBC nor CNN bother with such mandane details.

    Tibet is part of Chinese territory and it will always be. For those who advocate freedom in Tibet,
    perhaps Quebec should also be allowed independence? Or tell the Indonesian that Aceh deserves independence too!

    Better cancel the torch, cancel the Oplympic but don’t expect Tibetan independence!

    Edina

  215. April 8, 2008 at 15:23

    They are not only ruining it, they are hijacking it.

  216. April 8, 2008 at 16:59

    Protestors have no business grabbing the torch and causing chaos. They should not mix with politics! If they want to protest , they can do that peacefully away from torch and its carriers.

  217. April 8, 2008 at 18:04

    The principle of hearing from the other side ia a key ingredient of contemporary journalism and human rights activisms, which is to reflect fairness and balanced reportage and demonstrations. The media represents a powerful tool for shaping public perceptions. But what happens if this tool is controlled by the government? The result is what we have in china where majority of the citizens have been consciously waylaid by the government for decades. This act of rule can only mean one thing every would think alike which isn’t good for political correctness and human rights.
    And isn’t it obvious majority of the Chinese citizens all have the same answers or guided answers to questions being asked by western media it is basically about carefulness no one wants to make blunders political blunders it is better to keep silent than to utter the wrong or slightly misguided or misconstrued statements in china
    Conclusively the Olympics touch’s journey is the only global avenue for pro Tibetans to rally round and put to fore china’s human rights abuses in Tibet
    Dolapo Aina
    Lagos Nigeria

  218. 218 Chen
    April 8, 2008 at 21:12

    Dolapo Aina wrote “And isn’t it obvious majority of the Chinese citizens all have the same answers or guided answers to questions being asked by western media it is basically about carefulness no one wants to make blunders political blunders it is better to keep silent than to utter the wrong or slightly misguided or misconstrued statements in china.”
    This opinion shows the writer’s profound knowledge and experience about China.
    The majority of those Chinese overseas like myself must also in fears of “to make blunders political blunders” since they seem to have a similar opinion to that of their countrymen in China. If this “fear” factor does not explains their opinion well, plenty of reasons been suggested: those overseas Chinese have been brainwashed by Chinese government either in their childhood or remotely, or they have such strong “racial loyalty” or “tribal mindset” as to close their eyes to the “atrocities” in Tibet, or they are not smart as everyone else thinks they are, or their culture just simply lacks the “self-examination and criticism” unique to Western civilization, or they are just “spokepeople” for Chinese government policies. I would also add that those Chinese might have been bought by the Chinese government to post on forums like this one.

  219. 219 Jeff Minter
    April 8, 2008 at 21:38

    It’s rather impossible to tell whether the protesters are purely seeking Tibetan independence, even improve human rights for people in China (yeah, like you care), or are just willing to join the chanting bandwagon that is FREE TIBET to vent their hatred at anything – or anyone – chinese.

  220. April 9, 2008 at 02:17

    I had not been laughing out loud so easily these few days. Well, now I understand why journalists, politicians. estate agents and second salemen are ranked so lowly.There is one common thread run through them.
    If you open the papers or listen to the radio, there are plastered with lots of arrogant twaddles.. Take for example John Simpson (Is’nt he the chief foreign editor of the great institution BBC?) Before his recent broadcast on China, the interviewer asked him why was he got it so wrong in predicting the imminent collapse of China after the so called Tiananman Massacre in 1989. His response was : we did’nt know the Chinese was clever. He mentioned the Tiananman Massacre without pointing out that the prime minister ZHOU ZI YANG begged the student leaders to back down. I am sure he could raid the BBC archive to see that one of the students WUERKAIXI sitting in front of the then newly appointed prime minister LEE PENG in pyjama, pointing and wagging his finger at him. I know it may count for nothing in the West, it is a sin to be insulting and offensive to your elder, let alone that he shouder the responsibility of running a nation.
    The financial times, The Times The Independent and all other newspapers united in calling CHINA dictator, murderers, thugs. killers. Those who used their brains for a living should make sure that it should remains in their heads.not travelling downward. I could understand those protesters and agitators to seek publicity for their ’cause’, I could never understand those whose reportings are supposed to be impartial, unbiased, upright acting as a collective cheer leaders for those who abused the priciples of peaceful and non-violent protests. .

  221. 221 George USA
    April 9, 2008 at 08:10

    Colonials-

    Squelching rebel colonials is a time honored tradition.

    It is bloody, messy, and no one is going to applaud you for it.

    Trying to curry favor and honors from the rest of the world while you stomp your colonies is poor thinking.

    They are your colonies, not the rest of the world’s.

    No amount of manipulation, bullying, accusations of hypocrisy, or pleas for unity is going to change a thing.

    Beat your colonies to a bloody pulp if that is your plan

    but do not expect the rest of the world to applaud you at the Olympics as you do it.

    Grow up.

  222. 222 Roberto
    April 9, 2008 at 12:49

    If protesters continue using the Olympics as a vehicle it will be very difficult for them to gain world wide support and sympathy for their cause.
    ——————————————

    ]]] Big news flash for you there, pard.

    Olympics is big global corporate business contested by highly paid professional athletes who have a nasty reputation of cheating through performance enhancing drugs. Anyone buying into all this mistyeyed noble athletes competing in peace and harmony must be getting left money under their pillows by the tooth faery, INC.

    Chinese rulers thought they would use the Olympics as a vehicle to promote their brand. Now they know where they stand through the ridiculous procession of the Olympic torch, just a public relations disaster. One can envision these guys as babies pounding the square blocks into the circular openings, and then flash forward to them beating a free and clear path through the people of Tibet to make way for the torch to pass.

    It’s 1936 revisited. The whole world fixing to be torn asunder again as global power mongers jockey for position on the eve of the Olympics.

  223. 223 yeer
    April 9, 2008 at 14:54

    Shame on BBC and CNN! They did not report the truth. Olympics is the event of joyness and peace. Nobody can or should stop it!!

    For those who are talking about Tibet issues, how many history do you know about Tibet? Have you ever check your information resource? Go and find the truth.

  224. 224 yeer
    April 9, 2008 at 15:47

    Olympics is the event of joyness and peace. Nobody can or should stop it!!

    For those who are talking about Tibet issues, how many history do you know about Tibet? Have you ever check your information resource? Go and find the truth.

  225. 225 Chen
    April 9, 2008 at 19:42

    Roberto said :”Chinese rulers thought they would use the Olympics as a vehicle to promote their brand. Now they know where they stand through the ridiculous procession of the Olympic torch, just a public relations disaster.”
    Well, this well orchestrated “public relations” campaign for “free Tibet” before the Olympics does seem to be a big promotion of some old brands with new names and new actors. It is certainly a “public relations disaster” for “Chinese rulers” in the eyes of those who want to achieve their political agenda, and fulfill their disastrous prediction of the fall of China 19 years ago. However, it is a “public relations disaster” for the West in the eyes of one billion Chinese people who can now see (on those respectable sources such as BBC WHS) the distortion of facts, ignorance, arrogance, and hypocrisy of those grabbing this golden opportunity for cheap shots. In fact, the West has so far done a superb public relations service (for free) for the Chinese government – it finally convinced the Chinese people that what their government has been telling them about the West was right. No PR firms, even those hired by his holiness with his CIA money, could have done a better job. The vivid pictures of torch grabbing in London and Paris were just fantastic from a PR point of view. The Chinese government could no have hoped for better.
    On the other hand, the picture does not look so rosy for those behind the torch grabbing scenes– since their ultimate goal is to facilitate “changes.” Sadly, only the Chinese people can influence Chinese government policies. Those who are really want to see changes have chosen the wrong audience to perform their “public relations” arts.

  226. 226 Chen
    April 9, 2008 at 19:42

    For a moment I had a rendezvous: I have seen such a sudden but well organized drumming up against another country just 5 years ago. Yes, it was against Iraq for its possession of nonexistent WMD (or the freedom of Iraqis as it latter turned out). That was an easy campaign since the West can bomb, kill, torture, rape, steal Iraqis. This time the task is little bit problematic: China does have WMD, we are buying Chinese goods, and the one billion Chinese do not seem ready to throw flowers at Western liberators yet. Militarily, we can’t go in there to facilitate regime change by with bombs and blackwater. Politically, those Chinese expatriates do not seem willing to corroborate and being dropped into China to do the job for us. We don’t want people to know too much, to read too much about Tibet history and the condition on the ground either, except from approved sources such as BBC and his holliness’s PR firms. So, the only thing we can do is to yell and grab torches on the side walks. Good. Keep grabbing.

  227. 227 emilygrace3
    April 9, 2008 at 20:26

    Chen – Some of us have an inkling of what life in a feudal society must be like, especially for the women.Thanks for the website and reading you recommended

  228. 228 Robert, Canada
    April 9, 2008 at 20:29

    Do people really understand the word ” freedom”? Can the Chinese government control the “freedom” of the minds of the Tibetans? Can the Chinese people exercise their freedom (both mind and body) not to infringe on the freedom of the Tibetans? Can the freedom of the protestors exercise their freedom not to infringe onto the Olympic torch participants? If people do not understand their responsibilities to other people and exercise their freedom, how can a world be free from all the irresponsible citizens for the well being of the world on all issues.
    There cannot be any rights to all irresponsible citizens of the world because no constructive solutions can be achieved with irresponsible people, period.

  229. 229 Chen
    April 9, 2008 at 21:49

    To Emilygrace3: thank you. If I made even one person read the history of Tibet, all my efforts were not in vain.
    I would suggest people to read as many books on Tibet as possible. by different western authors from different backgrounds. Especially books published before 1950 to see what “freedom” the millions of slaves and serfs had before the “Chinese invasion,” also, to seek first hand evidence of those “atrocities” allegedly committed by Chinese in Tibet. There is another book called “Timely Rain” by two British authors. By the way, the title of the book was taken from a poem composed by His Holiness for Chairman Mao, whom His Holiness compared to the timely rain in a draught.

  230. 230 Roberto
    April 9, 2008 at 22:28

    However, it is a “public relations disaster” for the West in the eyes of one billion Chinese people who can now see (on those respectable sources such as BBC WHS) the distortion of facts, ignorance, arrogance, and hypocrisy of those grabbing this golden opportunity for cheap shots. In fact, the West has so far done a superb public relations service (for free) for the Chinese government
    ———————————

    ————–As well you should be both defensive and paranoid because you see, but cannot understand what you see.

    Global western corporate interests have every incentive to promote these Olympics and China. It’s people who object to what’s going on in China and the world. Ignoring Tibet, something like 50-100 thousand Chinese citizens displaced in the locality to clean up the area and use the land for building the
    facilities.

    Common citizens in the world are starting to wake up and smell the stink created of which the Chinese government plays a major role. Well, enjoy the well earned comparison to the 36 Berlin Olympics. From Sudan, to Tibet, to global warming and pollution to basic human rights within China, the Chinese government and their lackeys deserve much, much more criticism than they’re getting. Might be a riot in the middle of the Olympics when some athletes stage a protest.

    My dear Chen, you’ve crossed over to the dark side and cannot defend the indefensible.

  231. 231 Chen
    April 10, 2008 at 02:25

    Roberto
    You said “you should be both defensive and paranoid because you see, but cannot understand what you see.” Well, it is not what I see that worries me, it is what “the common citizens of the world” with good intentions don’t see and don’t hear that worries me.
    You seem to be enjoying the comparison of China to Nazi Germany very much. Well, here is some lesson from the Nazis you may want to know. Dr. Goebbels, the Nazi’s propaganda strategist, said that if you want to convince people of untruth, the untruth must be so outrageous that it will stun hearers into a condition where they are incapable of questioning it. I am afraid that many “common citizens of the world” who are truly concerned of the warfare of the Tibetans, have been stunned by the stories of outrageous Chinese atrocities against Tibetans, that their emotions stop them from asking the simple question “are those allegations true?” Facts before conclusion, innocent until proven guilty. If by asking people to get more information on Tibet past and present, take a second look of what they have been told by the same media who told them about WMD in Iraq, telling people what effects their actions may have on the Chinese people, I “have crossed over to the dark side and cannot defend the indefensible,” then I guess I am guilty as charged. The person who dared to question the status of Earth as the center of universe was burned alive. I guess you already started collecting the stakes.
    No doubt most people who joined the protests because of true humanitarian concerns. However, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. People with good intentions and high emotions are the easiest to manipulate (Iraq war remember?). Nazi Germany became such not because of the lack of emotions of the ordinary Germans (who I assume had no trouble understand what the saw and heard), but their lack of questioning of what they saw and heard.
    There is no guarantee that people who are getting more information about Tibet and will favor China. However, I have a feeling that in this case, it is not the “Chinese government and their lackeys” who are afraid of what people will find out about Tibet. My dear Robeto, I am afraid you are unknowingly becoming a “lackey” of the combination of some “Global western corporate interests,” military establishment, and those Tibetans who want to return to the old days when their serfs and slaves never questioned their masters.

  232. 232 Maarten, the Netherlands
    April 10, 2008 at 09:38

    The IOC and China should be a little more sportive. They have been playing games with human rights. They arrogantly thought they could get away with serious human right violations and look the other way. They shouldn’t be so childish when this backfires.

    Politicians should also be more concerned for feelings of their own citizens, instead of the feelings of Chinese dictators. Personally I don’t trust politicians celebrating with dictators.

    Anybody with a heart who loves freedom should stay away from these games.

  233. 233 Xie_Ming
    April 11, 2008 at 01:03

    Robert from Canada (above) made a few points about “freedom” which could have been based on Greek philosophy.

    If fact, he speaks from the influence of the Chinese “three-legged stool” (Confucianism, Tao and Buddhism).

    Although the “cause of the week” was Tibet, similar “causes” will elicit similar emotional responses as psychic inflation is potentiated through media attention in coming weeks and months.

    At the moment, our WHYS friends think that racking up a bigger score on the popular response meter is the measure of success.
    It is but one measure.

    A more important measure is the number of people who have learned or researched something, or even logically developed a thought. I.e., people who have been informed and stimulated.

    It would be informative to explore the rationale, if any, among those who advocate illegal protest activity and especially the motivations of those who who advocate such activity without having studied the history of Tibet.

  234. 234 Chen
    April 11, 2008 at 21:22

    For all people who are really interested in the Tibet issue, here are another two books that I found interesting.

    “The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet” by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, April 2002 which details the CIA’s involvement and organization of the 1959 “revolt” in Tibet and continuing CIA support, training of his holiness and his followers as its part of its Cold War plan. (for a quick summary you can see http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/concia.html)

    Another book is “Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West “ by a scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, Donald S. Lopez Jr., who analyzes the misinterpretation of Tibetan Buddhism, including “increasingly airy spiritualizations of Tibetan culture” and that “Tibetans affirm these Western misreadings in hopes of winning more sympathy for their struggle for independence.” (for a summary see http://www.amazon.com/Prisoners-Shangri-Tibetan-Buddhism-West/dp/0226493113/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_2)


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