Archive for the ‘Boycott’ Category

Monks put face on China’s Tibet problem

March 28, 2008
By CHARLES HUTZLER, Associated Press Writer

LHASA, China – China‘s Tibet problem got a human face this week in images of crying, red-robed monks, giving international concern a new focal point just as Beijing gears up for the arrival of the Olympic torch.

A Chinese man walks past a police notice board which reads 'Who ...
A Chinese man walks past a police notice board which reads ‘Who took part in March 14 riots, surrender yourself and ask people provide information about the rioters’ on display in Lhasa, capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Friday, March 28, 2008.
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Tibetan Buddhist monks speaks to foreign journalists at Jokhang ...
Tibetan Buddhist monks speaks to foreign journalists at Jokhang temple in Lhasa. China on Friday let the first foreign diplomats visit Tibet following deadly riots there, amid debate in Europe over whether the Chinese crackdown should trigger a boycott of the Olympics opening.(AFP/CNA)

The outburst by 30 monks at Lhasa‘s holiest shrine dealt a setback to the government’s plans to use a three-day trip for foreign reporters to show that protests and deadly anti-Chinese rioting in the Tibetan capital two weeks ago had subsided.

“We are like prisoners here. There are soldiers all over the place,” the monks shouted as officials tugged at the foreign reporters to leave the Jokhang Temple. The monks called for the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and an end to religious restrictions: “We want freedom.”

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Beijing Olympics organizers face problem of too many squat toilets

March 20, 2008

BEIJING, China (AP) — Among all the protests, pollution concerns and talk of boycotts surrounding the Beijing Olympics, a more basic problem has arisen for organizers: the toilets.

At the more than 30 test events held by organizers, the presence of squat toilets at many of the new and renovated venues has drawn frequent complaints.

“We have asked the venues to improve on this, to increase the number to sit-down toilets,” Yao Hui, deputy director of venue management for the Beijing organizers, said Wednesday. “Many people have raised the question of toilets.”

The issue came up again over the weekend when the San Diego Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers at the new Olympic baseball venue. The portable toilets trucked in were of the style used widely in Asia, but rarely in the West.

Yao suggested it would be difficult to change every permanent toilet in the 37 venues, 31 of which are in Beijing. So he said the focus would be on satisfying three groups of visitors: athletes, journalists and the Olympic family, meaning primarily VIPs.

Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session ...
Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session in front of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, in this November 27, 2007 file photo. Alfred Cheng Jin (CHINA)

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China Brushes Off Boycott Call, Says Olympic Torch Still Heading to Tibet

March 19, 2008
by Charles Whelan

BEIJING (AFP) – China brushed off Olympic boycott calls Wednesday as it said the torch relay would go through Tibet and scale Mount Everest despite deadly unrest in the vast Himalayan region.

Chinese military trucks line a street in the Tibetan capital ...
Chinese military trucks line a street in the Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 17. China has brushed off Olympic boycott calls and insisted the Olympic torch relay would go through Tibet and scale Mount Everest despite deadly unrest in the vast Himalayan region.(AFP/File)

Jiang Xiaoyu, the vice president of the Olympic organising committee, said the route for the longest Olympic torch relay in history would be unaffected by the protests in Tibet that have triggered a huge security crackdown.

“The relay will proceed as scheduled,” Jiang told a news conference. “We firmly believe that the Tibetan Autonomous Region is able to ensure the stability of Lhasa.”

The relay is scheduled to scale the world’s highest peak during the first part of May and then return to Tibet from June 19-21, the last two days in the capital Lhasa.

Currently, the streets of Lhasa are saturated with security forces and foreign reporters are banned from travelling there…

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Calls mount for Olympic ceremony boycott

March 18, 2008
By JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writer 

PARIS – Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere, seen here in ... 
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere Saturday called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games if China “does not act in the proper way” in handling protests in the Himalayan region.
(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jim McIsaac)

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing ...
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Tibetans called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to speak up about the Tibet crackdown and ask for the withdrawal of the torch relay in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

France‘s outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea “is interesting.”

Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.

The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony “is less negative than a general boycott,” Kouchner said. “We are considering it.”

Asked about Kouchner’s statement, China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: “Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world.”

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said last month that he expects many heads of state — including President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to attend the opening ceremony.

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Taiwan Opposition Group Calls for Boycott of Name Referendum

March 12, 2008

 By Jane Richards

Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 12 — Taiwan’s main opposition group, the Nationalist Party, called on its supporters Wednesday to boycott a government-sponsored referendum asking whether the island should apply for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan. The move appeared likely to reduce the chances that the referendum would succeed.

Both China and the United States have denounced the referendum as a needlessly provocative maneuver, designed by President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party to emphasize the self-ruled island’s claim to formal independence.

The referendum will be on the ballot on March 22, when Taiwan will hold its presidential elections. The presidential candidates include Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party and Frank Hsieh of Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party.

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China boycott means no action figures, cheap trikes

October 22, 2007

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Instead of presents, Mary Naden gives her teenaged children skateboard lessons or takes them on outings — an effort, she says, to avoid buying goods made in China.

“I like my cheap goods, too, but there’s something that just sticks in my craw,” said Naden, 49, who lives in suburban Washington and works as a vocal coach.

In the wake of recalls of millions of toys with lead paint and other dangers, seafood tainted with chemical residues and toothpaste containing an antifreeze chemical, some U.S. consumers have become wary of Chinese goods.

A total of 75.8 percent of almost 1,000 people surveyed said they would not buy Chinese-made toys, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on October 17.

Village People Need Not Apply

July 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 7, 2007

Spotting a bumper sticker that said, “China Out of Tibet: Free the Tibetan People,” I took pride and applauded to myself those among us that seek to help the oppressed, free the imprisoned, and tend to the needy.

According to the organization “Boycott Made In China,” China occupied Tibet in October 1950. Since then 157,000 Tibetans have been executed, and 266,000 tortured to death in a continuing campaign to crush all opposition to Chinese rule. Tibetans are now outnumbered by Chinese immigrants in their own country, and are treated as second class citizens in every respect. Many thousands have died or lost limbs to frostbite trying to escape to India via Nepal, by trekking across 400 miles of icy Himalayan mountains.

The Tibetan people look harmless to most people. Many are nomadic herders that follow their Yaks across the gassy lands of Tibet.

The Tibetan people remind me a little of the aboriginal or tribal people of Vietnam. Many dispute the best way to refer to these people, but most call them the Montagnards. My Vietnamese-born bride calls them “The Village People.” But I told her we might move away from this nomenclature because to many, “The Village People” are a rock and singing group of unknown sexual orientation.

The Montagnards assisted the United States during the war in Vietnam. They are oppressed, rounded up and killed, or chased from their mountainous nomadic life by the communist government of Vietnam to this day.

Most people say, the hatred and cruelty shown the Montagnards stems from their support for the U.S. and Democratic Republic of Vietnam during the war. I suspect there is another factor at play too: like the Tibetan herders, the Montagnards are in the way of progress and easy prey for any sort of organized armed force, however small.

In fact, I have a theory that established government, especially those trying to expand and exploit the available land, do not have much use for nomadic tribal people. This is true to some extent about the Arab desert nomads, African herders, and above all, the Native American tribes of North America.

When the United States Army was tasked with moving Native American tribes from their homelands, atrocities ensued on both sides. Promises were broken, what we today would call war crimes were committed, and in the end many tribes faced near genocide.

Adolph Hitler couldn’t accept the nomadic gypsies of Germany. To him they were ethnically unclean and lived a life on the move which contributed to prostitution, smuggling, and trade in drugs and other undesirable products. To Hitler, the gypsies were about equal to the Jews.

So when I pondered that bumper sticker, “China Out of Tibet: Free the Tibetan People,” over more time, I thought what we are seeing in Tibet, though morally reprehensible, has plenty of precedent and should not come as much of a surprise. The Chinese are committing crimes we should and must condemn. But we ourselves and other “civilized” people have a long and ugly history with “The Village People.”