Archive for the ‘Kuala Lumpur’ Category

Chinese heckle Olympic torch run protesters in Malaysia

April 21, 2008

By JULIA ZAPPEI, Associated Press Writer 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A crowd of Chinese onlookers heckled and hit a Japanese family with inflated plastic batons Monday after the three unfurled a Tibetan flag before the start of the Malaysian leg of the Olympic torch relay.

The family, comprising two adults and a boy, was detained by police, who also took a Buddhist monk and a British woman wearing a “Free-Tibet” T-shirt into custody. All five were later released.

Criticism of China‘s human rights record has turned August Beijing Olympics into one of the most contentious in recent history.

Protests have dogged the round-the-world torch relay during its stops in Paris, London and San Francisco, with demonstrations over China’s crackdown in Tibet where it forcefully put down anti-government riots.

Though the torch’s most recent legs in South America, Africa and Asia have been relatively trouble-free, host countries have beefed up security in an effort to thwart possible disruptions.

About 1,000 police stood ready to guard the relay in Malaysia against protests. A Buddhist group held special prayers at a Kuala Lumpur temple for a trouble-free torch run and a peaceful Olympics.

The president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Imran Jaafar, set off with the torch, jogging a short distance before handing it to the next runner in the relay covering 10 miles through downtown Kuala Lumpur.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080421/ap_on_re_as/
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Olympic torch relay brings China woe rather than glory

April 19, 2008

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

BEIJING — The Olympic torch relay was meant to kick off China‘s moment in the sun, but it’s turned into a public relations fiasco with ever-larger squads of police in foreign capitals shielding the torch from protesters.

People visit Japan's Buddhist Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, ...
People visit Japan’s Buddhist Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, central Japan. Monks at the ancient Japanese Buddhist temple on Friday pulled out of hosting a ceremony for the protest-marred Olympic torch relay because of China’s crackdown in Tibet.(AFP/JIJI PRESS)


China has given no sign that it will cut short the relay, which continues its 21-city global odyssey Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand , and Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .

Yet frustration has set in that the troubled torch relay may signal further minefields ahead for the Summer Games on Aug. 8-24 , and a loss of face for China rather than a boost for the world’s most populous nation.

“All that has happened is a kind of humiliation,” said Hu Xingdou, a political analyst at the Beijing Institute of Technology . “The government never expected this.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080418/
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People holding Tibetan flags demonstrate on March 31 in Lyon, ...
People holding Tibetan flags demonstrate on March 31 in Lyon, southeastern France, to denounce the Chinese clampdown in Tibet. China said that protesters were out to hijack the Olympic Games as the torch relay embarked on a world tour that ignited demonstrations world wide.(AFP/Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)


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Thailand Braces for Unrest As Olympic Torch Approaches

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Hundreds of Thai police braced for another round of anti-China protests on Saturday as the Olympic torch was readied for its parade through Bangkok, the latest leg of its troubled tour from Greece to Beijing.

Several groups angry at Beijing’s human rights record and its rule in Tibet are planning demonstrations but will meet no opposition from police as long as they remain orderly, Thai Olympic chief General Yuthasak Sasiprapa said.

“If they are peaceful, it’s OK,” he told Reuters. “But we will not tolerate any violent or illegal protests. The torch and runners will be tightly escorted by police patrols and motorcycles all along the route.”

The 10.5-km (6.5-mile) relay is due to start at 0800 GMT in the capital’s China Town — a reflection of Thailand‘s close social ties to its giant regional neighbor — before proceeding past the golden-spired Grand Palace.

The main protest during the procession will be outside the regional headquarters of the United Nations, where a dozen pro-democracy groups say they will demonstrate against China‘s crackdown on unrest in Tibet in March.

Police Special Branch officers say they are also aware of a move by local supporters of Falun Gong, the religious group outlawed by Beijing, to voice their opposition to the Games, which open in Beijing on August 8.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080419/wl_nm/olympics_torch_dc_1

A police car is parked in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok ...
A police car is parked in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok on April 18, 2008. The troubled Olympic torch relay arrived in Thailand on Friday, as more controversy erupted when one of the Japanese hosts dropped out in protest over China’s crackdown in Tibet.(AFP/Nicolas Asfouri)

Political Correctness Gone Mad

March 7, 2008

By James Zumwalt
March 6, 2008

Democracy today suffers from political correctness gone mad. Whether motivated by innocence or ignorance, idealists push for unbridled tolerance. They do so without a reality check, failing to see how it can then be manipulated against us by those seeking to do us harm.

Last month, for example, the Archbishop of Canterbury called for theapplication of Islamic law, in some instances, for England’s growing Muslim population. Putting aside the nightmarish conflict of laws issues this would create, such a call demonstrates a total lack of appreciation for a basic, irresolvable difference between Islamic and Western law — one making it impossible for both to co-exist within the borders of the same democratic state.

Western law, predicated upon the U.N.’s 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, recognizes such rights as being universal to all mankind; Islamic law, predicated upon the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, recognizes only those human rights sanctioned by Shariah — which means women and non-believers have no such rights.

The good Archbishop may well possess the heart of a saint, but he possesses the logic of one so focused on political correctness as to blind him to the damage Shariah would do in destroying the very multiculturalism he seeks to promote.

Under Shariah, as interpreted by extremists, it is either the Islamic way or the highway — the highway of death.

Granting Shariah a foothold in England would begin a push for fewer and fewer rights for non-believers — eventually to include their right to life. It would mark the beginning of the end for organized, civilized societies, as today’s fast growing Islamic populations in Europe continue to outpace native populations in growth — the former eventually destined to become a majority. When that happens, we might well see the replacement of all Western laws with Shariah. The Archbishop’s call for Shariah to be recognized in England came as two Muslim-dominated societies very recently demonstrated their inability to tolerate any religion but Islam.

In January, Malyasian Customs officials confiscated 32 Bibles from a Christian woman arriving at Kuala Lumpur Airport. While just last week, it was reported, Christian missionaries in Jordan are actively being denied visas or deported for proselytizing Christianity — an illegal activity under Islamic law. Thus, the tolerance towards Islam the Archbishop seeks to promote bygranting Shariah a foothold into Europe is not being reciprocated in Muslim-majority countries — even where Islamic extremists are not in control.

If Muslim-majority countries – not controlled by extremists – are showing such intolerance now towards the introduction of other religions, one can only imagine the impact awaiting Western laws and values once Muslim populations gain majority control in European states.

Just as the Archbishop appears blinded to the realistic impact of his call for the introduction of Shariah, Hollywood too promotes its own idealistic and irresponsible version of political correctness – glossing over the reality of the enemy’s brutality.

A newspaper article about Alex Gibney’s Oscar-nominated documentary, “Taxi tothe Dark Side,” describes the film as investigating “some of the mostegregious abuses associated with the so-called ‘war on terror.’” It allegedly tells the story of “an Afghan taxi driver who was detained by the United States, then tortured to death.”

The stories of al-Qaeda’s brutality are endless; yet filmmakers fail to tell these stories, choosing instead to bash America and her warriors in their fight against evil. In doing so, the Muslim anger generated by such anti-American films is then directed against our servicemen and women fighting to set these same Muslims free of the evil-doers. We are at war with an enemy lacking limits on his barbarity.

It is this story — one of al-Qaeda’s abject brutality relative to the occasional harsh treatment of terror suspects by the U.S. — that needs to be told.

Not one film has been produced to tell the story of al-Qaeda’s use of mentally disturbed women and children as unwary suicide bombers. Not one has been produced to tell the story about al-Qaeda’s practice of “baking” children of parents who, having resisted joining the terrorist group, are then served their dead child for lunch. A “relative lens” by Hollywood would compare the treatment of U.S.-held prisoners to those held by al-Qaeda.

At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for example, al-Qaeda suspects held in U.S. custody have gained weight — an average of 20 pounds and one prisoner more than 100. Such weight gains are unheard of during wartime captivity.

Meanwhile, not a single American prisoner captured by al-Qaeda remains alive to tell us about their treatment.

U.S. servicemen have been tortured, decapitated, mutilated and their bodies rigged with explosives to kill those attempting to recover their remains.

Our system is far from perfect. But Hollywood needs to start putting a“relative” lens on its cameras and shining its lights into the dark recesses of al-Qaeda’s brutality.

A society exercising political correctness – not tempered by reason – ultimately will lose all it seeks to gain.
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James Zumwalt is a former senior U.S. military officer who operates his own consulting firm.

Peace and Freedom sincerely thanks the author for this and all his service.