Archive for the ‘orphans’ Category

Beijing’s Massive Pre-Olympic People Relocation, Home Demolition a Human Rights Issue

April 27, 2008

John E, Carey
Peace and Freedom

Before the start of the Olympics, communist leaders in Beijing announced a plan to remove from the city the hordes of vagrants, homeless people and orphaned children who live on Beijing’s streets. Some estimate that as many as 2 million orphaned or homeless children alone live in Beijing.

The program is designed to make sure Westerners like you and me see the best of Beijing – even if that is only a temporary and false façade. TV viewers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and places like Japan can expect to see a completely sanitized Beijing this August.

Human rights groups are asking: “Where are they going and how are they getting there?”

China remains silent.  The removal and relocation of people from Beijing for the Olympics is shrouded in secrecy.
A group of slave laborers rescued from a brick kiln in Linfen, northern China's Shanxi province, in late May stand outside a police station. About 550 slave laborers have been freed from various brick kilns and mines in central China in the past month.
Last year, Western media discovered slaves working in China’s mines.  Many were young boys with no rights and miserable living conditions. Above: Slaves released in China after more than a year of forced labor.

Then there is the government removing homes and creating homeless — with little warning and little compensation.

The Washington Post reported in a long story by Jill Drew on Saturday April 26, 2008, that communist leaders in Beijing are buying up at below market value all the villagers’ houses near the Olympic venues.  As soon as the people vacate; their former homes are bulldozed into oblivion. 

“Su, Wang and another neighbor were the last three holdouts to fight for their families’ homes against developers who own rights to this land, just across the street from the main Olympic park in Beijing. The three have now been forced to join the thousands of people — housing advocates say hundreds of thousands — whose homes have been plowed under in the rush of Olympics-related construction over the past seven years,” wrote Ms. Drew.
A haze of pollution hangs over China's National Stadium, known as the bird's nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8.
A haze of pollution hangs over China’s National Stadium, known as the bird’s nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8. Many of the homes in the area of the stadium have been bulldozed away and no longer exist. (By Greg Baker – Associated Press)

“Less than four months before the Summer Games open, the forced relocations in Beijing are highlighting another cost of the Olympics, as residents make way for such architectural glories as the National Stadium, known as the bird’s nest, and the apartment and office towers springing up nearby,” Ms. Drew reported for the Post. “Whole neighborhoods have been wiped out. Especially controversial has been the destruction of about 800 of the city’s 1,200 hutongs, lanes full of traditional, courtyard-style houses.”

“You can never win when you sue the government,” said Su.  Meaning you can never stay and you can never recoup the full value of your home.

Beijing is being remade for you and me and other TV viewers and Olympic tourists.  But there is a price; a toll that can only be measured in human suffering.  Because China is a communist holdout, the people have no rights and no voice.  The government is free to abuse its own population.  That’s always a prescription for abuses: and today in Beijing a blind man can see that the displaced, poor and “without voice” are powerless to resist their communist government….

“Where Did My Lucky Go?” Asks China’s Hu Jintao

August 21, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 21, 2007

China’s President Hu Jintao might be fed up with his “wonderfully pleasing idea” to bring the Olympics to Beijing.

He has seen his nation come under ever increasing scrutiny. People want to know about China’s record on human rights, HIV/AIDS, global warming and the environment and just about everything else.

胡锦涛
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao

When things go horribly wrong you might expect to hear someone from China utter, “Where Did My Lucky Go?”

Luck, or more appropriately, “good fortune,” is one of the centerpieces of Chinese life.

When you live in a godless society, luck takes an even larger role.

So all of good fortune was implored as the one year countdown to the Olympics started in China earlier this month.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge marked the start of the one-year countdown with a lavish Chinese-style ceremony that stared on the 8th day, of the 8th month at 8 PM and 8 minutes 8 seconds.

Eight is a lucky number in China.

But to the Chinese, Tiananmen Square has not always been lucky — especially for those seeking democratic and human rights reforms.

Chinese tanks mowed down pro-democracy demonstrators 18 years ago right where tonight’s Olympic ceremonies commenced.

“Not lucky place” a Chinese friend said to me as we watched events unfold.

Yesterday, the “not lucky place” was shrouded in toxic air pollution as Beijing completed a four day test with more than one million cars off the road. Unfortunately, the test was supposed to prove that by removing one million cars from Beijing the city would enjoy cleaner air.

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event.

The test failed. Air pollution, as measured by the official state environmental agency, was up from three days ago.

President Hu Jintao of China must be saying about now, “Where Did My Lucky Go?”
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President Hu has a host of other issues dogging him: Darfur, the poisoned food scandal, the poisoned toy scandal and a mine disaster of epic proportions.  Read more at:

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

China Plans Happy Olympics But A Few “Small” Problems Remain

China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

Beijing’s Pollution Rises in 4-Day Test Of Restricted Driving

Psst. China! Enforce your laws, make new regulations where needed, admit the truth and wash your hands!

China: Pre-Olympic Repression of AIDS, Orphan Groups

August 16, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 16, 2007

China just started its pre-Olympic surge of repression of public health and help groups like AIDS activists and those that assist orphans. If China admits to an immense problem with both AIDS and orphans, what does that say about the way China’s communist government deals with these issues.

Because China does not have a free and open press, the government gets away with, well, sometimes murder.

To China’ government, it is often better to hide than to expose problems.

At the end of July China cancelled an AIDS conference. When the Chinese AIDS group asked their local communist party why, they were told, “Authorities informed us that the combination of AIDS, law and foreigners was too sensitive.”

This week, Tim Johnson of the McClatchy Newspapers wrote, “In one case, an activist in Henan province, where the nation’s AIDS crisis hit early, said police ordered him out of his office on Thursday and suggested that he flee the area for his own safety. Six other volunteers in the group were detained.”

“‘They said our organization was illegal and our activities were illegal,’ said Zhu Zhaowu of the China Orchid AIDS Project’s office in Kaifeng in central Henan province.”

This is typical of the kind of harassment dished out when the government of China doesn’t particularly like some group or organization.

“Nothing about it makes any sense,” said Meg Davis , director of Asia Catalyst, a New York -based group and co-sponsor of the canceled Guangzhou legal conference.

” China is at a crossroads both in terms of its fight against AIDS and its very new and fragile civil society,” Davis said.

Some domestic activists said China’s leaders are clamping down because they worry that international media attention in the run-up to next summer’s Olympic Games will focus on aspects of China that leaders find embarrassing.

“They hope that there will be no unharmonious voices during the Olympics period,” said Hu Jia , an activist and co-founder of a nonprofit Beijing AIDS group.

“If you suppress human rights, what happens is that people vulnerable to HIV are scared to be tested or seek treatment,” said Mark Heywood , founder of South Africa’s AIDS Law project and chairman of the UNAIDS human rights reference group, a body offering advice on the global epidemic.

Heywood, who was to attend the Aug. 3-4 Guangzhou conference, said China “is getting away with paying lip service to how we should deal with AIDS, but on the ground it is doing something completely different.”

Related:
China Saying No to News

China cracks down on AIDS groups ahead of Olympics

August 16, 2007

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers
August 16, 2007

BEIJING — Wary of exposing China‘s flaws to the news media’s glare before next year’s Olympic Games, authorities are cracking down on groups that help AIDS victims and orphans, shuttering their offices and banning meetings and other gatherings.

In one case, an activist in Henan province, where the nation’s AIDS crisis hit early, said police ordered him out of his office on Thursday and suggested that he flee the area for his own safety. Six other volunteers in the group were detained.

Read it all:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20070816/wl_mcclatchy/
20070816bcchinaaids_attn_national_foreign_editors_ytop_1