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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Juntas don't vote for voting rights for all

Trocaire director Justin Kilcullen has called on the Irish Olympic Committee to consider a boycott of the Beijing games in protest at the Chinese authority's tacit refusal to put pressure on their fellow-travelling Military Junta in Burma.

At the Burma Action protest in Dublin on Saturday, Mr Kilcullen stated that the Olympics had gone to China in the hope that holding such an open and global event would encourage the Chinese Communist Party to move faster on providing basic human rights to the citizens of China.

"However China hasn’t kept up its side of the contract," he said, and who can disagree?

I've written before about how China has denied its people even access to information about themselves and the regime they suffer under, by firewalling the internet.

Their pals in Burma have gone one step further and switched net access off throughout the country in the hope of preventing images of their brutality leaking to media outlets outside of Burma.

I've spoken in the past about how China has abused its military might by occupying a sovereign nation's territory and seeking to wipe them out culturally and politically.

Of course, The Karen people of Northern Burma might well see a parallel there in their own fate. They have fought an intermittent insurgency against the illegal military junta for years. They have reaped genocide as their reward.

I've even highlighted how China has behaved in exactly the same way to its own internal demands for democracy as the Burmese Junta are doing now - with military force and the shooting of unarmed, peaceful protesters.

It is therefore foolish to expect such a regime to exert pressure on an identical one to encourage a democratic process. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas, and military juntas don't vote for voting rights for all.

Nevertheless, as I wrote last week, the Chinese are in a major quandary on this one. They cannot be seen overtly supporting the suppression of a people's demand for freedom, especially by such an internationally unpopular regime.

The world has spoken in relation to Burma, but it must keep speaking out if the UN mission to Burma is to achieve anything. It must also keep speaking out in order to force change in Burma, not only for the benefit of the people of Burma, the Burmese, the Karen, the other ethnic minorities.

It must keep speaking out because only when Burma is free of this horror, can we hold out a slender sliver of hope for the people of Tibet, for the people of China itself, all of whom yearn for their own sovereignty and for democracy, for human rights and freedom.

So for all of those reasons, we should support Trocaire's call for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.


Bock the Robber said...

We should boycott the China Olympics for the obvious reason that they're in China. No need to find another reason.

Anonymous said...

More information on human rights abuses in rural Burma can be found at www.khrg.org

Free Burma! said...

Free Burma!
International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October

International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.


The Olympics Blogger said...

We do not support boycotting the Olympics

JC Skinner said...

Is that it, Olympic Blogger? You don't make much of a case. As a member of the Olympic Truce Organisation, I fully support a boycott.
And I at least explained why.
I wonder did you support a boycott of the Moscow games in 1980?

Caoimhin said...

Hi JC, would you consider joining our boycott campaign? Details and logo at my site. Thank you!