Who says China isn’t involving Tibet in the run up to the Olympics? It sounds as though they are as acutely aware of international sentiment as was the USSR when it invaded Afghanistan in 1979. I suppose the thinking is that if they get the purging, quelling and brutal suppressions in well ahead of the summer everyone will have forgotten by the time the Olympic flame is lit in the National Stadium. Maybe they will: we’ve already discounted the uncomfortable rumours that tens of thousands of people unfortunate enough to live in or near land required for the Olympic village were forcibly evicted. According to Kurt Streeter of the LA Times, a news blackout applied to any CCN report on Tibet and the streets were full of (not-so) secret police last week during nothing more controversial than a Dodgers’ exhibition baseball game. It doesn’t sound too welcoming. I’m surprised that there is a news blackout if the government is confident that, mischievously, Tibetan protesters are shooting and stabbing themselves to death in large numbers in Lhasa, Sichuan and elsewhere. That’s what I call news.
Tibet won its first gold medal for China before the Games even started. That old splittist the Dalai Lama, a well-known advocate of violence if ever there was one, received a Gold Congressional Medal last year from the US Congress for “human compassion, courage and conviction as his tools in carving a path for peace. For half a century, he has struggled to better the lives of the Tibetan people. In doing so, he has been a shining light to all those fighting for freedom around the world,” according to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Renowned Peacenik George W. Bush presented the gong in a private ceremony – in marked contrast to our lovely UK leaders who daren’t offer the twinkly old reincarnation of Chenrezig, Bodhisattva of Compassion, a cup of buttered tea when he comes to England this May.
Perhaps this is not so surprising: Britons never, never, never, will be slaves but we don’t mind other people having them so long as there’s a quid in it. And we aren’t slaves to the US, despite what cruel foreign devils like the French and Germans might sneeringly say. We uncharacteristically defied our US cousins and sent a crack team of hopefuls to the 1980 Moscow Olympics (and still didn’t win much against Togo and the…