Tibet and the China Olympics: calling out the sponsors

Snip from news item:

"China's torch has arrived in Australia amid protests in Sydney and Canberra. Four Tibet activists were arrested after unfurling a large banner on a prominent Coke billboard in Kings Cross protesting Coke's sponsorship of China's tainted torch relay. "

"Enjoy Compassion," the banner reads. (courtesy SFT, thanks Oxblood).


  1. China opens door to talks with Dalai Lama representative
    Last Updated: Friday, April 25, 2008 | 5:40 AM ET Comments46Recommend35
    CBC News

    The Chinese government is preparing to meet with a private representative of the Dalai Lama, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

    The meeting will happen “in the coming days” and is the result of “requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks,” an official told the news agency.”

    Keep up up the pressure, every day of it may buy another Tibetan’s life who otherwise might have have been slaughtered by Chinese government troops behind locked cell doors.

  2. Add’l reportage on what Takuan snipped above:

    China to meet Dalai Lama envoy (CNN)

    Interesting bit of overlap/conflict in the Coke-Olympics connection: Peter Uebberoth, head of the US Olympic Committee (USOC Docs Page; PDF at Director Bios link), has a convenient seat on the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola. Going after the sponsors is an interesting angle, but there’s just too much hanky-panky here to get any traction (e.g., getting some kind of official action from the US), I’d bet.

  3. Australia, being a democracy, recognises the right of individuals to protest peacefully in private, as long as their protest does not affect anyone else.

  4. I live in Canberra, and the torch relay literally went right past my door. Unfortunately, while the police were very effective at protecting the torch, people were less concerned about protecting pro-tibet demonstrators from the enormous pro-china contingent. I have friends who were abused and assaulted for holding pro-tibet banners. It doesn’t seem to have been an isolated occurrence, either.

  5. “pro-China contingent”? Oh, you mean “anti-Tibet contingent”

    I find it very ironic that those people of Han Chinese extraction cry racism at criticism of policies of the current government of the People’s Republic of China vis a vis the genocide in Tibet, even though they may be citizens of other nations.

    Are they “Chinese” first above all? Is their identity locked into whatever a passing political party says it is? How is this reconciled with the official party line that every person inside Chinese political control is “Chinese”? Including Uighurs, Mongols and other distinct groups?

    Is “loving China” racist?

    I invite reasoned responses. Emotional people need not reply.

  6. Is there an established group pushing for autonomy in Tibet, and negotiations to that end with China, while bypassing the old Tibetan religious government?

    I know that the Dalai Lama does not suggest that the end goal of his negotiations is to return to power himself.

    But are there alternatives to the Dalai Lama and his mediators leading the negotiations? Are other, secular groups prepared to step up and participate in talks at this stage? What happens if the Dalai Lama were to die?

  7. I am not an expert, but I suspect if you visit the long-standing website of the Government of Tibet In Exile, it will explain sensible plans. From what I have read, real democracy is the watchword. Go look yourself.

  8. Bringing the issues in Tibet more out in the open makes this the first Olympics that I’ve been sort of into. Let us hope that, in the end, it actually makes a difference in bringing about change.

  9. ACB @2 – I’m a little confused by your comment:
    “Australia, being a democracy, recognises the right of individuals to protest peacefully in private, as long as their protest does not affect anyone else”.

    Aren’t protests more effective if they take place in public and not in private? And I think the whole point of a protest IS to affect others, or at least their thinking.

    I’m not trying to be a smart-ass, just get to what you meant. Here in the US we have the right to assemble and protest also (on paper at least).

  10. Ye Gods, I am a such a dummy sometimes. My apologies to the original commenter for being so dense. (Not enough sleep maybe). zzzzzzzzzz

  11. Takuan my brother, I think it’s simplistic to think of it as a Han vs. ethnic minority conflict. Others have certainly studied this more deeply than me, but although it seems that ethnic minorities like the Tibetans have suffered more than the Han under Mao-ist rule, being Han is no protection from starvation, persecution, and injustice. Even more Han have probably died horrifically than Tibetans over the years (simply because there are more Han to begin with) – think of the Great Leap Forward, and the horrors perpetrated by the Chinese government then. The true conflict is between the Chinese communist government (the Party and its supporters) and ALL the Chinese people, Han and otherwise. Han or not, we should all be on the same side against totalitarian communism.

    Caveat: I think socialism works just fine, see Canada and Kerala, but totalitarian communism is a recipe for famine and horror.

  12. I understand the number murdered by Mao to be in the neighbourhood of 50,000,000. With a little help from people like the current government officials and the Red Guard.

    Yes, the true conflict is between the PRC government and the people that live in the land called China.
    I cannot overlook the fact though, that the Han identity is used successfully as a rallying point by the PRC government.

    Bottom line: it is an act of racism by those who cheerlead the PRC government and encourage the destruction of Tibet by “loving China” and who also play a race card by accusing those who oppose the genocide of being “racist”.

    I deny there is racism principally behind the criticism of China over Tibet. I contend there is ample evidence of overt racism by the majority Han population of the PRC.

    I also reassert I myself do not believe “race” exists in any real and important terms. I absolutely do not accept any characterization of myself as racist because of my stance in this matter. I maintain there is such a thing as racist Han Chinese. Among others.

  13. we should all be on the same side against totalitarian communism

    Can we please stop calling China communist? Powerful people suck up all the wealth while the majority scrambles to get by. That’s not communism.

  14. @Antinous 15,
    Communism’s never worked any other way though. Humans are too flawed. You, me, and Tak-kun, combined with a few other Mutants, should go establish a communist society. It would be a strange assortment.

  15. China could legitimately call itself communist for some decades, but in the 1980s, they decided to inject capitalist economics into communist social control. It’s the worst of both worlds.

  16. remembe that boatload of Chinese guns turned back from Zimbabwe?:

    “Company documents show that Poly Technologies, the manufacturer of the weapons on board the ship, is ultimately controlled by a clique from China’s preeminent military clans with close ties to the Communist party leadership and army.

    Major General He Ping, the company’s chairman, is the son-in-law of Deng Xiaoping, the former Chinese leader; its president, Wang Jun, is the son of a vice-president and a Deng ally. Its upper ranks are stuffed with military veterans and their offspring, who have greatly enriched themselves with arms sales to some of Africa’s bloodiest trouble spots.

    Diplomatic sources say Mugabe forged links with the Poly Technologies management on state visits to China. Since Zimbabwe is all but bankrupt, the arms are paid for by barters of agricultural products and raw materials.

    On paper, Poly Technologies is a subsidiary of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation. Analysts of Chinese financial affairs say, however, that Poly is actually a front for an elite within the country’s military-industrial complex and that it reports to the general staff department of the People’s Liberation Army.

    “People call it the supreme headquarters of the China princeling party,” commented one analyst. “It’s a power centre beyond civilian control.”

  17. Bring an extra few unfiltered for me. Since it’s our own, I’m going to nix the 21 age limit.

    Antinous, a friend of mine has long been in plans for a society which would profit from advertisement of sorts.

    Snazzy outfits are non-negotiable. All (or no) religions welcome but absolutely no proselytizing. Just a quiet place for philosophical and spiritual inquiry. Live off the land as much as possible. Celibacy not required.

  18. forget it. Last time I was on a bridge with a guy in a pointy hat with a staff, all I remember is dropping my fiery lash. (I think it was a roofy)

  19. That damn torch! It seems that they’ve built a new road and a big-ass, ugly media center high up in the Khumbu Himal to accommodate this nightmare.

    BBC article

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