Tuesday, December 07, 2010

China's Shame: The Nobel Boycott

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness"- Chinese proverb
On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, China will have made every effort to snuff out the light of our collective humanity. Rather than permit the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, to attend the award ceremony in Oslo, authorities in Beijing have been pressuring countries to join them in a boycott. As of today, 18 have agreed - Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Add to that list of shame the U.N.'s top human rights official, Navi Pillay.

Outside The Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong
No one from Liu's family is expected to be on hand to accept the award. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since he was named the winner in October and other family members are under pressure not to speak publicly. The last time no one was present to accept the peace medal was in 1936 when the German journalist and pacifist, Carl von Ossietzky, wasn't allowed to leave Nazi Germany. China now joins the odious ranks of the Nazis in attempting to snuff out human rights.

Many of Liu’s fellow dissidents and supporters have been warned not to attend or, as in the case of Ai Weiwei, have been physically prevented from leaving China. That hasn't stopped more than 40 exiled Chinese dissidents from traveling to the Norwegian capital in what will be an unprecedented reunion since many of them fled China 20 years ago. According to the South China Morning Post;
"Among the participants will be former Tiananmen pro-democracy activists now living in the United States, such as former student leaders Chai Ling and Feng Congde , as well as Fang Zheng , a former student whose legs were crushed by a tank as he fled Tiananmen Square in 1989. US-based astrophysicist Professor Fang Lizhi and Taiwan-based Wuer Kaixi will also attend.

Feng said the event would be the largest gathering of dissidents since the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, and the honouring of Liu would be "extremely meaningful" for the Chinese democracy movement."
In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said;
“We are not changing because of interference by a few clowns and we will not change our path."
Indeed, clowns come in many different shapes and sizes....

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