Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Peaceful protest is ok but behavior to wreck the Olympic torch is unacceptable

By China Watcher

The disruption to the torch run and the many attempts to seize the torch are despicable acts fit for the uncivilized and uncultured person. I only have this to say to the many Tibetan exiles and activists behavior over the past few days in London and Paris. It is also an act of desperation without considering the safety of organizers, sports officials, participants, runners and onlookers of the staged relay. These groups of law breakers are selfish in its own objectives – to support the Tibetan cause and to put shame on China in whatever ways they could even to the extent of creating public disorder and public discomfort.

The press chief of the International Olympic Committee, Kevan Gosper told the media that he was disappointed by the chaotic scenes in Paris as a result of the actions of these trouble-makers.

If the activists or Tibetan exiles want to stage a protest, there are always freely available public spaces or localities nearby for them to highlight their so-called plight or cause, away from the running events. They could carry placards, banners and even have their own torch run or picnic. But they choose to gain the much needed attention by violently disrupting the relay by blocking the torch bearer path and hurling water at the flame and lunging at the runner given the slightest opportunity to do so.

Out of this international commotion, there was an immediate suggestion from an IOC member that all international relay for future Olympics (after the Beijing Olympics) may be stopped or modified to prevent these unruly acts from being repeated. Swedish IOC member, Gunilla Lindberg, was more direct in her comment stating that the torch relay was damaging the Olympic movement. She added that the way the flame had to be extinguished is almost a crime and remarked clearly that the torch is the property of IOC and not owned by the Chinese. Attempted act to extinguish the flame is actually not only a challenge to China’s authority but also the IOC.

The Western media continue to spin its story by saying that the flame was forced to be extinguished a couple of times for the safety of the general public but the Chinese has rebutted saying it was put out by the French officials for reasons only they would know. The disrupted relay in Paris as compared to the London event also highlighted the incompetence of the Paris police in controlling the crowd and clearing the path for the torch bearers to complete the journey safely. Maybe there were Tibetan sympathizers among the Paris organizers and security personnel judging from the seriousness of their actions.

Contrary to what the Western media claimed, the Chinese state-run television and newspapers showed the wild protests and invited upset spectators and Chinese residents to comment on the unruly actions of these activists. One angry Chinese urged the government not to let the foreigners look down on the Chinese people.

These unacceptable behaviors have tarnished the lofty Olympic spirit and are challenging the peace-loving people throughout the world. Resolving human rights is the responsibilities of the politicians and the statesman at the United Nations and as such, it should be kept out of the sports arena. I personally do not think the actions of these individuals and its backers will in the any way help to resolve the issues surrounding human rights. Conversely, I think it will create more negative connotations and harm to their own cause, if there is any in the first place.

The relay will continue its round the world course for 21 days, even if the protest turned unruly particularly in the sympathetic Western Hemisphere, until the torch is return in the safe hands of the Chinese on May 4, 2008.


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China Watcher said...

Thanks for your positive compliments.
It is indeed an honor for me to be able to share my thoughts with fellow net-citizens who are keen to know more about China (a hot topic currently) from another perspective unlike the many shallow and recurring anti-China bashing news we get to read almost daily from the imposing Western cultural and social standards which may not be appropriate for a huge country like China. Looks like I have to work harder to improve further on my blog.