Broken Promises – The Genocide Olympics?

17 03 2008

Games of the XXIX OlympiadAugust 8th, 2008. The Beijing Olympics is scheduled to kick off, amidst concerns over human rights issues in China. The Olympics were originally awarded to Beijing in the hope – and on the promise, that China would improve its human rights record. This is something that hasn’t occurred one iota, and perhaps it’s now worse than ever.
Even just to read the new laws that will be instituted for the duration of the games beggars the mind.
Laws will be enforced:

  • That banish vagrants, beggars, and people with mental illness from the city…
  • That will ban any non-resident of Beijing Chinese from the city…
  • That force residents of Beijing to stay in the city for the duration of the Olympiad…
  • Protests will be banned…
  • Local citizenry are banned from using the toilets in the Olympic Stadiums, due to concerns from the Chinese government over hygiene issues of local citizens would affect the Beijing Olympic image…

Additionally, there are concerns over a few important areas too:

  • Pollution levels in Beijing are said to be 2 to 3 times higher than is deemed safe by the World Health Organization…
  • The safety of using local water – which is considered highly polluted. Pretty much every nation is going with bottled water…
  • China’s continued refusal to recognize the independence of Tibet…
  • China locked down Lhasa, as violence rocks the capital of Tibet, killing 10 people.
  • Chinese support for Omar al-Bashir, the person responsible for the proxy militias in Darfur, Sudan..
  • Stephen Spielberg withdrew from being an artistic advisor for the games due to the situation in Darfur…
  • In typical fashion, there have been huge questions over the legitimacy of the use of ‘flash games’ on the Olympic website, which are pretty much copies of other pre-existing games…

Protest march in Lhasa, Mainichi Shimbun photos…The situation in Tibet just seems to get worse by the hour. Reports are now flooding in about an armoured vehicle that was used to plow into a group of protesters, and that the city of Lhasa is now verging on becoming an armed camp. Locals are attacking ethnic Chinese who live in the area in revolt. A new protest march headed for Tibet has begun in India, despite over 100 earlier protestors being arrested in a similar rally.
As a result, many are now referring to this Olympiad as the ‘Genocide Olympics’.

As a result of all of the political situation fodder, many nations have placed a ban on their athletes from making any comments that may be deemed ‘politically upsetting to the government of China’ for the entire Olympics. And despite quite a large call for countries and sponsors to boycott the games, it’s just not going to happen.
Money. Loads of it. Simply put, China is poised to become perhaps the biggest market-economy in the world, and neither nations nor multinationals want to be left out of the grab-bag that it will become. This reticence on the part of other bodies to do anything has increased the power that China has to do nothing at all. Actually, ‘reticence’ is probably the incorrect term to use, ‘total acquiescence’ would be closer to the truth. Nations are now banning their athletes from saying anything that could even be construed as political… and you can almost see the drool on the mouths of the corporate investors.
Verily, the Chinese government seems even more bullish now than it did prior to being awarded the Olympics.

IOC President, Jacques RoggeIn the last few days I read an article discussing IOC President Jacques Rogge’s involvement in awarding the Olympics to China (which was actually done by his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch), and how initially he felt that the Olympics would serve as a vehicle to improve human rights in China. Recently, whilst Rogge has stated that he feels that the XXIX Olympiad will be a phenomenal event, he now stays away from making any commentary at all on the human rights issues that once were so important.
There was a time that China’s human rights record was a major hurdle to Beijing holding the Olympics.
Rather than actually negotiate that obstacle, China has just walked right through it… and anyone be damned who gets in the way.

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13 responses

17 03 2008
Eddie Pasternak

Please have a native English speaker review this – there are very specific rules for the apostrophe character ‘ misused here in “improve it’s human rights record”

17 03 2008

You tool Eddie. I am a ‘native speaker’ – simply a typo is all…
I’d suggest you get off the high horse – surely you have better things to do (btw – fixed!)…

17 03 2008

There seems to be something ironic about posting on human rights abuses and someone gets all worked about a misplaced apostrophe. – “well at least the Chinese know how to use the apostrophe” 🙂

17 03 2008

Indeed TP… no telling how anal some people can get.
When I wrote the piece, I had hoped that there was more there to comment on than grammatical inaccuracies. Oh well, back to the drawing board I guess… 😉

17 03 2008

“well at least the Chinese know how to use the apostrophe”


Don’s from the country so not really a “native english speaker”… What do they speak in Horsham mate?

18 03 2008

Excellent article – isnt it surprising that the same governments banging on about human rights in the Mid East are now conveniently ignoring China’s?

–> Guy who mentioned the apostrophies – seriously get out more!

18 03 2008

Great article Don.

One day the west will learn that China does what China wants to do, whilst providing lip service to the rest of the world.

18 03 2008
Steve "Nursedude"

Great posting, mate. In view of the deteriorating situation in Tibet( If you want to see what happens to pacifist, unarmed societies, I use Tibet as Exhibit A as to how that can work against you) These 2008 Olympics in Beijing are about to make the Berlin Olympics of 1936 look like Australia day horse-races in Darwin. For couple of weeks before and and after these Olympics, Beijing is going to be a veritible Ptomkin city- a mere showcase for outsiders while hiding the deeper ills of the Chinese leadership and society.

For Eddie, lighten up and drink some de-caf. What a tosser.

18 03 2008

Thanks for the good comments folks…

The Beijing Olympics promise to test the moral fibre of many a government and company… and sadly I think most will be found wanting.

27 03 2008

Where do you find the information about …
1. That force residents of Beijing to stay in the city for the duration of the Olympiad…
2. Local citizenry are banned from using the toilets in the Olympic Stadiums, due to concerns from the Chinese government over hygiene issues of local citizens would affect the Beijing Olympic image…

I have never heard it before, Im journalist and Im very interested!
Thank U.

27 03 2008

Hi Mylo…

The source I ‘obtained’ the info was the Mainichi Shimbun. It should be archived around this piece’s date.

25 04 2008
hater nation

we got another hater over here… genocide games? come on… the US is commiting genocide in Iraq! why don’t you write about that? Leave China alone and go learn some history before blabbing your ignorance on the web!

25 04 2008


Riiiiiiight… the situation in Iraq is the same as what China is doing.
Bud? Don’t think it’s me who needs to actually open his eyes.
1) I’m not American, tool.
2) You figure that one nation’s misdeeds excuse another’s?
3) So… working on the somewhat misguided notion that the US is committing genocide in Iraq – that makes it ok for China to blithely ignore the promises it made to the IOC about it’s human rights record?

Ignorant? Hmmmm? I’d suggest that you take a long, hard look in a mirror.
Here’s an idea, some biblical studies for you – Matthew 7:5.

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