Have I got this right?: There was a previous arrangement that the president of the United States meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to the US, but the meeting was suddenly canceled? So the Dalai Lama will receive a human rights award behind the scenes
during his visit, but President Obama will not be meeting with him before his (Obama's) scheduled visit to China.
If this is correct, I'm very disappointed. Why? Because China has a well documented history of human rights violations (check out Amnesty International
for details, if you like ) & is extremely
sensitive to any
focus on such issues from other countries.
For example, there has been considerable pressure (which could more accurately be called bullying) from Chinese authorities on my own country, Australia, concerning the Dalai Lama's last visit here . Which caused considerable consternation for the prime minister & the leader of the opposition at the time:
CHINA has entered the debate over the Dalai Lama's visit to Australia, warning Western nations to beware of his "splittist" tendencies.
"The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama in the past decade have shown he is not purely a religious figure but a political exile … aimed at splitting China," said a foreign ministry spokeswoman.
"He represents forces advocating Tibet's independence which the Chinese Government and people resolutely oppose."
She did not mention Australia by name, but was responding to a question from The Age about the possibility that Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd will both meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Mr Howard is yet to accept an invitation to meet the Buddhist leader of Chinese-controlled Tibet.
Mr Rudd has said he will try to make room to meet him after initially saying he would not. This prompted Mr Howard to label Mr Rudd a hypocrite, given that he had previously attacked Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer for snubbing the Dalai Lama, who is vocal on human rights abuses in his country .....
Who would have thought meeting the "spiritual leader" of Tibetan Buddhists could be such a scary thing? But it obviously was.
Then, when the Melbourne film Festival
programmed Rebiya Kadeer's film, "The 10 Conditions of Love"
, this was the response from the Chinese representative in Melbourne:
....Melbourne international film festival's Richard Moore fielded a phone call from an angry cultural attaché at the Chinese consulate in the city, over the inclusion of the film about businesswoman Kadeer. Beijing accuses her of instigating the ethnic violence responsible for the deaths of a reported 184 people in Xinjiang province earlier this month. She is the focus of the documentary The 10 Conditions of Love, which will premiere at the festival on 8 August.
Moore said he was surprised to receive the call from attaché Chunmei Chen, apparently a new arrival in Melbourne, reeling off a list of Kadeer's alleged crimes.
"We had a strident conversation," Moore said. "Ms Chen urged me to withdraw the film from the festival and told me I had to justify my actions in programming it. I told her that under no circumstances would I withdraw the film, that I had no reason to do so. I don't need to justify my actions, unless it's in relation to our own sense of morals....
The film was not withdrawn from the program, but the Festival's website & booking arrangements were subsequently severely disrupted (jammed) by "supporters" of the Chinese government's position. So much for free speech. However, to their credit, Melbourne's film goers attended the film in droves. The screenings were a huge success.
there's the case of the Chinese/Australian businessman who is still
in jail, months
after activities that "subverted" a much-wanted Chinese business deal in Australia, involving minerals. He was labeled a spy. But enough already. <sigh>
But, to state the bleeding obvious obvious, Australia is just small fry
in the Chinese government's scheme of things. (Though our economy depends enormously
on trade with China.) If we
have been the recipients of such pressure (bullying), what sort of pressure would be applied to more important & influential countries who depend on Chinese money & trade? And what message would caving in to that sort of pressure send to the Chinese government?
Here's a list of the BBC's (UK) articles recent articles about Chinese government "issues" about the Dalai Lama's reception in various counries, particularly the UK.: