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Archive for August 17th, 2008

World focus on Burma (17 August 2008)

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McCain Releases Technology Platform

Slashdot –

But who decides how much humanitarian aid to fly off of an aircraft carrier into Burma after a disaster? Who made the decision to land aid-payload by …

Most Popular Opinion

The Zimbabwe Standard, Zimbabwe –

In this insensitive and tardy response to a threat to its population, the government shares an odious position with the military junta in Burma that was …

UN envoy to visit Myanmar


YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — An opposition party in Myanmar is hoping a visiting UN envoy can restart dialogue between it and the reclusive government. …

A home on the range (subscription), TX –

… of an estimated 700 refugees who have moved to the Amarillo area since January, most from Somalia, Iran, the Sudan and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. …

Flooding hits parts of Southeast Asia

Arkansas Online (subscription), AR –

AP BANGKOK, Thailand — Severe flooding triggered by torrential rains has struck areas of Burma still recovering from a cyclone that killed more than 84000 …

Myanmar jails five activists for ’88 memorial march: opposition


YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar’s military authorities have jailed five young activists for taking part in a small street rally marking the anniversary of a 1988 …

Myanmar opposition hopes UN envoy can revive talks

The Associated Press –

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s main opposition party said Sunday that it hopes a visiting UN special envoy can help restart talks between detained …

Looking Away From Beauty

Infoshop News –

Or its complicity in human rights violations in Africa, Asia, and South America. Then there’s Nike, one of many apparel manufacturers that would rather you …

Burmese exiles seem resigned to status quo

San Francisco Chronicle,  USA –

…..”I want the people of your country to know, the American people care deeply about the people of Burma, and we pray for the day in which the people will be free,” Bush told a group of Burmese dissidents…..

Difficult Passage

Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Mr Vitit conceded that we should not be too ambitious in hoping that Asean will come up with an ”EU- or US-type human rights commission”, but stressed …

Georgia and the return of the Cold War at UN

Sunday, Sri Lanka –

By ensuring the presence of President George Bush at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last week and by stalling moves by human rights organisation to …

Olympic Reality Management

OpEdNews, PA –

He is concerned about depleted uranium, repression in Burma, stolen elections, organ harvesting, aspartame, sugar, species depletion, animal abuse, …

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 17, 2008 at 6:17 am

Olympic Reality Management

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Diary Entry by Peter Dearman

Olympic Reality Management

August 16, 2008 at 11:57:31

Will this one go down as the Fake Olympics? Communist reality control could turn ugly.::::::::

“They had better watch it,” is what I thought out loud when I first learned that part of the Olympic opening ceremony was faked through digital inserts into the globally broadcast signal. It’s not that such trickery is intrinsically offensive, but the presumption by Chinese officials that they had the right to deceive the global public, like a hypnotist who operates illicitly, is somewhat offensive to quite a lot of people, I expect. Had the illusionary sequence of fiery footprints been announced beforehand, or even immediately following the ceremony, people would have called it art. But, because of the deceit, it is now likelier to be called propaganda.

I can’t say that I am surprised. It looks to me and my TV like China is doing an admirable job hosting such a large scale operation as the Olympics. Things seem well organized and professionally run. It is the lack of taste that shows off China in a bad light. Theirs is not a culture in which people are good at putting themselves into the shoes of others.

Case in point: Chinese spectators are cheering for Taiwanese athletes, who are forced to compete under the ridiculous name, Chinese Taipei. The  current batch of leaders in Taiwan have taken the old Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on a pro-communist U-turn and are now in Beijing watching the games and joking about how Taiwanese athletes have a bit of homefield advantage, as if Taiwan were actually a province of China when if fulfills every definition of a sovereign nation. No one asks how the Taiwanese athletes feel. There is a good chance that most of them don’t share these people’s dream of “re-unifying” Taiwan and the Great Han Motherland.

So, as the games move along, it appears China’s lack of taste is going to show through despite the fact the Western mainstream media actually seems to want to be polite to the CCP and treat the Olympics with kid gloves when it comes to human rights issues.

But this lack of taste is gonna keep coming through — internationally.

First it was the fake fireworks story. Next, it was the news the little girl singing was actually lip-synching because some Communist brass thought the best singer wasn’t cute enough. Strike two.

Then, came news that the original lead dancer for the ceremony didn’t perform because she had been paralyzed in a training accident a few weeks before. The news had been suppressed, or at least unreleased. This story didn’t make a big splash in the Western media anyway, but the next one did. At least, I expect it will. Come on. It’s up to 89 listings in Google News now, but maybe it’s getting stale already.

The news? Only that the children dressed in the traditional costumes of China’s 56 recognized ethnic minorities were really just that – Han Chinese kids dressed up as ethnic children. Could you imagine the outrage were this to happen in a Western country?

Most of the stories, such as this one on Reuters,  are including the other two reality-manipulation incidents as background.

There are other stories that, while not be explicitly harped about by media, are so obvious that casual viewers will get the message anyway. The British journalist being arrested, for example, or the obviously underage Chinese gymnasts. But mostly, I’m thinking about empty seats and the impression that gives. Why are they empty? According to one English-speaking Taiwanese journalist operating surrepticiously under the name John Hancock, one big reason is because so many tickets were given to Party cadres who decided to make money selling them through scalpers. But in their infinite wisdom as Commies, they told the scalpers a minimum price. Their bad taste, China’s embarrassment. In the long run. I expect. We’ll see.

Anyway, I still say they had better watch it, there in the CCP Olympian control room in Beijing. World opinion mightbe more fickle than they think.

Peter Dearman is an English teacher living in Taiwan. He is concerned about depleted uranium, repression in Burma, stolen elections, organ harvesting, aspartame, sugar, species depletion, animal abuse, ocean pollution, helium depletion and the generally high level of bad things happening in the world today.

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

August 17, 2008 at 5:46 am