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Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 390: You are Mine, Under heel

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/27/world/asia/china-tibet-gary-locke/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

(CNN) -- U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke is nearing the end of a three-day visit to the Tibet Autonomous Region where he has been meeting with local officials to impress the importance of preserving Tibetan culture, according to the U.S. embassy.
Locke, who took the trip with his family, several embassy officials and Chengdu's consulate general, also stressed the need to open up access to Tibet to foreign diplomats, tourists and journalists, the embassy said in a statement.
There has been no mention of the trip in Chinese media, which follows Locke's visit last September to Tibetan monasteries in western China, where a number of Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire.
Since 2006, 119 monks have self-immolated in protest against Chinese policies they say violate their basic rights, according to Human Rights Watch.
More claims of repression of Tibetan rights came Thursday with a report from HRW, which condemned China's mass relocation of millions of Tibetans to what it called "New Socialist Villages."
The report, entitled "They Say We Should Be Grateful," accused the Chinese government of committing "extensive rights violations" of Tibetans by forcing residents in a number of counties to abandon their houses and move to new purpose-built housing estates.
The HRW report included aerial images of Tibetan counties, which showed photos of villages before and after new homes were built. HRW has accused the Chinese government of failing to adequately compensate villagers whose homes have been demolished, and of not restoring residents' livelihoods.
"The scale and speed at which the Tibetan rural population is being remodeled by mass rehousing and relocation policies are unprecedented in the post-Mao era," said HRW's China director, Sophie Richardson.
"Tibetans have no say in the design of policies that are radically altering their way of life, and -- in an already highly repressive context -- no ways to challenge them," she added in a statement.
When asked to comment on the report, Hua Chunying, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said: "The organization you just mentioned has been consistently making irresponsible remarks and groundless accusations against China. I'll not spend time to read the report or comment on it."
According to the report, since 2006 more than two million Tibetans have been "rehoused" -- through government-ordered renovation or construction of new houses -- in the Tibet Autonomous Region, while hundreds of thousands of nomadic herders in the eastern part of the Tibetan plateau have been relocated.
The massive rehousing project is part of China's policy to "Build a New Socialist Countryside" in Tibetan areas, which was announced by former premier Wen Jiabao in 2006. At the time, the government pledged to increase spending in rural areas and committed billions of dollars to raise the living standards in the countryside.

Tibet has long been in the spotlight for human rights violations, along with China being accused of repressing Tibetans. I find it interesting that no one has been able to confirm or deny these claims with irrefutable evidence - not that that is a new thing in this world. Science, especially, loves contradictions and conflicting studies.

So why the hell are we incapable of simply seeing something for what it is, so that appropriate action can be taken? Why is politicking more important than human rights? Why is war, force and violence seen as acceptable "solutions"? Why do we allow abuse and violations of other people in the name of politics? How can we justify this as "keeping the peace?". Look at how much repression is happening in the world - and not just in the infamous countries such as China, North Korea and Russia - poverty is repression, the removal and denial of rights because of someone's status. Why do we not see this for what it is: unacceptable - instead of justifying and twisting it to appear to be something acceptable within our minds?

Nothing good ever comes from forcing people to be or live a certain way - the only way to bring about a true harmony of human actions and words is to present a solution that is undeniable, irrefutable and applicable to everyone. If everyone has one point to agree on, then we have a democracy. The tricky part is to present information in such a way that there is no denying it - for example, that every person has basic human rights that MUST be guaranteed. You may not believe it, but most people do not feel that basic rights should, or can be, guaranteed. If we all were of the opinion that basic rights must be given unconditionally to every person then you can bet your last cent that that would be a reality. Currently we believe that basic rights cannot be given to all, for whatever reason, and that is the case for it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because we believe that is can not (or should not) be done, we do not act to make it a reality - the mentality is such that it would be like me trying to breathe underwater.

There is always some obstacle that is apparently in the way of accomplishing or achieving basic rights for everyone. Lack of funding is popular, so is blaming and justifying human nature (that is the way they are, they will never change). We are a clever bunch - if we really wanted to, we could figure something out. Look at all the fantastical things we come up with to make life entertaining, or convenient, especially when we can make buttloads of money.

The motto of this is that waiting for the world to change is stupid - it will not - the only change that may happen on its own is that life devolves into an even more unpleasant experience for more people. If we want a better world we are going to have to step up and make it happen - and democracy is the only way to ensure lasting effects that can not be challenged.

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