Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Clinton downplay human right over economic

Hilary Clinton’s first trip to Asia as a Secretary of State of the new Obama administration shocked human rights advocates around the world. Her cautious and hesitant reaction to China over human rights issue clouded the hope and vision of those who love freedom and justice. During her trip when she faced questions on United States’ stand on Beijing’s poor human rights record, she said “human rights concerns should not derail discussions on big issues like the global economic crisis, climate change and North Korea”. Her politeness to Beijing disappointed the freedom loving people around the globe and suppressed the hearts of millions who are still under the tyranny of subjugation and torture. Particularly, Tibetan people who are living under the constant military surveillance restricting the freedom of movement. Over fifty years, Tibetan people have been suffering tremendously under the terror rule of China without basic human rights such as religious freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of movement and political freedom. Generations have gone through fear of death under the tight control of the gun. As a consequence of Tibetan people’s long time resentment under the brutality of China’s rule of force, last year on 10th of March, people all around three traditional provinces rose up together and peacefully demonstrated against China’s mistreatment. But China showed its might of military force and cracked down the demonstrators as anti-China. Even Chinese leaders accused His Holiness Dalai Lama for instigating the incident. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama formally rejected the accusation and requested the international community to investigate the incident. He even requested that the Chinese government send their investigation team to examine His personal official papers. But China soon refuted and failed to prove its baseless accusations. Since that incident China started deploying more military force into Tibet. In 2000 the number of military personnel in Tibet was a ratio of one soldier for 20 people and where as in China the ratio is one soldier for 400 people. The number has drastically increased after the incident of 10th March. Today Tibet is more or less a battle ground for Chinese armed forces to exercise their growing military power over unarmed innocents struggling to search for freedom. As a part of thought control policy, China also launched a new political campaign called ”reeducation program” in every part of Tibet to educate people’s thoughts on Communist ideologies which China has been doing since the Cultural Revolution in 1967. But it failed to bring any changes in the belief and attitude of Tibetan people. Another campaign aimed to crush the anti-government sentiment is the ”Strike hard” campaign, under which the government raided people’s houses, shops and hotels without warning. According to Tibetan Center for Human Rights, 81 people were arrested for simply storing music in mobile phones and keeping photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lame at home. Recently, Tibetan people in and outside Tibet decided not to celebrate the traditional New Year but to mourn for those who lost their lives during last year’s demonstration. Soon China condemned it as anti-China and forcefully warned people to celebrate New Year regardless of their will. Prayer ceremonies are banned, media communications are censored and Tibet is shutdown to foreigners.

Clinton’s visit was followed by suicide incidents; three people burned themselves alive on the historical grave yard, ”Tiananmen square” in act of anger against the Chinese government’s repression. On the third day of New Year, a monk from Kirti monastery in eastern Tibet set himself on flame due to mounting pressure from the Chinese government over the boycott of the New Year celebration. Such unfortunate incidents are evidence of the psychological state of helplessness and hopelessness of innocents in China. Though China has achieved great economic and military reform in the past fifty years, wide-spread discontentment and heart breaking incidents question its righteousness of policy. The might of economic and military power can not create a happy society without addressing the root of basic human aspirations for freedom and rights. Moreover China’s premier Hu Jintoa always throws out empty words about creation of harmonious society in China. I doubt how China creates a harmonious society under the force of the gun without respecting the right and freedom of people. Although Mao, the founding father of communists believed that the power is in the barrel of a gun. Such an orthodox idea no longer suits the reality of the dawning age. If present Chinese leaders still believe and practice Mao’s ideology, it is a sign of great ideological orthodoxy and proves that China still remains on the wrong side of history as Obama referred to tyranny and subjugation in his inaugural ceremony speech.

China recently rejected the United Nation’s call to improve human rights and strongly criticized United State for 2009 human rights report. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu aggressively signaled the United States to point their finger in their own face. His aggressive response indicates China’s overconfidence and self-created pride over its economic success. Clinton’s lack of moral confidence and dependency on China for the economy did little for the fate of humanity and pride of Americans. Yet it gave undeserved confidence to China over its crimes against humanity. Today China is taking advantage of human rights in the face of the economic crisis. Economics can not make excuse for human rights, freedom is the birth-right of every human being, we must treasure it with tight grip and watchful eyes. Later Clinton responded at the press conference that “Our commitment to human right is driven by our faith in moral values. I am looking for a result and change that actually improves the lives of greatest number of people. Hopefully we will be judge over the time by successful results from these efforts”. It seems that the Obama administration has a new way of dealing with human rights as a change of foreign policy. Obama’s order for the closure of the biggest American prison (Guatanamo bay) in Cuba to hold suspected terrorists might reflect his new human right policy ”a change from home” to lead the world through its examples. Contrarily, countries like China have a totally opposite policy on human rights; Simon Elegant called as ”Oppression at home and stonewalling overseas”. In this regard, policy politeness and hesitation can not bring real change in China’s attitude towards human rights issues. Rather, open discussion and pressure on the international platform is more effective in dealing with China over its poor human record. Chinese leaders have too little interest in human rights but are too cowardly and sensitive to criticism. Chinese leaders are haunted by the poor image of China in the international community but never stop its oppression. I believe that power of economic and military force alone can not paint China’s face in a positive light. It is the moral standard of China which empowers respect and trust to China. This moral standard based on the transparency of its policy and recognition of the human spirit of freedom, love, justice and universal human rights. Beijing’s blind policy of arrogance and opaqueness is damage to the image of China and pride of hardworking Chinese people.

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