Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dalai Lama Possibly Changing Tactics

The news today says that the Dalai Lama is calling a big meeting of Tibetan exiles to discuss what to do as the PRC government has not been negotiating sincerely with the Dalai Lama's group.

It is hard to assess if this will lead to a major change of tactics re: Tibetan sovereignty.  In my judgment, it is very unlikely that the Government of PRC will make any meaningful concessions to the Dalai Lama. 

The Tibetan tragedy continues.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mei Ping's Unacceptable Characterization of the Parliament of Canada

I was told by e-mail this morning that in a speech in Montreal this week, the former ambassador of China to Canada (1998-2005), Mei Ping, referred to the Dalai Lama's 2006 honouring by the Canadian House of Commons as "so-called honorary citizenship." But there is nothing "so called" about it. This honour was a unanimous resolution of the Parliament of Canada supported by all parties. Mr. Mei's characterizing it this way is an insult to the dignity of our Parliament.

Vancouver, Canada 9 September 2006 (AP) The Dalai Lama has been presented with honorary Canadian citizenship, joining only two other people to have received the honour.

The decision by Canada's parliament to award citizenship to the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader has drawn criticism from China, which continues to rule Tibet.

"Welcome to our great country," Immigration Monte Minister Solberg told the Nobel Peace Prize laureate on Saturday in front of a crowd of about 12,000. "We will welcome you each and every time you return to Canada to share your message of kindness and compassion."

The normally talkative Dalai Lama seemed at a loss for words.

"Now I am also a citizen of this country," he said. "I am honored to receive this citizenship."

Canada has previously granted honorary citizenship to South African leader Nelson Mandela and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved Jews from extermination during World War II.

Solberg presented the Nobel Peace Prize laureate with a framed copy of the parliamentary motion granting him citizenship. Prior to his arrival, the crowd spontaneously burst into the country's national anthem, "O Canada."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amanda Zhao Murdered in Burnaby in 2002 and Her Family Suffers Still

I am appalled at how badly the grieving parents of Amanda Zhao has been treated by our diplomats in Beijing.  The fact that her brutal murderer has not been made accountable for his awful crimes is simply disgraceful. I feel personally grateful to Jason Kenney for all the work he has done on this matter.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Party School Democracy Realization Date Now Sooner

On October 15, the London Daily Telegraph published an article entitled "China will be a democracy by 2020, says senior party figure" (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/3195370/China-will-be-a-democracy-by-2020-says-senior-party-figure.html)
The reads in part:
Zhou Tianyong, an adviser to the Communist Party's Central Committee and one of its most liberal voices, told the Daily Telegraph that "by 2020, China will basically finish its political and institutional reforms".
He added: "We have a 12-year plan to establish a democratic platform. There will be public democratic involvement at all government levels."
Mr Zhou also predicted "extensive public participation in policy-making, such as drawing up new legislation".
Mr Zhou is deputy head of research at the Central Party School, the most important institution for training senior leaders. President Hu Jintao is among its former directors.

Comment by me: In 2020, I will be 65 years-old if I live that long.  If China is fully democratic and complaint with the all the Covenants associated with the UDHR in 2020 I will retire from political science and commence my plan for old age which is to offer free English lessons to little children in Yunnan Province, read Chinese poetry, and practise my brush calligraphy. But in the meantime I think I should still go back to the Central Party School Beijing next month as they must need some follow-up to the September seminar in Montreal (or they would not ask us to come again, I suppose).  Anyway I still have a few questions for them on the details of implementation, such as the date they will hold their first free and fair elections, when the press will be free from Party control, when the judiciary will be made independent of the Government, when the regulations for registration of NGOs will be lifted, etc., etc., etc.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

DPRK Taken Off U.S. List of States that Sponsor Terrorism

Comment: This recalls to mind U.S. attempts to push forward the agenda on DPRK in the declining period of the Clinton administration.  But I continue to hope that I am wrong in my cynicism with regard to the intentions of the North Korean régime internationally and in its domestic policies.  Having lived in China when it was under a charismatic authoritarian leader, I remember only too well the dishonesty in foreign relations of the Mao régime which was the extension of its policies of "cultural revolution" domestically.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Letter to the Globe and Mail about Lawrence Martin's Comment "Giving the Tories a free pass on sleaze and low ethics"

Mr. Martin writes "One way to being a measure of civility to the process would have been through reforms that, for example, allowed parties to speak only of their own policies and personalities in TV ads." This would have been a terrible idea. Freedom of political debate is at the centre of our Canadian democracy. Any attempt in the name of "civility" to limit what parties can and cannot say would be an outrageous affront to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My suggestion is that if citizens are offended by a political party's "uncivil" attacks on political opponents that they express their repugnance at the ballot box.

The article was published in the Globe on October 6, p. A15

My letter was published in The Globe and Mail on October 7, 2008, p. A14 under the title "On the road to civility"