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Tibet: OutLook Opinions and Columns World Human Rights Day China Will Hope to Forget

World Human Rights Day China Will Hope to Forget

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15december2010112London: To the majority of people in China the 10th of December will not be considered a special day, nothing noteworthy. Once again the Chinese propaganda juggernaut rumbled into total lock-down with foreign news stations going black at just the mention of the Nobel Peace Prize and Internet sites becoming forbidden.

However, outside of ‘The Great Firewall of China' December 10th was a momentous day of unity and positive change. Despite Liu Xiaobo's imprisonment he acted as the catalyst to the change, his empty chair at the Nobel ceremony became a poignant symbol of China's empty political and personal freedoms. The symbol also acted as a sharp reminder to the international community, the only regimes that have limited a laureate from attending the Nobel Prize in the past have been: Nazi Germany, the old Soviet Union, Poland under martial law and Burma. These comparisons have not been ignored by the world as world leaders who in recent years have become increasingly ignorant of China's constant and fierce grasp over its people, as they call for Liu's release.

The Chinese government's reaction may seem from the outside world somewhat farcical; creating their own peace prize, saying the peace committee knows nothing about peace and calling the rest of the world "meddling clowns". It is, however, no laughing matter, China's house arrestment of Liu Xiaobo's wide and harassment of other Chinese dissidents is an awkward reminder of the lengths China are willing to take to keep their people quiet.

The Chinese media has been threatening to supporters of the award, state run newspaper, The Global Times, printed on their front page on the day of the ceremony, "The split of opinion over the Nobel Peace Prize this year is a choosing of sides". This split is publically evident as China successfully pressured countries to not attend the ceremony, including Russia and Pakistan; a divide in the political world is beginning to show.

The world not only celebrated the Nobel Peace Prize on that day but also International Human Rights Day, with an abundance of events held right across the globe. The events that moved me the most was held in London, a coalition of Chinese, Uighur and Tibetans came together to hold a vigil. After the vigil they sang songs and read poems, celebrating one another's culture, Students for a Free Tibet UK said, "before long, Chinese singers had started singing traditional Tibetan songs, Chinese and Uyghur singers stood together to sing a Mongolian song and everybody, regardless of ethnic group, was singing along." Students for a Free Tibet also founded a new website on the day, entitled One Struggle, which aims to bring together all the peaceful causes which suffer under Chinese rule. A unified and organised cause is a stronger cause and it will begin a whole new chapter in the struggle for human rights.

China hopes this day will be cast into the shadows of history and Liu Xiaobo's supporters will dwindle, however, one thing is certain the world is once again taking note of China's darker side and acting against it.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 December 2010 18:44 )  


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