March 27, 2008
Time for a boycott? Not yet, says the Economist:
BERLIN, Tokyo, Mexico, Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul: the Olympic games are often “political” events, occasions for the flaunting of national progress, or for protesters to enjoy global publicity. The Beijing Olympics this August were never going to be any different. Indeed, when it competed for the right to play host to the games, China used a political argument: that this would help China's “reform and opening”. But the games are now overshadowed by the spectre of nationalist unrest in Tibet and China's unyielding response to it. In some Western countries there have been calls for governments to back a boycott of the games. To heed such calls now would be misguided.
It would not only be counterproductive, encouraging a more intense frenzy of the xenophobic Chinese nationalism foreign reporting of events in Tibet has already provoked (see, for example, some of the comments on our own website). It would also mean relinquishing one of the best levers the outside world has had in recent years over China's government: its obsession with making a success of the Beijing Olympics.
Will Coke be pressured to back off the Olympics? Coke is a co-sponsor of the torch relay. (And is the picture on this link a joke?)
Police in troubled Nepal threaten Tibetan exiles with deportation (which equals torture and death.)
More protests in Greece, in the nation's second city, Thessaloniki.