To: s@list
dear members of s,

s serves as a platform for information and discussion. If we encourage the spirit of free speech and free discussion, different opinions should be encouraged and allowed.

I do not see the posting of such a political action as a kind of abuse of s. For me it is legitimate to post a job-hunting message as well as to post announcements of activities ranging from those organized by the Confucian Institute to those by any other small organizations. Everyone has the free choice to decide what to believe and where to go. s should not be developed to be a place, where only pro-PRC voices or praises for the “Chinese economic miracle” or “Chinese culture” are allowed and encouraged.

Also, I find the use of the word “pogrom” not only inappropriate, but also threatening and irresponsible. Just to argue with two points which immediately come up to my mind: 1) could the Tibetans who are the minority exercise pogrom against the majority Chinese? 2) we are still in a stage of clarifying facts, or actually this stage hasn’t really been started. Clouded by various resources of information and political discourses, I think it is now still too early to make a conclusion and to stamp the whole thing with such a strong term.

Best regards,
K. (at V)

To: s@list

Dear K,

and all the others who answered to my mail: did you carefully read it ? Apparently not. You just repeat the stereotypes which are always used to discredit those who afford themselves the luxury of an own opinion (and voice this opinion) in a moment when (Western, mainstream) public opinion shall be influenced in only one direction. You call for free speech and free opinion, especially on the s. What I read instead is an accusation that I would promote the Chinese government’s point of view.

Excuse me folks, but did I miss something ? To get this straight I reiterate what I did NOT say:

I did not ask for “no discussion”; I did not ask s to “only allow pro-PRC -voices on s”; I also did not (for good reason !) comment at all on Chinese government’s behaviour in Tibet or their policies; I did not quote the Jewish diaspora (for which I have the greatest respect).

What I DID say: yes, I did use the word “pogrom”. Although I know a little bit about our European recent history: this word has a definition in any dictionary you might want to use. It has been used frequently in Western media recently for events in Africa as well as Asia and Europe (remember Paris last year ?). How (and, since I know the author who should know me: why) you construct a link between using this word and the Jewish diaspora remains a total mystery to me. It is not necessary that a pogrom is committed by a majority (unless, just to use a recent example, young Algerians are the majority in France). What counts is who uses atrocity and violence against whom for what motivation. If innocent people are attacked and killed because of their ethnic nature, this comes pretty close to the definition.

For those of you who apparently don’t like an independent opinion I reiterate my point of view as clear as it could be: before we abuse the s to organize a political demonstration (and please note the difference between discussion and demonstration !!), I am of the opinion that we need exactly that: more independent information and a free discussion. I don’t think that on the basis of the information which is available (especially in Europe) that anybody can be in a position to support a political demonstration for either party. Western media (e.g. CNN: since Iraq was quoted: you still remember the weapons of mass destruction ? That’s how reliable they are) as well as Chinese media both have their motivation and are therefore not a very good source for independent, reliable news. Which is why I quoted The Standard and people who were there and saw with their own eyes.
But, nota bene: what they reported is only about a few days in Lhasa, not Chinese policies in general, not the situation of Tibetans in Tibet in general, it is just about this current event. I repeat myself to prevent misunderstandings: I did not say anything in general about Tibet and who is right or wrong on this question.

You might like it or not: but if you discount non-independent reports with certain motivation or ideological inclination (e.g. CNN etc. and CCTV), you end up with smashed Chinese shops and several (mostly Chinese) dead and wounded and, compared to the level of violence a relatively muted reaction by the police.

Sorry to say, but on the basis of this information to promote an anti-Chinese demonstration over the s, I just don’t consider this to be a good idea. And this is all what I was saying. Except polemic replies I did not receive any serious argument against this point of view.



To: s@list



manche sind verhaftet worden
manche andre sind verschwunden
jemand hat sie abgeholt
unruhen sind nicht gewaltlos
sagen alle augenzeugen
recht und ordnung gibt es nicht
wie in manchen andenstaaten
oder auch an andern orten
manche sind verhaftet worden
manche andern sind verschwunden
jemand hat sie abgeholt
manche tauchen wieder auf
manche haben ueberlebt

MW Maerz 2008



quite a few have been arrested
some have simply disappeared
somebody has picked them up
riots go with violence
all the witnesses are saying
peace and order are restored
like in some andean countries
and at many other places
all the witnesses are saying
quite a few have been arrested
some have simply disappeared
somebody has picked them up
some of them turn up again

MW March 2008


To: s@list
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 3:02 PM
Subject: s: Media in times of crisis

Half an hour ago I read a report in the NY Times from the alleys of Baghdad and Basra. The reporter tells of his dream where he is in his native Chicago and has to translate for Arab invaders. I have found the coverage of the current riots in Tibet by the NY Times and the Washington Post rather balanced and cautious. The article in the NYT about five women who were killed in a clothing store is a good example. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know about CNN, which we can’t receive in our apartment in Beijing anyway. I have a feeling that people who automatically call international media biased don’t read very carefully. Remember 1989? I think that international media coverage of the events in Beijing was and remains very important. To call for demonstrations against China, in support of Tibetan exiles’ organizations, after a riot in Lhasa where Tibetans have killed and looted, could certainly be seen as problematic. Still, all it needs for you is to say so, on the same forum, instead of questioning the right of users to call for political action in the forum. As for the word “pogrom”, I think it should not be used lightly, especially in A, no matter who in what context has used it before. Some Tibetan relatives of a friend of mine have disappeared last week. Somebody had picked them up, that was all she heard. They were not activists, as far as she knew, but they had been at villages in Sichuan where the army had moved in recently. So I wrote these poems.



一条回应 to “discussion”

  1. discussion « Erguotou’s Weblog Says:

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