shooting them like rats, dogs

A truly disgusting start to yesterday was reading about climbers in Tibet on Cho Oyu watching the Chinese Army massacre a group of Tibetan Refugees who were trying to cross Nangpa La into Nepal. China claims the soldiers, firing for 15 minutes on the starving refugees were acting in self defense. Do you still feel like going to the Beijing Olympics?

Update:

From International Campaign for Tibet, via China Digital Times 中国数字时代 is video from a Romanian cameraman. The video clearly depicts that the Tibetans had their backs to the soldiers, were unarmed, and offered no resistance.

China tries to gag climbers who saw Tibet killings – Leonard Doyle

From the Independent:

Chinese diplomats in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu are tracking down and trying to silence hundreds of Western climbers and Sherpas who witnessed the killing of Tibetan refugees on the Nangpa La mountain pass last week.

This ominous development comes as fears grow for the safety of a group of Tibetan children, aged between six and 10, who were marched away after at least two refugees including a nun, were shot dead. [Full text]

Read a first person account from a Romanian climber who witnessed the killing. More information from climbers is available on Mounteverest.net, though some bloggers feel not enough climbers are coming forward to tell their story.

≈ For more on this story, see “Activist Group Says China Holding Tibetan Children” from VOA and a report from Phayul which includes eyewitness accounts of the incident. From VOA:

A Washington-based activist group says China is holding at least 10 children from a group of Tibetans who were fired on by Chinese security forces near the Tibetan border with Nepal last month.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the International Campaign for Tibet quotes a British mountain climber and several other witnesses who say they saw Chinese forces shoot at a group of about 70 Tibetans on Mount Cho Oyu September 30. The Tibetans are said to have been trying to flee into Nepal.

See also: This topic on the Web, via Google News.

This topic on the blogosphere, via Google Blog Search.

— China Digital Times 中国数字时代

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axis of evil

I’m considering applying for refugee status to the Belgium Consulate.

Howard winning the election again, gaining votes, and the emergence of Family First on an odious right-wing homophobic platform gives me no hope for this country.

The result means Howard and his private school gang of born-again christains can continue turning Tasmania into a clear-felled desert, and continue to preside over one of the poorest environmental records in the world. They also have a mandate to continue their evisceration of the pubilc health welfare and education systems, all of which constitute the bare essentials of any caring democracy.

The worst thing for me is that when I walk outside today, the majority of the people I look at will be people who share a similar view. I can’t live in a country of such selfish, parochial, and just plain nasty people.

When I first came to Australia, I would say that outside of South Africa, this had to be the most racist country in the world. This always provoked outrage and a stream of invective to prove otherwise. But after how many years now of a political party that prides itself on the same bigotry and hatred that undelies racism, this country has swung far into the territory it professes to abhor.

As for the future of the arts in Australia, it will only be more of the same. The government has sustained such a fierce and hostile attack on the arts during its terms, there is no reason to expect anything less than a continued savaging of what little remains. When the majority of young artists in a country intend to leave in the next couple of years, and the institutions which train them are in real danger of being unable to continue, this is a community in serious and immediate crisis caused by the very government which has just returned.

I have no hope for any future as an artist here, and am only thankful that I will be leaving on Thursday anyway. I’m not sure where I will go after my time in Taiwan until early next year, but it won’t be back to Australia. Until the Howard government falls, and Australia stops its vile addiction to the worst of the right-wing’s view of the world, I can’t and won’t live here.