Saturday, April 19, 2008



It is learnt that the Chinese leadership is facing difficulty incontrolling the Neo Red Guards, who have let loose an anti-foreignersand anti-Buddhists campaign to protest against foreign support to thefreedom struggle of the Tibetans and against the attacks on theOlympic Flame during its recent passage through London and Paris.

2. Whereas the protests in China are till now directed only againstthe French, the protests by the overseas Chinese are directed againstthe authorities of the UK, France and the US and the media of those countries. It is learnt that the protests inside China as well asabroad are being sponsored and directed by the Ministry of PublicSecurity, which is China's internal intelligence and security agency.Mr.Meng Jianzhu, the Minister for Public Security , is viewed by manyas the head of the new group of Neo Red Guards, which is increasinglydictating the Tibet policy after the uprising began in Lhasa on March10,2008, and from there spread to other Tibetan-inhabited areas ofTibet, Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan.

3.There have been demonstrations against the outlets of Carrefour,the French super-market chain, in Beijing and other Chinese cities. A campaign for an economic boycott of France and French products has also been launched by the Neo Red Guards.

4.Hundreds of overseas Chinese studying or working in the UK, Franceand the US have been mobilised to protest against the recent incidentsin London and Paris during the passage of the Olympic Flame andagainst the attempts to organise similar incidents in San Francisco,which were, however, thwarted by the local authorities. The orchestrated Chinese anger against the Western media has been particularly concentrated against the CNN, which has been accused of anti-Beijing bias in its coverage.

5. According to reliable sources, the Chinese leadership is worried that if these protests continue, it may foul the atmosphere in the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics of August,2008. The Chinese leadership's dream of projecting the Games as a spectacular exercise in international harmony has been badly damaged. Its appeals for cooling the anti-foreigner campaign have had no effect so far. The Neo Red Guards are reportedly of the view that countering what they see as an international conspiracy to bring about a splitting-up of Tibet and Xinjiang from China is more important than holding the Olympics in harmony. They are, therefore, not worried about the likely adverse impact of their campaign on the Olympics.

6.As part of its Patriotic Re-education campaign, the Ministry ofPublic Security has ordered all Buddhist monasteries in the Tibetan-inhabited areas to fly the Chinese national flag side by side with their religious flag. The monks have been resisting this order.The number of arrests so far is estimated to be more than two thousand. These figures include those arrested for their suspected participation in the violent incidents after March 10, those detained as a preventive measure and those arrested for refusing to fly the Chinese national flag.

7. The orders issued by the Ministry of Public Security to fly the Chinese national flag do not apply to the places of worship of the Muslims in the Xinjiang province. (20-4-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt.of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )



That is what the Chinese wanted.

That is what the Government of India gave to them.

It did well to give to them what they wanted--- an undertaker's procession for the Olympic Flame as it passed through New Delhi on April 17,2008.

This is not the first time the world is going to have an Olympics.

This will not be the last time.

This is not the first time before the Olympics that the flame lit in Olympia in Greece has been taken through different countries---- togive the people of those countries the happy feeling of being associated with the Games.
And this will not be the last time.

But, what the world is going to have in Beijing in August is an Olympics with a difference.

What the world has been having since the flame was lit in Olympia is a flame with a difference.

What New Delhi had on April 17 was not a flame of joy, brotherhoodand harmony, which would make the world look forward to the Games in August.

It was a flame of sorrow, shock, disgust and troubled conscience which made us dread the advent of August.

Sorrow over the death of over a hundred Tibetans in the
Tibetan-inhabited areas of China since March 10----for no other reason than that they demanded their rights in their homeland.

Shock over the ruthless manner in which the Chinese troops killed the Tibetans.

Disgust over the so-called Patriotic Re-education campaign unleashed by the Neo Red Guards and over the vilification campaign against the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan youth, who rose in revolt.

A shocked conscience over the world's inability to go to their rescue.

When an Olympic flame is taken through a city, people in their hundreds of thousands flock to see it.

They cherish memories of the occasion so that they can tell their children and grand-children in the years to come that they were the proud spectators of the flame being taken across the world.

Hardly anybody came to see the flame in Delhi except some Government servants, staff of the Chinese Embassy and communists and their fellow-travellers.

One did not have people in their hundreds of thousands.

Instead, one had policemen and para-military forces in their thousands.
More than were deployed for the visit of President George Bush in March 2006 and for the visit of President Hu Jintao in November,2006.

The flame came to Delhi in stealth, was taken through the city in a procession that resembled the procession to a graveyard and quickly taken out of Delhi to Bangkok.

Planes diverted from Delhi, traffic dislocated, all Tibetans kept under surveillance like the Chinese keep them In Tibet.

And what did the Chinese leaders and officials tell their people through their Government-controlled media.

The flame was received and witnessed by the Indian people in their thousands, who shouted slogans in support of the Olympics and the dearly-loved Chinese people.

China has a Government and a party, which do not have the courage to face the truth.

And, which do not have the courage to tell the truth to their people.

China is a great country with a glorious civilisation.

Its people definitely deserve a Government of which they can be proud and which is loved by all sections of their own people.

It is time for the Chinese people to join hands with each other to strive for such a Government. (19-4-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt.of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )