Monday, February 28, 2011

REPEATED CALLS FOR JASMINE STROLLS IN CHINA

B.RAMAN

Repeated calls for “Jasmine Strolls” in Chinese cities, including Beijing, emanating from overseas Chinese web sites have added to the nervousness of the Chinese authorities.

2.A Jasmine Stroll is a stroll undertaken by those responding to the calls at pre-indicated places at pre-indicated timings to quietly demonstrate, without shouting slogans, their demand for the end of the rule of the Chinese Communist Party and for democracy and human rights. The purpose of the Strolls is not to indulge in any noticeable protest activity, but just to get out into the streets in large numbers and take a Stroll as a silent mark of their demands.

3. Two such calls have so far been issued---the second one being for Jasmine Strolls on February 27. Nervous Chinese authorities deployed the police and officials of the Ministry of Public Security in large numbers in different cities. While there were no unusual crowds in the streets in addition to the usual Sunday strollers, the authorities have been rounding up suspicious persons for interrogation.

4. It has been reported that among those who took a stroll at the pre-indicated time in a pre-indicated street in Beijing was the outgoing US Ambassador Mr.Jon Huntsman. Following this, the Chinese authorities have blocked his name from all search engines. A call has now been disseminated for another Jasmine Stroll on March 6.

5. The Chinese authorities have stepped up security precautions in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region and in Chinese-Controlled Xinjiang. It has been reported that all mobile phones of Tibetans and Uighurs are being checked for any prohibited anti-Government songs. Mobile phones containing anti-Government tunes are being seized and the users detained for interrogation.

6. In Tibet and Xinjiang, shops selling books, newspapers and music CDs are being checked for any prohibited material or for cuttings or Xerox copies of reports regarding the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt.

7. The authorities’ security concerns have increased since many of the Chinese being evacuated from Libya in special air lifts following attacks on Chinese workers in Libya are Uighurs. They are apparently worried that these Uighurs, on their return to Xinjiang, might spread stories of the unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and other places and this could encourage the inhabitants of Xinjiang to come out in the streets.

8. The Chinese authorities have not yet informed their population of the details of the attacks on the Chinese workers in Libya. So far, there have been no attacks on Chinese workers in other countries affected by the present unrest. If there are similar incidents in other countries, the Government’s embarrassment could increase.

9. Radio Free Asia, funded by the US State Department, continues to disseminate guidance to the people of China as to how to circumvent Internet controls. ( 28-2-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

5 comments:

Eagleeye47 said...

Yes, the Chinese Govt. & Party heads are scared... Time to be scared...Not much more time to keep the people suppressed or oppressed.

Chinese People will also rise soon.

At the most 2 to 3 more yrs. before the Party is forced to Usher in Changes or are overthrown by a Peoples' Revolution.

Eagleeye47 said...

Yes, the Chinese Govt. & Party heads are scared... Time to be scared...Not much more time to keep the people suppressed or oppressed.

Chinese People will also rise soon.

At the most 2 to 3 more yrs. before the Party is forced to Usher in Changes or are overthrown by a Peoples' Revolution.

Paresh said...

Wow! Chinese Communist Party is no different than the Taliban!

vishnu said...

sir
China has rolled back the press freedoms(limited as it is) it granted in 2008 in the wake of Olympics. The public security bureau is tightening its screening of various communications. Uighurs and Tibetans are increasingly monitored. Can China remain isolated from the internaitonal churn? Will the Chinese remain oblivious for ever to the rage of freedom and liberty that is sweeping the marooned islands of autarchy?.
The world leaders should stop pampering the chinese Oligarchs. Its a shame that a Billiom people is misleaded and suppresed.
Golden cages cannot anymore holdback the surge for freedom and liberty.

Esoteric said...

Chinese communist party is doing all that an establishment about to undergo radical change does.Its going the other way..restricting more freedoms...instead of granting more.This approach means a single successful protest or setback to the Govt could unleash a wave of protests...In other words,its like trying to tame an ocean..its better to let a few splashes spill over rather than trying to keep them in check.

In other words,when the Jasmine smell spreads in China it will be momentum rather than a moment.