( ASCII text format )
by Corrina McFarlane
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 1:08 PM
Subject: to Olympic committee president
Juan Antonio Samaranch
President International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Case Postale 356
1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
June 2, 2001
Dear Mr. Samaranch,
I understand that the Olympic Committee is currently considering Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympics. Having spent some time in Tibet with the people there, I have to say that China's human rights violations in that country seem to make it a poor choice for this honor. At some point we have to stand up as a race, and say that the systematic destruction of a people is categorically unacceptable. Under the circumstances, granting China the opportunity to play such a key role is to my mind the antithesis of the spirit of the Olympics.
As a race, we are slowly emerging from a shameful history of walls of silence regarding abuse of power, especially towards groups least able to defend themselves (children, women, ethnic minorities, displaced people, etc). We have as our legacy a horrifying catalog of unconscionable atrocities and cruelties. I have to say that it also seems to me, the United States government should never have granted China `most favored nation' status in light of what they are doing in Tibet.
We are the youth of the 20th century and now the leaders today. I urge you in your deliberations not to allow the vortex of habit and history to drive and dictate your decision. Don't think that what you decide doesn't effect the big picture. You are in one of the many positions across the developed world where you have the power to shape history and the path of humanity. Please ask yourself and the committee to pause and make the most constructive choice for the highest good of all concerned.
Thank you & Sincerely,
concerned world citizen
Thank God our time is Now
When wrong comes up to face us everywhere
Never to leave us 'til we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.- Christopher Fry
For if you remain silent at this time,
relief and deliverance
will arise from another place. . . .
And who knows but that you
have come to the royal position
for such a time as this?- Esther 4:14
(Second page June 3, 2001)
I wrote the attached letter yesterday. I was originally alerted to the situation by a pre-printed postcard "say no to Beijing 2008." The postcard I am sure you have seen many by now, said "Olympics: promoting peace through sport -- China: committing genocide in Tibet." I realized when I saw the postcard that I did want to communicate with you but I was not entirely sure that I wanted to say to you categorically say no to Beijing 2008. Now having written the letter and `slept on it', these are my thoughts:
In all our dealings we are aspiring to be the archetypal `good parents', responding, and deciding the fate of others based on just and fair principles. We know that harshness begets harshness. So what is the most constructive and healing position to take with China in the circumstances?
I imagined the possibility of the outcome where China is granted the privilege of hosting the 2008 Olympics but that within the frame of the public announcement you stress, this is not to condone China's role in Tibet, and we did receive many requests to deny them this privilege precisely because of their human rights record towards the Tibetan people, but it is to acknowledge that in every nation there is the impetus towards good along with the shadow aspect of their national character. This would be a monumental admission.
I have heard that oftentimes the European community or other major entities in the world, have been outraged at some positions the States takes on certain issues that effect everybody but no one is willing to speak out against the States because of the power they wield and the harm they can do to a nation (particularly economically) if you cross them. In essence, this gets to sound little different from the Dark Ages with its medieval kingdoms and Divine Right of Kings.
I am British and have resided in the States for over a decade. My process of maturing has included coming to understand that both Britain and the USA play upon the global stage as though they are the grown ups who know best, who act in everybody's best interest, who are unequivocally fair and just and democratic and only deal harshly with people and nations who are not following these fundamental principles for good and right. You do not have to go much behind the network news to know that this is untrue. For instance, concerning the U.S. right now, I could pick out three situations that range disturbing to sinister.
- Plan Columbia -- U.S. military "aid" supposedly to stop hard drug trafficking is resulting in indiscriminate toxic spraying of subsistence crops; more hunger, more respiratory infection and immune disorders. Formerly self-supporting families are fractured, losing home and health. We are funding this holocaust.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation -- Economically the poorest `nation' in the States with a string of broken treaty stories in relation to the US government -- researching the use of their readily available wild-grown industrial (non-psychoactive) hemp for houses, clothes and food. The DEA moves in as a military force and destroys all their crops -- showing a continuing blatant disregard for their Sovereign rights, and their very real need for economic improvement.
Seattle Police in relation to the Civil Disobedience at the 1999 WTO Ministerial -- It was not possible to identify or report an officer for any reason because their uniforms were unmarked and they all wore face shields. These public servants employed for the people in a democracy with the right of free speech, were suddenly nameless and faceless. The other nameless and faceless crew were the `men in black' intent upon inciting the crowd to violence. Though many good citizens in the non-violent demonstration implored the police to arrest these masked troublemakers, no move was made to do so. Meanwhile the networks brought the `news' to the nation about "violent demonstrators" disrupting the democratic process in Seattle.
It is strange for me to even send you these stories because my role more often is to be mapping and tracking and disseminating everything that's working in the world. But I think it's time to call a spade a spade, speak out against the forces that threaten to destroy our humanity and encourage in every way we can, the life-enhancing, life-respecting, impetus to healing which is embodied in every nation. My question is always `how can we nurture and realize our full human potential?' So I only ask that you consider this in your decision-making process. And thank you for your work in consciousness. Most Sincerely,