A great letter by PAUL CARLILE, Drinagh, Co Cork.was published in the Irish Times on May 11, 2007
I was dismayed and shocked to hear that the 2008 Special Olympics summer games are to be held in China, and that Ireland are to participate.
China has an appalling human rights record. The Chinese government has admitted using executed prisoners as organ donor banks. It has crushed the Tibetan people, "planted" Tibet with Chinese settlers and stripped its natural resources. It brutally suppresses many of its citizens who dare to disagree with its policies - remember Tiananmen Square, and more recently the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners.
One of these policies is the "one child" law, which punishes parents who have more than one child by making them pay "social compensation" charges. There have been serious suggestions that forced abortions, infant abandonments and infanticides in urban areas (where the policy can be more strictly enforced by the authorities) are common, and that female infants and "low-quality births" (children who are seen to be in some way "defective") are most at risk of being aborted or simply disposed of after births.
I cannot comprehend how the Special Olympics organisation could even contemplate staging its premier event in such a country.
Many people argue that including China in world events such as the Olympics and Special Olympics will help to "normalise" or "Westernise" its politics and policies. This argument is exploited to excuse the greed of Western corporations which see China as a huge market for their goods and services.
Can we let the potential profits to be made by multinationals blind us to the suffering of so many people at the hands of such a cruel system? The hosting of this event in China will further extend the growing smokescreen of legitimacy around this cruel, corrupt and inhuman regime.