Agam's Gecko
Friday, April 18, 2008
Zenkoji Temple
Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, Japan, in a 1997 file photo. The Buddhist temple today withdrew from serving as the starting point for the Nagano leg of the Beijing torch relay, citing concerns over safety, and the bloody crackdown in Tibet.
Photo: AP / Koji Sasahara

eijing appears to be getting concerned over the depth of nationalist rage they have fired up both inside and outside the country over the past month, and the irrationality on display for the world to see.
A dispatch issued late Thursday by state-controlled Xinhua news agency railed against "despicable" Western media coverage of the unrest in Tibet and said resulting Chinese indignation should be "cherished."

But it also said nationalist energies should be expressed in a "rational" way and focussed on building the nation.

"Patriotic fervour should be channeled into a rational track and must be transformed into real action toward doing our work well," said the report.
It reads a bit like those schizophrenic Chinese media headlines I quoted yesterday.
Xinhua's report appears to fit a pattern in which the control-conscious government has given free rein to such sentiments when it serves party interests, but curb them when they appear to be spiralling out of control.
They had this problem when the PLA hot-dogging pilot clipped the American P-3 in 1999, transforming himself into the martyr/hero of the nation, and again in 2005 when the CCP stoked anti-Japanese riots which quickly got out of control. This year, France still remains in their sights after online warriors declared a boycott last week.
The Xinhua commentary that appeared late on Thursday night said the calls to boycott French goods were an "unadorned expression of patriotic zeal and a sincere demonstration of public opinion."

But it balanced the praise with a warning not to challenge the government's policies of opening to foreign investment and markets.

"Patriotic zeal must enter onto a rational track and must be transformed into concrete actions to do one's own work well," said the commentary widely distributed in the Chinese media.
Someone, somewhere is doing their work well -- and quietly. While adhering to Deng's nostrum that, "To get rich is glorious." Further analysis of the malware infection targeting pro-Tibet websites has revealed a true-to-type twist.
In his analysis of the malware utility , ISC handler Bojan Zdrnja wrote that after infecting a new site, the program then checks with a remote server in China, possibly to confirm the new infection as part of a pay-per-infection scheme. After that operation, the tool will then connect to Google and use a specific search string to find vulnerable sites. The search string is user-configurable.
I love that -- a "pay-per-infection scheme." Not really, I strongly dislike people (or countries) who do stuff like this, but you have to admit it's funny. I wonder who's doing the paying per infection? Any guesses?

A little bit of a different tune was heard from China's Foreign Ministry yesterday, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.
In a briefing for the foreign press Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu blamed the Dalai Lama for the failure to negotiate.

"The Dalai has never shown any sincere interest in dialogue. . . . We are ready to have dialogue and contact with him," Jiang said.
The first part is blatantly disingenuous, as any sentient being will know. He's the only one of the two parties who has shown consistent interest in dialogue, while her country has never been truly willing to engage in any meaningful way. After 6 years of this, and now in crisis, more of the blame game is only to be expected. The last part of the quote shows a little promise, which needs to be backed up with action.

Upcoming dates for the little flame continue to present face difficulties for the Chinese government. In Japan, Zenkoji Temple today refused to be the starting point for the Nagano run.
An official at the temple's secretariat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the temple and its worshippers were also concerned about the treatment of fellow Buddhists in Tibet.

"There have been a lot of talk about the Tibet issue and the public opinion is heightening," she said. "We are Buddhists just like them. We hear words of concern from many people every day."
More evidence that awareness of the issue is continuing to grow around the world. It hasn't peaked yet. Five weeks of continuous peaceful demonstrations in "Little Lhasa," better known as Dharamsala, India, culminated yesterday in the largest demonstration ever seen in the northern India hill town.

The day after the twin torch relays in New Delhi (the Beijing Olympic torch and the Tibetan Freedom torch), the umbrella group of Tibetan civil society organisations has announced the resumption of their March to Tibet, which began on March 10th from Dharamsala. A few days after their departure, the initial 100 Core Marchers were taken into judicial custody by Indian authorities, and held for two weeks. The procession was carried on by a second group of marchers, until the two groups were reunited in Chandigarh and together they reached New Delhi on April 9. The march was then put on hold by consensus.

This morning the groups held a prayer service at Rajghat on the banks of the Ganges, Mahatma Gandhi's memorial shrine. Tibetan Youth Congress president Tsewang Rinzin told those present that the patriotism and sacrifice displayed by their countrymen inside Tibet has inspired them to be more determined in their solidarity.
"Our campaign has always been peaceful. We feel that we are political refugees and not causing any problem. We are completely peaceful and non-violent,” he said. When the marchers go along the streets they do not shout slogans but walk peacefully with portraits of Gandhiji and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “We hope that the Indian Government will respect that," he added.
Some "terrorists," eh? Gandhi would be proud of them. They plan to set off at 5 am tomorrow.

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