With the 2008 Beijing Olympics a mere week away it’s almost reassuring to see that despite the massive costs, huge corporate sponsorship deals and globalisation eroding countries individuality, China are trying their best to keep their own culture and traditions alive.
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, during the Games this year, the Chinese tradition of censorship of the internet and blocking websites that in any way contradict the brutal and repressive government’s official line looks set to continue.
Whilst some websites, such as that of human rights organisation Amnesty International have been unblocked for the Olympic Press Centre, others remain restricted, such as sites about the 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), initially requested unfettered access for journalists covering the games but has apparently done a deal with the Chinese government that will mean websites that are “not games related” can remain censored – because obviously there’s no scope for the world’s biggest sporting event impacting upon other world events that China might be less than keen on talking about. Ahem.
There are still hopes that the Chinese government will remove internet censorship for the press all together but whether this will materialise remains to be seen. I don’t think normal Chinese people can count on being able to read the Dalai Lama’s blog anytime soon though.
(via Yahoo News)
By James O'Malley | August 1st, 2008