Toasting The Olympics With Toxic Milk

A Tibetan friend in Switzerland passed on this bit of revelation to me. He had been watching the conclusion of the Beijing Games on German TV (ZDF) and noticed that when they sung the national anthem the lyrics didn’t quite seem to match the translation that appeared on the giant screen.  He managed to make out a portion of the translated text “… let us fight for freedom, world peace and democracy”. My friend asked me if the Chinese national anthem made any references to such exalted ideals. I was able assure him that it absolutely did not. Some years ago I had written an essay and a follow-up piece on the Tibetan national anthem (and the national flag) and had compared our old elegiac national anthem, Ramparts of Snow (Gangri Rawae) to the Chinese Communist one, The March Of The Volunteers (Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ) which is just a relentless, us-against-everyone-else paean to xenophobia and violence. Here is the text of the Chinese anthem:

Arise! All who refuse to be slaves!
Let our flesh and blood become our new Great Wall!
As the Chinese nation faces its greatest peril,
All forcefully expend their last cries.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Our million hearts beat as one,
Brave the enemy’s fire, March on!
Brave the enemy’s fire, March on!
March on! March on! On!

Nothing about democracy or peace you will note— or truthfulness, for that matter. Tsewang Norbu la from Germany confirmed the story for me and mentioned that German journalists had noticed the inconsistency between the sung lyrics and the text, since they had been given printed versions of the translated texts. He sent me this link to the ZDF story that those of you speaking German may want to check out.

The Paralympics started in Beijing on the 6th of September. According to most reports it was a great success, but this story in the South China Morning Post discussed a bizarre regulation that was enforced during this event.  All foreign volunteers, doctors, physiotherapists who were helping to take care of disabled Chinese orphans were told to stop their daily visits to three state-run institutions in and around Beijing.

Among those asked to stay away was a Hong-Kong based charity whose directors said they were acting on orders after visits from Public Security Bureau. These foreign volunteers were vital to the running of the orphanages and for caring for the disabled children, since there was little full-time staff at these institutions. The volunteers helped with rehabilitation, exercises and general care such as applying cream for diaper rash to babies and toddlers, and renovating bedrooms, playrooms and bathrooms. Without such volunteers and professional help these children suffered and their conditions worsened.

Even medical operations to ease pain and correct disfigurements, paid for with charitable funds, were also stopped, for the duration of the Games.

One volunteer who had been visiting the Langfang orphanage – home to 25 disabled children, 40km outside Beijing in Hebei province – for more than four years, said “Since just before the Olympics, we have been forbidden from visiting the orphanages.”  He said the ban was a result of a society where disability is still regarded as a source of shame. “The government sees disabled people and disabled orphans as an embarrassing problem, which they don’t know how to deal with.”

A recent report by Michael Sheridon in The Times (London) contended that millions of Chinese, especially farmers, suffered when they had to give up their water for the Olympics. Officials in Beijing anticipating at least 500,000 visitors to the Games started a gigantic project to divert the waters from the Yangtze to Beijing in a “100 day struggle” to build almost 200 miles of channels and pipes to the capital.

Also closer to Beijing, four strategic reservoirs in Hebei, around the city of Baoding, were filled to the brim with all the available water in the area, probably from underground aquifers, which probably were to be replenished when the Yangtze waters flowed north. But then irrigation channels ran dry, subterranean water levels fell, wells collapsed, fields were abandoned and people were forced to leave their farms and villages. One source claimed that price of water went up 300%. Farmers could grow nothing. “Before, we dug a well two meters deep and got water. Now we dig 10 metres deep and get nothing,” a farmer complained.

It now appears that when the uprising in Tibet led to world-wide protests during the Olympic torch relay and calls for a boycott of the Games, it became clear to authorities that the number of visitors to Beijing would be far fewer than expected. So the government abandoned their ambitious plans and left the formerly rich agricultural region in Hebei with miles of half-finished canals and dry reservoirs. Farmers became indebted to moneylenders, others committed suicide by drinking pesticide.

Instead of attempting to relieve the plight of the hapless and beggared farmers the authorities resorted to repression. Sheridon on a visit to Baoding noticed that the authorities had deployed an extraordinary number of policemen and paramilitary forces in the area. He writes “Armed police checked cars at 10 points along one road to a reservoir. At each stop, a banner proclaimed “Olympic Security Checkpoint”, although the Games themselves were more than 100 miles away. Posters offered a reward of more than £7,000 for ‘special Olympic information’ given to the Public Security Bureau.”

Sheridan’s conclusion: “The water scandal is a parable of what can happen when a demanding global event is awarded to a poor agricultural nation run by a dictatorship; and the irony is that none of it has turned out to be necessary.”

The number of infant victims of the tainted milk-powder products is over 60,000 now, and it appears that many children in Lhasa and throughout Tibet have been affected. Reportedly, Chinese authorities knew about the contaminated milk powder in early August and chose to allow the babies to keep drinking the toxic products to avoid negative coverage during the Olympic Games. The story from Phoenix TV came via and was translated by China Digital Times.

Chinese author Qin Geng said that “When it happened on Aug. 2, they kept the lid on, until Sept. 1, For a whole month, it was covered up, which showed that they had an awareness of the big picture, and they obeyed their superiors’ intention. The big picture in this case was the interest of one-party rule above anything, not that they would put the safety of the people first. In order not to interfere with the ongoing Olympics, the authorities would rather let thousands of babies drink tainted milk for a month and gag the media reporting on the incident.”

Qin Geng concluded that the Chinese public was very saddened, very frightened and very concerned that state-controlled media seemed to be saying that the contamination process was a “differentiated” and well-thought out action. “They say that exported milk products didn’t have this problem, that dairy products specially supplied for Olympics didn’t have this problem and those produced after the 14th didn’t have this problem. Which is to say, adding melamine was a human-controlled process that had certain rules and standards.”

While the people grapple with this latest tainted food crisis, the political elite are served the choicest, safest delicacies. They get hormone-free beef from the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, organic tea from the foothills of Tibet and rice watered by melted mountain snow. Check out this rage-provoking report in the Economic Times.

To conclude, will all those who supported, or expressed support, for China hosting the Olympic Games, please raise your (very large) glasses of toxic milk, belt out a hearty “Gan Bei!” , and knock it all back — down to the dregs.


32 Replies to “Toasting The Olympics With Toxic Milk”

  1. Yeah!!!!

    You too have noticed the reality on the ground in the aftermath.

    I am embittered. But that makes me emboldened to kick to fat pigs from the effing trough now even more so than before.

    I promise not to lose my ability to laugh at them or at myself. But damn it, some kicking is what is called for, and i have my stomping boots on for this next phase.

    I will live to see an independent Tibet, or die trying.

  2. I really would like to know.. how many of you Tibetans living in the developed western countries would return to Tibet if it’s free and independent from China, how many of you Tibetan parents living in America or Europe will send your kids back to Tibet for school. Tibetans living in India can’t wait to get out of there and move to a western country where you can live a good life. If you guys truly want democracy.. why didn’t you stay in the democractic India… You guys are no different than those chinese who yell ” i love china” but dream of living in America.. instead of wasting money protesting, you should try to build some houses and hospitals for the Tibetans… they need real help, not slogans..

  3. The business of the world is business
    —-Dzorge Guru
    Coffee is already cold,
    smoking is only a habit now.
    Television is still repeating tragedies from yesterday,
    war and repression are only gossip of people after the meal.
    Long time no heard of Bob Marley’s “stand up for your right,”
    coz he is locked up in the museum only for pilgrimage.
    Michael Jackson is still singing “all I wanna say is that
    they don’t really care about us,”
    but he is not black any more.
    The business of the world is all business.

    G.W. Bush is still sitting in the Oval Office,
    but worrying about his oil companies with his Arabic brothers.
    Lehman Brothers is down
    and European leaders are tightening their belt with horror.
    Russia is under a puppet
    and Putin is counting the money behind the curtain.
    China is still killing people,
    but not by force this time, instead by milk.
    And President China Hu is among the nominees
    for 2008 Nobel Best Killer Prize together with G.W.B from the U.S
    and Than Shwe from Burma.
    The business of the world is all business.

    Mother Teresa is still promoting International Peace in heaven,
    while more and more seats are being reserved in hell.
    Dalai Lama is still possessed by his Non-violence,
    while people of his kind are being slaughtered now and then.
    And Aung San Suu Kyi is still promoting Human Rights,
    while more and more refugee camps are being filled up by Burmese.

    Now it’s time to lock up all those Nobel Peace Prize Winners,
    for the sake of social stability.
    Let’s lock them up with the apes,
    coz we don’t deserve their messages of love, peace
    and human rights any more.
    Let’s send them all to Mars
    coz people on planet earth don’t need peace, love
    and human rights no more.
    All they need is a Atomic Bomb under their pillow for self-defense,
    HIV/AIDS for basic human right for having sex,
    Bird Flu for controlling world population,
    and Poisoned Milk for free trade and free killing.
    Let’s sell them all to Africa
    coz the business of the world is all about business.

  4. Few Tibetans are aware that Tibet had an older national anthem dating back to the eighteenth century. Sir Charles Bell calls it Tibet’s “national hymn”, and remarks how in just a few lines it captures the essence of the Tibetan land and spirit.

    Ghang ri rawe kor we shingkham di
    Phen thang dewa ma loe jungwae ne
    Chenrezig wa Tenzin Gyatso yin
    Shelpal se thae bhardu
    Ten gyur chik

    JN la, it seems to me that this is a prayer for the present Dalai Lama as it bears his name and i dont think all other 13 had this name together.

  5. Dear Golok Ambum la,

    It seems that this poster is seeking to undermine and distract the objectives of this forum to engage in a mature and intelligent debate on matters of direct relevance and importance to the Tibetan struggle for independence.

  6. The names of the Dalai Lama’s would change in the old national anthem or hymn, depending on who was then on the throne. Lungtok Gyatso, Thupten gyatso etc. It was not just a prayer, but also recited at the end of zego’s and rituals. It is even sung with a special tune at the beginning of the performance of every Tibetan opera, the achi lhamo.

    Of course it is not exactly the same as modern national anthems, which are very self-conscious creations of modern nation states. The beauty of the Tibetan national hymn is the very natural way in which a poetic verse in praise of a country and its ruler evolved over time to becoming a symbolic hymn of the Tibetan nation.

  7. Incredible blog Jamyang-la.

    Let’s toast the Olympics with some fresh toxic milk. Let’s get some fresh chang and toast the rangzen heros who went to Beijing, unfurled a few pieces of cloth and were welcomed with the tackle and shackle. And the hunger strikers who gave their flesh and blood to the truth. And everyone who stood up and screamed Rangzen.

    Let’s work for a free Tibet or die trying.

  8. I had the same doubt as ZZZZZ about the “Chenrezig wa Tenzin Gyatso yin” part of the verse.

    Now I understand. Thank you JN

  9. By the way, the verse “Gangri Rawae” was written by the Tibetan ruler Miwang Phola or Pholanas around 1745/46, and is cited in the historical work Bka’ blon rtogs brjod.

  10. Thank you Gen Jamyang lak.
    You are my News resource. you always bring such good and important event to our light.
    Here I also liked to read Dzorge Guru’s comment, The bussiness of the world is just business…… Yes You really made the point….. it also seems so… the Big USA seems to portrey itself as the capitalist then Spiritualist…… As if everything is just a matter of how one Trade itself with the rest….

    Already in the sixth century, our Tibetan ancestors have decided that the Insight phylosophy the most important Knowledge of all, because it brings human beings to really know them self. so if a society cannot produce good human being, then everything else can be dangerous and meaningless….
    Yes Tibetan culture need lot of change,, but the fact is… Tibet had the really teaching and the teachers, who a truly, selflessly enlightend for themself as well as for the whole living beings of he universe….
    In this sense I regard Tibetan Race as unnique and pure……..
    This is not the culture of Bussiness…… It is a culture that can provide cultures for all cultures

    Dzorge Guru

  11. Tashidelek Jamyang la.i know that you are the greast person who has talant and Knowlege but i never heared that you take haed of tibetan and fight for freetibet ,bcz you always talk about freetibet and not follow Autonomy thaty i always wondern that why don.t you take head of tibetan show some draction how to fight for freetibet or how to fight for as non voilence.i m just a poor person with poor English but i hope you understand what i mean . you are very famuse person but seems just talk form mouth and never doing somthing use to be.if you are really FREEdom fighter then let see like Tenzin tseodu ,he has knowlege and he has talant also same like you and he did what he fight for and he does and he will and he always.i hope that you can take another path for tibetan like me show some new solutions.
    here i have some question for you .why don.t you do somethng like tenzin tsedu ?why you don.t use to ur talant for freetibet?

  12. there is a age difference of thirty or more yrs btwn JN and Tenztsuk..manners, freeman. I consider JN to be most popular Tibetan after the dalai lama.

    what this little guy called tsungdue climbed in oberoi hotel with the help of college guys (though he claims to have by himself) he becomes a giant???? i don understand. plz wait, he’z now onto some intellectual revolution. laugh at this yeti..speaking of yeti, there is this documnetary on the same title right now dangling on the top page of some where this little man gives one minute commentary on tibetan riots as though he was witnessin or participating it. such soul i prefer to lable them pseudoscholar not to mention falling under barefoot experts.

  13. Hi Freeman,

    With all due respect, JN-la is using his talent quite well. Writing, especially thoroughly-researched scholarly writing, is NOT easy. Read through his Black Annals and look at all the material he has incorporated into these pieces, historical material which has never been organized before and which is of great importance for standing up to the false historians like Goldstein. Research takes time, lots of it. It’s often frustrating, and requires someone who is deeply committed and who’s spent years of one’s life developing the skills and experience to do it well.

    Yes there is a need for on-the-ground leaders. JN-la is not one of them, but that’s no reason to berate him. Instead respect that a spectrum of different skills, personalities, and roles are needed.

  14. Thank you Jamyang la for your classic writing. Yes I appreciated your continuous writing on Tibetan freedom cause and fact related information on Tibet. We need you, we need you especially during such crunch period facing for Tibetans inside Tibet and outside. I knew that some Tibetan criticise JN for his constructive criticism writing because of his not putting into action openly as done by others like Tenzin Tsundue, Tendor la and Lhadon Tethong. But we shouldnot forget how much his obvious writing give message to the outside world. As we usually say, Pen is mighter than sword. It is no doubt that if we ask Chinese leaders which should be stopped, whether JN criticism action or the protest movement of Tendor like. I am sure that they would go for JN to stop immediatedly.

  15. Why do you guys have to murmur the name of Tenzin tsun like a mantra? And do you know why Tenzin Tsun is linked to Indian-run Friends of Tibet, India? Do you know when did he join FoT India as its General Secretary? It has been a decade since he has been holding this position. And there is a reason why he is shunning Tibetan organizations. I tell you, because he believes holding position in Tibetan organizations lasts only for few yrs. If you check news archives of how he pops up in news 88% has something to do with FoT India. Take out FoT from his life, and see where he stands. Nowhere. Beware guys. Do you know who first wrote ten tsun is the second most popular Tibetan after the Dalai Lama? None other than his personal and dear friend Pankaj Misra. Let’s wait and watch how his so called intellectual Revolution affect our Movement. Again, I am sure it has something to do with his personal glorification. But that remains to be seen.

  16. Lhakdor, writing about ridiculous personal grudges on JN’s blog is neither appropriate nor productive. We’re all sick of people who do nothing useful themselves while condemning other hard-working people not on the basis of what they do or don’t do, only on stupid unsupported claims about their “wrong motivations” or whatever the latest nonsense is.

    Let’s keep things on-topic. If Tsundue’s writings or activism are the topic of discussion, then by all means say what you think is right or wrong about his methods. But keep the attacks on his person out.

  17. AGREED my friend…

    Tsundue’s poetry and essays have revealed to readers throughout the world the confusion and pain of life in exile, thus de-mystifying and humanizing the Tibetan people’s struggle to survive.

  18. As the Special general meeting in Dharamsala will be convened soon, I hope Jamyang Norbu la will attend and besides write an article on this issue. As a strong advocate for Tibetan independence, now is the time for Jamyang Norbu la to show us the way.

  19. Hi guys, I wanted to hear from Jmayang Norbu and Lazang Tsering how exactly are we going to achieve Reangzen for Tibet and what are some of their suggestive methods. do we have to set traning camps and fight like Binladin’s group or asking Tibetans in side Tibet to do more sacrifices, or wait to collapse the communist regime as former soviet Union and just be hopeful and wishfulthinking as Jamyang Norbu indicates in many of his wiritngs.

  20. I think it’s a mistake to expect the downfall of communism in China to bring any benefit to Tibet – actually I’m working on an article on that topic right now. Prior to the rise of communism in China, China had already been trying to conquer and assimilate Tibet for centuries, and had already taken significant portions of Kham and most of Amdo when Mao came to power. Regardless of the form of government, China is China.

    Nonetheless, I do think there’s a great deal of hope in any kind of destabilization or collapse of the CCP, simply because it would occupy the Chinese with concerns about their own internal power struggle and keep their focus off Tibet, providing a key opportunity. But the outlook of a “peaceful transition to democracy” in China is much more grim. The US has been “democratic” since the beginning and look what good it’s done the Native Americans…

  21. You want to see the most ridiculous thing? LOok at the Tibet constitute and it is called “democratic one” Joke. It is all about Dalai Lama and Gods rule, Kings rule. Even the National Anthem is packed with God and Dalai Lama. I think Tibetan are still living in Medieval Tibet. DEMOCRACY means people rule, not ruled by God and Dalai Lama

  22. TO rich
    “The US has been “democratic” since the beginning and look what good it’s done the Native Americans…”

    You are so naive and innocent. Go read more books from “the other side” or go to join the Army.
    Stop talking the talk. reach nowhere.

  23. To the people who have descended into inflammatory personal attacks with no apparent reason, please either state your argument or get lost. I’d be happy to discuss any real issue but I will not discuss such things as “you are naive” or “you are stupid”, etc.

  24. I would suggest to utube that democracy most fundamentally means people getting to vote on who their leaders are. It means a lot more as well, including freedom to dissent. Democracy needs a culture where the citizenry will say: “We will support our leaders so long as they do the right thing. When our leaders do wrong, we will refuse to follow them.”

    The TGIE is a real democracy, where people get to vote on who leads them. China is a totalitarian dictatorship where autocrats appoint the cronies to positions of power and there are precious few handbrakes on abuse of power.

    What people like utube (assuming he/she is Chinese) can do right now to start building democracy in China is to grow out of their blind obedience to the autocrats who rule them.

    Utube, did your teachers give you the CCP line about Tibet? Did you just accept it all as the truth? Have YOU done anything to find out the other side of the story? Can you even imagine the possibility of anything you have been taught being wrong?

    I have a fair idea what the answers to all of those questions would be.

  25. Well, finally Dharamsala realized that past 21 years of fruitless and waist time pursuing middle path must come to end. What a waist of time and effort. We have been telling them it in the last 21 years it was wrong policy and only now we see any change.

    The past 21 year was pain and destruction for the Tibetan nation and its moral, especailly for its people inside Tibet and young people everywhere.

    Only thing we have left is demand and work for full independence and that is the only option we have…..

    We must bring the Chinese government on its knees and make trouble for then, Only then the Chinese regime will ask us to have a meaningful negociate…… GET IT?

  26. Hey JN and others, the website to track Running Dog Propagandists are online now. Any articles are feel free to share with us and you can login and post.

    Check out

    Any suggestions and advices are highly valued…

    Bogya Lo

    Thanks very much!


  27. Hello Jamyang Norbu la,

    I am one of your admirer. I like reading your book Shadow Tibet. You are the one of the most popular and active personel who works for FREE TIBET. We appreciate you. Althought i follow the Middle path. I hope you and your scholar tibetan friends will attend the Nov meeting and give some idea and suggestion and hope will debate a lot, that we could learn from it latter. Thanks

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