Philippines Joins Nations Boycotting Nobel Ceremony

December 9, 2010

News that the Philippine is joining China and other countries in boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony so as not to "annoy China" is absolutely stunning and disappointing. 

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony will take place in Oslo, Norway today. Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was selected to receive the prize this year. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for organizing an open letter calling for greater political rights in China. (Read it here.)

The Chinese government is also preventing Liu - who is serving an 11-year sentence for co-authoring a bold appeal for political reforms in the Communist country - and his family members from attending.

Human rights groups across the world are slamming the Philippines on their decision. Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying, "The Philippines is failing to live up to its promise to promote human rights in Asia."

From The Hindu:
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the Philippines would not attend the ceremony but declined to state the reason.

A senior diplomat who requested anonymity said the Philippines decided not to attend the event because it "does not want to further annoy China." China has expressed dismay over the Philippine government's handling of the investigation into a tour bus hostage-taking that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead in August in Manila.

Beijing and Hong Kong reacted angrily when President Benigno Aquino III rejected recommendations to file criminal charges against close allies for alleged mishandling of the hostage crisis.

Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang denied there was pressure from China on the Philippines not to attend the Nobel ceremony.

"Our ambassador is going to be attending another function, so he won't be able to go to the peace prize awarding," he said.

"Attendance is optional, so I don't think that should be a big issue." Chinese Ambassador to Manila Liu Jianchao said China did not pressure the Philippines but added, "We appreciate the understanding of the Philippine government. Every country has the right not to attend the event," Mr. Liu said.
It is a big issue.

China has been pressuring governments to boycott the ceremony by sending diplomats to capitols worldwide to warn that attendance at the Nobel ceremony would be a "black mark on relations with China."  Other than the Philippines, (UNBELIEVABLE!) countries who have joined the boycott include China, Cuba, Venezuela, Pakistan, Serbia, Suadi Arabia, Iran, Ukraine, Colombia, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Burma, Morocco, Kazakhstan and Russia.

NDTV reports:
China staged a briefing for its neighbors, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to make clear its unhappiness with the award. It has punished Norway, the site of the ceremony, by suspending trade negotiations.
Yesterday by a vote of 402-1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution praising Liu and asking China to release the dissident and his wife and to cease censoring news of the ceremony.  China blasted the resolution and the U.S. support of Liu saying, "the U.S. must cease using human rights as an excuse to 'meddle' in China's internal affairs."

I would like to hear President Aquino's explanation for this decision. I am stunned that a nation that has fought for democracy would stand by China in this boycott. I am amazed that the only statement issued by the Philippine government comes from a diplomat who said, "We do not want to further annoy China."  Think of all the countries and people who will be "annoyed" and perplexed by this decision! The boycott is more than a decision to show allegiance to China, it is a slap to democracy and human rights.


Anonymous said...

The economy of the Philippines is based on exporting Filipinos to earn low wages and send money back home. The PI doesn't care about human rights of its own people so why would you think that a government that allows its own citizens to be abused globally would care about a Chinese dissident?

Anonymous said...

Sheep of the world unite!

Anonymous said...

And not only that, considering that mostly big companies in the Philippines are directly owned and managed by Chinese Filipinos, who has ties with the mainland China.

the teacher said...

PI has more human rights concerns than China and the administration and economic strategy is more troubling than Burma or N. Korea. China owns PI already and their influence will grow until PI is offically part of the PRC. Hope for PI as an indepedent democracy like Indonesia or Thailand is lost.

Anonymous said...

Noynoy is no son of Cory Aquino defender of human rights. The Philippines will be occupied by China in 10 years. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

And the irony of all, Cory Cojuangco Aquino is of Chinese ancestry. Go to the Makati area and try to observe people, most of the Filipinos look like Chinese rather than of Malay origins.

the teacher said...

Noni above - This is because Makati is a high rent district and Chinese-Filipinos tend to be in much higher economic class and own the businesses. The province areas are malay.