Note: This post is a selective and partial translation of an article written by a second generation Han “settler” born and raised in Xinjiang. That article is titled “一个兵团二代的网文：告诉你真实的乌鲁木齐” (A net article by a 2nd generation Bingtuan kid: let me tell you the real Urumqi). It is a long and detailed account of the author’s memory of growth of and growing up in Urumqi as well as his perspectives on when and how race relationship between Uighur and Han deteriorated. It is a highly recommended read.
Update: Tian, via a comment at Telegraph, provided a short summary of the article referred above. That summary is appended at the end of this post.
Years ago, in a high school politics class, I heard our teacher tell us a story about a Han soldier in Tibet. When this soldier saw broken pieces of human body being exposed at mountaintop and pecked at by birds of prey, not knowing this is a part of the Tibeten “sky burial”, Continue reading »
In the afternoon of 7/5, a crowd gathered in Xinjian’s capital Urumqi, attacking pedestrians, torching vehicles. They toppled street dividers, causing traffic to stop. Police have arrived to maintain order.
On 7/5, violent incidents involving vandalism, arson, murder occurred in the City of Urumqi. Up to now, 140 people have died, 816 injuries, 196 vehicles torched and vandalized, some store fronts and two buildings were torched. Police have arrested over 100 people suspected of assault, vandalism, robbery, and arson. Right now, Urumqi traffic and social order have returned to normal.
On 7/6 local authority reported the situation during a news conference. Preliminary investigation indicates this incident is premeditated. Separatist element headed by Kadeer’s “World Uygher Congress” has exploited the Guangdong Shaoguan incident to incite, organize, and coordinate these severe violent crimes in China.
On 6/26, a group brawl between Uygher and local workers occurred in Shaoguan, Guangdong. It is an ordinary public safety case being handled carefully. After the incident “World Uygher Congress” used it to denigrate China’s ethnic and religious policy, using it to foment unrest, create disturbance. Some inside China also started inciting on the Web.
Since the evening of 7/4, some netizens on QQ, forums and blogs, started calling for gathering on 7/5 5pm at Urumqi Square’s south gate, to coincide with “World Uygher Congress” demonstration overseas. Large amounts of text messages were sent to gather people towards Urumqi. “World Uygher Congress” leader Kadeer publicly announced that a large incident will occur in Urumqi, and asked people within China to observe and collect information pertaining to this incident.
As directed by outside, two hundred some people gathered at the Square at 6:20pm on 7/5, and was dispersed by the police. Around 5:40pm, around 300 people were on Renmin Road, South Gate area blocking traffic, was again dispersed by police. Around 8:18pm, people started vandalizing, tipping over street dividers, destroying three buses, the police again dispersed them. The incident escalated around 8:30pm, rioters started burning police cars along Jiefan Road South, Longchuan street, chasing and assaulting pedestrians. 700-800 people moved toward West Gate area from the Square, looting, burning, killing along the way. Initial investigation at 11:30pm shows, 3 people were killed, 26 injured, including 5 police, as the incident escalated for the worse.
In order to protect Urumqi’s social stability, local government and police headed towards People’s Square, South Gate, Tuanjie Street, stable district, Xinhua Road South areas according to law. At 10:00pm, rioting in the main streets and business districts were under control. But the rioters altered their course and split down multiple streets, acting out outside the patrolled area, in streets and alleys in the fringe of town. Han people were killed on sight, cars were trashed, torched. Local authority immediately adjusted tactic, organizing a mobile teams to rescue citizens and arrest rioters district by district.
Right now there are still people on-line inciting, plotting to create, expand this incident. Local authority is strengthening prevention and control, resolving to ensure societal stability, protecting citizen’s life and property.
This article is the final part of the 2-part series on democracy, and was first published on Jun 3, 2009 on the following website : chinablogs.wordpress.com )
But the detractors of the current “new government” of Honduras miss the fundamental contradictions of their own arguments.
They argue that “this is not a coup, because ex-President Zelaya was removed for a good reason”. But that is simply an “end justifies the means” argument. Military Coups are wrong, not because we judged upon the justifications of the coups, but because we recognize that use of military force to change a government is simply the wrong means. It cannot be a Constitutional method.
They argue that “this is not a coup, because the military acted under the order of the Supreme Court of Honduras.” But they simply miss the point of even having a Supreme Court. A Supreme Court cannot simply make an order legal, when the Articles of Constitution of Honduras clearly does not prescribe “exile”. “Removal” simply means removal from official authority. After that, Zelaya would be powerless to act upon anything, but he should still be able to rally his supporters as legitimate politcal expression. “Arrest” or “Exile” are fundamentally beyond the scope of “removal” as written in the Constitution of Honduras.
In this, I am reminded of the foundational principle of “Separation of Power”, and “Judicial restraint” in many Democracies.
In US history, a case was decided by the US Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison, where the justices refused to sanction President Thomas Jefferson for ordering non-delivery of “appointment letters” for several judges. Thomas Jefferson had essentially refused to execute laws and appointments passed by the US Congress on the previous term. The US Supreme Court avoided the confrontation with the Executive body by dismissing the case on a “standing” issue.
The US Supreme Court believed that such issues would work themselves out by the People over the long term. And “judicial restraint” means that the court should refrain from making any orders to compel the other 2 political branches in show downs. Let alone use the military or side with the military in any arguments with the President.
They speak of the “unconstitutional referendum”, and how unpopular Zelaya is. But if he is indeed unpopular, then why worry about the “referendum”? Even if he won the “referendum”, it would not legally change the “Constitution”. The Honduran high court has already ruled that the “referendum” would have no legal effect on the Constitution.
The detractors have simply missed the whole point. The fundamental wrongfulness of “military coup” is in the madness of the “method”. Undoubtedly, many previous military coups listed similar “justifications”, but we do not look up the “justifications”, only the process of law. Whether Zelaya should be removed is not the question, but whether the Supreme Court of Honduras had the legal authority order “exile”, and whether the military of Honduras could legally execute such an order.
For such an order, and such justifications, the Supreme Court and the Military of Honduras, have done far more damage to the Democratic process of Honduras than a single Zelaya could possibly do with his “referendum”.
Had Zelaya succeeded in his “referendum”, it would at least be representative of the People’s will, and political branches of Honduran government can reach compromises, or even stand firm and refuse to accept Zelaya as President for a new term. (Surly that cannot be that difficult, if Zelaya is so unpopular.)
But now, we have a precedent of Honduran Supreme Court ordering the military to “remove” a president into “exile”.
The damage to the credibility of the Court’s impartiality and the military’s non-involvement in politics is untold.
And now, the Supreme Court of Honduras will have to deal with the consequential question, can they now be “removed into exile” by the foreign and domestic supporters of Zelaya? Whatif tomorrow, 1 of the generals use his troops to “remove” the Justices into “exile” on the order of Congress?
I for one, now finally and fully appreciate the wisdom of Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, and the principle of Judicial restraint.
Continue reading »
*** ( Important : Please note that this article is NOT a rebuttal of Raj’s recent Democracy article. Nor has it anything at all to do with his article in any way. It is a pure coincidence that his article was published just before mine. It has always been my intention to transfer my articles from my site onto FM. And my Democracy 2-part series happens to be the next and last articles to be transferred. The readers should NOT view this article as a response to any previous articles on this FM site ) ***
Continue reading »