Loading
Apr 29

原载【香港】《阳光时务周刊》第48期(2013年3月28日)第59-61页

2012年11月1日,自由亚洲电台藏语部主任阿沛˙晋美(Jigme Ngabo)突遭辞退,引发轩然大波。藏语部绝大多数员工签署联名信,请求晋美留任。一起被辞退的藏语部记者嘉央诺布(Jamyang Norbu)连发数文,披露了一些不为外人所知的隐情。其他声援晋美的人士也纷纷撰文,针对自由亚洲电台和西藏流亡政府做出种种质疑和猜测。有论者称,晋美事件将流亡藏人中长期积压的矛盾公开化了。【该台常年顾问莫拉•莫伊尼汉(Maura Moynihan)将此称为“丑闻”,藏人作家安乐业称之为“闹剧”。】(中括号内语句在刊发时被删除,下同——作者)

美国众议院外交事务委员会监督和调查委员会主席达纳•罗拉巴切(Dana Rohrabacher)分别致信美国众议院外交委员会委员、众议院预算委员会委员、自由亚洲电台台长利比刘(Libby Liu)和西藏流亡政府司政(以前称“总理”或“首席噶伦”)洛桑桑盖(Lobsang Sangay),表达对晋美事件的关切和不满。2013年1月16日,罗拉巴切发布新闻稿称,“有证据显示这是在外国影响下做出的决定”。据说,美国国会已对此展开调查。还有“知情人”称,晋美已聘请律师讨说法。

晋美事件是观察流亡藏人社会的绝佳机会。流亡社区就像一潭静水,平时波澜不惊,外人无法窥视其水下世界。晋美事件就像一块扔进水潭的巨石,借助溅起的水花和水面的瞬间变化,敏锐的观察者可以一窥流亡藏人的隐秘世界。数月的跟踪调查使我进一步了解了流亡藏人复杂、脆弱的生存环境,初步感受了流亡藏人内部的矛盾与纷争。从内部看,流亡藏人面临着民主化和现代化的巨大压力;从外部看,世界格局的调整正给藏人“救亡图存”大业带来新挑战。

进步与守旧

“物竞天择,适者生存。”流亡藏人要继续其未竟事业,就必须首先适应急剧变化的时代,正视信息多元化、诉求多元化对“政教合一的民主制度”的挑战。流亡初期,流亡藏人对达赖喇嘛顶礼膜拜,极少质疑。但今天,达赖喇嘛的“中间路线”受到越来越公开、越来越直接的批评。在流亡社会转型的当口,思想开放、人格独立的阿沛•晋美竟然“向独立派人士和反对声音提供讲台”,必然让流亡政府中的保守官员们震怒。

1998年,晋美在接受旅法作家、自由撰稿人安琪采访时暗示,达赖喇嘛已被传统神化。他直言不讳,政教合一制度不是一个很好的制度。这种制度已经不太适合今天的世界了。他大胆放言:西藏的活佛转世制度,我觉得也要改变。晋美不怕犯众怒,竟敢质疑“西藏人建寺庙的狂热”:“很多人都去当喇嘛、当尼姑,一生积蓄下来的那么一点钱,都放到寺庙去了,……。我特别同情这些人,你用这些积蓄改善生活也好,盖个房子也好,干什么非得交给寺庙?”

阿沛•晋美是流亡藏人中少有的思想家。关于藏民族的历史文化遗产,阿沛的态度颇为开明,“如何在继承的过程中不排除现代各个民族的不同文化,既吸收新的东西,又把旧传统里的好坏分清楚,这是藏民族面临的一个非常重大的课题。能不能接受这个挑战,是一种很大的考验。”阅读安琪的这篇采访,我开始欣赏晋美的独立人格:“流亡藏人的宣传工作也很厉害,西方传媒比较倾向于相信这些。因为中共的声誉不是特别好,所以中共的宣传很多人不相信。”

【嘉央诺布被誉为流亡藏人中的才子。2010年,他曾刊文质疑时任流亡政府总理桑东仁波切(Samdhong Rinpoche)。藏人在跟帖评论中直言不讳,“藏人大众正在被某些既得利益者误导”。“我们确实需要反对党了。”有藏人措辞激烈:桑东的言论无异于原子弹,是对藏民族和未来的最大威胁。网民ChristopheB称,现在藏人对流亡政府的信心在流失、藏人社会的政治对立在加剧,桑东仁波切应对此负责。Gendunchopal评论说,桑东仁波切应澄清言论并公开道歉。还有人建议,桑东和嘉央诺布应公开对话,以正视听。】

晋美事件发生后,部分媒体和藏人直指幕后的西藏流亡政府。2012年7月初,洛桑桑盖率团到访美国,特地与美国广播理事会总裁迈克尔•米汉、国际广播处处长理查德•德德洛博会面。有评论者称,2012年7月和2012年10月23日,有人看见自由亚洲电台台长利比刘和洛桑森盖两次在伦敦见面。一个星期后,晋美被解雇了。有人质问:他们谈了什么?这些会面和晋美被解雇有关系吗?洛桑桑盖的绿卡和房产也遭受质疑,甚至他和利比刘的私人“关系”也被晒出来。

救亡与启蒙

流亡藏人面临的救亡与启蒙困境,是由流亡瑞典的汉人作家茉莉女士首先提出来的。在流亡初期,救亡图存是流亡藏人的最高使命,政教合一的弊端并未显现出来。但随着第二代、第三代流亡藏人走上历史舞台,随着民主化和现代化浪潮的反复撞击,流亡藏人中反对“中间路线”、质疑达赖转世仪轨、批评政教合一制度的声音凸现出来。直到今天,由于惯性和利益使然,流亡政府依然把救亡图存作为最高使命,而在启蒙与创新方面着力并不太多。

茉莉认为,“救亡与启蒙,二者不但不矛盾,而且有深刻的内在联系。一旦西藏人都获得自由、民主和平等的价值观,会更有力地投入救亡之中,推动西藏民族的自救运动。” 在茉莉看来,阿沛•晋美和他领导的自由亚洲电台藏语部“很努力地面对救亡与启蒙这两大历史任务。”安琪认为,阿沛•晋美为捍卫新闻的中立、公正原则,刻意与西藏流亡政府保持距离。保守的流亡藏人却认为,自由亚洲电台藏语部就应该捍卫流亡藏人的利益。这或许是最初的纷争起因。

令人欣慰的事,藏族作家唯色对茉莉的观点不仅认同,而且表达更为直率。晋美事件发生后,唯色对流亡政府的反省达到了相当高的境界:专制权力“绝不只是指共产党专制政权或任何国家权力,事实上,受到压迫与迫害的流亡政体的权力,往往也会变成另一种专制的化身。或者说,在这之间,存在着一种共生的关系,相互需要,相互寄生,相互并存。至于真正的独立、自由的思想,总是受到‘排斥与打击’”。

在达赖喇嘛辞去政治职务后,流亡政府的国际号召力面临考验。藏人事业如何破局?境内外都有藏人在苦苦探索。境内藏人的自焚、民间组织的“拉嘎运动”、流亡政府新近组织的“团结运动”,都未能引起国际社会足够的关注。在当今世界,国际博弈的四大武器是外交、信息、军事和经济(合称DIME),流亡政府仅靠信息武器显然难以成事。值得关注的是,海外藏人在努力吸取国际上最先进的抗争策略,而北京方面接收新思维的阻力太大、成本太高。

在晋美事件发生后,唯色、嘉央诺布等藏人发文声援晋美,但这些文章都遭到保守藏人的指责。反对者的逻辑是,在藏人事业面临危机的当下,把藏人内部的纷争公开化,既不利于藏人社会的团结,还给中共留下宣传口实。更有甚者,严词指责唯色挑起藏人内斗、“抹黑RFA和流亡藏人社会”、“使中共从中渔利”。【2010年,当嘉央诺布质疑桑东仁波切时,一些藏人以同样的口吻指责他。若干年前,我读过一篇质疑流亡政府招聘公正性的文章,作者竟被指撒谎、背叛。】

金援与募捐

2013年1月19日,美国议员达纳•罗拉巴切发布致西藏流亡政府司政洛桑桑盖的公开信,对司政和藏人其他领导人试图操纵自由亚洲电台新闻报道“表示愤怒”。罗拉巴克写到,“你和其他藏族领导人所采取的行动,正在侵蚀美国国会对藏人事业的支持。你和你的同伙必须立即停止针对自由亚洲电台及其忠诚的、勤勉的藏族美国员工的诋毁性言论和有害行动。”

罗拉巴克强调,“我不会容忍你或你的同事实施任何阴谋,来剥夺自由亚洲电台提供的藏人公开辩论的乐趣及信息的自由交流。” 他补充道,一项严重的指控说,“美国向藏人提供的资助可能已被乱花。如果美国的援助已被不当使用,甚或进入中共和西藏权力经纪人的口袋,我将会知情,并将采取行动。” 罗拉巴克的公开信指,2012年美国政府对流亡藏人的资助为750万美金。

洛桑桑盖是西藏流亡政府首位民选司政,罗拉巴切给他的这封信措辞严厉,教训意味极浓。这一切如发生在正常的国家之间,后果是极为严重的。罗拉巴切致洛桑桑盖的信发出四天之后,西藏流亡议会强硬回应罗拉巴切的公开信,称“对地位尊崇的阁下在信中使用如此诋毁性、骂街式的语言深感痛心”,对阁下在司政回应您的质疑之前公开信件内容“深感震惊”,对您指责流亡政府乱花美国资助“感到吃惊”。

但也有流亡藏人辩称,罗拉巴切是美国众院外交事务委员会监督与调查附属委员会的主席,有权力予以监督、质询。有藏人自我解嘲,即使对美国高官、上将,议员们也会使用咄咄逼人的语气质问。“考虑到美国对流藏人事业的重要性”,绝大多数藏族评论者都极为谨慎、相当克制。还有藏人称,流亡议会的回应过于草率,公关技术含量低。有藏人怯怯地写道,“罗拉巴切写给洛桑森盖的信件能否更加婉转?”

晋美事件折射出西藏流亡政府与金援国美国的复杂关系:流亡政府需要资助,美国金主财大气粗。罗拉巴切的逻辑是,如果流亡政府干预自由亚洲电台的运作,美国政府就会重新考虑对藏人的援助。流亡政府没有自己的财政收入,所以罗拉巴切的威胁正中要害。晋美事件发生后,莫拉•莫伊尼汉直言不讳,“自由亚洲电台是美国纳税人资助的,不是为达兰萨拉工作的非政府组织。”她在另一次评论中提醒说,“(自由亚洲电台)是美国纳税人买单的吧?”

权斗与未来

晋美被解职后,现居澳大利亚的藏人安乐业评论说,“西藏高层贵族人士善于利用他人绊倒‘不欣赏’的人,而且,很善于制造出堂而皇之的理由。” “中共间谍”就是抹黑对手、排除异己的“一种惯用手段”。大宝法王噶玛巴自抵达兰萨拉之日起,就被贴上了“中国间谍”的标签。这次,阿沛•晋美又被指为“中共间谍”。有趣的是,这次也有部分藏人暗示流亡政府高层“通共”、向中共表明“招安的赤诚心情”。

安乐业出语惊人:某些流亡藏人高官把佛教“视为一种应付众人的手段”。对常人而言,此说无异于洪水猛兽,但对政客而言,佛教本来就是一种战略工具:对内,可用于操纵认知、凝聚人心;对外,可用于树立形象、建立联盟。半岛电视台新闻网1月11日刊文称,中国和印度已把佛教当作在亚洲竞争的武器。上世纪中叶,美国人曾把藏传佛教当作围堵中国的一种工具。目前,针对藏人自焚,立场不同的佛教徒的解读针锋相对,藏传佛教事实上已成为斗争工具。

在晋美事件上,嘉央诺布在《捍卫衮顿,自由RFA》一文中暗示,达赖喇嘛已经成为某些政客用于扩大权力、巩固地位的一种政治资源。安乐业则更进一步:“他们把高举拥护‘达赖喇嘛指示’来否定达赖喇嘛伟绩的举动由来已久”。在达赖喇嘛退出行政管理、流亡社会民主化初期,藏族流亡社会是否会加速分化?派系势力会否逐步坐大?从长远看,党派政治能否成为选项之一?西藏流亡政府在失去达赖喇嘛光环的前提下,如何赢得国际支持和内部团结,是对流亡政府政治智慧与生存能力的最大考验。

眼下,流亡藏人还面临着生存压力、身份困境、路径选择、社会团结、制度改造、形象维护等难题。每一个民族在不同的历史时期,都会面临不同的困境和压力。在很大程度上,不断突破困境的过程,就是该民族引以为豪的历史。目前,将藏人自焚运动转化为利己的运作资本,争取重启与北京的“对话”,来为新政府的合法性(legitimacy)“背书”,应是流亡政府孜孜以求的一大目标。在社会转型期,流亡藏人社会早一天完成蜕变,就能早一天掌握生存与发展的主动权。

(毕研韬系海南大学传播学研究中心主任、国际战略传播学会理事长)

Oct 14

It has not been a good year for China. From the google censorship issue, Cheonan, Iran, Taiwan issue, Yuan appreciation/export issue, ASEAN, Diaoyu Islands, Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel prize winner, China’s foreign minister is working overtime to convey the message of the Chinese government but may not be getting its message out in a positive way. In this electronic global Media era, getting your message correctly is the key and use all forms tools of channels, whether it is economic, media, or trade is the key. Getting mad at other countries and making outrageous commendations and cutting off ties is not the way to go. Here’s how I rate China’s diplomatic issues so far this year.
Continue reading »

Oct 13

Here is a translation of an op-ed from a Chinese blog about Liu’s Nobel that we at FM found interesting.

So here goes the news again: Public Enemy Number One in China, Liu Xiao Bo, has been awarded the Nobel Prize!  Not sure where that infamous title of Liu came from.  But this latest Nobel prize must be giving people in the U.S. quite a laugh.

The award of a Nobel to Liu is certainly controversial. Allegedly, the Nobel committee itself was internally divided. But given Liu’s high profile conviction last year, this decision is not totally unexpected. I originally did not plan to write about Liu. However, given the renewed and widespread interest of Liu’s Nobel, I have decided to wade in my thoughts. Here is a translation of what a typical report in the West is like. Continue reading »

Sep 06

minipost-Did Chinese medicine make Chinese emperors live longer?

Written by: real name | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, culture | 32 Comments » newest 2011-09-29 10:19:12

In the discussion about Chinese medicine arose the question why in China people do not live longer than elsewhere.

It is clear that except medicine is their life expectancy affected by many other factors.

If we consider the negative impact of today’s polluted environment why the Chinese did not live longer in pre-industrial era?
“Because they were poor and hard working.”

So let have a look at the longevity of those who
– were not poor, can afford the best food, doctors and drugs
– (according to advertisement) they were mad about chi-kung
– (according to the net-shop with no real address) followed feng-shui rules.
Let’s have a look at the longevity of Chinese emperors.
Continue reading »

Aug 12

China as a non-Western country demonstrated its potential to become the next super power has consistently being the target of media smear campaign in the West. The following article with a series of evidence demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that a number of stories reported by an Australian Journalist about the People Liberation Army during the 2008 earthquake were based on his own imagination – they are baseless, mean, irresponsible and unethical.

However, he has been protected by the media industry in Australia. When approached to explain the inconsistency in his reports, The Age newspaper (The newspaper that published those dodgy materials) has returned my e-mail twice as “deleted without being read”. The ABC’s media watch (a TV program supposed to report about dodgy journalism) also returned by e-mail once as “deleted without being read”.

The Australia Press Council (a body that regulate the behavior of the media)is also guilty of protecting media that violated its own written principles on journalism.

I have exhausted all avenue over the last 2 months (including running 4 articles) to clear China name to no avail. Therefore, I would like to present my evidence here for the world citizens (people who care about having truthful information from the media) to suggest what we should do next to ensure that media that published dodgy materials be made accountable to their dodgy reports.

If some one could please translate this article into Chinese language and spread the message across the world through e-mails, social networking websites and whatever mean to brain storm ideas, and we can decide together on how to use people power to make those responsible for writing and publishing dodgy materials against China to say sorry to their own readers and also express sorry to the Chinese public.

For examples, each and very of us may send an e-mail or write a letter to those media involved in publishing dodgy material and refused to say “sorry” to demonstrate our protest and demand an apology. This is just a suggestion. Please post your suggestion using the comment function at the end of this article. Please limit your wording so that good suggestion will not be missed by us. We will inform you the best way of doing it so that everybody may act together and make sure that: The peace loving world citizens will no longer be silence by the mainstream Western media unethical behavior to smear against developing countries”.

Below is the content of an article I wrote recently:

How the Australia Press Council Protected Media that Violated Its Own Written Principles?

Note: You may wish to read it on my own website with links to the evidence and post your suggestion under the comment at Fools Mountain website:

http://www.outcastjournalist.com/index_Australian_Press_Council_Protecting_Media_That_Violated_Its_Own_Written_Principle.htm

The content of my article begin here:

About The Australia Press Council

Australia Press Council is the self-regulatory body of the print media: “According to its recently revised Constitution, the objects of the Australian Press Council are to promote freedom of speech through responsible and independent print media, and adherence to high journalistic and editorial standards…,” “To carry out its press responsibility role, it serves as a forum to which anyone may take a complaint concerning the press.”

The above are the written pledge by the Press Council on their website.

Here is the link to the Council Statement of Principles. (i.e., principles that ensure high journalistic and editorial standard)

How the Council Behave when a legitimate complaint is made with strong supporting evidence that a series of reports made by a newspaper have breached not only the ethic of journalism but each and every of the Council written principles?

Following is a recent letter I emailed to the Australia Press Council on 20 July 2010 outlining the seriousness of the case, and the detail of how each and every of the Council written principles have been violated. I also analysed in detail why the council should waive its 60 days time limit for complaint and consider the case under its special circumstance clause.

I have provided significant amount of evidence in an easy to understand – point by point manner proven beyond reasonable doubt that: a series of reports published by the newspaper concerned were not based on facts but the invention of their Journalist, and it is only one simple step from the Press Council by forwarding my e-mail to the respective newspaper demanding an answer to the 5 questions I raise, and the truth will be out, the Council Principles will be upheld, the right of the Australian people to know the truth will be fulfilled.

However, guest what kind of reasoning the Council used to dismiss my case?

I believe that it is fair for us to ask: “Will a self-regulatory body that served the same interest of the mainstream media be serious about maintaining the ethic of Journalism in this country? Will the Press Council genuinely believe in upholding the right of the Australian public to know the truth?

After reading my correspondence with the Council, a good friend of mine sending me the following remark as his feedback: “Australian Press Council controlling media disinformation? Would you trust John Howard to control racism?” (Author Note: The Howard’s government was regarded by the UN as a racist government in 2000)

The following is my story:

Following is the full content of my e-mail to the Australia Press Council on the 20 July 2010:

—————————————————

To: Jack R Herman/ Executive Secretary

Australia Press Council

Dear Mr. Jack R Herman,

Re: One more step and the truth is out: Defending Australians Right to understand other culture through accurate information

Further to my e-mail dated 15 June 2010, I would like to inform you that The Age has again returned my e-mail as “return without being read”.

The reality is, if you read the content of the latest e-mail correspondents between John Garnaut and myself as mentioned in my last e-mail to you dated 15 June 2010 under the following link: More Dodgy Materials Exposed – The Age and John Garnaut Case Continue, I believe that you will agree with me that, it is only one more step and the truth will be out. And it is only the Australia Press Council has the authority to press the Age for a reply.

Before I make a summary of issues that I hope that the Press Council will assist in securing a reply from The Age, I would like to address the reasons why The Council should regards this case as an exceptional case to Act upon even outside its 60 days complaint time frame.

Why The Press Council Should consider this case an exceptional case outside the 60 days limit?

When I wrote my first e-mail to the Council dated 2 June 2010, I understand that there is an exception to the 60 days policy, that was why I presented it as a case of national security. This is how I wrote: “I also outlined in this article (Media Accountability—The Age must say ‘Sorry’ to Australians) the reason why such behaviour posted a security risk to Australia and urged that we should “Lets’ the world understand each other through accurate information.”

As you have rejected my complaint under the following reason in your e-mail dated 3 June 2010:

“I have reviewed your material. It does not appear to me that you have established any case at all that there has been a breach of the Council’s principles.”

As a result, I have accessed your website again to study the handful of principles lay down by the Council , now I would like to present my complaint base on the Council principles as follows:

The very first statement spell out by the Council’s Statement of Principles is: “the freedom of the press to publish is the freedom, and right, of the people to be informed,” the second principle is the “equivalent responsibility to the public”.

Note: I can assure the Council that this case involved not only one report that is dodgy and baseless, but at least 2. They not only contradicted each other, but I have good reasons to believe that the reports were not based on fact but a baseless story based purely on the invention of The Age China Correspondent’s John Garnaut. I believe that, the Australian readers have the right to know the truth, and under the current circumstances, it is only one more step and the truth will be out. The Australia Press Council has the authority to press the Age for an answer to ratify the series of highly misleading and distorting reports published by the Age (detail at the later part of this letter).

I believe that the Press Council would like to uphold its very first principle “The right of the people to be informed” and the second principle “the equivalent responsibility to the public”.

In addition to the above 2 core principles lay down by the Council, the Council when considering complaints, will have regard for the following general principles as well:

Point 2.) “Where it is established that a serious inaccuracy has been published, a publication should promptly correct the error, giving the correction due prominence.”

Point 4.) “…..Rumour and unconfirmed reports should be identified as such.”

Point 6.) “Publications are free to advocate their own views and publish the bylined opinions of others, as long as readers can recognise what is fact and what is opinion.”

Note: The nature of my complaint is not only about “serious inaccuracy” (Point 2) and “rumour has been published” (Point 4). It is about deliberate distortion in The Age’s reports, and it is malicious in nature to demonise a country – Our biggest trading partner, China. (detail at the later part of this letter).

The impact is, the Australian public “cannot distinguish what is opinion and what is fact” (Point 6). Despite the reality that China has made dramatic achievement in its human right records by lifting 400 million people out of poverty within the last 30 years; having the highest level of citizens satisfaction with the country direction at 86% and the second highest is Australia at only 61% (PEW survey 2008); and its human right achievement in its rescue, reconstruction and compensation arrangement for the more than 5 million victims in the 2008 Earthquake (The Time Magazine: ‘Haiti and China: A Tale of Two Earthquakes’) – Australians were basically unaware of the above facts. Why?

Their perception of our biggest trading partner is getting worst. For examples (1) Lowy Institute Poll and (2) Investors wary of Chinese money. Why? Our mainstream media has definitely not having any balance in their report as far as issues relating to China is concerned. Why?

In your letter dated 3 June 2010, you stated that “He (John Garnaut) is entitled to report what he saw and heard at the time – not all journalists present will have exactly the same experience”. I fully agree with your above statement. However, not when the statements he made were baseless based purely on his imagination in violation of all the Press Council’s basic principles.

In 2008, we witnessed Chinese students living in the West, having “freedom” of information from the Western Media suddenly went on protest across the Western world by the Tens of thousands of people – protesting against media bias and distorting reports against China. This incident demonstrated that it is in the public interest that the Press Council take this opportunity to ratify the problem of selective, unbalance and distorting report by the media industry and in this particular case – The Age – as a result of John Garnaut behaviour in a series of his reports that violated all the basic principles lay down by the Press Council. The seriousness of the influence of these misleading reports are that many of these reports were republished by other newspapers and magazines within the Fairfax group.

Australia’s former ambassador to Indonesia, Japan and Thailand recently warned that “Australia risks being complacent about its reputation in Asia”, I can assure you that our mainstream media culture with selective reports have got to do with the situation.

This is perhaps the reason why Mr Joske (an economic adviser to former treasurer Peter Costello in the 1990s) spoke out late last year (2009) that: ”There’s no one in Treasury who can tell up from down on China, beyond what they read in the newspapers.” And pointed out the sad reality that “BHP bent the ears of senior ministers and exploited the Government’s ”policy dysfunction” to get its way on China.” (Brisbane Time, 15 Oct 2009)

In fact, the resentment against the mainstream media in Australia gone further than that:

Dr Anne Aly in her research into how Australian Muslims were responding to the discourse on terrorism in the Australian popular media observed that: “it was increasingly evident that Australian Muslims were turning to the internet to access information about the United States-led interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and engaging heavily in propaganda and conspiracy theories.” (Australia Strategic Studies Institute article: ‘Online radicalisation and the Muslim diaspora’, 13 July 2009)

Therefore, I believe that it is in both the national and public interest that the Press Council demonstrated its leadership to ensure it core and general principles being upheld at all time. That is: “Publications should take reasonable steps to ensure reports are accurate, fair and balanced. They should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers either by omission or commission.” (Point 1 of the Press Council’s general principle).

I hope that the Council will forward this e-mail to The Age, so that they will have to give me a reply and ratify the series of dishonest and misleading reports made by John Garnaut with detail as follows:

The Council need just to do the following to uphold the Council Principles

The Council need just to forward my e-mail to the Age and ask them to give my following questions a straight forward and unambiguous reply to uphold the Council Core and General Principles:

Over the last few weeks since I posted my first report: Can we trust our Media? The Shocking Behaviour of The Age Journalist’s John Garnaut (dated 12 May 2010), followed by Media Accountability—The Age must say ‘Sorry’ to Australians (dated 24 May 2010), then More Dodgy Materials Exposed – The Age and John Garnaut Case Continue (dated 14 June 2010), I received a total of 3 e-mails from John Garnaut.

If you examine the content of each of our (John Garnaut and myself) e-mail correspondents, I am confident that, you will find John Garnaut is Guilty as Charged.

Let’s put aside the 3 dodgy reports he made in regard to Chinese top leadership direct involvement in the Rio Tinto bribery case without any sources being quoted (detail in More Dodgy Materials Exposed – The Age and John Garnaut Case Continue), The mere fact that, he has great difficulty to answer the questions I posted with regards to the content of the report he attached to me in his email dated 7 June 2010 tell a lot about the credibility of his story.

This is the content of his e-mail dated 7 June 2010:

——————————————————————

Dear Wei Ling,

Here is a May 2008 report, setting out in more detail the circumstances that you said I invented a year later:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/taking-a-great-leap-for-wen/2008/05/16/1210765170782.html

The witness in that story was engaged by me at the time.

To dispel another of your excited allegations, I do not have two names. Jophiel Bushnell works at the news desk in Melbourne and forwarded your complaint on to me.

I trust you will find some more fruitful conspiracies to spend your time on.

————————————————

My analysis:

If you read the content of John Garnaut above attached link to his (May 2008) report. The report title is (Taking a great leap for Wen, dated 17 May 2008), you will find the following key words and sentences that place the credibility of his story in doubt:

Wednesday;

slipped past the road block;

At 10.11am he snapped a picture;

we carried; and

Until dusk on Wednesday in Beichuan, at least, they were just blocking the road.

In my e-mail reply to him dated 8 June 2010, I pointed out that the date “Wednesday” in the report (Taking a great leap for Wen) was on 14 May 2008, and it was through the eyes of an unnamed Chinese Journalist (ie, 3rd party account of the event). However, his report a year later in 9 May 2009 (‘Journey through an earthquake’) has became a First party witness statement. This is how I asked John Garnaut in my email reply:

———————————————————–

Question 1:

In your report on the 9 May 2009 ‘Journey through an earthquake’, you mentioned that: “On May 14 and 15, The Age watched People’s Liberation Army….”, that mean, you personally witnessed People Liberation Army looting on May 14 and May 15, 2008.

But in your report (Taking a great leap for Wen) dated 17 May 2008, the description wasn’t a first person account. It was through the eyes of an unnamed Chinese Journalist. So, why are you using the statement “The Age watched…..” in your 9 May 2009 report?

————————————————————

Question 2:

When you mentioned “Wednesday” in your 17 May 2008 report, I have just verify that that day was 14 May 2008. You have this statement that put yourself on the scene as a first hand witness: “Later, the soldiers were still loitering and sticking out their hands for drinks “we carried” to the exhausted rescuers actually looking for survivors.”

My questions are:

a) Have you “slipped past the road block” as well like the (unnamed) Chinese Journalist on Wednesday (14 May 2008)?

b) As a professional Journalist, I believe you did carry a camera with you, have you taken any picture of those scene you witnessed on 14 May 2008?

c) Can you tell us the date of the 3 photo series produced under your name on the Age website: http://www.theage.com.au/multimedia/china_earthquake/index.html

d) Again, why didn’t you report your story on the Sydney Morning Herald on the 15 May 2008 (‘Horror of entire towns flattened’)?

e) By the way, who is the other person who witnessed the event of “Later, the soldiers were still loitering and sticking out their hands for drinks we carried to the exhausted rescuers actually looking for survivors.” Who is the other “We” that can support your account of the event?

————————————————-

Question 3:

This question is posted under the subheading special note in my e-mail dated 8 June 2010. This is how I asked John Garnaut:

The questions here are, who was that Chinese Journalist named in your report? What is his name? When and where did you and him engaged in those conversation and under what circumstances did you all got to know each other? Since he told you so much of his account of what he witnessed in such great length and detail, including statement such as “At 10.11am he snapped a picture of a group of soldiers running…”, that mean you all knew each other quite well. Why don’t you buy the photos from him as it should worth owing those materials as they were the only evidence of People Liberation Army “loitering aimlessly and helping themselves to goods looted from shattered shops, while the cries of trapped citizens rang out from buildings nearby,”.

Given the hostile International (Western) environment against China, I believe that those evidence of “People’s Liberation Army soldiers loitering aimlessly and helping themselves to goods looted from shattered shops” should worth a lot of money. As an experience journalist, don’t you have the instinct and urged to owe those evidence and make it an exclusive report with worldwide circulation? There are going to be a lot of money $$$ to be made, don’t you think so?

——————————————————-

I believe that the above 3 questions are reasonable and if John Garnaut story was credible, he should have no difficulty to provide an answer. However, this is how he replied on the 8 June 2010:

——————————————————-

It really is more simple than you think.

The Herald and Age buy stories from wire agencies, like Reuters and AP. Sometimes their stories get interwoven with mine by editors in Sydney or Melbourne and I don’t even know that it has happened, so it might look like a jointly written story when it wasn’t. For example, I have never heard of Francois Bougon. I reported what I saw, he reported what he saw, it is not surprising that we did not see exactly the same thing.

Unfortunately yours is a conspiratorial mind. You are determined that journalists like myself are simply elements of the “hostile international (western) environment”, inventing stories from our imagination, to use your words. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps you believe that you know more about everything that I write about than I do, but perhaps you are not omniscient as you think. Perhaps it’s been so long since you really connected with China that you have no idea how it works. Unfortunately I cannot spend more time reasoning with a fanatical anti-western ‘patriot’ who cannot be reasoned with. I have to get on with reporting China as I see it, with all its courage, colour and sometimes tragedy.

If I sent you the Beichuan photo that you asked for, I would hope that you might then find something more useful to spend your time on. But I suspect that you will invent another conspiracy – or, more likely, continue to recycle old conspiracies from the anti-CNN website as you have been doing – to hurl at me from your own website because it makes you feel important.

jg

John

————————————————————–

As you may observe from the above e-mail statement, John Garnaut has just denied that the Joint Report he made with Francois Bougon in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 15 May 2008 (‘Horror of entire towns flattened’) was not his work.

So I believe that the following questions I posted in my e-mail reply to him dated 9 June 2010 is reasonable and deserve an unambiguous reply.

I would like to put it as Question 4 in this letter as follows:

———————————————————

Question 4:

When you state that “I have never heard of Francois Bougon. I reported what I saw, he reported what he saw, it is not surprising that we did not see exactly the same thing,” are you trying to suggest now that the report on the Sydney Morning Herald on the 15 May 2008 (‘Horror of entire towns flattened’) with your name on it, is not your work? If that is the case, please tell us, the content of your original work? It must have been published somewhere else? Can you please show us the link?

I also would like to ask one more question: did John Garnaut received the commission from his report on the Sydney Morning Herald dated 15 May 2008?

————————————————————

In regard to his other statement: “If I sent you the Beichuan photo that you asked for, I would hope that you might then find something more useful to spend your time on. But I suspect that you will invent another conspiracy”

I would like to post him the 5th question as follows:

————————————————————

Question 5:

Since John Garnaut indicated that he has the “Beichuan photo” that I asked for, I would like him to show us the photo with images showing “People’s Liberation Army soldiers loitering aimlessly and helping themselves to goods looted from shattered shops”, and then explain to us: Why didn’t he published those photos on:

15 May 2008: (‘Horror of entire towns flattened’)

17 May 2008: (‘Taking a great leap for Wen’)

9 May 2009: (‘Journey through an earthquake’)

Why didn’t any of the 3 photo series produced in the Age website (http://www.theage.com.au/multimedia/china_earthquake/index.html) under John Garnaut name showing “People’s Liberation Army soldiers loitering aimlessly and helping themselves to goods looted from shattered shops”?

Please bear in mind that the day John Garnaut witnessed “People’s Liberation Army soldiers….. helping themselves to goods looted from shattered shops” is on the 14 and 15 May 2008. Why can’t he backed up his claim with photos he claimed to have in his e-mail dated 8 June 2010?

Conclusion:

China through a series of political and economic reform has become our biggest trading partner with its national reserve still growing dramatically after the 2008 financial crisis (more than USD2.4 trillion to date). Our A$17 billion dollar education industry is supported by 150,000 Chinese students.

Some of these students may become the future Chinese leaders, and the way our mainstream media treating China with all kind of selective, partial, and distorting news has upset many. The 2008 Chinese student street protest across the country is just an example of resentment and anger.

Media negativity against other culture and countries also resulted in negative behaviour of some of our less inform citizens attitude towards other culture, nationals and migrants in this country. As a result, there are serious racism and racist behaviour both among our political leaderships and some session of the community.

These are the real security risk to Australia future prospect in the Asia pacific region and the world at large.

I believe that John Garnaut through the series of his ‘imaginary’ reports against China have effectively violated all the core and general principles spell out by the Press Council. The intention is Malicious and the effect is toxic. The evidence and logic I have produced so far are solid, and all the 5 questions I raised in this letter deserved an unambiguous reply from the Age. The way, The Age Foreign Editor deleted my e-mail without being read showing that: “dodgy journalism” is the darling of the media.

I hope that the Australia Press Council will take this opportunity to demonstrate to the world that, Australia is serious about:

· “The right of the people to know the truth”

· “Where it is established that a serious inaccuracy has been published, a publication should promptly correct the error, giving the correction due prominence”.

· “Publications should take reasonable steps to ensure reports are accurate, fair and balanced. They should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers either by omission or commission.”

As you have mentioned in your last e-mail when you rejected my complaint: “He (John Garnaut) is entitled to report what he saw and heard at the time – not all journalists present will have exactly the same experience” indicated that it is not an easy job to prove that a report or reports were dodgy. I have already done the hard work of analysing through strong logic and reasoning and proving beyond reasonable doubt that those reports were dishonest in nature, and a small step from the Press Council will allow the Australian people to know the truth.

Let’s work together to uphold the Press Council core and general principles on Journalism. Let’s defence Australians right to understand other culture through accurate information.

Thank you very much

Hope to hear from you soon with a positive response.

Yours sincerely,

Wei Ling Chua

——————————————

This is How The Press Council Reply dated 21 July 2010

Mr Wei Ling Chua

Thank you for your letter of July 20.

I have read your comments but can find no reason to re-open the matter. Your complaint is based on your interpretation of the events; it is not the only interpretation. But more importantly, you seek to raise a matter that is well past the normal time and you do not press any concerns that would make that an issue the Council needs to take up at this late stage.

I can add little to what I said in my June 3 letter. The situation remains the same.

Jack R Herman

—————————————————

Conclusion:

ACMA (Australia Communication and Media Authority) is a government body set up to regular the conduct of TV, Radio etc (non printed media). They also have their written code of practice and a 60 days policy.

However, unlike the Australia Press Council, the ACMA’s 60 days policy is not designed to be used to prevent the public from making a legitimate complaint. Their 60 days policy is for the offenders to response to the public complaint within 60 days.

When you go to the Australia Press Council homepage, you will find the item ‘How to make a complaint’ on the left hand side of the homepage. When you place your cursor on the item ‘How to make a complaint’, you are most likely to automatically select the very first item that drop down from the screen. That is ‘Overview’.

Click on the ‘Overview’, and you will find this statement: ‘Complaints must be lodged within sixty days of the initial publication’. Many people may decided to drop off their complaint from this point onward. However, I decided to search every pages, and found this statement: “The Council will only consider waiving this requirement in special circumstances”. It has been obvious to me that, unlike the ACMA, the Australia Press Council has not being sincere in having the public to lodge a complaint and act to upheld its so-called “high journalistic and editorial standards”.

The seriousness of this case is not only about the basic ethic of Journalism has been violated but virtually all the core and general principles of Journalism lay down by the Press Council have been breached.

In my reply to the above Press Council E-mail dated 21 July 2010, I have written the following statement:

“I am not sure how you can interpret those 5 questions I raise in any other way? At least John Garnaut, the first party in the case appear not being able to handle those questions through the content of his recent 3 e-mails to me. I believe that the most objective and impartial thing to do is to ask The Age, the party who published those materials to interpret them for us. Why speculate about the interpretation before the party in the case tell us how they will interpret the 5 questions I asked?”

“The problem with the Age’s account of the stories are that, they not only contradicted tons of other journalists reports on the same event, they even contradicted each other statements including statements made within the same report. All those stories also contradicted the photo and video images produced under the name of John Garnaut on the Age’s photo and video webpage. Therefore, I believe that in the mind of any reasonable people, it is unreasonable to limit the accountability of a series of dodgy reports with such malicious nature to strictly 60 days if the council is serious about upholding the Council core and general principles for Journalism.”

“The outcome of this case required only one simple step from the Council by simply forwarding my properly written letter with an unambiguous point by point evaluation and questions to the Age newspaper for an unambiguous reply and the truth will be out, the Council principles will be upheld and the Australian people right to know the truth will be fulfil. If the Age is not guilty of publishing “invented stories”, their name is clear as well.”

“The materials may be over the 60 days limit, but all the materials are readily in place for analysis including the content of the 3 very recent e-mail from John Garnaut.”

“Please bear in mind that we are dealing with a case of “invented stories”, it is more serious than any of the principles outlined by the Council. To get the truth, it is only one small step from the Council – a few second job. I believe that Australian people would like to know and have the right to demand for an answers from the Age.”

This is how the Council reply on 23 July 2010:

“Thank you for your letter of July 22.

I have read your comments but can still find no reason to re-open the matter. I can add little to what I said in my June 3 and July 21 letters. The situation remains the same. Your complaint is well out of time.

This correspondence is now ended.”

The issue now is: Can we trust our mainstream media? Can we trust a self-regulatory body who served the same interest of the mainstream media to regulate the conduct of the very same interest they served? Should we campaign the government to set up an independent body like the ACMA to defence Australian rights for honest journalism?

Anybody with any suggestion, please leave your comment at the end of this article at Fools Mountain website.

Written by www.outcastjournalist.com

Related Previous Articles:

– Can we trust our Media? The Shocking Behaviour of The Age Journalist’s John Garnaut (12 May 2010)

– Media Accountability—The Age must say ‘Sorry’ to Australians (24 May 2010)

– More Dodgy Materials Exposed – The Age and John Garnaut Case Continue (14 June 2010)

Aug 03

This month mark the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA (29 August 2005), This remind me the 2nd anniversary of the Earthquake in Sichuan, China (12 May 2008) three month ago and the 1st anniversary of the Black Saturday (Bush fire) in Victoria, earlier this year in Australia (7 February 2009).

The similarity of these 3 events is that they are natural disasters with many deaths and many more left homeless. However, for those who lost their home in such a large scale natural disasters, which government do you think do more and care more for their citizens in need? The so-called “autocratic” regime in Beijing, China or the so-called “democratic” and “human right” governments in USA and Australia?
Continue reading »

Jun 23

Issues with India/China Relations

Written by: Steve | Filed under:Analysis, General, politics | Tags:, , , , , , ,
87 Comments » newest 2012-10-29 02:25:45

I came across two articles recently, both concerning India/China relations but one written from the Chinese point of view while the other was written from the Indian side. I thought it might be interesting to compare the two viewpoints to see just how far apart they really are.

The first article is from the China Daily while the other is from an Atlantic Council forum. The China Daily article feels there are ‘three gnawing issues’, as they put it. The Indian side looks at it historically, politically and diplomatically. They are both short so I’ll include them in their entirety.

Continue reading »

Jun 09

In the midst of the concrete and steel jungle that is the Shanghai World Expo, stands the Indian Pavilion, the ‘greenest’ of them all, built entirely of environment-friendly materials, showcasing India’s unique brand of Culture, History and Soft Power and offering an unprecedented opportunity to further improve Sino-Indian relations

The Expo has finally come to China. A largely forgotten event in most parts of the world, it has been rejuvenated, on a scale in which no other country could even dream of. A record number of 192 countries and 50 organizations have registered, the highest in the Expo’s history. Most people hadn’t even heard of the expo before it came to China. The verdict is clear – The Expo needed China as much as China needed the Expo.

It has been described by the Chinese government as “a great gathering of world civilizations”,  and is an excellent opportunity to improve ties between two of the oldest – India and China.

Continue reading »

Jun 09

Another perspective on looking at China’s past

Written by: No99 | Filed under:Analysis, General | 66 Comments » newest 2010-07-19 07:03:53

Regarding the topic of China’s long and rich history of science and technology.

Here is one perspective to look at it. Only a few of the points here were made by me, but a lot of information I got from elsewhere and people who study this topic. I will try my best to put what I know so far understandable and straight to the point.
Continue reading »

Jun 09

minipost-Power Grows for Stricking Chinese workers. Good for China?

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | 15 Comments » newest 2010-07-07 01:40:32

Chinese Workers: “I’m mad as hell and not going take it anymore.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/business/global/09labor.html?ref=world

The Recent suicides at Foxconn seems to be a watershed moment for Chinese workers who are fed up with the long hours, low pay and crappy cafeteria food. Recent strikes at this company, Honda and KFC recently announced substantial pay raises raises alarm bells for the companies and questions if they can still can produce goods affordability in China. China has already facing a of shortage workers in Guangdong/Shenzhen areas as well while the Chinese government is willing to stand aside and allow these strikes to happen.
Continue reading »

May 30

The following is a translation of an op-ed published published in China Review News.

May 27, 2010 – Opinion: the Foxconn Incident is a Reflection of the Growing Pains Associated with China’s Traditional Mode of Development

The recent spate of suicides at Foxconn in China has brought unprecedented attention to this major international manufacturing subcontractor of electronics equipments.  While the causes of these suicides are inevitably complex,  the incidents are a general reflection of the stress the traditional mode of development has wrought on China’s society and provide a warning that change must be brought about soon. Continue reading »

Apr 18

The stories out of Qinghai tell thousands of tragedies but also many small acts of heroism.  Since the story is developing, with people still being saved, and since I am not on the ground: I will refrain from writing or commenting on the disaster.  However, I will try to translate small stories here and there in the coming weeks to give people more of a flavor to what is going on on the ground.

The following is a short story filed by a reporter from Wuhan regarding his experience traveling to Qinghai to cover the earthquake. The story itself may not be a big deal, but it does detail one of the many spontaneous acts of kindred kindness that people across China are showing for the victims of the disaster. Continue reading »

Mar 23

minipost-Media hurdle to intercultural relations

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis, media | 83 Comments » newest 2013-06-06 16:50:13

By Bi Yantao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-23

Amid the latest news that Google may soon pull out of China, some Western media outlets are once again criticizing the country’s Internet regulations and press freedom record.

Just as a Chinese scholar told a reporter from The Guardian, it’s the Western media that mainly instigated Western countries to adopt a hostile attitude toward China. That’s why Chinese scholars think the media have not only failed to promote international dialogue and world peace, but also have become a big obstacle to inter-cultural exchanges.
Continue reading »

Mar 15

minipost-Letter: Appreciating the Yuen

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | Tags:, ,
25 Comments » newest 2010-06-02 13:09:12

There are many articles/news on US accusing China not to appreciate the Yuen. After looking at the arguments from both sides, I have to agree with China.
Continue reading »

Mar 10

The two Asian Giants are still not able to figure out the line which divides them – in the longest running border dispute in modern history. This dispute offers interesting lessons on how to, and how not to, handle boundary issues. The analysis of Chinese behavior in the negotiations is doubly important given China’s perception in the west of it ‘flexing its muscles’, and China’s theory of ‘Peaceful Rise’.

About a century ago, Sir Henry McMahon, the then British Foreign Secretary, took a think red pencil and sketched a line between India and Tibet on a map – a line which has resulted in the two most populous nations in the world going to war, costing more than 2000 lives; and which has created enormous mistrust on both sides, especially in India.

Consequently, on 3rd July 1914 was signed one of the most bizarre and controversial agreements ever known to man – The Simla accord, the complexities of which have yet to be unraveled.
Continue reading »

Mar 09

The execution of a Britain in China for Drug Smuggling raises some interesting questions – including Britain’s integrity and significant lessons for Indian politicians.

Recently the news was packed with what they called the execution by the Chinese Government of a ‘mentally ill’ Britain. He was caught carrying 4 kgs of Heroin in China. His family (surprise surprise!) said that he was mentally ill. And then human rights groups, which are always more than ready to jump in on denouncing China, picked it up.
Continue reading »

Feb 28

New York Times recently revealed two schools in China might the be the source of recent Google attack – Jiaotong University (known for its accomplishment in international computing contests) and Lanxiang Vocational School (known for its poor student accommodations, tacky infomercial).

While I have no problem with reports connecting eggheads at Jiaotong University hacking Google, it puzzled me how a 3rd rate voc tech for high school dropouts was implicated. So I decided to dig a little deeper. Continue reading »

Feb 11

While the Chinese government prefers development over human rights (like freedom of religion and speech), the Indian government, while guaranteeing these rights, neglects development.

Both India and China face the problems of separatism. Indian Naxalite movements and the recent riots and uprisings in Xinjiang and Tibet further highlights the need for respective governments to tackle the issue seriously.
Continue reading »

Feb 08

As the Chinese New Year approaches, I think I should write some lighter posts.  So here is something funny I stumbled across on WSJ’s China Realtime Report: Continue reading »

Feb 06

Fellow reader Josef pointed out a NYT article that reported the recent Operation Aurora malware that attacked Google CN contained identifiable code from China, and it implicated the Chinese government. The journalist relied on a blog written by security expert Mr. Joe Stewart of SecureWorks.

However on closer examination, Mr. Stewart’s “China code” claim seems to have some problem:

1) A follow-up published by The Register on 1/26 contradicted the claim the CRC algorithm was not known outside China. This 4-bit CRC algorithm is not from China, but has been around for twenty years in the device application arena. Once this fact is public, several code samples outside China have been found.

2) Mr. Stewart seems to have neglected the fact variable names are stripped out during code compilation, when he alluded to a variable name in the Aurora machine code. There appears to be no link between the “crc_ta[16]” variable he identified as Chinese, and the machine code in Aurora. The variable name “crc_table[16]” would’ve compiled to the same machine code, and is widely cited by US programmers, does this mean the virus is written by the US government?

3) Mr. Stewart’s citations, a Chinese white paper containing the CRC algorithm, and code snippet found by Googling the identified variable name, both turned up different code than what’s in Aurora.

Specifically, the Aurora code contains a 12-bit shift optimization (found as early as 1988 according to The Register article):

t = crc16 >> 12;

while the code passed around on Chinese sites is unoptimized code using two divisions:

da=((uchar)(crc/256))/16

What’s most troubling, however, is not these technical deficiencies. Mr. Stewart seems to have gone beyond science, technology, and made the political, ideological leap that the Chinese government is involved, while nothing he cited supports this claim – and our supposed impartial media seems to be all too happy to repeat these half-truth and twist of facts.

Feb 04

High-Speed Rails in China

Written by: guest | Filed under:Analysis, technology | Tags:, , ,
111 Comments » newest 2010-11-12 00:47:18

High-speed rails (HSR) have been built in China at a fanatic pace. Figure this will be an entry to get the debate started.

The first HSR, the Shanghai Maglev Train, was completed in late 2003. It was a technical trial and showcase. After its completion and initial operation, the Maglev technology was deemed too expensive to build and maintain. China decided to roll out its national HSR system with the wheel-based technology. Here is a map of China’s HSR system in 2020:
Continue reading »