By Prof. Yang Ganfu
“Shame” has been recently highlighted in The Namibian since it first carried “ship of shame” headline about a Chinese ship carrying arms ordered by Zimbabwean government long time before the election. On 9 May, The Namibian published another article by Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari named “China and flame of shame”.
The impression these publications gave me is that The Namibian is not just, as it is supposed to be, reporting what is actually happening – say, how and why the shipment of arms came to be and how and why the flame of the Olympic torch relay in France became shamed and by whom?
Doubt of how the Zimbabwean government planned to use that ship of arms to fight against its own people further kept echoing in my ears. It seemed that the Zimbabwean government was just waiting for the arms to equip its soldiers for fighting. Given as it is, may I know why The Namibian failed to employ “ship of shame” to shame the American government, the western governments who delivered and sold US$ billions of destructive weapons to Iraqi, Asian countries and other parts of the world every day?
May I also know why The Namibian did not use “shame” to describe the killings that happened recently in Kenya? Can I therefore draw a conclusion that The Namibian just tried to shame the Chinese government? If yes, then, from what intention, out of stereotype or political propaganda?
Or as an SMS published in The Namibian on 9 May read “Is The Namibian an intelligence masquerade of the west”?
In his opinion piece Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari wrote that, “However, the flame never made it to City Hall; its tour de Paris was shortened as a result of a kaleidoscope of protesters, ranging from Reporters San Frontiers demanding more freedom of the press and respect for human rights.”
According to Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari, the flame of shame happened because China doesn’t follow the post-cold war norms and values, because China breaks human rights, because China doesn’t free Tibet, because China is asserting itself in the international platform on its own terms, at its own pace and in line with its tradition.
Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari concluded that if China wants to be a political power to be accepted notably by the west, China must be a responsible sovereignty by adopting the western norms and values because, to him, national sovereignty and integrity are but subject to human rights and freedom of speech and other norms and values.
Human rights encompasses a rich connotation – from the basic needs human beings are entitled to have, to other rights in political and social life. There should be no bias between human rights albeit each culture might have a different interpretation of human rights. That is, all human beings, no matter whether you are from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, enjoy human rights.
As such, we must clearly keep it in our minds that when you are abusing or attacking or shaming others under the pretence of performing your human rights or under the slogan of freedom of speech, you are also at the same time breaking others’ human rights. These “others” no doubt will have full human rights to fight you back.
In international life, there are some cultures that always advocate that their cultures prevail over others and thus force other cultures to accept their norms and values. Although this is culturally illiterate and politically naive, yet, if you don’t follow them, they will shame you as breaking human rights.
“The civil society and public opinion in the west” will make noise to defend their norms and values. If it is a serious case, they will declare wars on you.
This happened from ancient time to current days and it seems, it will continue so long as these idiots exist.
The crusades, to exemplify, in the 11, 12, 13th centuries were the military expeditions undertaken by those Christian cultures to win Holy Land from the Muslims. Then came the Middle Ages wars in Europe, the wars by the West against the Asian peoples in the 19th century, the first and second world wars in the 20th century, the colonial wars by the West against the African peoples in the 19th and 20th centuries, the wars in which millions of local Indians were killed in America and the wars by Western nations against Iraqi and the Middle East, to list just a few.
Clearly, Western cultures got actively involved almost in every war in history, whether the wars happened in Europe or in other parts of the world. Millions of millions of people have been killed or slaughtered.
Today, people are still dying in Iraqi and Afghanistan. I wondered and am still wondering why the Western media never “made a fuss” as they did about the Tibet issue and Olympic flame of the torch relay.
Now I come to realize that “China’s entry into international relations as a great power will not be without its pitfalls” and I am quite awake today that it is those culturally illiterate and politically na??????’??