Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Emergency plan for sudden events of mentally ill people during the Olympics"

I have been reluctant to make any serious analogy between the Berlin 1936 Olympics and the games to be held in Beijing this year. It is true that both are controversial events and it is also true that the modern torch relay does have its origins in the Berlin games.

Aside from that however, the passing of 72 years, the difference between two continents and the difference between Nazism and Communism seem to make it a rather limited comparison that needlessly creates offence without sheding much light on the contemporary issues.

However, when I see articles such as this, I begin to wonder. Maybe all totalitarian regimes have more similarities than differences. Certainly the desire to hide and manage groups that might cause embarrasment to the image of a smiling, cheering games is something that would have happened in 1936.

Am I right in finding this article very disturbing ?

The following text is from the official site of the Public Health Bureau of Changshu city (China) government :

"On February 26, Director Ding Yihua of the Mental Illness Prevention Leadership Group of Suzhou city and his team came to our town for research and investigation with a special theme: How to monitor and manage mentally ill people during the Olympics.

With the 2008 Olympics approaching, it is critical to strengthen the monitoring and management of mentally ill people, to prevent and reduce accidents and incidents by them, in order to protect social stability and people’s lives and the wealth of Changshu city. It is a challenging task to monitor and manage the mentally ill. In order to better construct a “harmonious society” and lay down a solid foundation for the security and protection work during the 2008 Olympics, the City Center for Mental Illness has prepared an “emergency plan for sudden events of mentally ill people during the Olympics,” to match the “Security Protection Requirements During the Olympics” and “Constructing harmonious society”

During the investigation and research meeting, Director Zhang Xiangxin of the Number 3 City Hospital gave a report on the daily work of monitoring and managing mental patients of Changshu city and how to handle sudden events. The meeting prepared a list of serious mental patients who will possibly make trouble during the Olympics, especially those patients or former patients who have a record of extreme violence, damaging the city’s image, inflicting pain on themselves or others,
repetitively petitioning, seriously disturbing the work of Party and Government agencies, damaging public property and interfering with traffic safety. They must be under intensified monitoring and management, in order to ensure security during the Olympics."

Maybe something is lost in translation but it seems sinister enough to me.


Steve said...

Yes sounds like they want to hide the mentally ill and other undesirables from the eyes of the world and present a healthy happy China at the Olympics.

Luis said...

It is one thing to be a proud citizen and defend your country.

However I am finding something increasingly disturbing about the more zealous end of Chinese nationalism.

I am not sure if this is just me but the clip I posted today of pro-China protestors attacking someone in Seoul who spoke out against the Chinese government is unsettling.

I really think we need to revise our definition of China. With their rampant commercialism and consumerism it is becoming a bit of a joke to refer to it as a communist country.

However it is certainly a dictatorship, an economic powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with.

Minorities whether ethnic, the disabled or anyone who doesn't fit the mould seem in general to face a hard time.

This strikes me more and more as a nationalist state that is supported by a good proportion of its citizen not to mention some vocal ex-pats.