Tonight, the Olympic Flame arrived in Paris in order to, tomorrow, Monday 6 April 2008, be transported around the streets of the French capital. Polemics did arise over the nature of the politic regimen of the People's Republic of China. Today, in London, it was a vivid polemic in the streets. Tomorrow, the Journal du dimanche newspaper told of an "200 meter long 'hermetic bubble' around the Flame holder", understand a motorcade, police patrols, and around thirty vehicles full of CRS men (the French gendarms responsible of containing and/or repressing demonstrations. Plus: survey of the Seine river, of Paris air space and of the sidewalks along the race permanently.
Personally, my mind has been rubik'scubing my mind: why are the Chinese people not authorized to see the Flame coming to their cities, villages and countries? I imagine that they are so a generous people that they prefer sacrifice their pleasure and offer it to the world. I can not even think a sole milli-second that their government deprived them voluntarily. [Correction: a relay is previewed inside China, between May to August.]
Waiting the Olympic Games, Tibet was an independent state until its invasion by Chine in the 1950s. Its postal system used postage stamps from 1911. First, Chinese ones overprinted with a new value in three languages, then two series in 1913 and 1933 depicting a snowlion, celestial animal in the Tibetan culture.
To see them and learn more:
- the Government of Tibet in exile recalls its philatelic history;
- reproductions of these stamps are sold here;
- sellers propose stamps and covers from Tibet at auction website eBay;
- this collector propose an illustrated site (to admire and buy) about Asian philately, including Tibet.
Finally, to close this topic - while postal administrations are issuing full trunks of olympic stamps, if you want to be able to criticize their errors, theirs oversights, their partiality, their friendship towards merchants of the Temple or with the prince in his palace (yes, I am still talking of philately... why? you thought I was writing about television firms !?), journalists have be free to do their job well or not, and the public's critic mind have to be educated and able to serach for intelligences.
This is not possible every where in the world. Help them to impose the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for it can not only be a philatelic topic: Reporters Without Borders, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, Handicap International, and my apologies to others associations that merit to be quoted and put on postage stamps (in France, for example: 1991, 1998).