Bush, Prez and pa­tri­arch, is home for Texas burial 800,000 to two mil­lion re­li­gious mi­nori­ties de­tained in Chi­nese in­tern­ment camps: US

Millennium Post - - Mp World -

HOUS­TON: Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who shaped his­tory as 41st pres­i­dent and pa­tri­arch of a fam­ily that oc­cu­pied the White House for a dozen years, is go­ing to his fi­nal rest Thurs­day in Texas.

More than 11,000 peo­ple paid their re­spects to Bush as his cas­ket lay in re­pose all night at a Hous­ton church where his fam­ily wor­shipped. Some vis­i­tors waited for hours to pay trib­ute to Bush, who will be buried Thurs­day fol­low­ing a fu­neral at St. Mar­tin’s Epis­co­pal Church.

The coun­try said good­bye to him Wed­nes­day in a na­tional fu­neral ser­vice that of­fered high praise for the last of the pres­i­dents to have fought in World War II and a hefty dose of hu­mor about a man once de­scribed as a cross be­tween Mis­ter Rogers and John Wayne.

Af­ter three days of re­mem­brance in Wash­ing­ton, a plane brought Bush’s cas­ket for his fu­neral’s clos­ing cer­e­monies in Hous­ton and burial Thurs­day at his fam­ily plot on the pres­i­den­tial li­brary grounds at Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity in Col­lege Sta­tion. His fi­nal rest­ing place is along­side Bar­bara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daugh­ter they lost to leukemia at age 3.

In the ser­vice at Wash­ing­ton Na­tional Cathe­dral, three for­mer pres­i­dents and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump looked on as Ge­orge W Bush eu­lo­gized his fa­ther as “the bright­est of a thou­sand points of light.”

The cathe­dral ser­vice was a trib­ute to a pres­i­dent, a pa­tri­arch and a faded po­lit­i­cal era that prized mil­i­tary ser­vice and pub­lic re­spon­si­bil­ity. It was laced with in­di­rect com­par­isons to Trump but was not con­sumed by them, as speak­ers fo­cused on Bush’s pub­lic

life and char­ac­ter with plenty of cracks about his goofy side, too.

“He was a man of such great hu­mil­ity,” said Alan Simp­son, for­mer Re­pub­li­can sen­a­tor from Wyoming. Those who travel “the high road of hu­mil­ity in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.,” he added point­edly, “are not both­ered by heavy traf­fic.”

Trump sat with his wife, a trio of ex-pres­i­dents and their wives, sev­eral of them sharp crit­ics of his pres­i­dency and one of them, Hil­lary Clin­ton, his 2016 Demo­cratic foe. Apart from cour­te­ous nods and some hand­shakes, there was lit­tle in­ter­ac­tion be­tween Trump and the oth­ers.

Ge­orge W Bush broke down briefly at the end of his eu­logy while in­vok­ing the daugh­ter his par­ents lost in 1953 his mother, who died in April.

He took com­fort in know­ing “Dad is hug­ging Robin and hold­ing Mom’s hand again.”

It was a fam­ily that oc­cu­pied the White House for a dozen years the 41st pres­i­dent de­feated af­ter one term, the 43rd serv­ing two. Jeb Bush stepped up to try to ex­tend that run but fell short when Trump won the 2016 Re­pub­li­can pri­maries.

The el­der Bush was “the last great-soldier states­man,” his­to­rian Jon Meacham said in his eu­logy, “our shield” in dan­ger­ous times.

But he also said that Bush, cam­paign­ing in a crowd in a de­part­ment store, once shook hands with a man­nequin. Rather than flush­ing in em­bar­rass­ment, he sim­ply cracked, “Never know. Gotta ask.”

Meacham re­counted how co­me­dian Dana Car­vey once said the key to do­ing an im­per­son­ation of Bush was “Mis­ter Rogers try­ing to be John Wayne.” WASH­ING­TON: An es­ti­mated 800,000 to 2 mil­lion re­li­gious mi­nori­ties are cur­rently be­ing de­tained in in­tern­ment camps in China, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has told law­mak­ers, who have ex­pressed se­ri­ous con­cerns over the mas­sive hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in the Com­mu­nist na­tion’s Xin­jiang prov­ince.

The sit­u­a­tion in re­sourcerich Xin­jiang has been restive as the na­tive Mus­lim Uighurs have been re­sist­ing in­creas­ing set­tle­ments of ma­jor­ity Han Chi­nese from other provinces.

China ap­pears to have set up a series of se­cret in­tern­ment camps used to lock up hun­dreds of thou­sands of eth­nic Chi­nese Mus­lims, whose ex­is­tence has long been de­nied by au­thor­i­ties.

At a Con­gres­sional hear­ing, Scott Busby, Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State at the Bureau of the Hu­man Right Democ­racy and Labour, al­leged that Bei­jing was sup­port­ing sim­i­lar re­pres­sive moves by other au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes across the globe.

“The US gov­ern­ment as­sesses that since April 2017, Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties have in­def­i­nitely de­tained at least 800,000, and pos­si­bly more than 2 mil­lion, Uighurs, eth­nic Kaza­khs and mem­bers of other Mus­lim mi­nori­ties in the in­tern­ment camps,” he said.

Tes­ti­fy­ing be­fore a Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Sub­com­mit­tee, Busby said re­ports sug­gested that most of those de­tained were not be­ing charged, and their fam­i­lies had lit­tle or no in­for­ma­tion about their where­abouts.

At first, China de­nied the ex­is­tence of such camps, but as pub­lic re­ports have emerged, Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties now as­sert that they are “vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres”, which glosses over the fact that many renowned Uighur in­tel­lec­tu­als and re­tired pro­fes­sion­als are also de­tained in these camps, he said.

For­mer de­tainees, who have reached safety, have spo­ken of re­lent­less in­doc­tri­na­tion and harsh con­di­tions for ex­am­ple, pray­ing and other re­li­gious prac­tices are for­bid­den.

“The ap­par­ent goal is to force de­tainees to re­nounce Is­lam and em­brace the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party,” Busby said.

Life out­side the in­tern­ment camps is not much bet­ter, he noted. Neigh­bour­hoods have en­try and exit check­points manned by armed po­lice. Fam­i­lies have been forced to ac­cept Chi­nese of­fi­cials into their homes for ex­tended home-stays. Thou­sands of mosques have been shut­tered or de­stroyed, while some turned into com­mu­nist pro­pa­ganda cen­tres, Busby al­leged.

“Un­for­tu­nately, flee­ing China is not enough to es­cape the long arms of the gov­ern­ment. China has rou­tinely pres­sured other coun­tries to re­turn Uighurs, eth­nic Kaza­khs and mem­bers of other Mus­lim mi­nor­ity groups, which has of­ten proven suc­cess­ful,” he told the law­mak­ers. Even when such in­di­vid­u­als reach safely, China con­tin­ues to ha­rass and in­tim­i­date them. China’s re­pres­sion of mi­nor­ity groups does not end in Xin­jiang, he said.

Its poli­cies have spread hun­dreds of miles away, for in­stance to the Hui Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties. Ti­betans also face con­tin­ued re­pres­sion and per­va­sive sur­veil­lance. The Ti­betan Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion was the test­ing ground for many of the tech­niques now used in Xin­jiang, Busby claimed. Sen­a­tor Cory Gard­ner said the so­called au­thor­i­tar­ian clos­ing un­der Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has re­sulted in an un­prece­dented and in­ten­si­fy­ing crack­down on civil so­ci­ety, eth­nic mi­nori­ties and re­li­gious free­dom in China.

“The news of mass con­cen­tra­tion camps for Uighur Mus­lims and the Xin­jiang Au­ton­o­mous Prov­ince has shocked the con­science. And this ne­ces­si­tates a se­ri­ous re­sponse from the US and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said. Sen­a­tor Ed Markey said it was clear there was a sys­tem­atic ef­fort by Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, not just within China, but also around the world, to back those poli­cies which are most re­pres­sive and which al­low for a com­pro­mise of hu­man rights.

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