China: Controversial rap song banned and deleted from websites

NEWS

##PagePublishedLong##

China:
Controversial rap song banned and deleted from websites

On 29 May 2011, one day before a planned large-scale Mongolian demonstration in Hohhot, the regional capital of Southern Mongolia, a rap song was banned and removed from all Chinese Internet sites immediately after it was posted, reported The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center.

The rap song was dedicated to Mergen, a Mongolian herder who was brutally killed on 10 May 2011 by a Chinese coal hauling truck in Southern Mongolia, or Inner Mongolia, as it is also termed, an autonomous region of China, located in the northern region of the country which shares an international border with the independent country Mongolia.

According to the information centre, the author and singer of the song is a Mongolian college student from Tongliao City in the eastern part of the region. Since the publication of his song on the Internet on 29 May 2011, he was repeatedly summoned to the local Chinese State Security Bureau and warned not to go online or have any contact with outsiders. His friends then were reported to have lost contact with him, and SMRHIC wrote on 20 August: “Currently we do not have any contact with him. He might be under the authorities’ tight control.”

Large-scale demonstrations
With China’s announcement that the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region had become the “energy base of China”, Chinese mining companies and private miners poured into the Southern Mongolian grasslands to open up hundreds of coal mines. China’s six million ethnic Mongols say their nomadic pastoral existence is being threatened by the growth of mining projects in the mineral-rich region, who are reported to have forcibly displaced local herders, destroyed their grazing land, and killed their livestock.

In May 2011, frustrated Mongolian herders organised to block the Chinese mining trucks from passing through their grazing land, and in the night of 10 May, while one of the organisers of the Mongolian herders of Right Ujumchin, 35-year-old Mergen, was blocking a caravan of hundreds of Chinese coal haulers from passing through, he was intentionally run over by a truck.

A Chinese truck driver allegedly shouted: “Killing a Mongol at most will cost us 400,000 RMB and our boss has plenty of it!”

The incident sparked large-scale protests and demonstrations by Mongol students and herders across the region against resource exploitation and environmental damage in the vast region of rolling plains and deserts. Chinese authorities declared martial law in major cities of the Mongolian region including Hohhot, Tongliao, Ulaanhad (Chifing in Chinese), and Dongsheng, and tight security was imposed to stop any protest or unrest.

In June 2011, a Chinese court sentenced the coal truck driver, Li Lindong, to death because he had run over Mergen, and three other persons were also convicted over the death, according to the state-owned Chinese news agency.


“We have been impoverished; we have lost our lands to the Chinese; we have been plundered of our natural resources; our livestock are perishing; many of us have become homeless on our own lands. We are treated with no dignity. We must stand up to defend our human rights rather than be silently killed by the Chinese army.”

Excerpt from an online appeal letter which sets out the grievances of local Mongolian herders

 

Removed immediately
First posted on a popular discussion website in China, Wang Pan 115.com, the Chinese-language rap song was intended to tell the Chinese authorities what the Mongols think about Mergen’s death, the economic exploitation of the grasslands and Internet censorship.

Immediately after it appeared on the Internet, many Chinese micro blogs and Internet discussion forums quickly disseminated the song. This was picked up within several hours by the Chinese Internet censorship apparatus which removed it from all sites in China.

The song was posted on one of the most popular Chinese social media sites, tuiyia.com, the Chinese equivalent of twitter.com, but was removed immediately.

The links appeared to be live but returned the following message ‘The file cannot be downloaded due to its controversial contents’.

Available in the US
The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) obtained a copy of the song and it can be downloaded from their website in New York. See link below.

The following is SMHRIC’s English translation of the lyrics:




China


Song Dedicated to Mergen,
Hero of the Grasslands

Yo, I am a Mongol even if I sing my rap in Chinese
No matter what you say I am a Mongol
Mongol blood flows in my veins

The vast Mongolian steppe is my homeland
Once green Mongolian plateau turned to yellow
Beautiful grasslands turning to desert
The government says it is the herders’ fault

Have you ever thought about it carefully?
Whose fault is it really?
Overgrazing is a myth and a lie
We have grazed animals here thousands of years
Why has the desertification started since only a few decades ago?

How many people are coming here to open up mines and plunder our resources?
How many people are coming here to cultivate the grasslands and plant those crops?
How many dams are built to deplete the water that sustains the grassland?
How many rivers are stopped to water the farm lands?
Our homeland is ruined like this

That’s why I say damn shit your “Western Development”
You sacrifice our environment, develop your economy and spend the money made out of it
With the leftovers you hire the dogs to oppress us
Halt all industries and projects that destroy our grassland ecosystem!

Grassland is mother of all Mongols that can no longer survive the destruction
On May 11 something there happened
Something that broke the hearts of all Mongols
A fellow Mongol was intentionally killed
Mergen is his name
The name means intelligence and wisdom

He wakened us all with his death
United herders finally stood up
Together we demonstrated to mourn a son of the grasslands
For what cause had Gaadaa Meirin fought against [the Chinese]?

I am sure it refreshed the memory of every Mongol
When the truck wheels crashed over his head
When the herders became completely helpless

The arrogant driver even claimed
A herder’s life costs no more than 400,000 [yuan]

Flame of anger started to set the prairie ablaze
We are arrows bundled together tightly
No one can sever the bonds of souls and minds among us
We stand together to protest
We march together bravely
Right Ujumchin, Left Ujumchin, plus Shuluun Huh and Huveet Shar
No matter where we are from, we are always together
To protest strongly against the violence the authorities apply against us
Peaceful protest is a right of the people

When this huge event is taking place, you pretend as if nothing happened
No single word is mentioned in CCAV [1]
‘Social harmony’ [‘he xie’ in Chinese] flooded the Internet,
but no one knows what the exact situation is

Internet sites in China are damn shit
Mother f**king Ren Ren Site (www.renren.com) deletes all Mongolians posts
Mother f**king micro blog (www.weibo.com) removes my blog
Mother f**king the State Security, mother f**king ‘tea invitation’ [meaning detention, ‘bei he cha’ in Chinese]Mother f**kers, I will say whatever I want to say

I want freedom, yeah, return my freedom
I want freedom, return my freedom
Saying singing is my freedom, yeah, my damn freedom
We will never ever be doomed,

We are the Mongols, descendants of Chinggis Khan!
United we stand together!
Yeah, stand up my fellow Mongols!

[1]. CCAV: A term in China used by most Chinese internet users to mock and ridicule the state owned media CCTV which is known for producing fake news. It intends to fool people by these fake news, but the majority of the Chinese internet users don’t buy it. And CCAV became a pop term when CCTV’s evening news broadcast a piece of news trying to propagate the need to crack down on pornography and prostitution industry. While many thought that this action was actually aimed to fetter the internet. Now the term can also be used as an adjective which has the similar meaning with hypocritical: “Hey, dude! Could you please do better? Behave like a human being rather than a being! You are quite CCAV!”

Latest news on this topic

Google News – continuously updated:

Search: “mergen” + “mongolia”

Listen

The original song in mp3-format:

smhric.org/images/Mergen/mergen_rap.mp3
(To download: Right-click and ‘Save Target As’)

Source

SMHRIC – 13 June 2011:

‘Rap Song Dedicated to Mergen Banned’

More information

TibetArchive on YouTube.com – 26 May 2011:

‘Mongolians Protest Chinese Miner’s Brutal Killing of a Mongolian Herder & China’s Mining Policies’

BBC News – 25 May 2011:

‘China Mongols protest in Xilinhot over shepherd’s death’

Mongol News, The UB Post – 26 July 2011:

‘Mongolian music changed by time’
Blog comment about music censorship in Mongolia 20 years ago

Go to top
Related reading on freemuse.org