Lankan US billionaire taken to task over Uyghur comments | Sunday Observer

Lankan US billionaire taken to task over Uyghur comments

23 January, 2022

Chamath Palihapitiya, one of the original members of the Facebook management team, now faces a backlash on social media after his recent comments on the Uyghur genocide in China.

During a political discussion with his co-hosts on his latest podcast, All In, he stated that “nobody cares about the Uyghurs.” He said “it’s not a priority for me”, as he emphasised his greater concerns over inflation, American health care infrastructure and climate change. “If you’re asking me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritise them over us,” he said.

Palihapitiya later took to Twitter to clarify his comments where he admitted he was “lacking empathy”. In his statement he said that, “as a refugee, my family fled a country with its own set of human rights issues so this is something that is very much a part of my lived experience. To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere.”

The Golden State Warriors, six time NBA champions, were quick to distance themselves from Palihapitiya as he was labelled as a “limited investor” and stated that “Palihapitiya does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organisation.”

One of the many that condemned Palihapitiya for his remarks was Boston Celtics basketball player, Enes Kanter Freedom. He tweeted, “don’t forget there are those who sell their soul for money and business like Chamath”.

The controversy around the matter has once again attracted criticism of the NBA’s relationship with China as NBA players endorse Chinese clothing lines where some are even made from cotton produced by Uyghur forced labour.