A New Campaign Rallying One Million Citizens around the world to turn off their televisions and boycott the Beijing Olympics Unless China Ends Its Support for Burma’s Military Regime
A message from the US Campaign For Burma….
We are writing to ask for your help.
A few days ago, leading human rights activists inside Burma called on people throughout the world to turn off their televisions and not support the Beijing Olympics unless China stops propping up Burma’s miltary regime.
In response, each and every citizen of conscience throughout the world has a decision to make: do we lend our support to China by watching the Olympics or do we turn off our televisions? We, and leaders of the democracy movement in Burma, are asking you to turn it off. In fact, we are asking one million people throughout the world to sign up to turn off their televisions and not participate in the Olympics, unless China changes its policies on Burma.
Here is why: China keeps Burma’s military regime — and its brutal human rights record — in power.
– Burma’s military regime has burned down or otherwise destroyed 3,200 ethnic minority villages, forcing 1.5 million refugees to flee their homes. Who is the #1 supplier of arms and weapons to the regime? China.
– Burma’s regime has recruited more child soldiers than any other country in the world. Who is the Burmese military regime’s leading supporter? China.
– Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is locked up in prison along with 2,000 other political dissidents. Despite its huge influence, China refuses to call for her release.
– The United Nations has been completely paralyzed, unable to take any action to prevent genocide in Burma. Why? Because China has used its veto at the UN Security Council to block any meaningful action. As a result, the UN is making many of the same mistakes it made on Darfur and Rwanda.
Put simply, China is the funder, weapons supplier, and the diplomatic protector for Burma’s military regime. Like the Berlin Olympics in 1936 that wrongly brought world acclaim to Adolf Hitler, the Beijing Olympics in 2008 are becoming a monument to suffering.
Adding insult to injury, the Olympics are scheduled to begin on August 8, 2008 — the anniversary of a major massacre in Burma. On the same date in 1988, thousands of peaceful protesters were massacred by the regime during Burma’s largest democracy uprising. Each year, thousands of people around the world commemorate this slaughter and honor those who spoke out for human rights and justice — instead of supporting Beijing, we are asking you to think of Burma on that day.
Already, many people are speaking out. Nobel Peace Prize recipients Desmond Tutu and Jody Williams have said they will not support the Olympics. Prominent director Steven Spielberg ended his position working with the Olympics to protest China’s support for the genocidal leaders ruling Darfur, Sudan.
After one million people sign up for this effort, we will let you know if China has changed its policies on Burma. If they do not, we will all turn off our televisions and personally boycott the Olympics.
Specifically, we are asking China to:
– Stop blocking a UN Security Council arms embargo on Burma and stop selling weapons to Burma’s regime
– Demand the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, an immediate cessation of attacks against ethnic minorities, and the discharging of all conscripted child soldiers
– Declare that China will not recognize the SPDC’s constitution as long as Aung San Suu Kyi, democracy groups, and ethnic party representatives are excluded from participation
-Play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful negotiations in Burma between the military regime, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Burma’s ethnic nationalties
Instead of watching the Olympics:
– 8.8.08 will be a day of commemoration for Burma. For the next 7 months we will be collecting pledges from a million people around the world who pledge to not watch the Olympics
– Also, we are asking those that sign up to not purchase Olympics merchandise or products from Olympic sponsors
– While not a requirement, we are also asking those who sign the petition to consider organizing an event for Burma on the opening day of the Olympics, such as a film-screening, protest at a Chinese embassy, prayer service, speaking event, or fundraiser.
– Before the event we will be encouraging (and have many tools on our website) for people to email Olympic corporate sponsors, write letters to the editor in their local paper, and spread the word to their friends.
Please add your name to the petition by signing up on our website so you can be one of one million people to raise your voices. We created a tool on our webpage so that when you sign up, you can easily ask your friends to sign up at the same time. It will only take a few clicks of your mouse.
We urge you to stand up with us and call for China to remove the taint of genocide and oppression from the Olympic Games.
Aung Din, Jeremy, Jennifer, and Thelma
US Campaign for Burma