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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A personal boycott of the Olympics?

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

In recent days, China cracked down on protesters in Tibet with its well-oiled vicious machine of military might, coercion and double talk.

The Lhasa protests, led by Buddhist monks, began peacefully March 10, the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Tibet had been effectively independent for decades before Chinese communist troops imposed Beijing's control in 1950.

The demonstrations took a violent turn Friday, leaving 16 people dead and dozens injured, according to the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama's government-in-exile in India contends 80 Tibetans died.

Anyone who looks into the history of Tibet and China will know that thousands have died over the years as China works to cultural genocide - a watered down, state run version of Tibetan Buddhism and culture ... at best.

The slightest rumor of an Olympic boycott is enough to drive the Chinese crazy these days. I don't know if any nation will choose to boycott this summer, as most are rushing to quell the 'boycott waters'. But I am going to. I won't be watching any Olympic games in 2008.

Here is a link to an Amnesty International (Canada) action you can take if interested.


Comments:
I love the Olympics and hate to miss it, but for the reasons that you cited, as well as other reasons for my disgust against the humanitarian and animal practices that China engages, I also will not be watching this year.
 
I've been following the news out of Tibet all week too. It is uniformly sad. China's Tibet policy is hurting their image all over the world.
Keep up the good work, Gary.

(btw- what's a "green tech bubble?" You mentioned it in a post today...)
 
nova-san - yes, it's far more than Tibet.

Seraphine - re: green tech bubble - it's beginning to look like money and investors are pumping up green technology as the next wave of hyper-activity. Expect to see governments, venture capitalists, banks, etc. begin to pump billions in. The stocks will soar and some will get rich before it eventually falls. That's the theory. The world market seems to demand a new hyped focus to flourish...
 
what!? cultural genocide!? the official term was LIBERATION, wasn't it? though i am patiently waiting for an explanation of exactly what Tibetans needed liberating from.....? the land of the living, maybe? though i'm not a big fan of the hype around major sporting events at any time, i'll definitely be completely unsupportive of the Olimpics in China, this time around. i've heard via CBC that athletes are talking about boycott on an individual basis, regardless of the official position.
 
I'm still shaking my head over the fact China is hosting the 2008 Olympics!
I can't begin to fathom wanting to attend.
And I will probably be giving it a miss. Sad for our athletes - for all athletes...
 
Oh of course, I should have guessed. It's already been happening with alternative energy stocks and their suppliers. Maybe something good will come out of it. *crosses fingers*
 
I guess it would be hypocritical of the U.S., no heroes with regard to human rights and "liberations", to boycott China's Olympics. We would do well to clean up our own act. Still, it would give me more hope for humanity if a few countries would boycott this year's games.

I don't watch the tube, so haven't seen more than a few moments of the Olympics in years.
 
I wasn't going to watch the Olympics anyway but I'm heartbroken for the Tibetan people. The US has taken so many steps back on human rights issues with its own behaviour the government can't even lodge a protest - supposing they were inclined to - which they aren't.

I hope GFid is right that some of the athletes will boycott.
 
Grannyfiddler and Beth - I've heard that too (about atheletes boycotting.

I'm not sure a full nation boycott is the way to go, but I think using the Olympics to put pressure on them around freedom, Tibet, Darfur, executions and so on is a wonderful opportunity. I got through on a BC wide talk show on CBC today and declared my personal boycott - I also said if any Olympic atheletes were listening, give me a call and I have some great ideas for you. Wouldn't FREE TIBET tattoos on swimmers,
or bowed heads on the podium, or Amnesty Candles held in the parade all be cool!

Susan and Carol - we know the US has blood on its hands too. Putting pressure on China could come from athletes, celebrities (like Spielberg already did), Bill Gates, etc.

Hmmm, lots of ideas. Time for bed.
 
Boycott is definitely the right thing to do. I love the idea of the tattoos etc. You're brilliant!
 
Hi Gary~ Keep up your wonderful work through Amnesty.
Canada like Australia as an exporter of resources enjoys enhanced living standards as consequence of demand fuelled by China, so our respective governments will be sorely tempted to hose down human rights abuses.

Amnesty and its candle light can do a lot of good work bringing it to the attention of the world.

Now is the best chance available to really change the Chinese perspective.

I have never been able to fully grasp why Tibet is so important to hold onto by China, but I guess one must reluctantly conclude from the map, it’s purely strategic, situated in the intersection of China, India and Russia.

We always we come back to matters of self security and fear, purporting to justify human rights abuse.

Alliances with China by those counties mentioned I think would reduce the likelihood of China wishing to retain it, and this abuse continuing.

What do you think?
 
Thanks Mary - you're the creative one.

Thanks Lindsay - my understanding is that if China allowed Tibet to truly maintain their culture (which is Buddhism permeating every element of daily life) and didn't exploit the resources at the cost of the people, many Tibetans have given up the idea of full independence.

I read fiction that takes place in Tibet and is very descriptive of the cultural clash (and ancient culture of Tibet). The writer is Elliott Pattison - good yarns too!
 
Buddhists made Tibet a poor country, they are those who don't do anything else than sit around and pray to their Lama which don't even has time to visit Tibet. Buddhists are just vegetating and using money & food from people who think they have special powers. It would take just 1 buddhist to show that he can fly like they say they can and everybody would leave them alone. They are the one that do violence, don't allow the people to safely walk on the streets and they are the ones that protest and want to cause more violence as it seems and even stop olympic games, shame on them.
The people of Tibet should spend their money on themself & in industry, but instead they build golden churches for the lazy buddhists.
 
Anonymous - you are entitled to your view, although I consider it rather ignorant.

I'm not a Buddhist, but no one of any belief deserves to be beat, imprisoned, killed or prevented from speaking or worshipping freely. And if people choose to give gifts or food to those who have chosen to be monks (or street people for that matter), who are you to judge?

Based on your philosophy I suppose you would consider artists, musicians, poets and philosophers to be lazy and wasting energy too. I supposed Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel was some sort of welfare project...

This is a very limited view of humanity.
 
What?
Nobody blaming Bush for the Chinese crackdown on Tibet?
Maybe I missed it.
 

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