Why I Won’t Be Watching the Olympics

Tomorrow the Olympics begin, and while I am excited for the athletes who have worked so hard to get there, many of them their entire lives, I will not be watching.  
The main reason I will not be watching the games is because of my passion for the incredible people of Burma.
The Chinese government promotes their Olympics slogan of “One World One Dream” while propping up one of the worlds most brutal military dictatorships in Burma.
As you have probably seen in the news (and from me and my blog!) last fall hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks marched in Burma calling for human rights and democracy.  With funding and weapons from China, the Burmese regime cracked down on the peaceful monks, killing hundreds and imprisoning thousands more.  It’s hard to imagine, but when I was there in Jan/Feb, I visited many monasteries that were empty.
The crackdown that happened in the fall was just a little taste of the fear and brutality that the Burmese people live with everyday.  Using its veto power, China has blocked the United Nations from stopping the violence in Burma.  In a campaign of terror, the Burmese military regime has destroyed 3,200 villages, forcing 1.5 million people to flee their homes.  The regime has recruited more child soldiers than any other country in the world.  The regime also has Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
As a result of China’s policies, the UN is making the same mistakes made in Rwanda and Darfur.
Adding to my reasoning not to watch the Olympics- they begin on 8/8/2008.  This date is very important in Burmese history.  8/8/1988 was a day where thousands of peaceful protestors were massacred by Burma’s regime during the first democracy uprising.  Tomorrow will be the 20 year anniversary, and must not be forgotten.
If you’d like to join me and sign up to not watch the Olympics, you can sign up here and show your support.
I’ll end today’s post with a few of my photos from Burma.

The picture that means the most to me… 
we have many choices to make in our life, and sometimes the best choice is a lot harder.
Me in Burma with some novice monks
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