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Buddhism in the News


Sunday, March 30, 2008

List of World Leaders Who Will Not Attend the Beijing Olympics Grows.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.

As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown's determination to attend the Olympics.

Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister, became the first EU head of government to announce a boycott on Thursday and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing.

James: I'm pleased that major players on the world stage are voicing their displeasure with China's image before the Olympic games in Beijing. I opposed the decision to award China the Olympics in the first place, however, it is not possible to put that genie back in the bottle. That being said, It is important to remind the world that the Chinese government does not totally live up to the Olympic spirit of peace in how it rules its people nor the repressive governments that it supports (Burma, Sudan and Vietnam to name but a few).

As Buddhists we have a responsibility to be loving and compassionate but sometimes that requires speaking about uncomfortable things, sometimes it means disagreeing with people such as is the case with the Chinese governments' abuses of power.

Guess what two major corporations are sponsoring the Beijing Olympics? Two companies that are about as American as you get--McDonalds and Coca-Cola. Yet the message that they are sending by making money off the brutal Chinese regime is very much against the American ideals of freedom and human rights. It's a perfect example of how greed can lead us to rationalize anything--even our very principles.

I just sent an email to McDonalds and Coca-Cola asking them politely to think about their actions in supporting the dictatorial Chinese government through corporate sponsorship. If you would like to email them as well, just click on their company names listed above and the link will take you right to the email forms.UPDATE: I woke up this morning to sadly see the Olympic torch in a staged event at Tienanmen Square in Beijing China. Of course Tienanmen Square was the sight in 1989 of horrible violence meant to end a peaceful protest where some claims put the number of dead at 2-3,000. In sad irony the translation of the name Tienanmen means, Gate of Heavenly Peace.

So it was disheartening to see the Olympic torch which represents the goodwill amongst all people of the world displayed on that plaza of bloodshed. Goodwill is often defined as the disposition of kindness and compassion. Tienanmen Square does not represent compassion nor kindness to the people killed, beaten and illegally arrested for simply marching for basic freedom.

There are many people in China today who live in constant fear of their dictatorial government and I doubt that they experience much kindness and compassion coming from such a brutal leadership.

And as mentioned above the Chinese government that is running the over-sight of the Olympic games in Beijing supports the brutal Burmese government who beat, killed and illegally arrested hundreds of its own people in last years peaceful demonstrations for freedom.

~Peace to all beings~

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Linda (Sama) said...

thanks for reading Ramblings...I've linked you to my other blog, Linda's Yoga Journey...and I've just done a post on Ramblings about the Olympic corporate sponsorhip...


They call him James Ure said...


You're welcome. I enjoy your writing style and thanks for adding me to your blog rolls.

Riverwolf said...

Glad to see a few leaders showing, um, leadership on this issue. Wish that some of the corporate sponsors would do the same. That would probably have a huge impact, for example, if Coke pulled out.

They call him James Ure said...


Yeah these corporations are so blinded by greed that they think they can justify anything.

Tom said...

Good points!

The absence of freedom in China was already abundant reason to boycott the Games -- or, of course, not allow the Games to be staged in Beijing in the first place.

The West effectively props up the totalitarian government in Beijing. We need to assess what we are doing and act not on behalf of the repressive Communist government, but on behalf of freedom.

They call him James Ure said...


Thanks brother and your points are spot on. We need to think long and hard about the consequences of our actions.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... A self-professed buddhist site that sows discord and celebrates gestures of hatred by certain western leaders rather than encouragement for a nations that is trying its best to open itself to the world, just because it is different. If Tibet is an issue, the US has so exceeded the level of include in its territory nations that are different, where are the native indians? Don't worry about its cry for reclaiming its own land, not even independence, --- they have all but been slaughtered!! And the US and other western nations are still waging wars in the middle east and elsewhere, yet sites like this remain suspiciously quiet, why this different treatment? Why are you hiding? brown-nosing powerful rich but wrong forces of the current world does not mean courage, its cowardly.

They call him James Ure said...


Ahhh yes, looks like you're another person being paid by the Chinese totalitarian government to sell propaganda to make their human rights record look better.

I enjoy cultures, that's not the issue here. Torture, religious persecution, support of dictatorial regimes such as in Burma and Sudan are the issue. And by the way, allowing the pollution levels that the Chinese government has set up isn't exactly compassionate to the athletes let along the poor citizens who have to live there year round.

As for the Native Americans (Indians) I am ashamed that our country engaged in that horrific period in history. The fact remains though that such an era of violent oppression against the Native Americans does not exist unlike the Chinese oppression of Tibet. And support of the Burmese oppression.

You don't seem to understand the Native American situation much here the U.S. They have their own land and their own government, a certain amount of autonomy which is more than Tibet enjoys. And autonomy, not full independence is what the Dalai Lama is willing to compromise for.

And just because America has had it's dark moments in regards to human rights doesn't make disregarding human rights as acceptable. Two wrongs don't make a right as we say here in the U.S. Don't follow our example with how we treated the Native Americans.

I as a Buddhist oppose the war in Iraq. You obviously haven't been reading my blog very long because I have written before here about my opposition to the Iraq war. Just because I am an American doesn't mean that I support everything that my government does.

That is the difference between America, the other free countries of the world and China. We can disagree with our government and still remain free and alive.

How much is the Chinese government paying you? It must really anger you that you can't control the internet outside your own country.

Your propaganda doesn't work here in the free world where we can investigate government claims for ourselves without punishment. I'm not hiding anywhere, you are the one who is posting as anonymous. My full name is slapped on this blog so who are you?

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