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Buddhism in the News


Thursday, May 01, 2008

30 Days for Burma: It Can't Wait.

We are thrilled to announce that today, a video by actor Will Ferrell is kicking off a 30-day campaign to help the US Campaign for Burma build one million voices of support for human rights and democracy in Burma. (video by Will Ferrell at the bottom of post).

Every day for 30 days you will be able to tune into our website or (or YouTube, Myspace, and many more sites) to watch a new celebrity video about Burma. Instead of watching one single video with limited information, viewers will be able to learn a great deal about the people of Burma's courageous struggle for human rights and democracy. Each video is different -- some are deadly serious while others have a light touch. Most of these are meant to be different than a typical public service announcement -- more like a short movie or skit.

The videos include many of the top actors in Hollywood and others in music, such as Jennifer Aniston, Woody Harrelson, Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Eric Szmanda, Anjelica Huston, Ellen Page, Sheryl Crow, and more. Make sure you come back each day to find out who are all the celebrities helping us.

Since you already know about Burma, can you tell as many people as possible to watch the videos and join our effort? They are a fantastic tool to educate people and spur them to take action.
Every single video closes by encouraging viewers to join the US Campaign for Burma's one-million person effort for Burma.

Why do we want one million people to sign up? Here is why: we are facing a military regime that has locked up the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, brutally cracked down against hundreds of thousands of peaceful monks and civilians, recruited more child soldiers than any other country in the world, and destroyed 3,200 ethnic villages -- bordering on genocide. Yet, too few people have taken action to stop these abuses, and not enough have basic knowledge about Burma.

We have seen in history what happens when not enough people take action. Nelson Mandela was locked up in near-obscurity for nearly two decades before millions of people rallied to the cause of freedom for South Africa. We shouldn't wait that long to build a strong effort for Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has called on us to help, saying "Please, use your liberty to promote ours." Just as millions of people -- including celebrities -- came together to help free Nelson Mandela and South Africa in the 1980s -- we are asking for your help now.

Tell your friends about these videos, watch them on one of dozens of sites on the internet, including our website or at Then, encourage them to sign up to be one of the million. After they sign up, they will receive timely alerts from us asking them to email people in the US Congress or United Nations, host film screenings, and consider organizing events for human rights in Burma. Working together, we can be a powerful force for change.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Supporting human rights does matter, and together we will do our part to help Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma. It can't wait.


Aung Din, Jeremy Woodrum, Jennifer Quigley, Thelma Young

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Tim said...

I'm given a little hope regarding how one can be engaged in helping assist in promoting social change when I read things like this. But I am trapped by my own cynicism as well.
I recently tried to engage E Sangha in a discussion regarding Buddhism and Hope and received little reply. I am consumed with either anger or complete apathy and I believe that this only increases suffering; mine and that of others. I have a deep sense of social responsibility but if you yourself are crippled inside, how you can offer anything to help reduce the suffering in this world?

They call him James Ure said...

Tim: I am trapped by my own cynicism as well, sometimes everyday.

As for eSangha, things can get quite out of hand there. I use to use it a lot but have stopped after getting tired of all the fighting. However, I still think it is a valuable place for the most part.

You're right that we have to work on ourselves. However, I do also think that BY helping ourselves we are also helping others.

Anonymous said...

OMG it's Jennifer Aniston! Now that SHE knows where Burma is I feel bad about killing all those people. I'm going to change.

Than Shwe

Anonymous said...

i have to agree w/ the other anonymous commenter w/ regards to the effectiveness of having celebrities involved. i've been surfing the web trying to find out if anyone "gets" the videos b/c they just don't make sense. the "lighthearted" ones make a mockery of the situation in burma-- b/c they are neither parody nor satire, the comedic touch doesn't make any sense.

They call him James Ure said...

Anonymous: Yeah I too have been disappointed in the "lighthearted" videos. I agree that they seem to make a mockery of the grave situation. I was hoping for more serious and maybe even shocking ones to wake people up.

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