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BADA Called Corporate Sponsors to withdraw their support on 2008 Beijing Olympic

1. Letter (To personalize and send by you)
2. Companies/Executives to send the letter to (
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3. BADA Press Release

4. Statement by the 88 Generation Students calling to Boycott the Beijing Olympic

5. Letter to President Hu Jintao on Burma By Human Right Watch's Executive Director Ken Roth


From: The Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA)

To Olympic Top Partners/sponsors: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, GE, Johnson&Johnson, Kodak, VISA, lenovo, Panasonic, SAMSUNG, OMEGA, Manulife Financial, Atos Origin

The time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics games to begin is just six months away. The Olympic Torch, which represents the spirit of sportsmanship and the international aspect of the Games, will be in our area very soon.

Many will see this torch as a symbol of world solidarity and synergy. After all, the Olympic theme of the Games is “One World, One Dream.” However, we in BADA feel that the torch, headed as it is for a government that cares nothing for human rights in its own country and others in its sphere of influence, gives off nothing but cold and unfeeling flames. We are therefore opposing its visit to San Francisco on April 9th, the only North American stop on the worldwide relay.

While we know, as sponsors, that you are excited about being part of this inspiring and historic athletic event, we beg you, along with so many in the world who care deeply about human rights, to think twice about lending your support to a regime that turns its back on the very freedoms that the games epitomize to the world.

We applaud the decision by film director Steven Spielberg to step down as artistic consultant to the Games based on China’s human rights record both at home and abroad. We ask all the Games’ sponsors to follow his example and do the same.

What seems most ironic to us is that August 8th was chosen as the day the Games will begin. That is also the 20th anniversary of the 1988 pro-democracy protests in Burma during which some 3,000 people were killed and the rightful leader of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, was later imprisoned. This date is extremely painful to the Burmese people and friends of this country everywhere and the focus in Burmese hearts and minds on August 8, 2008 will not be on a sporting event but on the continuing suffering of their people under the brutal regime, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

The continued pain and suffering the people of Burma are enduring are a direct result of China’s great military, economic and diplomatic support for the brutal dictatorship in Burma. In exchange, China seeks easy access to the Indian Ocean through Burma for its military, as well as access to Burmese markets and energy for China’s burgeoning economy. In fact, China’s support is so pervasive; it has effectively diluted any pressure applied on the regime for positive change by the international community.

Most recently, we were extremely disappointed that China refused to support any binding resolutions at the UN Security Council calling for much-needed concrete measures against Burma’s military regime even after that regime turned on Buddhist monks and peaceful protesters brutally killing, torturing and jailing them indiscriminately.

Further, we strongly support the recent voices raised against the regime and its brutality by Burma’s leading activist groups –- The 88 Generation Students -- who led the 1988 uprising as well as last year’s Saffron Revolution, to boycott the Beijing Olympic Games unless China reverses its irresponsible policies towards Burma. We beg you to demand that China act firmly to protect the people of Burma from further human rights abuses of any kind.

We also support the letter to President Hu Jintao of China by the Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth asking China to take immediate and specific steps to impose a number of sanctions and embargos on the illegal Burmese government. The letter also asks China to use its influence to encourage the SPDC to end its repression and reinstate the rightful democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (See letter attached letter)

Please be advised that we are also joining a million TV viewers in a pledge not to watch the Beijing Olympics unless China ends its support for the Burmese military regime and we have pledged not to purchase products from those businesses that are sponsoring the Games.

August 8th may be a time of rejoicing in Beijing as the Opening Ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad gets under way with great fanfare and rejoicing. But to Burmese everywhere the date carries with it the pain and suffering of a nation in chains.

We ask you most humbly to reconsider your sponsorship in the light of China’s disregard of human rights in its own heartland and in rogue nations like Burma.


Nyunt Than
Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA)

2.Corporation Address to send the letter to:





  • Chairman Andrew J. McKenna Sr.
  • Vice Chairman and CEO   James A. (Jim) Skinner
  • President, COO, and Director  Ralph Alvarez

McDonald's Plaza
Oak Brook, IL 60523
United States 



3135 Easton Tpke.
Fairfield, CT 06828-0001
United States



343 State St.
Rochester, NY 14650
United States


Johnson & Johnson

1 Johnson & Johnson Plaza
New Brunswick, NJ 08933
United States


3039 Cornwallis Rd., Research Triangle Park
Raleigh, NC 27709
United States



·         EVP and CTO Terence V. (Terry) Milholland
·         EVP, Global Brand, Marketing, and Corporate Relations John Elkins 
·         COO John M. Partridge
900 Metro Center Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
United States



1 Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30313-2499
United States


1 Panasonic Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
United States

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
(Parent of Panasonic)

1006 Oaza Kadoma
Osaka 571-8501, Japan

SAMSUNG (North America)

105 Challenger Rd.
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
United States

Samsung Group (Korea)

Chairman and CEO  Kun-Hee Lee

Vice Chairman Lee Yoon-Woo

250, 2-ga, Taepyung-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul, 100-742, South Korea

Manulife Financial

200 Bloor St. East, NT 11
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1E5, Canada 

Atos Origin North America


5599 San Felipe, Ste. 300
Houston, TX 77056
United States 


Atos Origin S.A.


Tour Les Miroirs - Bâtiment C, 18, avenue d'Alsace
Paris La Défense 3 Cedex, France

(The Swatch Group Ltd.)



Tour Les Miroirs - Bâtiment C, 18, avenue d'Alsace
Paris La Défense 3 Cedex, France)

3. Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    

March 11, 2008                                                                                              


              Nyunt Than (510) 220 1323
              Yasmin Vanya (408) 250-6227


China Government Human Rights Violations Cited

(San Francisco, CA USA) In anticipation of the 2008 Olympics to be held in China in August, the Burmese American Democratic Alliance has called on corporate sponsors to withdraw their support of the games. 

BADA addressed their concerns in a letter to leading corporate sponsors including The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Visa, lenovo, Panasonic, SAMSUNG, OMEGA, Manulife Financial, and Atos Origin.

The letter stressed that continued pain and suffering that the people of Burma are enduring are a direct result of China’s great military, economic and diplomatic support for the brutal dictatorship in Burma.

The communication to sponsors went on to say that, in January 2007, China vetoed a resolution of the UN Security Council and continues to oppose any binding resolutions that would call for much needed concrete measures against the Burma’s military regime.

“China justified their veto by stating that the troubles in Burma are exclusively an internal affair,” stated President of BADA, Nyunt Than..  “The truth is simply,” said Mr. Than, “that China gives a free hand to the illegal military junta in Burma so it can exploit the country’s 50 million population as an easy market and so it can use Burma’s bountiful natural resources – especially oil, gas and timber – to support its own growing economy. In fact, China’s support is so great that it has effectively diluted any pressure applied by the international community.”

The letter points out China’s role in aiding the corrupt and illegal government of Burma:

In their letter to sponsors, BADA commended film director Steven Spielberg for his decision to step down as artistic consultant to the Games based on China’s human rights record and cited this decision as an example for corporations to follow.

“While authorities have suggested that politicizing the Olympics runs counter to the Olympic spirit,” said BADA President Nyunt Than, "human rights abuses also run counter to the Olympic spirit. The Chinese government is using the Olympics to promote itself on the global stage without consideration of China's direct responsibilities for human rights around the world.”


The Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA) is a San Francisco Bay Area based non-profit organization advocating democracy and freedom for the people of Burma.

4. Statement by the 88 Generation Students calling to Boycott the Beijing Olympic

Boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics

The 88 Generation Students

Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma)

Statement 4/2008 (88)

Date: 25 February 2008

Calling Citizens around the World to Pressure the Government of China to Withdraw Its Unilateral Support for the Burmese Military Junta and to Boycott

the 2008 Beijing Olympics

(1) Today, the 88 Generation Students, a coalition of leading former student activists who spearheaded the country's 1988 national uprising that nearly toppled decades of military rule, call for citizens around the world to pressure the Government of China to withdraw its unilateral support of the Burmese military junta and to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics in response to China's bankrolling of the military junta that rules our country of Burma with guns and threats.

(2) China is a major trade partner, major arms supplier and major defender of the junta in the international arena, especially in the United Nations Security Council. The military junta in Burma is still in power to this day, despite strong and continuous resistance by the people of Burma, because of China's support. China has provided billions of dollars in weapons, used its veto power at the UN Security Council to paralyze peaceful efforts at change, and unilaterally undermined diplomatic efforts to free the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners.

(3) The 88 Generation Students has requested many times to the Chinese Government to play a constructive role in national reconciliation in Burma. We have also asked China to end its unilateral support for Burma's regime and instead facilitate a meaningful and time-bound dialogue between the military junta, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, and ethnic representatives to achieve a mutually acceptable solution, by using its significant influence over the junta or by working together with other members of the UNSC. However, our constructive outreach to China has been met with silence and more weapons shipments. Therefore, now we call for action to respond to the irresponsible manner of the Chinese Government. While China plans to celebrate the Olympics on August 8, 2008, which is the 20th anniversary of the 1988 popular democracy uprising in our country; it is essentially enslaving the people of Burma

(4) We call for each and every citizen around the world not to watch the Olympics ceremonies on television and boycott this Genocide Olympics/Saffron Olympics. We urge people of conscience throughout the world – including the hundreds of thousands of Burmese in dozens of countries – to pledge to not watch or support in any way the Beijing Olympics.

(5) We also ask each and every citizen around the world to boycott any Olympics merchandise or products from China and its Olympics sponsors during the time of Beijing Olympics.

The 88 Generation Students

5. Letter to President Hu Jintao on Burma By Human Right Watch's Executive Director Ken Roth 


Letter to President Hu Jintao on Burma

By Human Right Watch's Executive Director Ken Roth 
October 17, 2007  
President Hu Jintao  
People’s Republic of China  
Zhongnanhai, Xichengqu, Beijing City  
People’s Republic of China  
Dear President Hu:

On August 8, 2008, more than a billion people around the globe will celebrate the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Millions of Burmese, however, are unlikely to focus that day on the Olympic theme of “One World, One Dream,” but rather will observe the 20th anniversary of the 1988 pro-democracy protests in Burma, during which an estimated 3,000 people were killed.  
We realize that your government chose to open the Beijing Olympics on 08-08-08 for symbolic reasons, but recent events in Burma mean that the spotlight on that date will also be on the continued suffering of the Burmese people. Your government has resisted efforts to link the Olympics with human rights concerns in China and in China’s relations with abusive governments. Yet your government’s reluctance to condemn the latest acts of brutality by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), its ongoing—and crucial—support to the SPDC, and the coincidence of the two events only raises the stakes for China to act swiftly and constructively to help protect the people of Burma from further human rights abuses.  
In August and September peaceful protests were staged throughout several cities in Burma calling for improved living standards, respect for basic rights, and the conduct of a genuine political dialogue with opposition politicians, many of whom remain in prison. The response by the SPDC security forces was brutal by any measure: riot police and army units used baton charges, tear gas, and shot directly at Buddhist monks and civilians engaged in peaceful protests. It appears likely that the death toll is considerably larger than the official figure of 10, and injuries were also likely to be very high. Thousands of participants in the demonstrations were arrested; many, including monks, were reportedly tortured in custody. Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for. SPDC security forces continue to conduct nighttime arrests and intimidation of people suspected of involvement in the demonstrations. The brutal crackdown has only worsened the poor state of the economy and increased already widespread dissatisfaction with military control of the country.  
In response to the crisis, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which rarely speaks out on human rights concerns, has publicly expressed its “revulsion” in response to Burma’s assaults on peaceful demonstrations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described the SPDC’s actions as “abhorrent and unacceptable.” The Security Council, with your government’s consent, has in a presidential statement rightly called for the release of political prisoners and the lifting of restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  
It is, however, regrettable that we have not heard directly from Beijing the strong words of condemnation such as those from ASEAN and from the secretary-general. Similar public criticism from China would have an immediate effect in Burma. Merely calling for peaceful resolution of the crisis without referencing the SPDC’s abuses, suggests that China does not see it as important that the lethal policies of the government should change.  
As one of Burma’s neighbors, its largest investors, and its main suppliers of weaponry, China indisputably wields the power to positively influence this situation. We have noted the Chinese government’s rhetoric expressing mild concern, yet without concrete action this changes little inside Burma.  
Given your government’s relationship with the Burmese government, as a member of the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, and as a self-described “responsible power,” we believe China is able to bring about the dramatic improvement of the dire human rights situation in Burma by taking the following steps:  

  • Immediately place an embargo on all weapons transfers from China to Burma and suspend all military training, transport, assistance, and cooperation.  
  • Support or abstain from vetoing UN Security Council resolutions calling for sanctions or other collective action to address the crisis in Burma. Constructively engage with other Security Council members to design and adopt appropriate multilateral sanctions on Burma. Sanctions should be pegged to the government meeting specific human rights conditions. These should include the release of all persons arbitrarily detained for exercising their basic human rights to free expression, association, and assembly, and an accurate official accounting of the numbers, whereabouts, and conditions of individuals killed, arrested, and detained by the security forces.  
  • In the absence of Security Council-imposed sanctions, China (along with other countries) should act to impose targeted sanctions to encourage the steps outlined above:  
    • Sanctions, including financial sanctions, should be targeted at leading officials, both military and civilian, who bear responsibility for abuses, as well as others who may assist in, or be complicit in, the evasion of sanctions by those individuals. Those sanctioned should be identified by means of a fair process, and the sanctions should be subject to regular monitoring of both their impact on human rights and whether the steps outlined are being reached.  
    • Consistent with human rights measures previously adopted or currently under consideration by the European Union and United States, China should also ban new investment and prohibit the importation of select products from Burma.  
    • Prohibit business partnerships with or payments to entities owned or controlled by the Burmese military, and whose revenues are largely used to finance military operations (as opposed to social spending).
  • Uphold the 1951 Refugee Convention and customary international law and allow anyone fleeing persecution in Burma to cross the border into China.  
  • Suspend involvement by state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation and Sinopec, both official Olympic partners, in the proposed Burma-China oil and natural gas pipelines until the conditions specified above in relation to multilateral sanctions are met. As Human Rights Watch has previously described, we are concerned that the proposed construction of overland pipelines would exacerbate the serious human rights situation in Burma. In light of recent events, Human Rights Watch urged all companies to suspend activities related to onshore pipeline projects in Burma, as we do not believe it will be possible for them to carry out such projects without becoming complicit in the abuse of human rights.  
  • Instruct Chinese firms, including stated-owned firms, with business ties to Burma to publicly and fully disclose all payments made to the Burmese military, directly or through the entities it controls.  
  • Continue to urge the SPDC to engage in dialogue with its critics, and end its repression of them. The Seven Step Road Map to Democracy, which is merely a cover for continued military rule, must be scrapped and replaced with a plan that has the genuine support of Burma’s political parties and ethnic groups.  
  • Urge the SPDC to reconvene a truly representative and participatory national convention that operates through an open and transparent consultative process that could lead to a new constitutional settlement that genuinely reflects the views of all parties and leads to the creation of a civilian government.

Should the Chinese government take such steps, it is possible that on August 8, 2008—a date on which your country will be the focus of unprecedented international interest—it will likely be credited rather than criticized for its role in Burma. It is not only right that China should stand with the people of Burma against state repression and abuse, it is in China’s self-interest to do so.  
Ken Roth  
Executive Director  
Human Rights Watch