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Dear All,


On April 9, hundreds of you -- some as far away as from Chicago, Los Angels and Santa Cruz, joined the Peace Walk for Burma across the San Francisco Golden Gate bridge and other actions despite being on work day and uneasy commute. You do care about Burma and stood up for her at a time when she needed you most. Thank you all. 


Amid beautiful weather, clear sky, and kinder wind, bearing peaceful mind and kind heart, the Free Burma supporters gathered and marched peacefully across Golden Gate Bridge to relive the memories of last September saffron peaceful marchers in Burma. Even a Wheelchair-bound women (who worked for Mayor)  joined the walk to show her support for Monks, nuns and the people of Burma. What a way to open an important day, and in fact, with this great walk completed successful, we the Burma supporters had already had our day even before the torch relay began.


After the walk, many of us did proceed to protest at the torch relay closing designated location. While most of us are walking on the Bridge, some of us were at the locations near McCovey Cove to protest for Burma. Both groups met and protested near the Justin Herman plaza. Our day ended with a march to the City Hall along Market street chanting slogans; and then a rally and protest at the City Hall steps. We really had a long day then.


Due to your support and hard work and good team work by the organizers, we have noticed the significant progress in mentioning Burma-China connection in the Olympic torch protest news. Pased below please find the coverage for April 9 Burma actions. And here are some highlights: 

However, In their call for Bush to to boycott the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympic games, Senator Clinton and Obama and McCain did not mention Burma at all. Therefore we need to do a lot of work in highlighting China's support to Burma's dictator and the suffering of 50 millions due to Chinese arms, trade and veto at the UNSC).


Nothing has changed in Burma and she still needs you to help free her from the brutal dictatorship.



Nyunt Than


Local TV Stations News Video of Burma Peace Walk: (National NetWork also aired theses)

Burma April 9 Torch Protest Featured Coverage:

YouTube Video of  Peace Walk taken from the Air Photo Collection:

Flicker: Peace Walk for Burma Photos

Other coverage where Burma was mentioned:

Some of the coverage before April 9 :


April 11, 2008

NY Times: Olympic Official Calls Protests a ‘Crisis’

BEIJING — China faced rare criticism of its human rights record from the head of the International Olympics Committee on Thursday, even as calls for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Games grew louder in Europe and the United States.

The president of the Olympic committee, Jacques Rogge, called on the authorities in Beijing to respect their “moral engagement” to improve human rights in the months leading up to the Games and to provide the news media with greater access to the country. He also described the protests that have dogged the international Olympics torch relay as a “crisis” for the organization.

Though Mr. Rogge predicted the Games would still be a success, his comments were a sharp departure from previous statements in which he avoided any mention of politics. Beijing quickly rejected his remarks and said they amounted to meddling in its internal affairs.

Meanwhile, pressure increased on world leaders to signal their opposition to China’s policies in Tibet and its close relations with the government of Sudan by skipping the opening ceremony of the Games. The European Parliament urged leaders of its 27 member nations to consider a boycott of the ceremony unless China opens a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

In New York, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations informed China that he would not attend the ceremony, a spokeswoman said. An official in Mr. Ban’s office said that he had travel commitments in Europe and Latin America and that he was already scheduled to be in China in July, shortly before the Games.

China’s human rights policies and the Olympics have become a contentious issue in the race for president in the United States, where the three remaining candidates from both parties have called on President Bush, who has plans to attend the Olympics, to skip the opening event.

Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, said he would not attend the opening ceremony if he were president, echoing a statement by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier this week. Senator Barack Obama suggested that Mr. Bush should wait to make a final decision, but leave a boycott “firmly on the table.”

Preparations for the Games were rocked last month when Tibetans staged violent protests against Chinese rule and security forces cracked down on monks and other supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama in parts of Western China. The clashes set off sympathy protests and calls around the world for the boycott. Demonstrators turned the 21-city torch relay into a public relations fiasco for Beijing and the Olympic committee.

The Dalai Lama, in Japan on Thursday, told reporters no one should try to silence the demonstrators protesting Chinese rule in Tibet, and he said, “We are not anti-Chinese.” He added, “Right from the beginning, we supported the Olympic Games.”

Top officials in China have claimed that the Tibetan protests and the international protests are part of a plot to disrupt the Olympics orchestrated by the Dalai Lama, who lives in India. They have called him a splittist and a terrorist whose goal is to separate Tibet from China.

On Thursday, officials also said they had uncovered a plot by Islamic terrorists in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to disrupt the Games by kidnapping foreign journalists, athletes and spectators.

The police said they arrested 35 people and confiscated explosives and detonators belonging to a Uighur jihadist group based in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. In the past, officials have announced the discovery of such plots without providing much evidence. Last month, they claimed to have foiled a plan to hijack an airplane and blow up a bus.

While China has faced violent attacks from Muslim groups, unflinching social controls have prevented the emergence of a sustained terrorist threat in the country. Some analysts have suggested that widely publicized discoveries of weapons caches and terrorist plots are part of a larger effort to present domestic unrest as a form of international terrorism that the world should help China suppress.

Speaking before a two-day meeting of the Olympic committee’s executive board in Beijing, Mr. Rogge condemned protesters who have hounded torch bearers in several countries. He said that skirmishes during torch processions in Athens, London, Paris and San Francisco amounted to a crisis, but insisted that they would not derail the six-continent pageant leading up to the Games.

“There is no scenario of interrupting or bringing the torch back to Beijing,” he said.

Even so, he also called on China to honor its pledges to improve human rights and to give foreign journalists unfettered access to all parts of the country.

“We will do our best to have this be realized,” he said of a recent Chinese regulation that guarantees reporters the right to travel to all parts of the country, including Tibet.

Mr. Rogge said he met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China for an hour on Wednesday, but he would not reveal details of their conversation. Mr. Rogge has long avoided criticizing China, saying that pressing the government on Tibet and other issues was likely to backfire.

“China will close itself off from the rest of the world, which, don’t forget, it has done for some 2,000 years,” he said, somewhat exaggerating history, in an interview broadcast Wednesday in his native Belgium.

The Chinese government reacted sharply to Mr. Rogge’s criticism. “I believe I.O.C. officials support the Beijing Olympics and adherence to the Olympic charter of not bringing in any irrelevant political factors,” said Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Olympic committee members have been taken aback by the scope and ferocity of the protests, which are marring what has traditionally been a festive event involving 20,000 torch bearers. Although the protests in San Francisco were not as disruptive as in London and Paris, the torch’s sole North American visit was a disappointment to thousands of spectators after the relay route was changed at the last minute.

The committee members who gathered at a hotel in central Beijing offered harsh words for demonstrators who used the relay to publicize issues ranging from Tibetan religious freedom to environmental concerns. Gunilla Lindberg, a vice president of the committee, likened some of the more aggressive protesters to terrorists and said they had emboldened committee members to keep the relay going.

“We will never give into violence,” Ms. Lindberg said. “These are not the friendly demonstrators for a free Tibet, but professional demonstrators, the ones who show up at G-8 conferences to be seen and fight.”

Denis Oswald, a committee member from Switzerland, said those who thought that interrupting the torch relay or the Games would push China to improve its human rights record were wrongheaded and naïve. He noted that it took Europe several centuries to become truly democratic and said that it was unwise to expect China to do the same in a few years.

“We have to give them time, and as long as they’re moving in the right direction we should be patient,” he said. He added that those who disrupt the relay “do not respect the freedom of people who want to enjoy it.”

In announcing the disruption of what they described as a pair of terrorist plots, Chinese officials from the Ministry of Public Security said they had arrested leaders of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The authorities said they had seized 19 explosive devices, almost nine pounds of explosive material, seven detonators, and “nine kinds of raw materials to be used for waging a holy war.” They said the group’s leader had urged his fellow plotters to use “poisonous meat,” “poisonous gas” and remotely controlled explosives.

Giselle Davies, a spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said that the group was unaware of the plot and that it had learned about the arrests only from Chinese television. Still, she said the committee had full confidence that the police would guarantee security at the Games. “We trust very much the authorities will handle that with the right approach,” she said.

Despite the chaos along the torch relay route, Mr. Rogge said he expected the Olympics to proceed without a hitch. He cited the murder of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972 and boycotts in 1976, 1980 and 1984 as far more disruptive and said he hoped the public would soon focus on the essence of the Olympics: athletic competition and world unity.

“It is a crisis, there is no doubt about that, but the I.O.C. has weathered many bigger storms,” he said.

Asked if he had any regrets about the Games having been awarded to Beijing, Mr. Rogge said China’s bid was not only the best among competing nations, but that he thought it was especially compelling to hold the Games in a country with a fifth of the world’s population. “It is very easy with hindsight to criticize the decision,” he said. “It’s easy to say now that this was not a wise and sound decision.”

Warren Hoge and Sarah Wheaton contributed reporting from New York.

Pelosi On the San Francisco Olympic Torch Relay
Posted April 8, 2008 | 05:08 PM (EST)

The Olympic Charter states that the goal of the Olympic Games should be to promote "a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity." The Chinese government has failed to live up to the commitments it made before being awarded the Olympic Games to improve its human rights situation. In fact, there is disturbing new evidence that it is conducting a broader crackdown on human rights in China and Tibet because of the Olympics.

For the next four months, the International Olympic Committee and Chinese officials will parade the Olympic torch through dozens of countries and even through Tibet. The torch will be met by politicians and heads-of-state from all over the world along a "journey of harmony." It is the Chinese government that is making the Olympic torch relay a political event.

Freedom-loving people around the world are vigorously protesting because of the crackdown in Tibet and Beijing's support for the regime in Sudan and the military junta in Burma. The people are making a significant statement that the Olympic ideals of peace and harmony should apply to all people, including those in Tibet and Darfur.

San Francisco is blessed by a large and vibrant Chinese-American community. As San Franciscans, we embrace the diversity of our community and we value the contributions made in every corner of our great city. We also value free expression, and this week, many will exercise this right by demonstrating against the Olympic torch. I urge all those who protest to do so peacefully and respectfully. I commend those who speak out for their commitment to shining a light on the causes that challenge the conscience of the world.

China condemns Pelosi comments on torch relay

BEIJING, April 9 (Reuters) - China on Wednesday sharply denounced comments by speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in support of anticipated protests at Wednesday's Olympic torch relay in San Francisco.

Pelosi said on Tuesday that she commended those who were expected to protest along the torch's route in San Francisco on Wednesday, saying they would be making a "significant statement that the Olympic ideals of peace and harmony should apply to all people, including those in Tibet and Darfur".

In a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Web site about Pelosi's comments, ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu called the torch relay in San Francisco, its only stop in the United States, a "grand occasion" between the two countries.

"For some members of the U.S. Congress to set aside the Olympic spirit and the principle that sports should not be politicised, and even to openly encourage interference with and harm to the San Francisco torch relay, completely lacks basic morals and conscience," Jiang said.

"We advise those very few in the U.S. Congress (who are doing so) to immediately stop interfering with and bringing harm to the Olympics and the torch relay," she said. (Reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Giles Elgood)

China Under Olympics Boycott Threat Over Its Human Rights Record

(RTTNews) - The international community is pressuring China to improve its human rights record with the threats of boycotting the Olympics' opening ceremony in Beijing this summer.

On Thursday, Kenya's Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai became the latest to raise voice against China's iron hand on Tibet, as she announced that she is pulling out from the Olympic torch relay in which she was due to take part over the weekend in Tanzania, citing concerns for worldwide human rights, including in Tibet.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging EU leaders to boycott the Olympics opening ceremony to be held on August 8 if China fails to enter into a dialogue with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama by that time.

The EU's demand coincided with IOC chief Jacques Rogge's call on China to respect its "moral engagement" to improve human rights ahead of the Games. Addressing a joint meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees and the IOC executive board in Beijing, he said officials should reassure athletes that "the Chinese government is going to set an example" and that "the world will be watching them."

In the U.S., both the Democratic presidential hopefuls have called on President George Bush to consider boycotting the Beijing opening ceremony if China does not improve its human rights record. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a motion condemning China's "extreme" response to recent protests in Tibet.

The European Parliament resolution, passed with a large majority, urges EU leaders to adopt a united stance on Tibet and firmly condemns "the brutal repression" by China in last month's crackdown on Tibetan protests.

Although the resolution is not binding on EU foreign policy, together with human rights campaigners, it is exerting strong pressure on EU governments to take a tougher line towards China, one of Europe's main trading partners.

That collective pressure seems to be working, as leaders of major EU member states indicate they might stay away.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown clearly put across his message to Beijing by announcing that he would not be attending the opening ceremonies. However, according to the Chinese Embassy in London, Brown was never expected to attend the opening ceremony.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have already said that they never intended to go to Beijing.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested he might consider boycotting the event unless China opens a dialogue with the Dalai Lama to find a political solution to the unrest.

China came under added pressure on Thursday, when six U.N. human rights experts demanded that Beijing end its domestic censorship of news about Tibet and allow foreign journalists unhindered access to the region.

The Chinese government has been reluctant to allow outsiders to visit Tibet independently since images of pro-independence protesters clashing with security forces provoked sharp criticism from human rights groups, with some calling for a boycott of the Olympic games.

Philip Alston, Ambeyi Ligabo, Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Gay McDougall and Manfred Nowak, who all act as independent experts for the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, signed Thursday's statement.

Raising further doubts on Beijing's allergy towards human rights watchdogs, China has rejected a request by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, to visit Tibet in April.

A spokesman for the High Commissioner's office, Rupert Colville, said on Thursday, "The High Commissioner had asked to visit but the Chinese authorities said it would not be convenient at this time."

On the whole, nations around the world are ruling out a full boycott of the universal games. But ignoring the opening ceremony en masse would be a potent signal to embarrass Chinese authorities and express displeasure over their handling of the anti-government protests in Tibet that turned violent last month.

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MEPs call for EU Olympics boycott
By Oana Lungescu

BBC News, Brussels

A torchbearer carries the Olympic flame in San Francisco

MEPs want EU leaders to take a tougher stance over the Olympics

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution urging EU leaders to boycott the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony.

MEPs want China to begin a dialogue with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama by August.

The resolution firmly condemns "the brutal repression" by China in last month's crackdown on Tibetan protests.

It also calls for a UN inquiry into the events. Although non-binding, it will increase pressure on EU leaders to take a tougher stance towards China.

The resolution further calls on Beijing to respect its commitments to human and minority rights.

It comes as UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has confirmed he will not attend the opening of the Olympics on 8 August.

Euro-MPs clapped as the resolution was carried with a large majority.

It urges EU leaders to adopt a united stance on Tibet, including the option of boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

The assembly cannot decide EU foreign policy, but together with human rights campaigners, it is exerting strong pressure on EU governments to take a tougher line towards China, one of Europe's main trading partners.

And that collective pressure seems to be working as, one by one, the leaders of the biggest EU countries indicate they might stay away.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she never intended to go to Beijing.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who will chair the EU during the Olympic Games, has suggested he might consider boycotting the event unless China opens a dialogue with the Dalai Lama to find a political solution to the unrest.