Many people have opted to boycott this years Olympic games, hosted in Beijing, China, for a myriad of reasons. A large factor is, of course, oil related. China is tied to the current crisis in Darfur in many ways. In exchange for oil from the Sudanese government, currently engaged in the ethnic genocide of the Darfur natives, China provides weapons and other products that help to fund the Sudanese regime and the brutal Janjaweed militia.
Tibet is another reason for the boycott of China and the 2008 Olympic games. For those not familiar with the Tibet situation, here is a brief history. The Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950 and has been engaged in what the Dalai Lama has called a rule of terror and a cultural genocide. It is reported that over 6,000 Tibetan monasteries and temples have been pillaged and destroyed by the Chinese military. China has faced much political condemnation in the last few years especially in the U.S. by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
There are many other reasons for the boycott of China and the Olympic games which include: forced abortions, religious persecution, the death penalty and the restriction of free speech. With the myriad of problems and crisis like situations that China has been involved with in the last decade, it is easy to see why many would be upset about the Olympic games taking place in Beijing.
One can only hope that a coming together of nations will bring attention and light to these situations and bring them to a close. Perhaps the Olympics can serve as a way to put pressure on China to clean up its act and begin to mend deep wounds created in the last two decades or so. Many Human Rights groups have already taken this opportunity to bring more awareness to the situation. Mia Farrow, and the Save Darfur campaign have decided to create a Webcast of the Darfur Olympics along the same time as the actual Olympic games are broadcast. The Webcast will showcase Darfur children in refugee camps playing sports and will have songs contributed by artists such as R.E.M.