Showing posts with label Beijing Olympics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beijing Olympics. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2008

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Olympic torch re-lit in Beijing

The Olympic torch has been re-lit at a lavish ceremony in Beijing, after arriving aboard a flight from Athens.


Chinese President Hu Jintao took part in the event at Tiananmen Square to welcome the torch to the city, which hosts of the 2008 Olympics in August.

Tight security was put in place at the square, amid concerns of possible anti-government protests.

Last week protesters opposed to China's actions in Tibet clashed with police at the lighting ceremony in Greece.

On Tuesday, the torch goes to Almaty in Kazakhstan, its next stop on a tour of 20 countries before returning for the opening of the Beijing games on 8 August.

See map of Olympic torch relay route

Square closed

Hundreds of schoolchildren turned out at Beijing airport, waving flags as the Air China plane arrived.

Students and workers sang the Olympic slogan "One World, One Dream" and waved pom-poms.

Security was tight in the centre of Beijing, with one underground station near Tiananmen Square closed, and the square closed off to vehicles.

'Timeless symbol'

Sunday's formal handover was held in the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896.

The Chinese and Greek flags were marched in by Greek athletes to the strains of a band, before a circle of white-clad actresses dressed as ancient priestesses surrounded a podium as the torch was brought in.

Minos Kyriakou, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, passed the flame to chief Beijing organizer Liu Qi.

"The Olympic flame is the timeless symbol which stirs admiration, pride and faith [in] the Olympic ideals and values," said Mr Kyriakou.

"I hope the world community welcomes the flame and honours it".

Mr Liu pointed out that the summit of Mount Everest was on the torch's destination list, "testifying to the great strength of the Olympic movement in marking the progress of human civilisation".

The protesters tried to unfurl a banner which said "Stop genocide in Tibet", but failed to enter the stadium or disrupt the solemn ceremony.

At least six people were arrested.

Police had warned they would confiscate all banners, signs or objects that might be thrown.


Olympic torch relay route

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Olympic torch re-lit in Beijing

Sunday, March 30, 2008 Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics

Sunday, March 30, 2008 (New York)

The Indian American Intellectuals Forum has urged the United States to boycott the coming Olympics to send a ''clear and strong'' message to Beijing that Washington would not tolerate suppression of and brutalities against peace-loving Tibetans.

''This will be a minimal symbolic gesture of our solidarity with the Tibetan people,'' said the Forum President Narain Kataria in a letter to President George Bush on Saturday.

Kataria said that in 2002, US Congress had passed the Tibetan Policy Act that calls for the preservation of culture and identity of Tibetans living in exile and in Tibet.

''Under that act, it is the sacred duty of United States to protect the non-violent Tibetans from the brutal wrath of Chinese army,'' he stressed.

Pointing to ''reign of terror and repression'' let loose by the ''world's largest military dictatorship on ''hapless non violent'' Tibetans, Kataria said ever since China forcibly occupied the nation, there have been many reports of ''widespread mistreatment of civilians, torture of detainees and political prisoners.''

''There is a string of serious and severe violations of human rights,'' he said.
Tibet, the letter said, is overwhelmingly of the Buddhist faith. As Buddha was born in India, Buddhism is like a sister religion to the Hinduism.

''Hindu people in India even believe Lord Buddha to be an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu. There is a symbiotic relationship between Hindus and Buddhists and hence, the Hindu people are very concerned about the miserable plight of Tibetan civilians at the hands of Chinese army,'' he added.

Stating that there is precedent, Kataria recalled the boycott of Moscow Olympics in 1980 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Indians in New York urge US to boycott Olympics