The torch relay becomes a new Olympic sport

by twit
https://i2.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44544000/jpg/_44544151_huq226b2.jpgoh look, how nice, people coming together over the Olympic torch…

From the BBC on April 6, 2008: “One protester tried to snatch the torch from former Blue Peter host Konnie Huq.”

Looks like they’ve found a new competition for Olympic athletes:

“Outside Downing Street there were chaotic scenes as former Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis took the flame.”

From the Associated Press: “Another demonstrator tried to snuff out the flame with what appeared to be a fire extinguisher. Others in the crowd threw themselves at torchbearers running past in official Beijing 2010 Olympics tracksuits.”

The BBC reports that there have also been unannounced changes to the torch route and that the torch has been carried partway by bus to avoid protesters.

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Tibet Update: Chinese police open fire on protesters

by twit

On April 4, 2008, the Associated Press describes reports of recent protests, including that “police opened fire on hundreds of Buddhist monks and lay people who had marched on local government offices.” The Chinese media agency Xinhua reports:

… no mention of deaths or injuries among protesters, but said a “riot” had flared up Thursday night outside government offices in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture high in the mountains in Sichuan province along the border with Tibet.

further details are offered by the Associated Press:

… the chief monk, Lobsang Jamyang, refused to allow a government team to enter on Wednesday, but they returned Thursday with a force of about 3,000 paramilitary troops. The two monks, Geshi Sonam Tenzing and Tsultrim Phuntsog, were detained after photos of the Dalai Lama were found among their belongings.

Soon afterward, the monastery’s 370 monks marched on local government headquarters to demand their release, joined by about 400 lay people, Whitticase said. The group left after being told the two monks would be freed at 8 p.m., but returned after officials reneged. Along the way, they were confronted by troops at a road block, who opened fire on the crowd, Whitticase said.

The BBC has more:

Tibetan exile groups say Chinese security forces killed dozens of protesters. Beijing says about 19 people were killed in rioting.

… The latest Xinhua report states that a government official was “attacked and seriously wounded” in the Donggu township at about 2000 (1200 GMT) on Thursday.

“Local officials exercised restraint during the riot and repeatedly told the rioters to abide by the law,” Xinhua quoted an official with the prefectural government as saying.

“Police were forced to fire warning shots and put down the violence,” the official added.

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the latest in teen fashion

by twit

accessorize with storm troopers:

From the Associated Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on March 28, 2008:

Riot police officers arrest a demonstrator during a protest to mark the “Day of the Young Combatant” in Santiago, Friday. The Day of the Young Combatant commemorates the killing of two young brothers by police in a 1985 protest during the 1973-90 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

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The Middle Way through Tibet

by twit

There won’t be a massive boycott of the Beijing Olympics. Whether individual athletes and other participants will boycott remains to be seen.

The Dalai Lama has suggested a “middle way” through the crisis in Tibet. The Associated Press reports on March 24, 2008:

“DHARMSALA, India (AP) – Nearly six decades of struggle against the might of China has taught the Tibetans one thing: Ask the world for little, expect less.

… They know few countries have the appetite to cross China, particularly at a time the world is counting on the emerging superpower to keep the global economy ticking as the United States appears headed into a recession.

… From the exiled Tibetan leaders, there were no calls for sanctions, like those imposed when Myanmar suppressed pro-democracy protests last year, or even a boycott of this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

It’s an approach that reflects the pragmatism of the Dalai Lama, who has long sought an accommodation based on his “Middle Way” dialogue with Beijing aimed at autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese rule.

Instead, the Tibetans appealed for international pressure on China to act with restraint, to open the area to international investigators and the media and for organizations like the International Red Cross to be allowed in to ensure wounded Tibetan protesters get treatment.

“Specific things are very difficult. No one is going to send in a peacekeeping force,” said Taklha.

The Tibetans have, however, won the moral support of many nations.

… Some argue that only international pressure has stopped China from completely crushing the Tibetans long ago.”

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