by Charles Whelan
BEIJING (AFP) –‘s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.
The iconic flame was Sunday carried through, where demonstrations against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet saw 35 protesters arrested, but the urged Tibetan exiles not to disrupt events leading up to the Games.
Zhang Qingli, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official in Tibet, told local leaders thatwas in no mood to listen to the demands of demonstrators calling for the route to be changed.
In a statement on the Tibet government website Sunday, Zhang said Tibet was determined to play its part in a successfulby hosting the torch relay on June 19 and 20 and overseeing the flame’s ascent of in May.
He urged people to “deepen their drive to complete the glorious, important and arduous task” of having the torch pass through.
Zhang said that most of Tibet had now been pacified afterbroke out last month.
The Dalai Lama said Sunday that protests in Tibet and nearby provinces had disproven Chinese “propaganda” about unrest in the region, adding the situation could no longer be “neglected”.
The exiled spiritual leader repeated his call for an independent international probe into the unrest and subsequent Chinese crackdown….