BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.
The iconic flame was Sunday carried through London, where demonstrations against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet saw 35 protesters arrested, but the Dalai Lama urged Tibetan exiles not to disrupt events leading up to the Games.
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the media in Dharamsala on April 6, 2008. China’s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.
Zhang Qingli, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official in Tibet, told local leaders that Beijing was 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 successful Olympics by hosting the torch relay on June 19 and 20 and overseeing the flame’s ascent of Mount Everest in May.
He urged people to “deepen their drive to complete the glorious, important and arduous task” of having the torch pass through Tibet.
Zhang said that most of Tibet had now been pacified after anti-Chinese riots broke 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….
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