For Immediate Release
16 May 2008
Tibetan Freedom Torch welcomed at Olympic Stadium
(Montreal) – The Tibetan Freedom Torch reached Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Friday, as it continues its voyage to more than 50 cities between March 10th and August 7th, when Tibetans plan to carry the torch to Tibet. The relay will finish on August 8th, the day the Olympics begin in Beijing.
The Torch was passed between local Tibetan bikers to runners to walkers along a 55km course across the island of Montreal, before arriving at the Stadium for a welcoming ceremony before Tibetans and their supporters. The Torch arrived at the Stadium held by two torch bearers as was done 32 years ago on the opening day of the 1976 Olympic Games. Before leaving Canada, the Torch will have visited Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.
“The Tibetan Freedom Torch represents the hopes and aspirations of a people and a 49 year struggle”, said CTC Executive Director Dermod Travis. “This flame for justice will not be extinguished on August 24th, but will burn brightly until freedom for the Tibetan people is achieved.”
The Torch visit was organized by the Canada Tibet Committee, Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Cultural Association of Québec.
The Tibetan Freedom Torch symbolizes the hopes and aspirations of the Tibetan people for freedom and justice and the commitment of people around the world to helping achieve this dream. The Olympic torch should embody the ideals of peace and harmony for all, but this year, the Chinese government is trying to use the Olympic torch relay to cover up its brutal occupation of Tibet and abysmal human rights record, while the International Olympic Committee has refused Tibetans’ request to be represented at the Games.
The Tibetan Freedom Torch relay gives voice to the true ideals of Tibetans and reminds the global public of the need for action to bring an end to China’s occupation of Tibet.
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organisation of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.
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For more information:
CTC Executive Director