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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China Postpones Olympic Torch Relay Through Tibetan Capital

June 17, 2008

By Wing-Gar Cheng
June 16, 2008

Beijing Olympic Games organizers postponed the torch relay through
Tibet, saying the earthquake in Sichuan province had forced the
schedule to be reorganized.

The flame will head to the western region of Xinjiang tomorrow,
bypassing the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, that was initially scheduled to
host the relay this week, and cities in neighboring Qinghai province.

"We have to make adjustments with the other provinces after changing
the leg in Sichuan,'' Zhang Liang, an official at the Olympic Torch
Relay Center, said in a telephone interview today. ``We will decide
on the next stop only after the torch arrives in one province.''

The change to the Tibetan leg may have been prompted by concerns over
``security abnormalities,'' the South China Morning Post reported
today without elaborating, citing the Hong Kong-based Information
Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. Protests against Chinese rule
broke out in the Himalayan region in March and the government in
Beijing accuses supporters of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual
leader, of trying to sabotage the Beijing Games.

The Dalai Lama last week appealed to Tibetans not to disrupt the
relay when it passes through Lhasa.

It is the second time in three weeks the organizers have rerouted the
relay in mainland China, after postponing the run through
earthquake-hit Sichuan until August from June.

The relay was suspended for three days of national mourning last
month for victims of the May 12 disaster, the nation's strongest
earthquake in 58 years.

The organizers have yet to decide on new dates for the relay through
Tibet and Qinghai, Zhang said. The torch is now in Chongqing and will
be flown to Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital city, later today, according
to the relay Web site.

The torch was originally scheduled to arrive in Tibet June 19 and
pass through Qinghai from June 22-24 before the June 25- 27 leg in Xinjiang.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wing-Gar Cheng in Beijing at
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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