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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Freedom Torch Burns for Tibet

June 25, 2008

Whangarei Leader (New Zealand)
June 24, 2008

A torch relay with a difference is hitting Whangarei streets next week.

The Tibetan Freedom Torch highlights the global quest for freedom,
justice and human rights in Tibet.

The torch is travelling to more than 50 countries around the world
and will be carried to Tibet on August 8, the start of the Olympic Games.

New Zealand relay co-ordinator Paul Cullen says the Olympic torch
should embody the ideals of peace and harmony for all.

"The Chinese government is trying to use the Olympic torch relay to
cover up its brutal occupation of Tibet and abysmal human rights
record," he says.

The International Olympic Committee continues to refuse the Tibetan
request to be represented at the Games, he says.

The torch is about peace says Karma Gyasey, a monk at the Tibetan
Buddhist centre, Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling, north of Kamo.

"It's very different to the Olympic Games torch. This one is called
the peace torch," he says.

Karma hopes to have lots of people from Whangarei join him and other
monks in a peace march on Monday, June 30.

The march will start at midday outside the Himalayan Trading Post on
the corner of Bank and Water Streets.

It will finish at the Town Basin, where there will be talks about the
situation in Tibet, and Tibetan monks will pray for the Dalia Lama
and a peaceful solution for Tibet.

Participants are asked to wear yellow or orange to show solidarity with Tibet.

China says Tibet is officially part of China and should continue to
be ruled by Beijing. The Beijing Olympics has focused attention on
Tibet with campaigners both inside and outside China using the
publicity surrounding the event to highlight their concerns.
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