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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' lit at peak of Taiwan's Jade Mountain

July 8, 2008

The China Post news staff and agencies (Taiwan)
July 7, 2008

NANTOU, Taiwan -- The Tibetan Freedom Torch was lit atop Taiwan's
tallest mountain, Jade Mountain, yesterday to symbolize exiled
Tibetans' wish to return to their homeland.

The 21 member team took the torch to the peak of 13,035 foot
(3,950-meter) Mount Yu, which is also the highest peak in Southeast
Asia, around 7 a.m., and planted a Tibetan flag there, they said.

Jade Mountain was chosen for the torch relay as it is located at a
similar latitude as the holy mountain of Tibetans, the Himalayas,
according to Chou Mei-li, president of the Taiwan Friends of Tibet,
one of the co-sponsors of the relay.

"From the summit of Mount Yu, they looked homeward at the Himalayas,
praying for the early termination of their exile so they could return
home," she said.

The Taiwan leg of the Tibetan Freedom Torch relay, which began in
Taipei Friday, is part of a worldwide relay initiated by the
International Tibet Support Network in March to commemorate the 49th
anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising against Chinese rule in 1959 and
to demonstrate the hopes of the Tibetan people for freedom, justice
and dignity, according to Chou.

The Tibetan torch relay was launched in Greece on March 10 and is
scheduled to finish Aug. 7 at Dharmsala, India, The relay was
designed to contrast with the torch relay for the Olympic Games,
which open in Beijing on Aug. 8.

It is also meant to highlight Tibetans' will to strengthen their
autonomy and denounce Beijing for its crackdown on demonstrations in
Tibet in March, said Thupten Chophed, an official of the Taiwan-Tibet
Interchange Association. Sunday is the 73rd birthday of the Dalai
Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, making the Taiwan leg of the
relay more significant, he said.

The Tibetan Freedom Torch has already traveled to over 30 major
cities in Europe, America and Asia. It will be carried to more than
20 countries worldwide before finally reaching Tibet on the eve of
the opening of Beijing Olympic Games on Aug. 8.

China has governed Tibet since Communist troops marched into the
Himalayan region in the 1950s.

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India during a failed uprising in 1959,
has said he wants some form of autonomy that would allow Tibetans to
freely practice their culture, language and religion.

Taiwan has criticized Beijing for what it says was China's
heavy-handed response to Tibetan demonstrations in March.

China claims the self-ruled island of Taiwan is part of its
territory, although the sides split in 1949 during a civil war.

More information on and pictures of the torch relay can be found at
http: // or
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