June 21, 2008

Tibet Olympic Torch Route Quiet

The passage of the Olympic torch relay through Tibet Saturday produced no overt anti-China demonstrations as an official ceremony was held in Lhasa.

An Australian journalist told CNN that Communist Party officials had warned ordinary Tibetans to stay away from torch in the wake of violent anti-Chinese demonstrations in March. The torch followed a 5.8-mile route through Lhasa ending at Potala Palace, formerly the chief residence of the Dalai Lama.

Journalist Stephen McDonnell told CNN the torch ceremony was colorful and spectacular, and that the local general secretary of the Communist Party took the occasion to denounce the exiled Dalai Lama and his government in exile in India, saying, the stars of China will forever fly over Tibet and we can smash the Dalai clique.

Summer Olympics officials in Beijing claimed that 75 of the 156 torchbearers carrying the flame through Lhasa were ethnic Tibetans, the network said.