April 21, 2008

Torch keeps running into trouble: Pro-China groups battle pro-Tibet groups

One of the torch bearers pulls out of the Canberra, Australia section of the torch's run:

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) president and the ACT Australian of the Year, Lin Hatfield-Dodds, says she is taking a stand for human rights.

The Olympic torch has become a beacon for pro-Tibet supporters as it makes its way around the world in the lead up to the Beijing Games.

Ms Hatfield-Dodds says the recent scenes in Tibet are disturbing.

"For many other people globally the torch has come to stand for a symbol around human rights and around rights for citizens," she said.

"I felt I really needed to be very clear in my stance, which is very pro-human rights obviously, so I've chosen not to run."

Hunger-strikers hit the road to Canberra as well.

In Malyasia, pro-China groups turned out to heckle pro-Tibet groups. And the two groups also clashed in former Olympic site Salt Lake City.

Below is a scanned map of the torch route from the latest National Geographic, which is all about China - click on it to see a bigger version.

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