March 24, 2008
Protesters did briefly disrupt the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony:
Three pro-Tibet activists have briefly disrupted the ceremony in which the Olympic torch for the Beijing Games was lit in Greece.
The protestors breached a cordon of about 1,000 police officers at Olympia to display a flag demanding a boycott of the Olympics amid mounting controversy over China's crackdown in Tibet.
The men, of the French human rights group Reporters Without Borders, ran up behind Liu Qi, the head of the Beijing Olympic organising committee, as he spoke before the flame was lit.
One man unfurled a black flag portraying the Olympic rings made from handcuffs. Another tried to grab the microphone from Mr Liu and shouted "freedom, freedom".
But Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, insisted there was no "momentum" for a boycott of the event which starts in the Chinese capital on August 8.
(Danny Fisher has BBC footage of this.) The torch is due to arrive March 31st in Beijing. Chinese officials vow tight security will be in place for that day and the entire games, due to begin in August.
And Rediff News asks, Whodunit?
A scenario in which the Dalai Lama wantonly stokes the dormant embers of decades into a conflagration against China seems utterly implausible.
. . .
There is absolutely no chance of China agreeing to bring within the purview of the talks demands such as independence, self-determination or referendum in the light of its stand on Tibet. It is too late in the day to go back on the endorsement, open and tacit, by the international community of the fact that Tibet is a part of Chinese territory and the recognition given to its sovereign rights as such for over five decades.