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Torch for Tibetan sports event arrives in Taiwan on 10-city relay

February 25, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan,  24 Feb (AP) - A torch for a sports event organized by
exiled Tibetans to counter the Beijing Olympics arrived Sunday in
Taiwan's capital, the third stop on a 10-city relay.

Tsering Chungtak, Miss Tibet of 2006, carried the torch for a brief
run after a ceremony in a Taipei park to promote the «Tibetan
Olympics.» Organizers said the games were scheduled to open May 15 in
Dharmsala, India, the home of the Tibetan government in exile.

China occupied Tibet by military force in 1951. Beijing also insists
the self-governed island of Taiwan is still Chinese territory after
the two sides split following a civil war in 1949, and many Taiwanese
sympathize with the Tibetans.

Dozens of Tibetans from all over the world will compete in the
two-week games, which will include running events and a decathlon,
organizers said.

The Tibetan games torch will also pass through cities including Tokyo,
San Francisco and New York, said Li Jieh-mei, an organizer of the
Taiwan relay event.

The Beijing Olympics run Aug. 8-24.

Dharmsala has been an important center for Tibetans since their
Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled there and set up a
government in exile following a failed uprising against Chinese rule
in 1959.
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