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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Argentina tightens security for Olympic torch

April 11, 2008

Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:42pm EDT

By Kevin Gray

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina readied thousands of police on
Thursday to guard the Olympic torch on the next stop of its world tour
as calls

grew for world leaders to boycott the Games' opening ceremony over
China's human rights record.

Some Argentine activists opposed to China's rule of Tibet have vowed
"surprise actions" when the torch is carried through Buenos Aires on
Friday but

they swore off violence.

"I want to announce that we are not going to put out the torch," said
Jorge Carcavallo, the head of an Argentine pro-Tibet group. "But we are
going

to make surprise and peaceful protests across the city."

Rival demonstrations by human rights activists and pro-Chinese
supporters forced officials to abruptly change the torch's route through
San

Francisco on Wednesday.

The torch's international relay have also sparked chaotic demonstrations
during stops in London and Paris, where protests over China's crackdown on

Tibet forced organizers to put it out twice.

China said on Thursday it had foiled plots to kidnap foreigners and
carry out suicide attacks during the Beijing Summer Olympics.

In Buenos Aires, some 1,500 Coast Guard officers, 1,200 police, and
3,000 city workers will be deployed along the route as Argentine
athletes and

personalities carry the torch.

Argentine Olympic officials invited soccer great Diego Maradona to kick
off the relay, but it was unclear if he would participate.

ANGER OVER TIBET, DARFUR

Groups angry over China's human rights record and its polices on Sudan's
Darfur region have sought to pressure Beijing as it prepares to host the

Olympics in August.

The European Parliament on Thursday urged European Union leaders to
boycott the opening ceremony unless China opens talks with the Tibet's

spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, over the situation in Tibet.

President George W. Bush has also faced calls from Democratic
presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton to skip the
ceremony.

Bush says he plans to attend, although he has also urged China to talk
with the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.

In China, a police spokesman said authorities detained 45 suspects and
seized explosives and firearms in the restive northwestern region of
Xinjiang

as they uncovered a plot by two terrorist groups seeking to disrupt the
Olympics.

Indonesia, which is to welcome the torch on April 22, will shorten its
leg of the relay after a request by Beijing over security concerns, a
sports

official said on Thursday.

The path the torch takes on May 2 in Hong Kong, its first stop in China,
will also be curtailed "to avoid embarrassing scenes," Hong Kong's South

China Morning reported.

Beijing hopes that hosting the Olympic Games will highlight its
increasingly important role on the world state, and has fiercely
condemned the torch

protests, which it blames on the Dalai Lama and his followers.

After Buenos Aires, the torch heads to Tanzania.

(Additional reporting by Luis Ampuero; Editing by Kieran Murray)

(Take a look at the Countdown to Beijing blog at
http:blogs.reuters.com/china)
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