Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Torch bearer pulls out of Canberra relay

April 22, 2008

ABC Online - Australia
April 21, 2008

One of the high-profile torch bearers has pulled out of the Olympic
torch relay which will run through Canberra on Thursday.

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."

Ms Hatfield-Dodds says it was a difficult decision.

"I'm passionately committed myself to standing in solidarity with those
who are vulnerable and marginalised as are the organisations I have
leadership positions in the Uniting Church and ACOSS," she said.

The Olympic torch relay will now run a route four kilometres shorter
than previously planned because of security concerns.

Earlier ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said increased security for the
Canberra torch relay could double the cost of the event to around $2

Half of Canberra's police force will be assigned to cover the relay.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank