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Tibetan Freedom Torch Riders Present Petition to U.S. Olympic Committee

June 2, 2008

Phayul
May 31, 2008

BOULDER, Co -- On May 27, four Tibetans and two westerners
successfullly completed the Colorado "ibetan Freedom Torch" bicycle
ride from the Capitol Building in Denver to the U.S. Olympics
National Headquarters in Colorado Springs. The leader of the
"Freedom" ride was also able to hand over to a high level official of
the U.S. Olympic Committee a petition demanding that the Beijing
Olympic Torch not pass through Tibet.

In Denver, the "Torch" event began with a walk to the State Capitol
Building by about 100 individuals including Tibetans, Sherpas, and
others. During the walk, leaders of the Tibetan Association of
Colorado, Colorado Friends of Tibet, International Tibet Independence
Movement, and others in attendance carried the “Torch.”

As the walkers approached the Capitol Building, Nawang Khechog
sounded a Tibetan long horn and the "Torch" was passed from the
oldest Tibetan walker to the 2 youngest Tibetan walkers who were
situated in baby strollers.

On the steps of the Capitol, a young Tibetan girl passed the "Torch"
to Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez. Mr. Lopez then spoke in strong
support of Tibet. Other speakers included Telo Rinpoche, Native
American Activist Rudy Balles, Tenzin Dhongyal (President-Tibetan
Association of Colorado), Dawn Engle (President- Colorado Friends of
Tibet), and Jigme Norbu (son of Taktser Rinpoche who is the oldest
brother of His Holiness The Dalai Lama).

After the rally, the 6 "Torch" riders including Jigme Norbu proceeded
on their way to Colorado Springs. During the 60-mile ride through
rural central Colorado, the weather was cloudy, cold, damp, and hazy.
As twilight approached, the fog was so thick that the riders
experienced limited visibility. Even still, they achieved their
target goal location for the first day. In the evening, the riders
met with members of the Colorado All Souls Unitarian Universalist
Church and discussed the situation in Tibet and the purpose of their ride.

On the second and final day, the riders circled downtown Colorado
Springs and then joined a welcoming rally of over 150 Tibetans and
supporters on the steps of City Hall. From here, all in attendance
began a 2.5-mile walk to the U.S. Olympic Committee Headquarters.

As the participants approached the entrance to the Headquarters,
Nawang Khechog once again sounded a Tibetan long horn. Darryl Seibel
(Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Olympic Committee) was present as
the "Freedom" seekers arrived at the entrance to the compound.

At the Headquarters, Tenzin Dhongyal read a statement directed at the
U.S. Olympic Committee and its President, Peter V. Ueberroth,
demanding that the Beijing Olympic Torch not pass through Tibet and
that President Bush not attend the Olympics unless significant
progress was made in negotiations between China and His Holiness The
Dalai Lama in settling the Tibet issue. Mr. Dhongyal strongly urged
the U.S. Olympics Committee President in his capacity also as a
Director of Coca-Cola Company to use his significant influence in the
upcoming last meeting of the IOC before the Beijing Olympics to speak
up for Human Rights in Tibet. Mr. Dhongyal then presented to Mr.
Seibel the statement and a petition making the same demand.

When asked to speak to the audience upon receiving these documents,
Mr. Seibel declined and simply left the entranceway. He promised to
forward the petition to his higher authorities. It also should be
noted that Mr. Seibel prior to the commencement of the rally had
agreed to take a photograph with the “Freedom” seekers. This,
however, did not occur. Currently, the organizers are awaiting a
statement from the U.S. Olympics Committee and its President, Peter
V. Ueberroth.

The rally continued with speeches by Larry Gerstein (President-
International Tibet Independence Movement), Dawn Engle, and Jigme
Norbu, interspersed with the singing of the Tibetan National Anthem,
Tibetan freedom songs, Tibetan prayers, and a long life prayer for
His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Before leaving, the participants posed for a photograph in front of
the U.S. Olympic Headquarters.

While many participants wished to enter the Headquarters and walk
through the Visitors Center, security denied access to each of them.

Tibetans from Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Indiana participated in the
Denver and Colorado Springs rallies.

Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, Voice of Tibet, and many of the
local television stations and newspapers reported on the events in
Denver and Colorado Springs.

For pictures of the activities in Colorado, visit
www.coloradofriendsoftibet.org,  www.coloradotibetans.org, and www.rangzen.org.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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