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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."

Tibetan Olympics torch relay takes on its route around the world

February 1, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Delhi, January 30: Torch relay of the Tibetan Olympics, a symbolic
Tibetan sport event ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, opened Wednesday
from the UN premises in the Indian capital.

 From Delhi the torch will go around the world through five continents
covering Sydney, Taipei, Maui (Hawaii), Sucre (Bolivia), New York City,
London, and Jerusalem before arriving in McLeod Ganj, the official venue
for the games in the northern India state of Himachal.

The Games’ official website says it is yet to confirm Tokyo, San
Francisco, and Capetown as other possible routes of the torch relay.

According to Mr Lobsang Wangyal, the man behind the event, “The torch
will subsequently embark on an around-the-world tour, visiting five
continents before returning to India in May”.

Initially, the lighting was planned at the Gandhi Samadhi (memorial
tomb), coinciding with the Gandhi's 60th death anniversary, but was
refused permission by Delhi police.

“We light the torch on this day to pay our homage to Gandhi for his
beliefs and guidance in justice, freedom and peace,” Mr Lobsang said
before the torch relay began.

The Tibetan Olympics 2008, which will be held from 15 to 25 May in
Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, will celebrate
the unsung Tibetan people’s sporting spirit while, at the same time,
telling the world that Tibet would be missing during the Beijing Games.

The Tibetan Olympics will have a customised decathlon, including
long-distance running, swimming, shooting, archery as well as other
track and field events.

The winner in each of the men's and women's categories will get a cash
prize of Rs.100, 000 ($2,200) while the first and second runners-up will
win Rs. 50,000 and Rs.25, 000 each respectively.
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