Torch heads to Argentina as controversy, protests continue

(dpa) - The Olympic torch for the 2008 Beijing Games headed Thursday towards its next destination, Argentina, as the torch relay remained a target of attempts to disrupt it by demonstrators protesting against China's policies towards Tibet.

For the first time, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge spoke of a "crisis" for the Olympics while Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama issued an appeal for non-violent protests and reiterated support for China's hosting the games.

Speaking in Beijing, Rogge said there had been greater problems in the past for the Olympics movement to solve and added he was sure the Beijing Games would prove to be a success.

After China's crackdown in Tibet and the torch relay protests, the present situation was "a challenge," Rogge said after an IOC executive meeting. But there could be no comparison to past challenges including Olympic boycotts or the massacre at the 1972 Munich Games.

Members of the IOC expressed relief that the San Francisco leg of the Olympic torch relay had occurred without major incidents. After the mayhem that haunted the legs in London and Paris this week, Rogge said the situation in San Francisco "was better."

"It was, however, not the joyous party that we had wished it to be," he added.

The symbolic flame was spirited Wednesday through San Francisco in the face of demonstrations. After numerous ploys to keep the torch far from thousands of protestors who lined the official route, the official farewell ceremony was cancelled and the torch was secreted to the city's airport. It was then flown quietly to Argentina.

In Tokyo, the Dalai Lama appealed for non-violent protests during the Olympic torch relay, but expressed support for China's hosting of the international games.

While he condemned disturbances that have marred the relay, the Nobel Peace Prize winner told reporters that no one, including himself, has "the right to say, 'Shut up' ... It is the freedom of speech."

He made the remarks at a press conference during a stopover in Japan en route to the United States, where he was to spend two weeks on what he said was a non-political visit.

"Tibet must have real autonomy," the Dalai Lama said, adding that some Chinese leaders "consider Tibetan Buddhism a sign of separation" and portray him as a threat.

"I really feel very sad that at the government level, they almost demonize me," the monk said. "I'm just a human being."

In New Delhi, the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile said it did not support the disruption of the Olympic torch run and appealed to people not to resort to violence during next week's Indian leg of the relay.

"The Kashag (cabinet of the government-in-exile) again appeals to the Tibetan diaspora to desist from violent protests and respect the law of the host country and ensure that Indian sentiments are not hurt as the Olympic torch relay passes through India," it said.

An estimated 100,000 Tibetan refugees - the largest concentration of Tibetans outside Tibet - live in India. Many of them fled to India with the Dalai Lama after the 1959 crackdown on the Tibetan uprising.

India has assured Beijing that it will make adequate security arrangements during the torch run in New Delhi on April 17.

A four-member Chinese security team was in Delhi to hold talks with Indian officials to take stock of the security arrangements.

Meanwhile Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, during his visit to Beijing, said Thursday that Chinese leaders were sticking to their position on Tibet despite calls from Western politicians for them to allow media access and hold talks with the exiled Dalai Lama.

The views on Tibet given by Premier Wen Jiabao and other leaders were "consistent with the public position we've seen from the Chinese government in recent times," Rudd told reporters shortly after meeting Wen.

Rudd said he urged Wen to hold a dialogue with the Dalai Lama and had "considerable discussion" lasting some 30 minutes on the recent unrest in China's Tibetan areas.

"I think we have a different view, that's quite plain," he said of the discussion with Wen on Tibet.

"When it comes to the particular events of recent times, the position of the Australian government is that there are significant human rights problems in Tibet," Rudd said.

The Olympic flame was lit in Greece on March 24 and is being relayed through 20 countries before being carried into the opening ceremony in Beijing on August 8.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Iran sees decrease in load/unload operations in Astara port
Iran sees decrease in load/unload operations in Astara port
Bahar Azadi gold coin price begins to rise in Iran
Bahar Azadi gold coin price begins to rise in Iran
Central Bank of Iran shares data on loans issued for trade sector
Central Bank of Iran shares data on loans issued for trade sector
Loading Bars
Latest
Uzbek Central Bank publishes data on country's gold, currency reserves
Trade turnover between Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan grows sharply
FIMI buys Ashot Ashkelon stake from Elbit Systems for $88m
Azerbaijan confirms 2,005 more COVID-19 cases, 1,011 recoveries
Uzbek Central Bank reveals data on total liabilities of banks
Iran sees decrease in load/unload operations in Astara port
Kremlin hopes for EU certification of Russia's vaccine
Bahar Azadi gold coin price begins to rise in Iran
India enters 100-crore vaccine club to fight Covid, PM Modi says nation scripts history
Hungarian University Forum and alumni meeting in Baku
Central Bank of Iran shares data on loans issued for trade sector
Turkmenistan doubles greenhouse tomato exports to Russia
Turkey's position on opening Zangezur corridor - unchanged – President Erdogan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 21
Georgia shares data on its top goods exported to Russia
Iran sees increase of cargo loading/unloading at its Charak port
Turkish President to attend opening of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli International Airport
India offered humanitarian assistance to Afghans, Taliban say after 2nd meeting
'Turkic World' project aims to meet information demand - Turkish official
First VP Mehriban Aliyeva shares footages from her visit to liberated Zangilan (VIDEO)
South Pars field revenues account for over half of Iran's state budget
Turkmenistan looks to launch new project jointly with UNDP, WB
Central Bank of Iran announces amount of loans issued in housing, construction sector
Turkmenistan interested in political stability, security in Afghanistan – Deputy FM
Iran’s CBI reveals amount of loans issued for industrial and mining sectors
India achieves the major milestone of ‘one billion’ vaccinations
Volume of loaded/unloaded cargo in Iran’s Fereidoonkenar port down
Ruling parties of Azerbaijan, Turkey to hold meeting
Iran records increase in exports to Uzbekistan
Iranian president to visit Ardabil Province on border with Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan reveals total assets for banks with/without state share
Every martyr will live forever in hearts of Azerbaijani people - President Ilham Aliyev
SOCAR discloses oil transportation volume via Baku-Supsa
Our people did not bow down during occupation, did not forget about their native lands - Azerbaijani president
Georgia-Russia trade turnover increases in 9M2021
Azerbaijan's military units in Kalbajar, Lachin undergo inspection amid coming winter (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 21
SOCAR’s capital investment plan fulfilled by over 63%
SOCAR reveals volume of electricity production, consumption
Iranian currency rates for October 21
Tesla's German plant hits snag as public consultation repeated
Iranian startup companies receive more loans from local banks
Activities in Iran’s Genaveh port increase
Egypt economy forecast to grow 5.1% in year to June, 5.5% in 2022/23
Pfizer vaccine very effective against Delta variant in adolescents in Israel
Iranians detained in Azerbaijan due to falsified of customs documents sent back to Iran
Exports of Iran to Tajikistan soar
Iran begins new round of power plant overhaul operations
Zangilan will become transport and logistical center of our country - President Aliyev
SOCAR fulfills oil refining plan by over 103%
Gas could lose market share to coal this winter
Russia sees record high of 36,339 daily COVID-19 cases, crisis center says
Does Europe have enough gas stocks to get through winter?
Azerbaijan considering proposals for building new modern gas-turbine power plant
Azerbaijan announces time of commissioning floating solar power plant
Azerbaijan to develop atlas of renewable energy potential
Kazakhstan eyes attracting investments in processing industry
Turkey shares data on number of cars transshipped via local ports in 9M2021
Iran to use alternative fuel for power plants
Iran shares data on grain imports from Russia
Azerbaijan updates on renewable energy projects with ACWA Power, Masdar
Iran looking to expand export to neighboring countries - President Raisi
Amount of loans issued by Iranian banks continue to grow
Iran provides several loans in agricultural sector
Oil mixed, but solid U.S. demand underpins sentiment
1 dead, 33 injured in restaurant explosion in northeast China
Iran, Kazakhstan urged to set out a new framework for bilateral ties
Number of beneficiaries receiving subsistence allowance increases in Georgia
ADB to prioritize Uzbekistan’s transformation to market-based economy through reforms (Exclusive)
COVID-19: New cases slightly up in Kazakhstan
India for including TRIPS waiver proposal in WTO’s response package
U.S. FDA clears Moderna, J&J COVID-19 boosters, backs use of different vaccine for boost
India plans to send 50,000 MT of wheat, medical aid to Afghanistan: Report
17 killed in car crash in Egypt
WHO Director General has lauded India's Covid vaccination efforts: Health Minister
Canada to unveil vaccine passport plans Thursday
Covaxin instilled self-confidence: ICMR chief
India: Adani Ports to shun cargo from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran
U.S. readies plan to vaccinate kids ages 5-11 against COVID-19
India, Israel agree on mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper on October 21, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 21, 2020
Trilateral meeting of Deputy PMs of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia held in Moscow
20 October will remain eternal Victory Day for people of Zangilan and for all our people of Azerbaijan - President Ilham Aliyev
First VP Mehriban Aliyeva shares footages from her visit to liberated Zangilan with President Ilham Aliyev (VIDEO)
Kazakh and Russian PMs hold talks
SOCAR AQS, Naftogaz ink MoU for dev’t of onshore, offshore technologies
After long break, after 27 years of Armenian occupation, Zangilan finally returned home - Azerbaijani president
Mikheil Saakashvili charged with illegal border crossing
We started process of suing foreign companies, which illegally exploited Vejnali gold deposit - president
Entire infrastructure will be built in Zangilan in parallel with protection of nature - President Aliyev
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 23
Certain contracts signed in Iran on manufacturing of spare car parts
Recent events related to opening of Zangazur corridor show that we are achieving what we want - Azerbaijani president
We strengthened our army, our economy, enhanced our international standing - President Aliyev
This is our common victory, victory of Azerbaijani people - President Aliyev
We will try to start relocating local residents to Zangilan early next year - President Aliyev
Turkey unveils number of ships received at local ports in September
Leading private Uzbek banks in terms of deposits
Funds allocated to draw up master plan for liberated Zangilan city
All news