Torch Lands in Bangkok, Japanese Get Jitters

The beleagured Olympic torch is making its way through Asia, as the controversy continues. From Reuters:

The Olympic torch landed amid tight security in the Thai capital of Friday, the latest leg of its world tour, with police saying they were ready to stop any attempt by anti-China activists to put out the flame.

Several groups angry at Beijing’s human rights record and its rule in Tibet are planning demonstrations in Bangkok, but will not face any opposition from police as long as they remain orderly, Thai Olympic chief General Yuthasak Sasiprapa said.

…However, security concerns and anger at Beijing’s March crackdown on unrest in Tibet caused an iconic Buddhist temple in central Japan to pull out as the starting point of next week’s torch relay in that country.

Zenkoji temple, in Nagano, said it had received 1,000 letters from across Japan calling for its withdrawal from the April 26 parade after the crackdown in Buddhist Tibet, in which monasteries were raided and monks arrested.

Meanwhile, Australia has warned the security detail guarding the torch against physically interfering with protesters.

April 18, 2008 3:36 PM
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