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Torch May Head to Everest

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/06/27; June 27, 2001.]

LONDON: 27 June 2001. (Courier Mail).

China is planning for two climbers to take the Olympic flame to the top of Mount Everest if Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympics is successful, a newspaper reported here today.

Beijing officials want a Chinese and Tibetan climber to lift the flame to the top of the world's highest mountatin in a "symbolic gesture of friendship," The Guardian newspaper reported.

The Everest climb would launch the Chinese leg of the Olympic flame's traditional torch relay from Greece to the opening ceremony of the Games.

Chinese Olympic officials were working on how to take the flame to the top of Everest without it being snuffed out, The Guardian reported, without identifying its sources.

China seized control of Tibet in 1950 in what it considered a "peaceful liberation".

It has since ruled the Himalayan region with an iron fist, with human rights groups alleging widespread human rights abuses and attempts to destroy Tibetan culture.

Opponents of Beijing's bid have said China's overall record on human rights should bar the country from staging the 2008 Games.

The vote to determine the hosts of the 2008 Olympics takes place in Moscow next month.

Beijing is considered the favourite of the five cities taking part in the vote, with Paris and Toronto the other front-runners.


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