Tibetan Olympics Torch Relay draws Australia's attention

The Tibetan Olympics is close to realising its dream of "One World Two Olympics". Its torch relay, which started on January 30, 2008, from the Indian Capital New Delhi, reached its first destination — Sydney on Sunday.

Themed "One World Many Dreams", the Tibetan Olympics seeks to celebrate Tibetan sporting spirit under the pride of their National Flag after being denied participation at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The sporting event will take place in Dharamsala in India from 15 to 25 May, 2008, much ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

The Tibetan Olympics Torch Relay through Sydney on Sunday was to bring Australian attention to the fact that the "Chinese-occupied Tibet" is forbidden to enter the Beijing Olympic Games to be held in August this year.

Large number of Australian Tibetans and their supporters walked side by side in a symbolic march to "urge the world to recognise their rights to their Tibetan identity and to participate in international sports under the Tibetan national flag," the host organisers' press release stated.

Starting at 11.00am at Circular Quay, the torch proceeded up George Street to finish at Darling Harbour.

Countering the Beijing Olympics slogan of "One World, One Dream", which infers a Chinese Communist ideology, the event organiser, Lobsang Wangyal, who is based in India, chose the motto "One World, Many Dreams".

Lynn Bain, Managing Director of Dalai Lama in Australia Limited, Tsewang Thupten, Spokesman, Tibetan Community, Canberra and Simon Bradshaw, Campaigns Manager, Melbourne, AustraliaTibet Council, took part in the relay walk to lend their support.

At DarlingHarbour, the walkers congregated and joined each other for a Ten Shug (Long life offering) prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

According to the organisers, the Sydney walk was filmed as an Australian contribution to a documentary on Tibetan Olympics in India that is being produced for global distribution.

The organisers' press release states: "This relay, held by Tibetans in Sydney will be a step forward in The Tibetan Olympics initiative of ‘a sporting event for Tibetans to showcase their love and enthusiasm for sports'. It will also bring attention to the fact that Chinese-occupied Tibet is forbidden to enter the real event."

Tenpa, a Tibetan resident of Sydney states, "I am keen to support an initiative by a Tibetan living in exile. I also want Beijing to know that Tibetans in Sydney and around the world are upset and angry with the deterioration of human rights and religious freedom in Tibet since China was awarded the (right to host) Olympics."

Tenpa also wants all competing nations at the Olympics to see that the exile Tibetan communities can perform well at sporting events with professionalism, team spirit and good ethics. "If we cannot demonstrate this at the main Olympics, then we are given a second chance to show our enthusiasm to participate through the Tibetan Olympics," he said.

Copyright © 2008 Phayul

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