Olympic Torch Relay Held in TibetBy VOA News
21 June 2008
Olympic flame, center right, and main flame, center left, displayed before being used to light cauldron during ceremony in square in front of Potala Palace, Lhasa, 21 Jun 2008
The latest leg of the Olympic torch relay was held in Tibet's capital of Lhasa Saturday under tight security.
The relay began at the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama's former summer palace, Norbulingka, and ended at the hilltop Potala Palace - the traditional seat of Tibetan rulers.
Hand-picked spectators cheered runners as they carried the torch through the sealed-off city, while police and soldiers lined the relay route to prevent any unrest.
The torch run has been marred during its international tour by protests over China's policies in Tibet.
In the Nepalese capital of Katmandu Saturday, hundreds of Tibetans protested outside a Chinese consular office to condemn the passage of the torch through Tibet.
Police in the capital say they detained more than 400 Tibetan protesters.
The relay leg through Lhasa came three months after riots against Chinese rule shook the city.
Sharon Hom, director of the New York-based group Human Rights in China, called the Tibet relay "provocative," and said it could aggravate tensions in the region.
On Friday, China said it had released more than one thousand people held for alleged involvement in the anti-government riots in Lhasa. The official Xinhua news agency said 12 others were sentenced this week for their role in the protests.
In April, authorities handed down punishments to 30 people for several charges, including arson and robbery, committed during the unrest.
The news agency quotes Tibet's vice chairman Palma Trily as saying another 116 people remain in custody awaiting trial.