Monday March 31, 2008
While India bent backwards to China's bullying over Tibet and the Dalai Lama
(among other things, China called him a liar and "the devil"), the Olympics torch began
its journey in Beijing with President Hu Jintao waving it at Tiananmen Square. One eventual stop on what Beijing is calling a “Journey of Harmony” will be Lhasa, the Tibetan capital still simmering from violent antigovernment protests. This week, the Olympic flame is being split into two torches. One will be flown Tuesday to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to begin an international relay covering five continents and including a stop in San Francisco. The other torch is being flown to Lhasa and then being transferred to a base camp below Mount Everest. There, the flame is expected to be stored in a special lantern until May, when a team of climbers — and two specially trained camera operators for Chinese state television — will try to carry the burning torch to the summit of the world’s highest mountain and back down.