China’s torch relay becomes a mystery

BEIJING, June 11, 2008 (AFP) – China’s Olympic torch relay has become a mystery tour, with organisers refusing on Wednesday to disclose the dates of a planned journey though Tibet and other potentially sensitive legs. The torch’s trip through Tibet and other regions of western China where recent deadly unrest by Tibetans occurred was originally scheduled to take place from the middle of this month.

However the relay’s route was changed following last month’s earthquake in Sichuan province, and organisers have yet to announce when the Tibet or many other planned legs will take place.

“At present the date (for the Tibet leg) has not been finally set,” Xu Kong, an official with the Beijing Olympic organising committee (BOCOG), told AFP.

“It is because of the Sichuan earthquake problem — it has changed the whole schedule.”

The torch was originally scheduled to tour Tibet from June 19-21, but BOCOG information officer Li Lizhi told AFP last month the Tibetan leg would be shortened to one day in the regional capital of Lhasa, probably on June 18.

Organisers have since said the torch relay will pass through China’s western-most Muslim-dominated Xinjiang from June 17-19.

The torch was also orig