Chinese officials have confirmed that the controversial Tibet leg of the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay has been postponed.
Olympic officials previously announced a delay in the torch relay
through Sichuan province after the area was hit by a powerful
earthquake May 12. But now officials confirm additional changes in the
route. No official reason has been given.
The flame originally
was scheduled to travel to Tibet after the Chongqing relay, which is
finishing Monday. Instead, the new schedule makes the Xinjiang Uighur
Autonomous Region the next stop, followed by Tibet and Qinghai.
Media reports say the Tibet leg also has been shortened and may be limited to the capital, Lhasa.
Some Tibetan exiles and human rights activists have called on China to cancel the Tibet relay.
last month's earthquake, officials decided to postpone the Sichuan leg
of the relay until August and skip the worst affected areas of the
Tibetans in Sichuan joined with Tibetan communities
in nearby provinces in several weeks of demonstrations earlier this
year. There are unconfirmed reports that scattered Tibetan protests
The main torch relay already has visited Tibetan areas
in Yunnan province. A separate relay took the flame to the top of
Mount Everest on the Tibet-Nepal border.