Security Tight in Tibet Ahead of Olympic Torch Relay

Security is tight in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Friday as it readies to host the Olympic torch relay three months after violent anti-government protests rocked the remote city.

Foreign journalists who were allowed to travel to Lhasa to cover Saturday's relay say banners and billboards welcomed the Beijing Olympic Games, but note that police and security troops were visible throughout the city.   

Tibet has been under tight security since mid-March when riots spread from Lhasa to other Tibetan regions of the country. Tibet is still closed to tourists and journalists despite a government pledge to allow more open media coverage in the run up to the Olympics.

The Associated Press says police stopped one of its cameramen from shooting street scenes today in Lhasa and forced him to erase footage of security arrangements.

During the Lhasa leg, the Olympic flame will be reunited with the flame that was taken separately to the top of Mount Everest last month.

During its global journey, the Olympic torch relay has been hounded by protests over China's treatment of Tibet and its poor human rights record.

The government in Beijing has blamed the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for instigating Lhasa unrest.  The Dalai Lama denies the charges. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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