Pattaya Daily News

18 April 2008 :: 20:04:03 pm 7114

Bangkok Gives A Big Welcome As Olympic Torch Arrives

BANGKOK, April 18 - The Olympic flame arrived in Bangkok early Friday, before embarking on the continuing torch relay this Saturday as Thai authorities step up security to cope with possible protests.
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The China Airlines special flight plane landed at the Royal Thai Air Force airport at 2:25am Friday for the 12th leg of its global relay after finishing its last stop in New Dehli, India. 

Jiang Xiaoyu, vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG), leading the 29th Olympics in Beijing’s flame delegation was welcomed by General Yuthasak Sasiprapha, President of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT). 

The flame lantern was brought to keep at a hotel in Bangkok before the relay which would be held on Saturday. 

Friday evening Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, will preside over a grand welcoming ceremony for the Beijing Olympic 2008 delegates at the Kasikornbank Headquarters in Bangkok. 

The relay is scheduled to start at 3pm Saturday. 

Eighty torch bearers, handpicked from an array of distinguished representatives from different walks of life including government officials, athletes, corporate executives, artists, students, educators, social workers and Thai-Chinese community leaders, will run the course of a 10.5-km route in Bangkok. 

Torch bearers in Thailand included Paveena Thongsuk, a 2004 Olympics weightlifting gold medallist and Jetrin Wattanasin, a welknown singer and jet ski champion. 

The relay procession will start at the Chinese Gate in Yaowaraj’s Chinatown, and will pass the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Ministry of Defence, Chitralada Palace, and Government House, before ending at the King Rama the Fifth (King Chulalongkorn)Equestrian Monument at the Royal Plaza. 

It has been reported that Thai activists and non-governmental organisations were preparing a protest in support of Tibet during the torch relay. 

However, a representative of a youth movement for democracy said they would not obstruct the relay but would use this occasion to publicise to the public to know about the human rights violations in Tibet. 

Some 80 members of the group will gather to protest peacefully at the United Nations ESCAP, the world body’s regional headquarters for Asia and the Pacific, on Rajdamnern Avenue at 3pm.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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