The Olympics Torch is set to arrive in Canberra this Thursday. The torch is set to arrive in Australia on 23 April and will appear for about five hours the following day. The Australian Olympic Committee said in its website that “the route will include major cultural icons of Canberra including Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, the Civic Centre and will be rowed across Lake Burley Griffin.”
The route, however, might change at the last minute if protests similar to the London, Paris and India leg will be repeated. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, however, declared that Chinese security officials would not be allowed to exercise any authority in securing the torch unless in cases of terrorist attack.
Activists found the best way of sending China their message to improve its recognition of human rights and call for its withdrawal from Tibet through the disruption of the Olympics Torch Relay.
UPDATE (24 April): There’s some confusion during the torch relay in Canberra today as despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s declaration that the Chinese security escorts the Chinese ‘blue guards’ tried to interfere with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in securing the torch. This made the AFP scuffling not only with Pro-Tibetan protesters but also with the Chinese escorts.
Some Australians did not welcome the action of the Chinese security escorts as Beijing Organizers insisted that the blue guards had a security role to play. Excerpt from news.com.au report are as follows:
But the blue tracksuited guards were seen by Australian relay organisers as a deliberate act of provocation by the Chinese, who have been told for months that they would not be allowed to have a security role.