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Torch to arrive in Thailand on April 18


March 26, 2008

Torch to arrive in Thailand on April 18

The Beijing Olympics Torch relay is scheduled to arrive in Thailand on April 18 and the kingdom had prepared the cultural events to celebrate the arrival of the auspicious occasion, said Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kajornprasart.

Sanan, who chaired the National Olympics Committee of Thailand (NOCT) meeting, said Thailand was one of 20 countries selected to participate in the Olympics torch relay for Beijing Olympic Games to be held this coming August.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Chinese government had requested Thailand to step up security during the cultural events as Chinese Embassy officials have expressed worried that there will be an attempt to politicise the Olympics in Beijing.
Narisa Chakrabongse, chairwoman of Thailand's Green World Foundation who was invited to be one of 80 torchbearers in Thailand, had earlier  announced her withdrawal from torch-running in response to the severe violation of human rights in Tibet and to send a clear signal to China that its actions could not be accepted by the international community.
The Beijing Olympic torch was lit at the ancient Temple of Hera in Greece on Monday in a ceremony launching the Olympic torch relay to mark the countdown for each Games.

The Beijing Games relay is the longest and most ambitious ever planned, lasting 130 days and covering 137,000 kilometres. Thailand is part of the route and would prepare 80 torchbearers to join the relay in the kingdom.

The flame will arrive in Thailand on April 18 and on the next day the torchbearers will carry the torch from the historic Chinatown area of Yaowaraj passed Chitralada Palace, the Bangkok residence of King
Bhumibol Adulyadej; The Anantasamakom Throne Hall and end the journey at the Royal Plaza in front of the throne hall.

The various cultural events, both Thai and Chinese, will be held at the Royal Plaza to celebrate the Olympic flame's journey, and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will attend the cultural events.

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