The Olympic Torch has landed in the Southeast Asian region. The torch arrived in Bangkok, Thailand last April 19. Then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hosted a successful torch relay yesterday. Today the torch is in Jakarta, Indonesia. The torch will be back in the region on April 29 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
My Silent Kao Pei is proud that Thailand is
“The first country thus far that has managed to proceed with the torch relay undisrupted. Reports showed that the security forces and the demonstrators have come to an agreement that they had to remain behind the police barricades or face arrest.
“The torch relay managed to proceed smoothly, and even had time to slow down it's pace and stop for supporters to pose for pictures with the torch bearers. People were even allowed to touch the Olympic torch without ending up pinned to the ground by security forces. Many of the local Thai believe that the day's relay is what an Olympic Torch Relay should be like – happy and peaceful, where everyone has a place, even the demonstrators.”
Gnarly Kitty describes the scenes in a Bangkok street during the torch relay:
“There was the Pro-Tibet sides, full of Thais, the press, some hippies from Khao San and of course the activist groups and some resident Tibetans. Yes that was my side.
“And then, there was this other. Clad in red, the Chinese crowd was proudly waving their national flag along with Olympics flags and posters. The Chinese crowd was bigger, louder and more visible than the Pro-Tibet group.
“But one thing I was proud of the PT (Pro-Tibet) group was that they kept their promise. They didn't put out the torch. They stayed in their designated areas, they didn't curse at the police. Heck they even thanked the police on their speaker for being there to keep things calm.”
“In the Thai capital, police prepared not only for pro-Tibet protesters but also for demonstrators who are unhappy with China's support of army generals ruling in neighboring Myanmar.”
The Dainty Knife uploads an anti-Olympic graffiti which was painted in Bangkok. The graffiti reads:
“How long will they kill our prophets? While we stand aside and look.”
To be or not to be predicted that Kuala Lumpur will be a mess city during the torch relay. It seems the blogger was wrong. Arun’s Weblog provides details of the successful torch relay in Malaysia. They Call Me Ah Bong notes that watching the relay “is definitely quite an experience.” kiasumum uploads pictures of the historic activity. This is the flame’s second trip to Malaysia, its first visit was on the way to Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic games.
The Malaysian reports that police “detained a Japanese family of three who unfurled a pro-Tibet banner just before the first runner took off with the Olympic torch.” Songs of Innocence and Experience describes the torch relay as an “Unmalaysian” affair since “Red Army” students have “conquered the streets” of Kuala Lumpur. Beijing Olympics fan writes that a bit of rain did not dampen the spirit of torchbearers and the crowd.
Imagination is the key to freedom uploads a video of the parade. Caryn Tan uploads the route of the relay. She also posted some merchandise items which were sold during the activity. United shares some interesting facts about the Olympics.
Yeancworld informs us that Malaysian residents were advised to use public transport during the torch relay. And the government has warned that “cars blocking the way will be towed without notice!”
Lingli does not support the “Boycott Olympics” campaign:
“Think before you support those who claim that China's rule over Tibet is cause enough to boycott the Olympic Games, and disrupt the torch relay. Think of the athletes who have worked all their life to come to this stage – do we want to destroy their dreams because of this? The Olympics is no platform for this nonsense. Think before you boycott the Olympic Games – you would have played a part in denying China their time to shine in the world's eyes, to show what they are made of – they are the ones who are going to be leading us, Asians, all the way to the top.”
nofearSingapore asks why the torch did not pass Singapore:
“Singapore lies in between Malaysia and Indonesia. But the torch relay will inexplicably bypass Singapore completely! It seems almost intentional! It must be psychologically bruising for our rulers to be publicly humiliated by China like this. And to think that we stood up like a sore thumb defending China’s honour at this time, the hour of their need. How ironic!”
Indonesian Circle quotes an organizer of the torch relay in Jakarta:
“Indonesia is proud to be a part of the global Olympic torch relay for the first time and will do its utmost to prevent some irresponsible groups from stealing the show at the historical event in Jakarta on April 22. This is our first time to host the Olympic Torch relay and we are very proud of it.”
The Bali Times reports that Indonesia has drastically shortened the Olympic torch route. A Vietnamese Olympic torchbearer sends a letter to the President of the Olympic International Committee in protest of China's politicization of the Olympics in relation to the dispute over some islands in the South China Sea.