Protests may greet Olympic torch lighting - 3/24/2008
China's Olympic officials braced Monday for a protest by Tibetan activists in Greece, a day after accusing the Dalai Lama of stoking Tibetan unrest to sabotage the Beijing Olympics.
Visitors to ancient Olympia, Greece, pose together on Sunday, in advance of the lighting of the Olympic Torch.
This month's anti-government violence in Tibet and neighboring provinces has turned into a public relations disaster for China ahead of the Olympics, which it had been hoping to use to bolster its international image.
The latest blemish was expected later Monday in Greece, where a pro-Tibet independence group has vowed to protest at the official lighting of the Olympic torch.
About 1,000 police were expected to be on hand to keep demonstrators away from the ceremony. The torch is scheduled to travel through 20 countries before the Beijing Olympics open on August 8.
Meanwhile, IOC president Jacques Rogge said he was engaged in "silent diplomacy" with China on Tibet and other human rights issues in advance of the Beijing Olympics.
Rogge spoke in an interview Monday with The Associated Press in Ancient Olympia, where he was attending the flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Games.
Rogge says he was concerned by the violence in Tibet, where China has cracked down on protesters. But he says the IOC is a sports organization and can do no more than join world leaders in calling for a peaceful