IOC Plays Down Broadcasters’ Fears Over Games Security

THE International Olympic Committee played down concerns yesterday raised by broadcasting rights holders over tight Chinese security related to their television trucks for the Beijing Olympics.

 

Broadcasters have said security arrangements and licence issues for their trucks to enter China for the Beijing Games and operate there have been nearly insurmountable while tight security regulations during the Games posed further obstacles.

Major Games sponsors have also reacted to demands by the Chinese who for security reasons want the names of all individuals who will be at the Games opening ceremony on August 8 months in advance.

“We have discussed about this and we had the meeting with the broadcasters,” IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli told reporters. “It is all the policing procedure.”

Beijing has drawn up a tight security plan for fear of what it believes are threats of terrorism attacks.

It is also worried that foreign activists, who disrupted the international leg of the Olympic torch relay, will stage protests inside China over Tibet, Darfur, human rights and other issues during the Games.

“For every Games organising committee it is a complicated matter,” Felli said. “You have 2 000-2 500 trucks coming in and out every day. How you can do that and have security.”

Felli said he was confident a solution would be found soon.

“China has been very concerned about security,” he said. “Sometimes it is difficult to balance security and operation. But I am sure that it will be done.”

Some 100 000 policemen and 600 000 volunteers will patrol venues, hotels and streets in Beijing during the August 8-24 Games, while neighbourhoods will be patrolled by citizens wearing red armbands.

A network of about 300 000 surveillance cameras covers the entire capital. — Reuters.

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