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Jakarta ready for Olympic torch relay
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22:16, April 21, 2008

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The global journey of the Olympic torch will continue to Jakarta Tuesday with organizers claiming they are fully prepared for the historical event.

The Indonesian capital will host the 14th leg of the relay and it will be the first time for the country to receive the Olympic flame.

"This is history for Indonesia, and a very important event to us," Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik said in a press conference here Monday.

"The Olympic flame will visit Jakarta, and not all cities in the world have the luxury of receiving the flame," he said.

The chartered plane carrying the Olympic flame is slated to arrive at the Halim Perdanakusumah Airport here at 00:15 Tuesday (17:15 GMT Monday) from Malaysia.

The relay will take place Tuesday afternoon inside the Bung Karno Sports Complex.

More than 5,000 people are expecting to come to witness the city forever becoming part of the Olympic Games history, said RitaSubowo, chairwoman of the National Olympic Committee.

The organizers unveiled the torch relay route inside the complex that spans about 7 km.

Asked about potential disruptions during the relay, Rita said at least 2,500 security officers will be deployed to the scene to safeguard the ceremony.

Precautionary measures are being taken to ensure a trouble-free torch relay, as Indonesia is committed to fully supporting the Beijing Olympic Games and all related events, she said.

"One of the fundamental objectives of the Olympic Games is to contribute towards peace and the development of friendship and collaboration among all people worldwide," she told local and international media journalists at the National Sports Council building here.

"We are going to protect our athletes to be able to compete in our lovely games," said Rita.

In a separate room of the building, designated torchbearers attended a semi-formal briefing by the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) about how the torch relay would proceed.

They included renown athletes, former athletes, celebrities and state officials.

Azhar Idris, a survivor from the December 2004 deadly tsunami in Aceh, is also included in the list of 80 bearers.


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