Fri, Nov 02, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Gala to greet torch return

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

An evening gala open to the public will be held on Ketagalan Boulevard tomorrow to welcome the return of the nationwide torch relay soliciting support for the nation's UN membership bid.

Organizers are aiming for more than 50,000 participants.

The relay, launched by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Oct. 24 in front of the Presidential Office, involves 20 athletes who completed the 1,200km feat across 25 cities and counties over 11 days.

Chen Lung-chu (陳隆志), leader of the Alliance for Taiwan to Join the United Nations, said the torch symbolizes peace, justice and unity.

The 23 million Taiwanese, he said, must express their will to join the UN.

Chang Yi-san (張益贍), deputy secretary-general of the alliance, said participants will congregate on Xinyi Road and Renai Road near Dongmen Primary School at around 5pm.

While Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) will lead alliance members, government officials and the crowd on Xinyi Road, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and his running mate, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), will lead the party's legislative candidates, youths and business representatives on Renai Road.

At approximately 7pm, the two groups will start running in the direction of Jingfumen (景福門), where they will meet. They will then run toward a stage on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

Although 10,000 electric torches will be distributed, participants are encouraged to bring their own.

The gala will begin at 7:30pm.

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