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Tibetans monks set to cross Tibet border

May 21, 2009

By Kalsang Rinchen
May 20, 2009

Dharamsala, May 20 -- 10 Tibetans have set on a
mission to cross into Tibet, Shingsa Rinpoche, a
Tibetan Lama at the Sera monastery told Voice of Tibet radio service.

According to Shingsa Rinpoche, the monks left the
Indian capital on May 14 and are currently on
foot heading towards the border where they plan
to hoist the Tibetan national flag and then enter
Tibet. The exact direction of their journey and
route was not revealed to avoid arrest by Indian
security forces. However, Rinpoche said that the
group might reach the border in five or six days.

Asked about the next step if they get arrested
Rinpoche said the mission would continue at all
costs despite their arrest. "There are more
people waiting to carry forward our mission. They
are determined to sacrifice everything, and we
have batches of people lined up."

Rinpoche, who is keeping a close watch on the
march from his monastic residence in South India,
indicated that the route that the monks have
taken is engulfed in heavy snow which he said
will make it hard for the monks to walk. "But it
will also be harder for the Indian police to block our marchers in the snow."

The monks belonged to the group of around 60
people led by Shingsa Rinpoche that last year was
stopped at Kaza in Spiti Valley as they attempted
to march to Tibet days before the Beijing
Olympics. The group had initiated the march on
their own after the one organized by five Tibetan
NGOs last year was stopped by the Indian police
at Dharchula, the last Indian village bordering Tibet in Uttranchal.

The monks do not represent any NGOs and come from various monasteries.
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