India may be forced to seal China border
17 Mar 2008, 0001 hrs IST
BEIJING: It has become a do-or-die situation for many of the monks and ordinary Tibetans who have participated in both the peaceful demonstrations and violence that rocked Lhasa over the past few days.
Some of them may try to escape to neighbouring provinces with large Tibetan population and possibly sneak into India, a source said.
The Indian government may come under greater pressure from Beijing to ensure that none of the protesters cross the mountain border from Tibet. At present, the Chinese pressure on New Delhi is restricted to ensuring that the Dharmasala-based Tibetans don't cross over to Tibet. Many of the protesters in Lhasa would ignore the Monday midnight deadline for surrendering to the authorities, who have sweetened the offer by promising leniency to those who surrender.
"The Communist Party has infiltrated most of the major monasteries. It knows almost everything about the lives of the monks. Surrendering would not save them from future reprisal by the authorities," a human rights activist told TOI.
Those who don't surrender and manage to escape arrest might plan more demonstrations and agitations in the future. The Chinese government, which has started house-to-house searches, is expected to make sure that none of the demonstrators escape the police net.
The last few days of demonstrations have seen monks and believers of different sects and monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism coming together to fight what they regard as imposition on their way of life, a source said.
"Those who joined the uprising are marked men, who may find it difficult to live peacefully among their Han Chinese neighbours in future," the activist said. Many of them would prefer to continue the fight instead of surrendering to the authorities.
Most of the important posts in the Communist Party in Tibet are held by Han Chinese politicians, who have been deputed by the party leadership to work in the region. Though ethnic Tibetans are increasingly getting political positions, the community remains largely alienated from the party.