By Kalsang Rinchen
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 come from various monasteries in India and do not represent any NGOs.