OLYMPIC RELAY PROTESTS
Tibetans in India Facing Tight Security for Torch
Wednesday, April 16, 2008; Page A11
NEW DELHI, April 15 -- Thousands of Tibetan protesters from across India have gathered here in the past week in anticipation of the arrival of the Olympic torch Thursday, as nervous government officials tightened security to ward off any threat to the relay run.
Protesters have planned hunger strikes, flag marches and dramatic reenactments of the uprising in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. Some youth groups are plotting what could become disruptive street action along the route of what one Indian television channel called the "tortured torch."
"We are being watched by the authorities constantly. Wherever we go, their shadow is following us. So we carry out much of our planning not in meetings, but by cellphone calls and text messages," said Tenzin Tsundue, a 33-year-old activist, waving his two cellphones as he sat under a colorful panoply of flags and banners.
Many members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, a group that publicly disagrees with the cautious approach of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, have gone underground, fearing police surveillance and preventive detention.
India is home to the largest population of Tibetan exiles in the world and hosts the Tibetan government-in-exile. Indian government officials have told China that they will not try to stop Tibetan protests as long as they are peaceful.