Monday, March 31, 2008

China fears protests may spill over to other groups

Times of India, March 31st, 2008
BEIJING: Fearing the agitation by Tibetans might spill over to other dissident groups if the Olympic torch rally is disrupted during its five-month journey before the Beijing Games, China has begun to carry out pre-emptory arrests and increased surveillance on a range of dissident groups including agitating farmers, rebel religious sects and separatists in Xingjian province, sources said.

"This is the biggest political challenge for the government in two decades of economic reforms. The stakes are very high. Any disruption of the torch rally will be seen as a sign of weakness and encourage dissident groups to create trouble. I don't think the government will allow any of the underground groups to cause problems at this time," Hu Shisheng, director of South Asian studies at China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, the state-run think-tank, said. Full Article Link

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