Pupils lead Tibet protests
Thursday 21 October 2010
Thousands of Tibetan schoolchildren have taken to the streets in western China to protest against being forced to take lessons in Mandarin Chinese, a move they say is an attempt to stifle their way of life.
The protests were sparked by Chinese educational reforms in the region, which stipulate that all subjects will be taught in Mandarin, and that textbooks will also be printed in Chinese.
Many Tibetans accuse China of a concerted effort to water down their culture and of increasing its control over the remote Himalayan enclave, where there is widespread resentment of China's rule despite major investment by the Chinese authorities.
"We want equality of nationality, we want equality of culture," up to 9,000 students chanted in the town of Tongren in Qinghai province, the rights group Free Tibet said.
Similar reforms have already been implemented in other areas of the Tibetan plateau, including in primary schools. Free Tibet said the move is part of a systematic attempt to wipe out the use of Tibetan culture and to cement China's occupation.
China says it "peacefully liberated" Tibet in 1951, and that the region is, was and always will be Chinese. It has kept a tight grip on the Himalayan region.
"The Chinese are enforcing reforms, which remind me of the Cultural Revolution," a teacher in the area said in a statement issued by Free Tibet. "This reform is not only a threat to our mother-tongue, but is in direct violation of the Chinese constitution which is meant to protect our rights. For Tibetans the Chinese constitution is meaningless."
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innova...
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP FICO Consultant...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading brokerage is looking for a...
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: My client, a researcher of investment idea...