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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetans in India mobilise to defend the Tibetan language

November 3, 2010

Tibetan students demonstrate against China’s
decision to replace the Tibetan language with
Chinese. Fellow Tibetan students in India join
the protest demanding respect between culture.
November 2, 2010

Delhi (AsiaNews) -- The Indian chapter of
Students for a Free Tibet, a group of exiled
Tibetan students, marched carrying candles last
night  in solidarity with fellow Tibetan students
in Tibet opposed to the Chinese government’s
attacks against their language and traditions.

Last week, an estimated 6,000 Tibetans, mostly
students, took to the streets in the Tibetan
province of Amdo (Chinese: Qinghai) to protest
the provincial government’s decision to replace
Tibetan with Chinese as the medium of instruction in Tibetan schools.

Tibetan students in the neighbouring provinces
also expressed their solidarity and accused
China’s dominant Han ethnic group of launching a
campaign designed to destroy Tibet’s traditional culture.

"Language is the foundation of Tibetan culture
and this recent attack reveals the Chinese
governments’ sinister attempt to assimilate
Tibetans into Chinese society," said Tenzin
Choedon, national director of Students for a Free
Tibet India. "Students across Tibet have spoken
out clearly against this discriminatory policy."

"It is the inalienable right of every Tibetan to
learn in their own language. We call on
governments around the world to press the Chinese
government to respect Tibetan language rights,"
said Tenzin Dorjee, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet.

Language is not an issue limited to Tibet. Last
July, some 8,000 Han Chinese protested against
the central government’s decision to impose
Mandarin in areas where Cantonese is used.
Eventually, the authorities backtracked and dropped the policy.
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