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Protest over language spreads to neigbouring Gansu province

October 29, 2010

October 27, 2010

Dharamsala, Oct. 27 -- Protests by Tibetan school
children in Qinghai Province have spread to the
neighboring province of Gansu with thousands of
Tibetan students in Gansu Province taking to the
streets yesterday and today, a week since the
first protest was reported from Rebkong against a
planned language swap in schools in Qinghai province.

According to the Voice of Tibet radio service,
students of a Tibetan school in Tsayi in Sangchu
County in Labrang "Tibet Autonomous Prefecture,"
Gansu province voiced their support to the
movement against introduction of Chinese language
as medium of instruction in Tibetan schools in
Qinghai province, the only province so far to introduce the new rule.

The planned introduction of Chinese language as
the medium of instruction in Tibetan schools in
Qinghai -- in the traditional Tibetan province of
Amdo, which is known for producing scholars and
intellectuals -- is a serious threat to the
survival of Tibetan language, a Tibetan exile told the radio service.

Meanwhile, Tibetan exiles in various parts of the
world also held parallel protests against the
Chinese government’s "forced" introduction of
Chinese language to "eliminate" the Tibetan language.

"Tibetan language is intrinsically linked to
Tibetan culture and identity. Denying Tibetans
the right to learn in their own language is
denying them the right to exist as a people,"
said Tenzin Choekyi, General Secretary of the
Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest
pro-independence Tibetan youth organization.

The Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) India says it
is planning to organise an event next week here
at the Tsuglakhang in solidarity with Tibetan students in Qinghai Province.
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