Join our Mailing List

"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Video: Risking Their Lives For An Education

August 3, 2008

Agam's Gecko Blog
August 1, 2008

the government of China recently issued an ultimatum to all Tibetans
who are current or retired government employees, or Communist Party
members. Under the threat of loss of their livelihood, they have been
ordered to get their children out of Tibetan-run educational
institutions (which are beyond the Party's control, in India) within
two months (recently covered here in this article).

On average, several hundred Tibetans every month take massive
personal risks to escape China's borders for a chance at a freer
life, although much stricter border control in recent months has
certainly made it much more difficult to get out. If refugees are
caught trying to sneak out, special prisons await them. If catching
the freedom-seekers is too difficult, border patrols are known to
simply  shoot them from a distance. Most of these groups have
children among them who have left their families to seek a real
Tibetan education in exile.

The government of China loves education (and re-education!), as long
as it conforms with its own indoctrination standards. Thousands of
Tibetan children are sent by the government to residential boarding
schools in other parts of China, far from their own family and
culture in much the same way that aboriginal children were yanked out
of their societies to be molded in Canadian or Australian boarding
schools. Most people in Canada consider this one of the most shameful
deeds in our history, and aboriginal schools now receive the
government's recognition and support. One day, I expect the average
Chinese person will also see this as a shameful part of their history.

Children of Tibet: The Exile Generation is a film which follows three
young Tibetan refugees into exile in search of an education which
values their own culture, something they cannot get in the Chinese
school system. A trailer for the film has just been released.

Apparently, a little Tibetan education wouldn't go amiss among
Chinese people either. Saso Popovski was the first Macedonian Olympic
competitor to arrive in Beijing. The first thing he did was to hang
two large Macedonian flags from the balcony of his quarters. He soon
had a knock on the door, from some poorly educated security officers.

     "I was surprised to see security at the door. I had put the
flags out as soon as I settled in the apartment. The security asked
me to take the flags down, however, I refused and told them they are
Macedonian flags. The International Olympic Committee got involved
and explained to the Chinese, the flags are not Tibetan flags. The
security people were very embarrassed and apologized dozen times.

The Chinese security forces are absolutely neurotic about Tibetan
flags, yet they don't even seem to know what one looks like!
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank