Apolitical policy or systemic war on culture?

At 8 am on 19 October, thousands of Tibetan students in Rebkong, northeastern Tibet, took to the streets to demand 'freedom of language.' They were protesting the decision taken during a meeting on 12 October by the Provincial Communist Party and Amdo (Qinghai) provincial government to replace Tibetan with Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction at educational institutions.

Peaceful protests by Tibetan students have, meanwhile, spread all over Tibet and Beijing, where 400 students from the Minorities University participated in a solidarity march. On 21 October, more than 3000 students in Golok, eastern Tibet, also protested against the new language policy. Tibetan students in exile and their supporters are also lobbying initiatives around the world, particularly in Belgium, Holland, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and in many places in the US and India. Students and teachers in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) have shown strong support for the Tibetan students. These moves, however, have not been taken well by the powers-that-be. At around 10:30 on the morning of 22 October, Chinese authorities detained more than 20 students in Chabcha in Amdo, northeastern Tibet.

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Himal Southasian