Mon, 23 May 2022

Beijing [China], January 20 (ANI): A Tibetan activist, Tashi Wangchuk who called on Chinese authorities to allow the use of Tibetan in schools, government jobs and other sectors of Tibetan public life is again speaking out against language restrictions after spending five years in prison for discussing the issue with Western media, reported Radio Free Asia.

Despite China's assertions that all minorities have the right to bilingual education, Tibetan-language schools have been forced to close, and school-age children in Tibet are commonly taught solely in Mandarin Chinese.

Similar measures have been implemented against ethnic Mongolians in Inner Mongolia, as well as Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of northwest China.

Language rights have become a particular focus for Tibetan efforts to assert national identity in recent years, with informally organized language courses in the monasteries and towns deemed "illegal associations" and teachers subject to detention and arrest, sources say, reported RFA.

Wangchuk was released on January 28, 2021, after completing a prison term for "inciting separatism" and is currently under near-constant monitoring by authorities.

He is a resident of Yulshul township in western China's Sichuan province.

A day after the release, the language rights advocate took to his social media Weibo account and said that he was summoned and questioned on January 17 by local police.

"One of the questions I was asked under interrogation was who had given me the responsibility to advocate for use of the Tibetan language," Wangchuk said.

"I think that the officials in Yulshul city and the police bureau are just using their power to stop the public from addressing these problems and advocating for the use of their own language.

"This is how the Tibetan language has been endangered, and this is how I am raising awareness among government officials of the language rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China," he said, reported RFA.

He also spoke against the Chinese authorities earlier on January 3 where he pointed out that the Tibetans have no choice but to study in Chinese in their schools and ignore their own language.

Tibet was formerly an independent country that was conquered and absorbed into China by force 70 years ago. (ANI)

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