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Xinhua Admits Tibetan Student Unrest over Language

The Governmenment-controlled Xinhua news agency of China has admitted instances of unrest in the Tibetal student community over the introduction of Mandarin as the medium of instruction in Tibetan schools.    In a dispatch from  Qinghai, it has said that Tibetan  students had “expressed their dissatisfaction” in at least four Tibetan prefectures in Qinghai  since October 17, 2010.

2. Citing an open letter issued by the Qinghai provincial government to all teachers and students on October 22, it said that the goal of the new policy is to bridge the education gap between China’s various ethnic groups and promote development in ethnic minority areas. It quoted Wang Yubo, Director of Education in the Qinghai province, as saying  that changes won’t be forced in areas where “conditions are not ripe.” Authorities will respect the viewpoints of students and their parents before carrying out the new policy , it said quoting Wang.

3. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao  as the party chief in 2012 and as the President of China a year later,  has stressed the importance of nurturing cadres from ethnic minority groups to help in the Government’s drive to develop regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. He said that efforts should be made to cultivate outstanding cadres with political integrity and professional competence from ethnic minorities, while addressing  a symposium marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of a training course for Tibetan cadres at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at Beijing on October 21. He  said Party schools should play a key role in training and nurturing cadres from ethnic minorities, who possess both political integrity and ability, particularly among young people and those who are from grass-roots levels.

( Courtesy: South Asia Analysis Group. The writer Mr B Raman,  is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Strudies, Chennai. E-Mail” )

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