Geneva: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet concluded her six-day trip to China on Saturday, 28 May. The High Commissioner stressed the importance of protecting linguistics, religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people at the end of her mission’s statement.
The High Commissioner’s trip to China for the first time since 2005 has largely disappointed the human rights defenders due to the Commissioner’s failure to assess the scale of rights violation perpetrated by China.
“On the Tibet Autonomous Region, it is important the linguistic, religious and cultural identity of Tibetans be protected, and that Tibetan people are allowed to participate fully and freely in decisions about their religious life and for dialogue to take place,” she said in her statement from Guangzhou at the end of her tour.
With regard to situation of Tibetan people under Chinese oppression, the High Commissioner said in the end of the mission’s statement that “it is important the linguistic, religious and cultural identity of Tibetans be protected, and that Tibetan people are allowed to participate fully and freely in making decisions about their religious life and for dialogue to take place”.
In particular, she has stressed the importance of Tibetan children being taught in their own mother tongue in their own family and community settings. “I discussed education policies in the Tibet Autonomous Region and stressed the importance of children learning in their own language and culture in the setting of their families or communities,” she said in her statement.
Under President Xi Jinping’s renewed and much more stringent and coercive Sinicization move, China has made Mandarin Chinese the only medium of instruction in schools in Tibet even for kindergarten children. Privately-run schools and coaching Centre’s teaching Tibetan language and culture have been shut down with their buildings demolished in some cases.
China also now requires Tibetan Buddhist religious texts to be translated into Mandarin Chinese so that student monks and nuns should learn and speak with each other only in this so-called common national language rather than in their own mother tongue.
(Information supplied by Tibetan Review)
By Team TRC