By Tenzin Dharpo
Image representational only.
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 17: Chinese authorities in the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) inside occupied Tibet have made denouncing and criticizing the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama a criterion while applying for jobs in the public sector. Job announcements by authorities in TAR stated that applicants must have “clear and firm political principles” and must “expose and criticize the Dalai Lama”.
The conditions that demand resolute loyalty to the party and seek to ostracize the deeply revered Tibetan leader have parallels to testimony of former Tibetan political prisoners who were made to denounce the Dalai Lama while in captivity in Chinese jails.
Part of a job announcement read, “Support the Party’s leadership, resolutely implement the [Chinese Communist] Party’s line, line of approach, policies, and the guiding ideology of Tibet work in the new era; align ideologically, politically, and in action with the Party Central Committee; oppose any splittist tendencies; expose and criticize the Dalai Lama; safeguard the unity of the motherland and ethnic unity and take a firm stand on political issues, taking a clear and distinct stand.”
The window for Tibetan graduates seeking job in the public sector is further closed down as increasing number of Han-Chinese job-seekers are flooding the job market inside Tibet and preferences are largely given to Chinese applicants. Tibetan graduates aspiring for civil service are losing out on opportunities to employment in their native land.
A report by Radio Free Asia earlier in February pointed to “Han Chinese flooding job markets and civil service exams slanted more and more toward Han applicants” resulting in Tibetan youths becoming unemployed.
An anonymous source cited by RFA said, “In 2018, there were 40,000 applicants in the Tibet Autonomous Region alone who sat for the entrance exam for positions in the Chinese civil service. However, only about 3,000 passed their exams to become eligible to be considered for government positions.”
Tibetan applicants also stand disadvantaged due to testing system that are heavily reliant on Mandarin Chinese and preference given to Chinese applicants in regards to dominance of Chinese culture in the government sector.
Matteo Mecacci, president of the International Campaign for Tibet said, “Being forced to denounce the Dalai Lama – a Nobel Peace Laureate who for Tibetans is a source of pride and great inspiration – to get a job, is an unnecessary humiliation and discrimination, which only hardens the Tibetan spirit of resistance, and does not certainly provide legitimacy to Chinese rule in Tibet.
“The tightened rules give reason for concern, as they apply to applicants of Tibetan origin only and amount to racial profiling. Moreover, the requirements to reveal and denounce a certain political opinion violate the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as protected in Article 18 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”