By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Apr. 17: A Post Graduate Tibetan student of Northwest Minzu University in Gansu province’s Lanzhou city has reportedly been detained by Chinese authorities for his essay that lamented the decline in job opportunities for Tibetans in the government sector in occupied Tibet. The essay was widely shared on various social media platforms.Radio Free Asia
reported that the author of the essay, Sonam, a Tibetan master’s degree candidate, was taken from his classroom earlier this month.
RFA source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “In the beginning of April, the Tibet Education Bureau in China forcefully took Sonam away from the school. Officials have held him since then.”
The source added that Tibetan students at the university, particularly those who maintain contact with Tibetan exiles in India are under surveillance by Chinese authorities.
Aspiring Tibetan civil service applicants are disadvantaged due to the overwhelming competition in the government job sector in occupied Tibet. The increasing number of Han-Chinese job-seekers and preference given to Chinese applicants has meant that Tibetan graduates are losing out on opportunities to employment in their native land.
The increase in Han Chinese competing for jobs and the added requirements for proficiency in Mandarin Chinese in testing and consideration for employment has taken the edge away from Tibetans as civil service exams are slanted increasingly toward Han applicants.
The Tibetan graduates are finding it very difficult to get jobs in the private sector including high-tech firms and other industries, making government sector jobs the main priority for them.
Anonymous sources told Tibetan media that 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.
Between 20,000 and 30,000 Tibetan and Chinese university graduates sat for civil service exams in the prefecture in 2018 alone, making it a very competitive space for job seekers.
Formerly known as Northwest University for Nationalities, it was the first minority institution for higher learning founded after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
According to the report, the frustration over the lack of coveted government jobs in recent years is increasing among university graduates with many 2018 graduates still remaining jobless.