By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 31: In yet another incident of restriction on the Tibetan language by the Chinese government, monasteries in Kham Nangchen in occupied Tibet’s eastern region are threatened with punitive measures after a government ban is put on teaching the Tibetan language.
Chinese authorities from the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department and the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee have sent an order on December 25 in the Qinghai province banning monasteries from teaching language classes to young Tibetans during their holidays from school, according to Radio Free Asia
An anonymous source cited by RFA said, “The Chinese government does not want to see young Tibetans being taught Tibetan language and Tibetan culture. Officials appear to fear that this will be a roadblock to realizing their goal of sinicizing Tibetan culture and identity.”
“Informal Tibetan language classes or lectures on Tibetan Buddhism by monasteries or other groups are now completely banned,” the source further said.
Chinese authorities threatened offenders of the ban will face serious consequences including being listed in government lists for persecution later on.
Tibetan language has suffered Chinese government assault in the last few decades. The threat is aggressively being pursued in the form of jailing activists, poets and intellectuals who advocate Tibetan language as well as banning them in schools and educational institutions across the plateau.
Tashi Wangchuk who is a Tibetan language activist and Shokjang, a poet, are two most recognisable faces among hundreds in the fight against Chinese government’s drive to ban the Tibetan language.
Sophie Richardson—China Director for the international rights group Human Rights Watch on Wednesday in a statement said the ban, “violates a long list of basic rights, from education to cultural life,” also adding, “Preventing Tibetan children from contact with monks and monasteries will only fuel Tibetan fears that China aims increasingly to restrict Tibetan culture and religion.”