By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, March 8: The UN Human Rights Committee has strongly condemned PRC for its assimilation policy, calling for immediate abolition of the coercive residential school system in occupied Tibet. After the Tibet Advocacy Coalition presented evidence to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the Committee expressed strong concern over China’s large-scale campaign to eradicate Tibetan language, culture and religion through the coerced boarding school system that is imposed on nearly 1.5 million Tibetan children.
The Committee’s report stated that China’s assimilation policy implemented through the residential school system is undermining the linguistic identity of ethnic minorities. “Tibetans continue to face severe restrictions in the realisation of their right to take part in cultural life, including the right to use and teach minority language, history and culture,” the report reiterated.
UN’s CESCR, while concluding its observations on China, urged the immediate abolition of the residential school system by allowing the establishment of private Tibetan schools and ensuring that Mandarin is not the only language used as the language of instruction.
Lhadon Tethong, Director at Tibet Action Institute said, “The language of the Committee’s findings on China’s residential schools in Tibet leaves no room for interpretation. They are coercive, assimilationist, and systematically violate Tibetans’ fundamental rights. They must be shut down now.”
“The UN Committee’s unequivocal condemnation of China’s policies in Tibet clearly demonstrates the epistemological strength of evidence of civil society reports and the weakness of China’s paltry attempts at adorning their horrendous human rights record with false plaudits. Though China may have brought over 40 suited diplomats to champion Beijing’s deceit-riddled propaganda, the Committee has laid bare the deplorable human rights reality on the ground,” Topjor Tsultrim, Communication Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet said.