24/11/2020

Thousands of Tibetan students protest China’s political education

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Thousands of Tibetan students at Sorig Lobling medical school in Chabcha (Ch: Gonghe) protested against the distribution of a ten-point political questionnaire and accompanying “patriotic education” sessions that contained disparaging remarks against the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

An injured student being rushed for treatment
An injured student being rushed for treatment

On 26 November, at around 9 am (local time), the protest erupted after ten-point questionnaire was distributed among the students at the medical school in Chabcha town of Serchen County in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

The questionnaire required students to fill up answers to ten questions such as “What is the nature of self-immolation?” and “What are the consequences of illegal demonstrations and gatherings?”

The questionnaire also asked, “Will bilingual education system weaken the language and letters of nationalities?” or whether there was “a conflict between protection of traditional system and modern development?” Students were also required to answer such trap questions as “Under whose leadership the equality of nationalities became a reality?”

While explaining the contents of the questionnaire, students were given lectures, which included offensive remarks and baseless allegations against the so-called “Dalai splittist clique.”

Injured students of the protest at Sorig Lobling
Injured students of the protest at Sorig Lobling

The protest began as students called for “equality of nationalities”, “language freedom”, “respect for truth”, and the “establishment a new government”, sources told TCHRD quoting local Tibetans in the area.

The local armed police, arriving after two hours of the protest, clashed with the students and engaged in indiscriminate beatings. About 20 are injured, among them four are in serious condition. The injured are being treated at the prefectural hospital.

TCHRD has also received unconfirmed reports of police using guns to quell the protest. With communication channels to Chabcha now blocked, there is no way to verify this information. However, sources confirm that police threw tear gas shell to disperse the crowds of protesters.

At the time of reporting, armed police and military forces have surrounded the school. Parents of the children and other Tibetans are unable to contact the school about the safety and condition of their children.

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