February 23, 2008

Beijing vs. the Tibetan language

The Tibetan language is said to be under siege by deliberate Chinese policy:

The Chinese government is neglecting and actively undermining the Tibetan language as part of continuing efforts to dilute the region's unique culture, a human rights group said on Thursday.

Schools are forcing Tibetan children to learn China's national language, Mandarin, at a younger and younger age and are failing to support use of Tibetan in official fields, the Free Tibet Campaign said in a new report.

"China's insistence on Chinese language in Tibetan schools has failed a generation of Tibetans who now lag behind the rest of China in terms of basic literacy," the group's Matt Whitticase said in an emailed statement.

Beijing hits back.

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