Tibet : Tibetan students protest
Chinese authorities in Tibet have fired a school director and jailed and expelled students for protesting Chinese policies.The protest and subsequent crackdown last week came amid a wave of self-immolation protests by Tibetans calling for freedom from rule by Beijing, along with growing opposition to a change in the language of instruction from Tibetan to Chinese in local schools.On March 26, Chinese authorities in Kangtsa county of the Tsojang prefecture cracked down on 17 students and the head of the Kangtsa School of Nationalities.The students and their principal had gone to the county government offices and called for freedom for Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama, and the freedom to use their own language in school.
The protesters also expressed their solidarity with the Tibetan self-immolators who have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest Beijing’s rule in Tibet.
While the students were protesting, Chinese police and armed paramilitary police assaulted and detained them.Now, three students have been sentenced to jail, five have been expelled from the school, and seven or eight are still being held for investigation.Yudrung Gyaltsen, the head of the school, was fired on suspicion of involvement in the students’ protest.
The age of the jailed students, and details concerning the nature of the charges made against them, were not immediately clear.
Tibetans have reignited a campaign to highlight language rights in Tibet,with about 4,000 students taking to the streets on March 14 to protest a proposed change in the medium of instruction in schools.
It was the biggest protest since October 2010, when thousands of Tibetan middle and primary school students from four Tibetan prefectures demonstrated for days against a language change policy.