An Appeal by 27 Tibetan Writers to Tsongon Provincial Gov. and its Education Department
According to Article 10 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy — “The organs of self-government of national autonomous areas shall guarantee the freedom of the nationalities in these areas to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and their freedom to preserve or reform their own folkways and customs.” Thus all the Tibetan areas under various provinces and autonomous regions have the complete right to practice their own language. However, recently through government order Tibetan language is being rendered useless in Tsongon Autonomous Region, Malho Autonomous Region, Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture etc. This not only breaks the current law but also crosses PRCs claims about equality of nationalities. Hence, we demand that this policy to turn medium of instruction of all subjects into Chinese must be immediately withdrawn.
If this policy continues then it goes without saying that it will harm harmony of the people. We fully oppose the policy (as stated in Plans on Education Reforms and Development) that by 2015 a common language of the nation [i.e. Mandarin Chinese] will be taught in all the primary schools and all indigenous languages will be treated as secondary. This is a plan to destroy Tibetan language and languages of other minorities.
As Tibetan writers, we consider language as the core identity of the Tibetan people. The survival of their identity depends on the language. To destroy a language is to destroy people and their identity. If this policy continues then the claims by the People’s Republic of China that all minorities are protected is nothing but empty talk.
Dated: October 25, 2010