(TibetanReview.net, Aug16’23) – With its case for Sinicizing Tibetan children from tender ages through setting up of separate boarding schools having miserably failed UN human rights standards, China has sought to justify this campaign at its three-day, 7th Beijing International Seminar on Tibetan Studies which opened on Aug 14. And it has done so by presenting these boarding schools as being aimed at nothing more than socio-economic upliftment of Tibetan children and their families, while meticulously avoiding any mention of the Sinicization campaign which lies at the heart of this new boarding school project.
“Boarding schools in the Tibet autonomous region meet local realities and are considered the most advantageous educational model for local students and families alike,” reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Aug 16, citing researchers who spoke at the seminar’s education subforum on Aug 15.
“These schools also offer specialized courses on excellent Tibetan culture,” Zha Luo, head of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the China Tibetology Research Center, has said. “Through these programs, students master traditional ethnic culture more professionally and systematically.”
But is it all true? Well China won’t let you to find out, for these schools are said to be off-limit for regular visit even for parents of the children.
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The seminar itself was nothing more than a propaganda exercise, with no room for airing views diverging from China’s widely criticized policies and actions concerned with the 20 topics – including politics, economic and rural development, education, Tibetan Buddhism and literature – on the seminar’s agenda.
The participants of the 7th Beijing International Seminar on Tibetan Studies stated on Monday (Aug 14) that the Tibetan culture has been well protected and inherited over the past decades, said chinadaily.com.cn Aug 14.
The theme of the seminar, jointly organized by the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, the China Tibetology Research Center and the Xizang Academy of Social Sciences, was “Prosperity of Tibetan Studies and the Opening of Tibet”.
Apparently justifying the ongoing Sinicization campaign, the report painted Tibetan culture as nothing more than a localised aspect of Chinese national culture, rather than the distinct, world-class civilization that it had embodied throughout its millennia-old history.
The report said: “As an important part of Chinese culture, Tibetan culture has been well protected and inherited over the past 70 years of the peaceful liberation of the Tibet autonomous region. Furthermore, the value and unique charm of Tibetan culture is increasingly being recognized and appreciated by people from all over the world.”