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Sikyong Penpa Tsering calls Chinese boarding school system biggest threat to Tibetan identity

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep22’22) – Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has on Sep 21 accused China of having embarked on a campaign to obliterate the Tibetan culture and called the new boarding school system it has set up in Tibet the biggest threat facing the region’s identity today.

Addressing the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet in the Japanese parliament building in Tokyo, the executive head of the CTA has said the Chinese government has forcibly separated 80% of Tibetan children in the region from the age of 3 from their families and cultural roots to Sinicize them in these boarding school.

“Tibetan children are forced to learn Chinese language instead of Tibetan and its propaganda with the aim to change their mind so that there won’t be any Tibetan in another 15 to 20 years”, CTA quoted the Sikyong as saying on its Tibet.net website Sep 21.

A cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet and China’s policies there are designed to wipe out the Tibetan people’s cultural and linguistic identity, he has said. 

The Sikyong has called on the Japanese lawmakers, as well as the government, to use their influence to encourage the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UHCHR) to come out with a Tibet report, like it did in the case of Xinjiang at the end of last month.

He has also referred to the environmental destruction taking place in Tibet under Chinese rule and its adverse implications for some 1.8 billion people in Asia who depend for their freshwater on the 10 major rivers originating from there.

He has asserted that Tibet was an independent country with full rights to statehood but had adopted the pragmatic middle-way approach of seeking genuine autonomy under Chinese sovereignty.

He has also expressed gratitude to Japan for its support for the welfare of Tibetans in exile through its Offical Development Assistance (ODA) programme and hoped this would continue.

In his address, Mr Shimomura Hakubun, Chairman of the All Parliamentary support Group for Tibet, has called the Tibet issue a common concern for everyone and offered to do his country’s bit aimed at strengthening the Tibetan struggle and the preservation of Tibet’s cultural, linguistic and religious identity.

Ms Sakurai Yoshiko, president of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, a leading Japanese think tank established in 2007, has called China’s policy to deliberately eradicate the culture, language and religion of Tibetans, as well as of Uyghurs and Mongols, inexcusable. The Japanese journalist, TV presenter, and writer has assured Japan’s continuous support for Tibet.

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