Buddhism teaching

Student arrested after teaching Tibetan

Choedon was arrested earlier this month and has not been seen since

A university student was detained in central Tibet. Chinese authorities in Riwoche County arrested Choedon (ཆོས་སྒྲོན།) on February 13 and she has not been seen since.

Choedon is from the village of Yamda (ཡམ་མདའ་སྡེ་བ།) in Riwoche County (རི་བོ་ཆེ།). Although authorities have not released the official reason for her arrest, Choedon’s family believe it was related to her teaching the Tibetan language to children in Yamda during school vacations. Choedon is currently studying at Southwest Minzu University in Chengdu.

The source said: “Choedon was arrested by the Chinese authorities but she has committed no wrongdoing and has no criminal record. Her family suspects that she was likely arrested for teaching the Tibetan language to the children of her village during their winter vacation. Her family is concerned for her safety as more than five days have passed since her arrest and disappearance, but there is no idea where she is being held or where she is being held. its state”.

The source added that Choedon “used to teach Tibetan children in her village during holidays and is active in preserving and teaching the Tibetan language.”

Repressive language policies in Tibet

Choedon’s arrest comes amid radical new language policies by the Chinese government in Tibet. On September 1, 2021, the Chinese government replaced all textbooks in Tibet with teaching materials in Chinese, while the Chinese language was established as the official language of instruction in schools at all levels, from kindergarten to high school. .

Chinese authorities have also removed a number of alternative ways for Tibetan children to learn their native language. Authorities forcibly closed Tibetan language schools and private schools where Tibetan languages ​​were taught and banned Tibetan parents from holding online coaching classes for their children during their summer and winter vacations, a key restriction since most parents prefer to give Tibetan language lessons and Buddhism at this time. Monasteries are also forced to teach Buddhism in Chinese

The Chinese government has set a goal that by 2025, 85% of people living under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime will speak the national language (“putonghua” or “common language”). This is part of a larger effort to promote Chinese nationalism among people of different nationalities living under the CCP’s regime, including Tibetans. Research last year by the Tibet Action Institute found that between 800,000 and 900,000 Tibetan children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools, where they face political indoctrination.

Information provided by Tibet Watch

Take action

The crackdown on the Tibetan language has seen schools demolished, children separated from their families and also arrests. Rinchen Kyi, a teacher, was arrested last year after her school was forced to close. There is no evidence that she committed any admitted crime beyond simply teaching Tibetan children their own language. Demand that she be freed now.