Monday 8 November 2010

Too Soon

Remembering Tsewang Norbu-la

Monsoon 1989. The sky was lavish sending millions of raindrops wearing boxing gloves, as my friend Tenzin Tsundue puts it. The playground was a brown sludge. Yet we continued the football match. Almost through the half time, a goal was scored. While we were recovering from the defensive lapse, the scorer ran to the middle of ground and performed an antic that would have done Roger Milla, the Cameroonian football star, proud.

Friday 5 November 2010

Freedom of Tongue

'I am my language, I am an ode, two odes, ten. This is my language.
I am my language.'
— Mahmoud Darwish

On 12 October 2010, the Provincial Communist Party and Amdo (Chin. Qinghai) Provincial Government held a meeting on education during which a new policy to replace Tibetan by Chinese as the medium of instruction was launched. At 8 am on 19th, thousands of Tibetan students in Rebkong took to the streets to demand ‘Freedom of Language.’

The peaceful protests by Tibetan students have spread all over Tibet and Beijing, where four hundred students from the Minorities University participated in a solidarity march. Last week about 6,000 students in Amdo protested against the new language policy. Students in the neighbouring Tibetan province of Kham (Chin. Gansu and Sichuan provinces) also held solidarity protests. As a retaliatory measure, at around 10:30 a.m. on 22 October, the Chinese authorities have detained over 20 students in Chabcha in Amdo, northeastern Tibet.