Tibetan children face punishment for studying in IndiaSeptember 23rd, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, Sep 23 (IANS) Thousands of Tibetan children and their families face stiff punishment at the hands of the Chinese government for enrolling in schools in India run by the Tibetan government in exile headed by their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, a rights body said.The Washington-headquartered International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has expressed its misgivings as the ultimatum issued by the Communist Party of China authorities to the Tibetan Party and government workers expired last week.
In July, Communist Party authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region had issued a directive stating that Tibetan children must confess if they have been to schools in India and whether they believed anything they had been taught there, the ICT said in a statement issued late Monday.
Similar though less stringent measures were imposed in the mid-1990s. The measures, issued by the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Committee Discipline Department, state that children who return from schools in exile and parents who fail to bring children back to Tibet could face unspecified “disciplinary action”.
Every year, hundreds of young children are smuggled out of Tibet to Dharamsala town in north India, the home of the Dalai Lama, to receive the religious education that they are denied by communist China in their own homeland.
To manage the escape, young children trek across high and often dangerous snowy mountain passes to reach Nepal, facing the danger of being arrested or even shot on the way.
The Chinese warning comes even as Beijing stepped up its campaign in Nepal alleging that the Dalai Lama’s supporters were luring away young children of Tibetan origin from Nepal with false promises to indoctrinate them and press them into his services, an allegation that was rejected by the Tibetan government in exile.
The new government of Nepal headed by the Maoists has also begun reiterating its support for the One China policy, which regards Tibet as an inalienable part of the Chinese republic.
Nepal, that had in the past allowed thousands of Tibetan refugees to take up residence in the country, this month began cracking down on them.
The new government of Nepal has pledged to hand over all Tibetan refugees who do not possess valid travel documents or the identity cards issued by Nepal to the UN’s refugee care agency and make them leave Nepal.
New Nepali Home Minister Bandev Gautam Monday reasserted that Nepal would not allow its soil to be used for activities against its friendly neighbour China.
The crackdown comes after Tibetans began staging protests against the Chinese government since March and kept the demonstrations up, embarrassing Beijing especially on the eve of the Olympic Games.
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Tags: communist party of china, discipline department, false promises, government of nepal, international campaign for tibet, stringent measures, tibet autonomous region, tibetan children, tibetan government in exile, tibetan origin