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Politically-Charged Questionnaire Triggers Tibetan Student Protest in China

Categories: East Asia, China, Education, Ethnicity & Race, Language, Protest

On November 26, 2012 about one thousand Tibetan students protested in Chabcha County, Qinghai Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (or Tsolho in Tibetan pronunciation) against a politically-charged questionnaire on a Medical School campus. According to VOA Tibetan [1], the students were “chanting slogans for equality of nationalities, freedom of language, respect for truth and establishment of new governance” during the protest. More than 20 students were injured and four were in critical condition. The school has been sealed off from outside contact. The video below shows the protest scene:

According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), the protest was triggered by a questionnaire distributed to the students by the authorities for the purpose of stability control. TCHRD translated [2] the document:


The politically-charged questionnaire that triggered the protest on November 26, 2012. Image from Facebook user: Dossier Tibet

1. Economic development in Tsolho should be based on what?
1. Is Tibetan culture protected and developed?
2. Are environmental protection and urban construction in opposition to each other?
3. Does bilingual education mean the deterioration of minority language?
4. Who in authority is doing anything to ensure the equality of nationalities?
5. What is the reason behind self-immolation protests?
6. What harm is caused by illegal public protests?
7. Who is agitating for separatism and causing unrest?
8. How should the comprehensive and correct implementation of the freedom of religious belief policy be understood?
9. Is the present environment of development in tranquil harmony not something to be cherished?

There are bits and pieces of information and photos about the protest in Facebook and Twitter.

Dossier Tibet translated [4] one of the protest banner slogans: “You can't arrest my brother and kill my friends!”


One of the protest banner slogan: “You can't arrest my brother and kill my friends!” Photos from Facebook User: Dossier Tibet

Lhase Sonam posted photos [5] of the injured students in his Facebook:


Three Tibetan students are critically injured in the protest. Photos from Facebook User: Lhase Sonam

This is not the first time Tibetan students in Qinghai protested against the Chinese government's policy. Back in October 2010, about 8000 students [6] protested in Tsolho against the language policy in schools. The Tibetan students fear that their culture, language and identity will be further eroded.