Dharamshala: - The US State Department in its annual human rights report released on Thursday, 27 Feb. said the Chinese government engaged in severe human rights abuses in Tibet. United States Secretary of State John Kerry released the report, titled 'Annual Country Reports on Human Rights', at the State Department.
The report stated the Chinese government's respect for and protection of human rights in Tibet remained poor. "Under the banner of maintaining social stability and combating separatism, the government engaged in the severe repression of Tibet's unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights" of Tibetans, including the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly, and movement," it said.
It also reported serious human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detentions, and house arrests. "There was a perception among Tibetans that authorities systemically targeted them for political repression, economic marginalization, and cultural assimilation, as well as educational and employment discrimination," the report said.
"The presence of the People's Armed Police (PAP) and other security forces remained at high levels in many communities across the Tibetan Plateau. Repression was severe throughout the year but increased in the periods before and during politically and religiously sensitive anniversaries and events. Students, monks, laypersons, and others in many Tibetan areas were detained after reportedly demanding freedom and human rights, and expressing their support for the Dalai Lama," it said.
The Chinese government strictly controlled information about, and access to, the Tibetan areas, making it difficult to determine accurately the scope of human rights abuses, the report said, adding that it severely restricted travel by foreign journalists to Tibetan areas. The Chinese government subjected Tibetans who spoke to foreign reporters, attempted to provide information to persons outside the country, or communicated information regarding protests or other expressions of discontent through cell phones, e?mail, or the internet to harassment or detention, it added.
The report said the Chinese government continued to jam radio broadcasts of overseas radio services like Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. The police confiscated or destroyed satellite dishes and replaced with government-controlled cable television systems.
It reported severe restriction on travel by foreign journalists and those who managed to sneak into Tibetan areas are subjected to harassment by the Chinese authorities.
The report said Mandarin Chinese, rather than Tibetan, is used widely used in all official communications and in the schools as the medium of instruction. "China's Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law states that "schools (classes and grades) and other institutions of education where most of the students come from minority nationalities shall, whenever possible, use textbooks in their own languages and use their languages as the media of instruction" (Article 37). The Tibetan-language curriculum for primary and middle schools in Tibetan areas was predominantly translated directly from the standard national Mandarin-language curriculum, offering Tibetan students little insight into their own culture and history," the report said.
The US annaul report said Tibetans face economic marginalisation and employment discrimination due to the language policy. "Proficiency in Mandarin was essential to qualify for higher education and to obtain a government job in the PRC. China's most prestigious universities provided no instruction in Tibetan or other ethnic minority languages.
"Nationalities" universities, established to serve ethnic minority students and ethnic Han students interested in ethnic minority subjects, offered Tibetan-language instruction only in courses focused on the study of the Tibetan language or culture. Since Tibetan-language instruction was not offered for other higher-education subjects, there was a dearth of technically trained and qualified ethnic Tibetans, and migrants from other areas of China typically filled jobs in Tibetan areas that required technical skills and qualifications," the report stated.