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25october20101978Dharamshala: TwentyTibetan students were detained by Chinese authorities following protests in several counties in Amdho region, eastern Tibet to against the possible introduction of Mandarin as the only language of instruction, in the first arrests reported so far. They were among the demonstrators marching in Chabcha County, Amdho region of Eastern Tibet, on Saturday morning. Teachers and school staff also joined the protests, The Tibet Post International has learned.

The first protests took place in Rebkong County on 19 October, as Tibetan students from 6 schools demanded "Equality of People, Freedom of Language". Last week, there were no reports of arrests or violence.

There was at least one further protest on Sunday, in Chentsa County, as over 2000 students and teachers from Middle Schools 1 and 2 marched to the local Chinese government offices in the Tibetan region.

As classes resumed on Monday, there were no reports of visible disruption. "Let's not talk about the Tibetan language. We can't talk about it", one male teacher told the Associated Press in Rebkong County.

The past few days saw protests by thousands of students in several Tibetan amdho counties including Chabcha, Chentsa, Khrigha, Golok counties of eastern Tibet and Beijing where 400 Tibetan students held protests against the forced replacement of Tibetan language. Meanwhile, a letter of appeal signed by several teachers was submitted to the Qinghai government on October 15 urging the Chinese authorities to reconsider their decision to change the medium of instruction from Tibetan to Mandarin. Sources said the letter contains signatures of about 300 teachers.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com