Dharamsala: In March 2012, Tibetan monk Jamyang Phelden and civilian Sonam Dharjee self-immolated to protest the Chinese government's new educational policy that required all subjects be taught in Chinese language earlier the same month. During the self-immolations, Phelden and Dharjee shouted for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet and for continued study in the Tibetan language.
The same day of these self-immolations, thousands of students from First National High School, Second National High School, Rebkong Geden Cheophel High School, Redkong National High School, Yuphu High School and Handicrafts School in Tsekug, Rebkong united in Tsekug County's town to protest in front of the Chinese Government Office, Chinese Police Office and Chinese Special Police Office. They shouted for language independence and equal national rights.
The Chinese Government responded to these by firing several school principals. The terminated principals include: Pema Tseden, the Principal at the Resident Village School in Tenreng County, Dorjee Gyal , Principal of Yuphu High School, the principal at Rebkong Geden Cheophel High School and Lhabum Kar, the Headmaster of The Education Office of Tenreng County.
The Chinese Government also has plans to fire additional Tibetan principals at Tsekug County schools.
After the protest in Rebkong, Chinese police detained a number of Tibetans, subjecting them to harsh questioning on their potential involvement in the protests. All were released, partly due to fears among Chinese authorities that extended detention would lead to more unrest. However, with a majority of the community now in high mountain fields working the lucrative caterpillar fungus harvest, Chinese authorities may call back and detain those suspected protesters.