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Thursday, 25 November 2010 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Tibet - plans to make Chinese the main language of instruction

  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE).(IT) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the abrogation of the bilingual system in Tibet is an illiberal act that runs counter to respect for the cultural identity of a minority and respect for human rights.

Trade agreements or business contracts with China cannot act as trade goods to distract Europe’s attention away from the serious discrimination from which the Tibetan people still suffer.

The Tibetans have the right to continue to be and to feel like a people, at least, and to do so they must be free to nurture their own traditions, history and language: in short, to keep their own identity, an essential part of which is language identity.

The plan to eradicate Tibetan culture, which has not yet been brought to a successful conclusion under the symbol of the hammer and sickle in decades of persecution against the Tibetan people and monks, cannot now be artfully completed by eliminating the Tibetan language and imposing Chinese.

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