-The Globe And Mail
“When you are cut off from your language and culture and history, you lose a sense of who you are, and eventually it feels like you’re losing the very fabric of your humanity,”
Almost 80 per cent of Tibetan children in China have been placed in a vast system of government-run boarding schools, where they are cut off from their families, languages and traditional culture, according to an analysis of official data by researchers at Tibet Action Institute.
The U.S.-based NGO found more than 800,000 Tibetan children between the ages of 6 and 18 “are now housed in these state-run institutions.”
“The colonial boarding school system in Tibet is a core element of the Chinese Communist Party’s systematic effort to co-opt, undermine, and ultimately eliminate Tibetan identity in an attempt to neutralize Tibetan resistance to Chinese rule,” the group said in a report published Tuesday.
For years, Tibetans have been sounding the alarm over what they see as assimilationist policies from Beijing. Scholars agree that the implementation of such policies escalated in the wake of large-scale unrest in parts of Tibet in 2008 and the coming to power of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2012. Spiking repression in Tibet has coincided with a crackdown in China’s neighbouring Xinjiang region in recent years, which has seen an estimated two million ethnic Uyghurs pass through a system of “re-education” or “de-radicalization” camps. Click here to read more.