A student protest in the streets of Chabcha. Photo published on Tibet Justice’s Facebook page.
Over a thousand Tibetan students protested on Monday in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in China. The police quickly suppressed the protest, which resulted in several severe injuries. The trigger for this protest was an educational questionnaire perceived as disparaging to Tibetan culture.
The Chinese authorities distributed the questionnaires to students at the Sorig Lobling medical school in the city of Chabcha (also known as Gonghe to the Chinese) in an effort to teach them about Chinese patriotism. However, the recipients perceived the questions as implicitly insulting to the Tibetan language as well as critical of suicides by immolation.
According to the International Campaign for Tibet, a non-profit organisation, the number of Tibetans who have immolated themselves by fire since 2009 now reaches 84.
The questionnaire distributed to students.
According to several international Tibetan organisations, about 20 protesters were injured in the police raid on the protesters, including four of them severely.
Numerous Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of lacking respect for their culture and religion and call for the independence of this eastern Chinese province as well as the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Tibet, as well as Tibetan zones in neighbouring provinces, are completely off-limit to journalists.