Asia-Pacific

More Tibetan students 'take to streets over reforms'

Students marching to centre of Rongwo Town at the gate of Rongwo Monastery 19 October
Image caption The Tibetan students are said to be angered by changes to education policy

Protests by Tibetan students in China over the right to study in their language have spread, according to a rights group and state media.

Thousands marched in Qinghai province on Wednesday, following a peaceful demonstration in Tongren a day earlier.

It follows unconfirmed reports of plans to curb the use of the Tibetan language in classrooms in favour of Chinese.

Qinghai province is home to many ethnic Tibetans and was the scene of anti-Chinese riots in 2008.

Thousands of students, many of them in their early teens, are expressing their desire to continue to study and learn in their native Tibetan, said the London-based Free Tibet.

The campaign group said there were protests in Guolo, Qinghai province on Thursday. However the BBC could not confirm this.

About 2,000 students from four schools demonstrated in Chabcha town in Gonghe on Wednesday, shouting: "We want freedom for Tibetan language", Free Tibet said.

It also said middle school pupils protested in Xinghai but gave no details.

The Global Times newspaper reported that the protest by "students most wearing school uniforms" in Gonghe was peaceful.

"The social order restored quickly on the same day," an eyewitness was quoted as saying.

The authorities say that promoting Chinese in ethnic regions could help local people better integrate into the mainstream society.

But many Tibetans complain that their culture is being eroded, and say it is part of a campaign by China to increase its control over the remote Himalayan region.

China rules the Tibet Autonomous Region strictly but usually allows more freedom to Tibetan populations elsewhere in China; Tibetan is an official language in Tibet and parts of China such as Qinghai.

The Chinese government says it is bringing development and economic opportunities to areas long subject to official neglect.

Are you in the area? Did you take part in the protest? What is your reaction to changes that would limit the use of Tibetan language in schools? Send us your comments using the form below.

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites