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Argument: Tibetan students are forced to use Chinese as the official language

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  • February 2008 Norman Baker UK MP, released a statement to mark International Mother Language Day saying - "The Chinese government are following a deliberate policy of extinguishing all that is Tibetan, including their own language in their own country. It may be obvious, but Tibetan should be the official language of Tibet. The world must act. Time is running out for Tibet." The rights of Tibetans, under Article 5 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity are to "express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue", as well as being "entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity". Whilst playing lip service to protecting the Tibetan language, the Chinese government seems intent on subverting and eventually eliminating the use of the Tibetan mother tongue. The Chinese authorities occupying Tibet are making life impossible for Tibetans who are not fluent in Mandarin Chinese by passing laws to minimise teaching of Tibetan in schools and by replacing Tibetan language with Chinese language in many spheres of public life.[1]

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