Protests by Tibetan students against the introduction of Mandarin as a medium of instruction in Tibetan schools spread to new areas on October 20,2010. However, the protests have remained peaceful.
2. In an attempt to pacify the protesting students, Party and Government officials have been meeting the students to explain the new language policy. At different places, different explanations have been given by the officials. At some places, the students have been assured that the introduction of Mandarin as the medium of instruction would not mean the downgrading of the importance attached to the study of the Tibetan language. At some other places, the students have been told that they will have the option of choosing either Tibetan or Mandarin as the medium of instruction, but those choosing Mandarin will get a higher credit. The students have not been satisfied by these explanations.
3. About 8,000 students held protest demonstrations on October 20 at various towns in the Tsolho (in Chinese, Hainan) Tibet Autonomous Prefecture in the western Qinghai province. (21-10-10)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )