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Dharamshala: A recent case of forcible prevention of candidates from using Tibetan language as a medium in examinations in Tibet has clearly exposed the Chinese government's policy of enforcing the use of Chinese language in order to marginalise the traditional language of Tibetans and the denial of equal rights to nationalities in Tibet, sources in Tibet said.

Around 100 college graduates, which includes many Tibetan students, were barred from writing their papers in Tibetan language during an entrance exam for the recruitment of teachers for high and middle schools in Mangra County in Tsolho Tibet Autonomous Prefecture on 14 July.

The entrance exam was conducted under the supervision of Mangra county's Personnel and Organisational Departments. The subjects of the exam includes Communist Party of China's “Three Represents”, last year's earthquake in Sichuan Province and other issues concerning the dissemination of political propaganda of the Chinese government. The invigilators were Dorjee Wanchen from the personnel department, and Lhundup and Kharjam Gyal from the organisational department.

According to sources, when the relevant departments first made the announcement for the entrance test, they had issued strict notice to the candidates to use only the Chinese language instead of Tibetan.

Ironically, when some Tibetan students protested about the reason on putting ban on Tibetan language, the students were told that the officials who were assigned to check the exam papers do not know Tibetan.

Thirteen candidates had been selected out of which only two were Tibetan. The authorities disqualified the papers of those students who stood firm in using Tibetan language, sources said.

Later on 16 July, a teacher recruitment exam was conducted at a primary school in Mangra county. The candidates were allowed to write their papers in Tibetan after the strong protests by college graduates against the prevention of Tibetan language during the entrance test. Nearly 100 candidates sat in the exam out of which 20 were selected.

Nevertheless, such incidents add to the growing concerns among the Tibetan people regarding China's policy of marginalisation of Tibet's traditional language by strongly propagating the use of Chinese language.

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