Archive for ‘ethnic minority’

05/12/2018

China ‘rejects German human rights delegation’s request’ to visit Xinjiang

China has denied a German human rights delegation access to the far western region of Xinjiang to investigate mass detention centres for Uygurs, according to the German foreign ministry.

German Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler said on Tuesday that the request was made as part of preparations for the annual German-Chinese Human Rights Dialogue in Lhasa on Thursday and Friday.

“I am shocked by reports of the treatment of the Turkic Uygur minority, more than one million of whom are estimated to be imprisoned in internment camps in Xinjiang,” Kofler said, adding that she would continue to ask for permission to travel to Xinjiang.

She said she would also raise Germany’s concerns about religious freedom, civil society, and other human rights issues in China during the meeting in Tibet.

Germany has been a vocal critic of China’s human rights record, including the interment camps in Xinjiang

China says the camps are vocational training centres and part of its anti-terrorism efforts, but critics say Uygurs are forced into centres in violation of human rights.

Former inmates and monitoring groups say people in the camps are subjected to prison-like conditions and forced to renounce their religion and cultural background.

On a trip to China last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Beijing to be more transparent about conditions in the camps.

Germany, along with the United States and France, called on China to close the camps during a United Nations review of China’s human rights record in Geneva last month.

Last week, Uygur woman Mihrigul Tursun told the United States Congress that she was tortured multiple times while detained in one of the centres, where a number of detainees died.

After the dialogue in Tibet, Kofler will return to Beijing to meet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is on a state visit.

Last year’s human rights dialogue was cancelled by China, with neither China nor Germany saying why it was called off.

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01/12/2013

Xinjiang college says approved political views needed to graduate | Reuters

College students in China\’s restive western Xinjiang region will not graduate unless their political views are approved, a university official said, as the country wages what school administrators called an ideological war against separatism.

A Uighur student attends a lesson at the Xinjiang College of Uighur Medicine in Hotan in the southwestern part of China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region September 15, 2003. REUTERS/Andrew Wong

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur ethnic group, many of whom resent controls imposed by Beijing and an inflow of Han Chinese migrants. Some Uighur groups are campaigning for an independent homeland for their people.

University officials from Xinjiang said their institutions were a frontline in a \”life and death struggle\” for the people\’s hearts and a main front in the battle against separatism, the ruling Communist Party\’s official newspaper in the region, the Xinjiang Daily, reported on Tuesday.

\”Students whose political qualifications are not up to par must absolutely not graduate, even if their professional course work is excellent,\” said Xu Yuanzhi, the party secretary at Kashgar Teachers College in southern Xinjiang, which has been an epicenter for ethnic unrest.

It is unclear if such a policy has been officially implemented throughout the region.

\”Ideology is a battlefield without gun smoke,\” Xinjiang Normal University President Weili Balati said.

\”As university leaders, we have the responsibility to do more to help students and teachers properly understand and treat religion, ethnicity and culture and help them distinguish between right and wrong,\” he said.

China blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) for an attack on October 28, when a vehicle ploughed through bystanders on Tiananmen Square in Beijing and burst into flames, killing three people in the car and two bystanders.

Uighur exiles, rights groups and some experts have cast doubt on the official accounts of what China has deemed terror attacks and foreign reporting of the incident has discussed whether it was motivated by punitive ethnic policies.

An Islamist militant group has released a speech claiming responsibility for the incident, which China\’s Foreign Ministry said should silence those who are skeptical about the threat of terror within China\’s borders.

The Uighurs are culturally closer to ethnic groups across central Asia and Turkey than the Han Chinese who make up the vast majority of China\’s population.

via Xinjiang college says approved political views needed to graduate | Reuters.

08/09/2013

Jairam blames ‘forcible acquisition’ for Naxal problem

The Hindu: “Coming down heavily on PSUs for displacing tribals, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday blamed their actions for growth of Naxalism in many areas and cautioned that the era of “forcible acquisition” was now over.

The Union Rural Development Minister said if the new Land Acquisition Act is implemented properly, it will put an end to “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests and check Maoist menace. File photo

The Union Rural Development Minister said if the new Land Acquisition Act is implemented properly, it will put an end to “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests and check Maoist menace.

“The record of public sector (PSUs) in displacements is worse than the record of the private sector. This is a sad truth… that more displacement has been caused by government and public sector projects than private sector projects…particularly in Naxal areas. And this is why Naxalism has grown in these areas,” the Minister said.

Mr. Ramesh slammed National Thermal Power Corporation for allegedly seeking police help for forcibly acquiring land in Keredari block of Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district, where a villager agitating against land acquisition was shot dead two months ago.

He was addressing Hindi and regional media two days after Parliament passed the path-breaking ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013’.

Criticising NTPC for the alleged forced acquisition, Ramesh said, “Companies must also learn to be sensitive, changing aspirations.”

“NTPC will face a challenge. If there is firing in an NTPC project and people get killed in that firing, they cannot acquire the land…Indian companies still believe that they can use government to forcibly acquire land. That era is gone. You cannot do forcible acquisition,” the Minister said when asked about the reported criticism by a top NTPC official of the new Land Acquisition legislation.

“If this (new) land acquisition law is properly implemented, it will defeat Naxalism,” he said, referring to incidents of “inhumane” displacement of tribals from forests for various public and private sector projects in mineral-rich states like Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The new law will be notified in three months.

Mr. Ramesh said, “Land Acquisition is the root of the Maoist issue. If you have a humane, sensitive and responsible land acquisition policy, lot of your problems relating to Naxalism would go. Tribals will be with you.

“It is a fact that many of the tribals have been displaced and they have not got proper compensation, they have not got rehabilitation and resettlement…particularly in mining of coal and irrigation projects,” he added.

Mr. Ramesh, the architect of the new Land Acquisition Bill, said the 119-year-old Land Acquisition Act, 1894, had a “very important role” in encouraging Maoist activities in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, parts of tribal Maharashtra and tribal Andhra Pradesh.

When asked that 13 laws, including the Indian Railways Act, National Highways Act, Land Acquisition Mines Act and Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, under which bulk of the land acquisition takes place, are exempted from the purview of the Bill, the Minister said, “Within one year, all compensation, all rehabilitation and resettlement…all these Acts will come under the newly enacted legislation.””

via Jairam blames ‘forcible acquisition’ for Naxal problem – The Hindu.

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06/09/2013

Beijing says 400 million Chinese cannot speak Mandarin

BBC: “China‘s Education Ministry says that about 400 million people – or 30% of the population – cannot speak the country’s national language.

Pupils in traditional costumes attend a ceremony at the Confucius temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province 1 September 2013

Of the 70% of the population who can speak Mandarin, many do not do it well enough, a ministry spokeswoman told Xinhua news agency on Thursday.

The admission from officials came as the government launched another push for linguistic unity in China.

China is home to thousands of dialects and several minority languages.

These include Cantonese and Hokkien, which enjoy strong regional support.

Mandarin – formally called Putonghua in China, meaning “common tongue” – is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world.

The Education Ministry spokeswoman said the push would be focusing on the countryside and areas with ethnic minorities.

For decades, the ruling Communist Party has promoted Mandarin in an attempt to unite the most populous nation in the world.

But government efforts have been hampered by the sheer size of the country and a lack of investment in education, particularly the rural areas, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

The government’s policies have also long been contentious, particularly among ethnic minorities, our correspondent adds.

In 2010, there were protests in Tibet about the use of Mandarin in schools. At the time, protesters said it was eroding their culture and language.”

via BBC News – Beijing says 400 million Chinese cannot speak Mandarin.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/social-cultural-diff/china-is-homogeneous/

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