Over 180 Tibetans have petitioned the People's Supreme Court of China raising concerns over the failure to use the Tibetan language on the official websites of people’s courts in autonomous prefectures. The petitioners have argued that the lack of Tibetan language, whether deliberate or a result of negligence, is a dereliction of duties required by constitution, laws and related regulations. The current lack of Tibetan language resources is disregarding the Tibetans who are seeking justice but do not know Chinese unable to read court announcements and communications or understand what legal rights and protections are available to them.
The petition says: This non-usage of the Tibetan language in a number of people's courts is an apparent breach of China’s Constitution, the Law of Regional National Autonomy, the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law, the Stipulations of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the Learning, the Use and Promotion of the Tibetan Spoken and Written Language and articles on the usage of Tibetan language in the people’s court and offices of ten Tibetan autonomous prefectures. Moreover, it is the primary cause of many Tibetans in autonomous regions being denied their rights and protections as they cannot understand the proclamations and announcements from prefecture courts which have been written in Chinese.
Although the overwhelming number of Tibetans who signed the petition reside within Tibet, support also came from Tibetans in exile. The petition comes as some Tibetans express fears that their language is becoming increasingly marginalised. Mandarin is now taught to children in schools and has become increasingly essential in higher education and the workplace.
Similarly, the petition raises concerns about Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, who is still awaiting a verdict despite his trial being adjourned two weeks ago.