Archive for September, 2010

Xinna’s Talk on Banned Books (Recorded Sept. 15, 2010)

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Translation by Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC)

Recently two popular books sold in Southern Mongolia have been banned. One is entitled the Record of the Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia: ‘Ethnic Separatism’ and the Movement to ‘Weed out Counterrevolutionaries’ by Qi Zhi. The other is entitled the Cultural Revolution in Inner Mongolia by Gao Shuhua. The books, authored by Chinese writers, make an important point that ethnic misfortune originated from political misfortune. The general tone is sympathetic to the Mongols’ suffering, expressing a unique opinion on the Mongol ethnic issue.

The Qi Zhi book discusses the Cultural Revolution’s impact on the 1981 Mongolian student movement. The book is well documented and includes previously unpublished photos of the student petitioners to Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. Unlike other books regarding the Inner Mongolian massacres, the author’s historical analysis states that even though Kang Sheng, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four must be held accountable for the massacre of the Mongols, the true culprit is Mao Zedong, not these individuals.

The Gao Shuhua book is a memoir of the times. The author was a leader of student rebels. The main subject of the book concerns the “Digging up” movement and how it affected the ethnic relationship between Mongols and Chinese. According to the book the blame for the Mongolian massacres was placed squarely on Mr. Ulaanbagan, a Mongol, who was in fact a scapegoat. The true criminal, General Teng Haiqing, was never brought to justice. Many documents, both official and unofficial, show that tens of thousands of Mongols lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were tortured and imprisoned. Although the Inner Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (IMPP) was dissolved long before the Cultural Revolution, about 300,000 Mongols were persecuted on the pretext of being active members of the IMPP. To this day, the Mongols hold a profound grievance towards the Chinese Government for protecting General Teng Haiqing, the primary agent of the massive massacre campaigns, an individual who bears full responsibility for the crimes committed against the Mongols.

Due to their popularity, the Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau Department No.3 has launched a campaign to ban these books. The authorities have confiscated copies from underground book markets although they are still available through some private book sellers.

The reasons why these books have been banned is because of two reasons, 1. their uncensored nature, 2. popularity. For these reasons the authorities reacted very quickly to confiscate and ban them. These books are not allowed to be sold publicly because they tell people the truth.

There are many other books that are not allowed to be sold publicly. The Cultural Market Management personnel often come to bookstores to search for banned books. Two Mongol authors of books regarding the Cultural Revolution are Mr. Bayantai and Mr. Muunohai. Their books are also banned and not available in the bookstores. Bayantai was questioned by the Public Security authorities and is still being closely monitored.

Regarding internet access, it is extremely difficult for us to access internet sites hosted abroad. We are not able to access your websites. There is no freedom and space for speech and press here.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file

Xinna’s Statement on July 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Summary of Xinna’s Statement of July 2, 2010

Xinna Talks on Mongolian Language Issues (Recorded July 2, 2010)

Translation by Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC)

Recently there have been a series of online discussions regarding Hu Chunhua, new Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, who has been meeting with key personnel of the Education Bureau to explore the possibility of replacing the Mongolian language as a medium for education with Chinese under the slogan of “responding to the requirements of a new era”. Like many other Mongolians, I am very concerned about this issue and interested in finding some official document on this matter. Unfortunately no such document has been made available to the public.
But it is not important whether such a printed document exists. Its implications are profound. This [language] issue has always been a very sensitive issue. If you look back in history, to the 1981 and 1982 student movements, they had already touched on this topic. We can see that language is a sensitive issue to the Mongols. It is considered sensitive because it is linked to the rights of the Mongols, especially to rights that have been taken away. As you all know, one of the four main components of ethnic identity is a common language. If a people loses its language, then that people will gradually cease to exist. Some argue that it [elimination of language] is an inevitable result of Utopian Socialism where all peoples will use a single common language.
If this idea [changing Mongolian language to a Chinese one] is proposed by the Mongols, then we can consider it as a voluntary change. However it will be completely different in nature if it is proposed by the Chinese, because this means the rights of the minority have been violated. Using Mongolian language as a tool of learning is naturally part of the rights of Mongols.
I have been reading a book entitled “The True Story of the Cultural Revolution”. According to this book, Mongolian students argued about the Mongolian language education issue in their “Opinion Regarding the Communist Party Central Committee’s No.28 Document”. They insisted that “the ethnic autonomy policy of the Party guaranteed that ethnic minorities have the right to use their native language and have the right to develop their own culture and education, and this right shall not be violated”. All these are the basic rights of ethnic minorities. If the demand for these basic rights is considered a “too-far-out” requirement, then how can the ethnic autonomy rights be guaranteed?
This naturally explains the anxiety of our fellow Mongolians about their future. In recent years, the Chinese authorities claim that economic growth has been unprecedentedly rapid and GDP is reaching that of Hong Kong. If there really is such economic growth then it has been achieved at the price of opening up the Mongolian people’s land, plundering Mongolian people’s natural resources and destroying the Mongolian people’s ancestral territory. For example, the whole land of Shiliin-gol league has become open mine fields and the entire territory of Uushin Banner has become a web of natural gas pipe-lines. The Mongolians have been forced to sacrifice their right to open space and freedom of livelihood. A friend of mine told me that a livestock grazing ban was recently imposed in Darhan-muumingan banners, Shiliin-gol League, and Bairan Right Banner.
Space and land have become a major issue as the direct result of livestock grazing bans and language is another issue due to forced urbanization. In cities and urban areas certainly Mongolian language will lose its ground and will gradually die away.
Heated discussion of this issue indicates that there must be a move by the Government to carry out this new policy. It is understandable that Mongolian people are concerned about this issue.
Mongols are aware that it is vitally important to preserve their language by sending their children to Mongolian schools. However, the social environment and harsh reality forces them to make decisions different from what they wish to do. They must deal with ethnic discrimination their kids would face in employment. For example, after graduating from Mongolian schools, Mongolians students always have difficulties finding a job since almost all jobs are controlled by Chinese. Many companies publicly state that “No Mongolian Students!” in their job postings.
It is extremely unfair that no Chinese is requested to learn Mongolian whereas all Mongolians are forced to learn if they want to survive on their own land. Whoever asks the Chinese to learn Mongolian has been and will be labeled as “separatist” who is attempting to destroy the “ethnic harmony”. One of the major crimes of Ulaanhuu, founder of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region during the Cultural Revolution was that he asked to the Chinese to learn Mongolian as Mongols are asked to learn Chinese.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file