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Cultural genocide

Cultural genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of a nation for political or military reasons.

The Government of Tibet in Exile and its supporters use the term to describe the activities of of the People's Republic of China in Tibet which it claims is destroying ancient Tibetan culture. The activities which the Government in Exile accuses the Chinese government of performing include closing Tibetan Buddhist temples and encouraging outside immigration into Tibet.

Supporters of the People's Republic of China argue that while wishing to stop secessionist activity in Tibet it does not actively desire to see Tibetan culture eradicated. They also claim that it is improper to use such a highly charged word as genocide to describe any cultural change, especially since Chinese policies in Tibet have allegedly been far less assimilationist than the policies of many nations which are making the criticism.

Other examples of alleged cultural genocide include the destruction of many Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the burning of national archives in Sarajevo, the deliberate description of the Irish Public Records Office and its thousand years of records by the Irish Republican Army in 1922 and the destruction of Cambodian monuments and records by the Khmer Rouge. Critics of the Allied bombing of Dresden also describe the destruction of the militarily insignificant but architecturally priceless city by carpet bombing as cultural genocide.

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