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Training centers in Xinjiang offer hope
By:China Daily
update:March 09,2020

Women make Chinese knots at Tati Kuli, a settlement in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county, Xinjiang. [Photo by LIU YUHANG/FOR CHINA DAILY]
March 9,2020 -- Vocational education and training in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are giving the younger generation there the "hope of life", according to Jayanath Colombage, director-general of the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka, who attended a symposium on counterterrorism in Geneva on Monday.
The conference, which focused on counterterrorism, deradicalization, and the promotion and protection of human rights, was a side event during the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Global experts from countries including China, Cameroon and Serbia were invited to share their experiences of the fight against terrorism, and to discuss the effectiveness of anti-terrorism efforts.
Colombage went to the autonomous region in northwestern China last year. He told the audience about a very different Xinjiang to the one seen in some Western media reports.
"When I went to education training centers, what I saw is that young people there now have the hope of life," he said. "They told us earlier on they didn't have any hope because they didn't have good education or good skills, so they were easily led by extremist ideology."
From 1990 to the end of 2016, separatist, terrorist and extremist forces launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers, and causing immeasurable damage to property.
No violent or terrorist attacks have occurred in Xinjiang for more than two years, according to the State Council Information Office of China.
Kham-Inh Kitchadeth, the permanent representative of Laos to the UN Office in Geneva, who also visited Xinjiang last year, said people's lives in the region are now "back to normal".
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