OTTAWA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The Tibetan culture has been well preserved and developing, said a visiting senior Chinese Tibetologist on Wednesday in Canada.
Tobdrub Wangben, professor of the Chinese Central University for Nationalities, told Xinhua in an interview that the Dalai Lama's claim of the so-called "cultural genocide" in Tibet is totally groundless.
Wangben is heading a four-member Tibetologist delegation on a three- day visit to Canada to promote understanding on the Tibet issue. The delegation has met with scholars from the Canadian International Council, local media outlets, government officials and parliamentarian representatives.
The total population of Tibetan ethnic group in Tibet has increased from nearly 1 million before 1951 to 2.77 million last year, while the illiterate rate dropped significantly from 95 percent in 1951 to 28 percent last year, Wangben explained with figures to make it clear whether the culture in Tibet was being damaged or developed.
When asked about the restrictions that foreign media encountered in Tibet, Wang Pijun, a senior official with the China Association for International Cultural Exchange, said that the Chinese government attaches great importance to strengthening communications and understanding with the international community on the issue of Tibet, and has arranged several rounds of visits by foreign correspondents to Tibet.
The government has promised to arrange more such tours in the future, Wang added.
Talking about the Dalai Lama's claim of not seeking Tibet independence, Lian Xiangmin, Director of Science and Research Office at China Tibetology Research Center, said people should not only look at what he says but also at what he does.
"The Dalai Lama said he is not seeking Tibet independence while he is the leader of the illegal Tibet government in exile," said Lian.
And it is also stated in the charter of some organizations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) which seeks Tibet independence that they will listen to what the Dalai Lama says, and the Dalai Lama said he support the TYC's cause, Lian added.
Luorong Zhandui, professor of the Social and Economic Research Institute under the China Tibetology Research Center and a Tibetan himself, noted that the economy of Tibet and living standards of people there have improved greatly during the past years. The Qingzang Railway has proved to boost the local tourism considerably, and this is of vital importance to the industrial development of Tibet and to the promotion of Tibetan culture, he said.