Special Report: Serfs Emancipation Day
BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- To Tibetan car dealer
Purbu, the Dalai Lama always seems unhappy when Tibetans are really happy.
When knowing the recent claim of the monk that
Tibetans are becoming more unhappy about the government, Purbu scorned "it is
all imaginary and false."
"How can Tibetans be unhappy when the economy
develops so fast with the support from the central government?" said Purbu, a
car dealing company manager in Lhasa.
The deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC),
the top legislature, made the remarks on the sidelines of the annual NPC
session, referring to figures in a white paper on the situation in Tibet, which
was released by the State Council Information Office last week.
Since 1994, the local GDP has grown at an annual rate
of 12.8 percent on average, higher than the national average for the same
period, partly thanks to 313 billion yuan (45.7 billion U.S. dollars) offered by
the central government and other parts of the country, the white paper said.
Tibet also saw its GDP soar from 174 million yuan in
1959 to 39.591 billion yuan last year.
To Purbu, what is more important behind the figures
is the truth he witnesses every day that every Tibetan shares the fruits of the
robust economic growth, a dream their ancestors could hardly imagine in the
times of the Dalai Lama, when more than 90 percent of the Tibetan population
were slaves or serfs.
"GENOCIDE" FROM THIN AIR
NPC deputy Norde, an expert from Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture of Golog of Qinghai Province who studies the Tibetan epic Gesar,
believes it is the best time in history in the conservation of Tibetan culture.
Norde refuted the Dalai Lama's claim of a culture
"genocide" in Tibetan areas as unfounded.
He said the central government has devoted large
manpower and material resources and set up special institutions to save and
study the Tibetan epic Gesar and the Mongolian epics Jangar and Kirgiz Manas,
commonly hailed as China's three major ethnic heroic epics.
Some parts of the epic Gesar, with at least 500,000
lines, have been translated into Chinese, French, English and Japanese,
according to Norde.
Norde said the country is also trying to make Gesar a
world intangible culture heritage so as to better protect the epic known as the
Oriental Iliad after the Greek epic poem by Homer.
Lawmaker Zhang Guofu, a mushroom grower from the
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze of Sichuan Province, said even in the
remotest villages, the signs of villagers' committees are written in the Tibetan
Zhang said some local students from the Han and Yi
ethnic groups in his hometown have complained "unfairness" over preferences
given to Tibetan students in the college-entrance exam.
Zhang's opinion was shared by lawmaker Nyangmonshan.
The midwife from the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Huangnan in Qinghai
Province said bilingual Tibetan-Chinese teaching is adopted in all schools in
Huangnan, and Tibetan medicine and drugs are becoming more popular in the
Despite satisfaction with the development in Tibetan
areas, the lawmakers said they are concerned about stability because of
"It is not a secret that the Dalai Lama clique
attempt to sabotage stability in Garze," Zhang said.
In the 1990s, Zhang recalled, some monks and local
residents were instigated by the Dalai clique to bomb bridges, government
buildings and even crowded commercial plazas in Sichuan Province.
The farmer said he could not understand why some
foreign journalists insist presenting a totally different picture of Tibetan
areas from what local people see.
"Some journalists come to Tibetan areas only focusing
on the anti-government sentiment by a few people. These journalists do not
report the mainstream," Zhang said.
Purbu said the Lhasa riot last March, in which 18
civilians and a police officer were killed, gave the people a lesson that their
well-being could only be protected when the region enjoys stability.
He hailed President Hu Jintao's remarks on stability
in Tibet, which was given Monday, prior to the 50th anniversary of the foiling
of an armed rebellion on March 10, 1959 staged by the upper ruling class in
Tibet to preserve serfdom and theocracy.
"We must reinforce the solid Great Wall for combating
separatism and safeguarding national unity, so that Tibet, now basically stable,
will enjoy lasting peace and stability," said Hu.
Tibet will mark the 50th anniversary of the
abolishment of serfdom and the theocratic regime of the Dalai Lama on March 28.
The March 10 rebellion 50 years ago prompted the
central government's decision that a democratic reform should be carried out
immediately to demolish the entire old system led by the Dalai Lama.
The Preparatory Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region
replaced the Gaxag government and set out to lead the reform.
From 1959 to until 1966, 1 million slaves were
granted land, houses and their freedom.