Author Topic: CHINA News: "TIBET marks emancipation of the serfs"  (Read 3879 times)

hope rainbow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 947
CHINA News: "TIBET marks emancipation of the serfs"
« on: April 08, 2013, 05:20:36 PM »
CHINA NEWS April 5, 2013

Tibet marks emancipation of the serfs

By DAQIONG in Lhasa and LI YAO in Beijing

A flag-raising ceremony was held on the morning of March 28 in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, to mark the 54th anniversary of the abolition of feudal serfdom.

Some 3,000 people watched the event at the square in front of the Potala Palace following a week of celebratory activities including dancing, singing and Tibetan opera.

The ceremony marked the fifth Serfs' Emancipation Day. In January 2009, Tibet's lawmakers designated March 28 as a memorial day for the 1959 democratic reform in Tibet

The reform ended the era of feudal serfdom and freed about 1 million serfs and slaves, who at the time accounted for more than 95 percent of the region's population.

Tsering Phel, 72, of Damxung county on the outskirts of Lhasa, was born a serf. She says she remembers how the eight serf families in her hometown used to suffer from hunger, cold and bullying by slave owners.

"After the reform, our fate changed," she recalls. "There are no more serfs. Women and men have
equal status."

This is the fifth time she has attended the national flag-raising ceremony.

"By watching the ceremony, I want to show my support and gratitude. I also taught my children and grand-children to be grateful for their comfortable lives today," she adds.

Kunsang, 63, a retired soldier in Lhasa who also attended the ceremony, says his parents used to be serfs and his childhood years were dominated by hunger and poverty.

"The bygone hardships are unimaginable today," he says. "With favorable policies from the central government, retirees like me are taken care of, with basic living necessities and healthcare guaranteed."

Bandetso, 14, is a junior high school student in Lhasa It was the second time that she came to the flag-raising ceremony.

"My parents told me our life today was hard-earned. I am glad to be in the crowd to commemorate this occasion," she says.

Bandetso's family welcomed the policy in Tibet that waived tuition fees for students before college.

"It eases my parents' burdens. I don't have to worry if my family can't afford my education"

Dradul, a monk from Tsur- phu Monastery in Doilungdeqen, another county in suburban Lhasa, said monks and nuns in Tibet now enjoy improved living conditions, as electricity, running water and medical insurance have been offered to them.

Dradul made the remarks at a forum in Lhasa on March 28.

In recent years, monks and nuns have been given higher representation and greater influence in the political arena, occupying more seats at legislative and political advisory bodies in regional, prefecture and county-level governments, he said.

Tibet saw its gross domestic product soar to 69.56 billion yuan ($11.19 billion) in 2012, more than 100 times that of 1959. The region's economy has maintained double-digit growth for 20 years, Losang Jamcan, chairman of the Tibet regional government, said in a televised speech on March 27.

Some 88 percent of the farmers and herdsmen have moved to new houses with better conditions. Their per capita net income reached 5,719 yuan. He explained how they have fewer worries about children's education costs, as Tibet is the first provincial level administrative region in China to provide 15 years' education free of tuition fees.

People's average life expectancy in Tibet rose from 35.5 years in 1959 to 71 years. Tibet has a universal health-care system based on free medical services that have cost more than 2 billion yuan over the past 10 years. A strong emphasis is placed on environmental protection in Tibet, which is home to 47 natural reserves and 21 ecological conservation areas accounting for 34.5 percent of Tibet's area, the highest ratio in China, added Losang Jamcan.

Contact the writers at [email protected] and [email protected]

Wang Huazhong in Lhasa contributed to this story.

hope rainbow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 947
Re: CHINA News: "TIBET marks emancipation of the serfs"
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 05:22:39 PM »
China News 5 April 2013

Farmers dance in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, to celebrate the Serfs' Emancipation Day.