China to mark holiday for Tibet 'liberation' - Xinhua
Chinese-backed Tibetan leaders will soon set a date for what they call “Serf Liberation Day” to mark the defeat 50 years ago of a pro-independence uprising in the Himalayan region, state media reported Sunday...
A holiday to mark the “emancipation of millions of serfs and slaves” in Tibet will be decided on during a meeting of the region's legislature starting Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency said. The entry of Chinese forces into Tibet in 1949 was followed by efforts to transform the Buddhist, feudal order into a socialist, secular society. Tibetans rebelled on March 10, 1959, to try an oust the Chinese, but the uprising ended after 20 days with the flight of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, into exile in India.
A meeting of the Regional People's Congress in Lhasa this week will discuss the draft resolution to establish the holiday, the China's official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. It did not give a date for the commemoration.
March is a politically significant month for Tibetans.
Exiled Tibetans claim March 10, 1959, as the day of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. That year also marks the exile of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from Tibet.
The Chinese government says "democratic reform" in Tibet dates from March 1959, with the end of the theocracy of the Buddist lamas.
"The Central government ... quickly suppressed the rebellion, carried out democratic reform, brought down the theocratic feudal serf system, abolished feudal hierarchy, personal bondage and brutal penalties to liberate millions of serfs and slaves," Pang Boyong, the deputy director of the standing committee of the people's congress, told a press conference in Lhasa this weekend.
Demonstrations by monks in Lhasa on March 10 last year escalated into deadly protests on March 14, when a Tibetan crowd attacked Han Chinese and Hui Muslim shops. That in turn triggered an uprising against Chinese rule by Tibetans across the plateau.
This March is also the 20th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on demonstrations in Lhasa in 1989.
China claims Tibet has always been part of its territory, while many Tibetans assert their land was virtually independent for centuries.