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Experts denounce feudal serf system in old Tibet
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An article released Tuesday by China's leading Guangming Daily quoted a number of Chinese experts as saying that the feudal serf system in old Tibet is crueler than that of western Europe in the middle ages.

Serfdom in old Tibet is much darker and more ferocious compared with the serf system ruling western Europe during the middle ages, said Zhang Yun, a researcher with the China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC).

He told the newspaper that before 1959, Tibet had long been a feudal serf society that integrated religion with politics, in which monks and the nobles practised dictatorship.

Serfs made up more than 90 percent of the population in the old Tibet but they had no land, freedom or democracy.

However, serf owners, usually officials, the noble and senior monks, owned all land and most of the livestock, and exploited serfs by practising usury, said Dainzin Lhunzhub, researcher of the society and economy institution under CTRC.

They sold, mortgaged and bartered serfs as just one more kind of property and even imposed extremely brutal methods of punishment, such as hacking off hands and feet and cutting ears, said Zhang.

Only by shaking off such fetters and getting freedom, will people be able to regain the strong momentum of initiative and creativity, said Meng Guanglin, professor with the Renmin University of China.

In addition to the economic field, the old Tibet authority shackled people's thoughts and behavior, ruling their current life with administrative power, Zhang stressed.

The feudal serfdom in old Tibet was running against the trend of history development and is a root of poverty and underdevelopment in Tibet, said Dainzin Lhunzhub.

Zhang pointed out that the Dalai Lama has been making various kinds of lies to disguise the real purpose of seeking Tibetan independence and restoring the feudal serf system that integrates religion with politics.

Tibet will never return to the old dark time and any attempt to do so is doomed to fail, the newspaper declared.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2008)

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