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Think again when matters about Tibet calm down
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Every rational person should reflect on the chaos surrounding the Tibet issue, a senior Chinese religious official said in his essay on Tuesday's People's Daily.

Ye Xiaowen, head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of China (SARA), raised three problems he himself had considered in the essay titled "Please Think Again When Mote Drops Placidly."

"What will a boycott to the Olympic Games bring?" he wrote. "Did those trying to grab the Olympic torch during the relay realize they were harming the feelings and dignity of 1.3 billion Chinese? Did those trying to boycott the Olympic Games realize they were boycotting the Olympic spirit of peace, harmony and friendship recognized by 6 billion people?"

China is hosting a sport event that harasses nobody, he wrote. "We believe the world will smile to us if we smile to it."

"Second, what will a connivance with violence bring?" Ye wrote.

As a disaster for all human beings, violence and its extreme form terrorism is often linked in today's world to ultra-nationalism and religious extremism, he said in the essay.

Citing the United States as an example, Ye said it indulged violent organizations in the Middle East years for its political concerns, and it backfired .

"I have noticed a tendency of integration of ultra-nationalism and religious extremism among supporters of Tibetan independence," he said. "Didn't the 'Tibet Youth Congress (TYC)' say openly that it did not rule out gaining independence through suicide bombing?"

If it indulged such tendency, the world will soon see a group of terrorists "fighting for Tibet independence" and it will be a disaster, and not only for China, he said.

"Third, what will theocracy bring?" the essay said.

Tibetan people tried very hard to get rid of a theocratic feudal serfdom half a century ago and are moving into a modern social system, Ye said in the essay. "European countries had undergone the same thing some 600 years ago."

Tibetans are living a better life than five decades ago. The average life-span has increased from 35.5 to 67 years, he said.

About 120,000 monks and nuns are living in 3,700 monasteries in Tibet, compared with its 2.62 million population. Some big monasteries hold several thousand monks.

On the contrary, the Dalai Lama who had sat at the top of the old hierarchy in Tibet still sticks to theocracy. The "constitution" of his "government-in-exile" holds that Tibet is a theocratic "country," Ye wrote.

"He and his men attacked every new move in Tibet's modernization, from financial assistance given to Tibet by the rest of China to the Qinghai-Tibet railway," he wrote.

"Is anyone in the world willing to return to the Middle Ages?" he asked.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2008)

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