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'Forget politics, just rejoice'
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The celebration of the Tibetan New Year should not be tied with political issues, Tibet experts in the mainland said yesterday.

Over the past fortnight, the Dalai Lama and his exiled government have been urging Tibetans not to celebrate the New Year, warning them of tension and conflicts in the near future, Lhorong Dradul, a researcher at the China Tibetology Research Center said at a press salon in Beijing.

"I called home (Tibet) this morning and learned many of my relatives were making fried fruit, a traditional snack for the Tibetan New Year. The atmosphere is good. And people should not allow some politicians to take advantage of the celebrations to meet their own personal interests," he said.

Celebrating the New Year is the Tibetan way to bid farewell to old and bad things, according to Lhorong. "As far as I know, most of the Tibetans are happily celebrating the New Year. It's private, and should not be tied to politics," he said.

Topics ranging from the reasons of last year's March 14 riot to the latest Dalai-call for not celebrating the New year were discussed at the nearly two-hour long salon, held at the All-China Journalists' Association office in the capital.

More than 70 domestic and international journalists attended the session.

There were also discussions on the economic development of Tibet, ways to protect Tibet's ethnic culture, and opening up policies in the region.

Niklas, a Swedish correspondent, felt the salon helped him learn more about Tibet, especially from an academic perspective.

(China Daily February 26, 2009)

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