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Exhibition dispells ambassadors' misconception
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An interpreter with gray hair and blue eyes was elaborating on the magic of the Tibetan medicine to several foreign ambassadors to China at a Tibet exhibition Wednesday.

He was actually Romanian Ambassador to China Viorel Isticioaia, who was sharing with some diplomats in Beijing his own observation from a tour to China's southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region in 2005.

Foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations visit the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet exhibition in Beijing, China, on March 25, 2009. [Xinhua photo]

Foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations visit the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet exhibition in Beijing, China, on March 25, 2009. [Xinhua photo]

"Today we see the facts. We can judge with our own sights and minds," said a Ghanaian diplomat Akwasi Agyare, adding some western newspapers made fabrications about Tibet.

"The exhibition is convincing and helps us understand what is going on in Tibet."

About 150 foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations visited on Wednesday an exhibition marking the 50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet.

The Chinese government dissolved the aristocratic local government of Tibet and freed more than 1 million serfs in 1959.

The exhibition, which opened Feb. 24, has five sections: the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, Crackdown on the Armed Rebellion, Democratic Reform in Tibet, Half a Century of Conflict between Reunification and Separation, Progress and Regress, and Social and Economic Development and Achievements in Human Rights.

More than 500 photos, over 180 objects and documents and many audio-visual materials presented the great changes that have taken place in Tibet over the past 50 years.

Some instruments of torture used in a Lhasa prison, including an oil pot, thumbscrews, a leather whip with copper hoop and a stone cap used to gouge eyes, were at the exhibition.

Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus Anatoly Tozik was astounded, "it is unbelievable that such cruel tortures existed in the world 50 years ago."

As a history PhD, Tozik thought the exhibition reflected the real situation in Tibet's history. "The changes in Tibet could not be realized without the great efforts of the Chinese government. I believe in the prosperous future of Tibet."

South African Ambassador Ndumiso Ndima Ntshinga bent over from time to time to see the pictures more clearly. "It is a very impressive exhibition," he said.

"Obviously, the quality of the life of Tibetans have changed dramatically since 1959. It is quite encouraging to see that the survivors of that horrible system of feudalism lived through," he added. "Those people now have become quite respectable members of society."

Ntshinga said anyone who was interested in Tibet needed to familiarize himself with and read more about the situation before making a statement.

He said some journalists, while writing about Tibet, never mentioned the suffering of Tibetans and the complete disregard of human rights in Tibet before 1959.

Nepal is the only country which has a consulate general in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Nepalese Ambassador Tanka Prasad Karki once saw the miserable life of some Tibetans who fled from Tibet when he was a child.

"Tibet has undergone a massive transformation for the better. You can not believe that so much transformation has already taken place in such a short period of time. The life of Tibetan people has already changed so much for the better," he said.

Talking about the importance of organizing such an exhibition, Chilean Ambassador Fernando Reyes Matta told Xinhua that it was essential to put together documents, photographs and different references so that foreigners had chances to learn more about the truth and the reality of Tibet.

"Dialogue is important not only between Tibet and the rest of China, but also between China and the rest of the world on their opinion of Tibet...The exhibition is a good element for the dialogue, " said the ambassador.

The exhibition in the Cultural Palace of Nationalities runs until April 10. It is co-sponsored by the Information Office of the State Council, the United Front Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Central Archives, and Xinhua News Agency.

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