Tibetans Enjoy Better Rights in All Areas

Tibetans have enjoyed widespread human rights and have been heading towards prosperity in the past half a century since its peaceful liberation in 1951, thanks to the central government and support from the rest of the nation, a senior local official said yesterday.

Speaking a week ahead of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the historic 17-Article Agreement that laid the foundation for the peaceful liberation of Tibet, Legqog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said he is proud of the social and economic progress in the region.

Before liberation, the three ruling feudal cliques in Tibet - local government officials, aristocrats and upper-class clergymen - comprised less than 5 percent of the entire population in Tibet but owned almost everything.

Serfs and slaves, 95 percent of the population, had no land or freedom, said Legqog, a Tibetan.

Liberation and democratic reform of 1959 helped millions of serfs and slaves shake off feudalism, whose cruelty and darkness was "even worse than the serfdom during Europe's Middle Ages," Legqog noted.

Today Tibetans are masters of their own destinies and are building up their homeland with enthusiasm, Legqog said.

So far, Tibet has 19 members in the National People's Congress, China's supreme organ of State power, and ethnic Tibetans hold leading positions in the regional people's congress, government and people's political consultative conference.

As the central government has attached importance to the training of leader from Tibetans and other ethnic minorities in Tibet, such people now comprise 74.9 percent of its officials at all levels.

The past half-century, and particularly the years since China's opening-up reform started in 1979, have seen the 95 percent of the region's impoverished people find adequate food and clothing, the chairman said.

The region's gross domestic product hit 11.7 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) in 2000, about 30 times greater than in 1951.

"The exponential progress would not have been made without the central government's concern and support from other ethnic nationalities," Legqog said.

Also, the government has allocated more than 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion) to Tibet in subsidies and investment projects, he said.

Before the peaceful liberation, Tibet didn't have a single highway and even a car donated by Britain to the Dalai Lama was left almost idle because there was no place for him to drive it.

Today, Lhasa has become a hub of the transport web across the region, he said.

As for education, Legqog said monasteries monopolized education in old Tibet. Few government schools existed and only children of nobility were taught. There are now 4,360 schools and enrolment of school-aged children stands at 85.8 percent, he said.

During the coming five years, Tibet aims to achieve a record economic growth rate and may be the fastest growing region in China's west, Legqog said.

(China Daily 05/18/2001)

In This Series

Tibet Aims the Best in the West

TV and Radio Services Accessible to Most Tibetans

Renting Cars Popular in Tibet

Outdoor Advertising Booms in Tibet

Tibet Reports Double-Digit Growth in Foreign Trade

A Millionaire From the Roof of the World

Education Credit Introduced Into Tibet University

Educated Population Increases in Tibet

Private Sector Grows Fast in Tibet

Railway Leading to Tibet to Advance 100 KM

Tibet to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Peaceful Liberation

Tibet Develops Education

Young Tibetans Send New Year Greetings via Internet

Lhasa Evening Online Launched

70% Officials in Tibet Are Tibetans

More Tibetans Own Private Vehicles

Modern Life of A Tribal Headman in Tibet



China's Tibet

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