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Tibetan Returnees Celebrate New Year

"This is where we truly belong,"said Yexe-Bandan, a Tibetan returnee who has settled down in this

capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Witnessing the fast development of Tibet over the past 50 years, Yexe-Bandan said at a Wednesday returnee sodality organized by local government to celebrate the coming Spring Festival and Tibetan New year that the Dalai Lama's separatist activities will not be supported by Tibetan people.

Statistics show that 1,557 Tibetan returnees have chosen to dwell in Tibet after living in other countries for a period of time and some 55,000 Tibetans sojourning in 30 countries and regions had visited Tibet by the end of 2001.

Qoigyi Gyaincain, who has relatives abroad, said that China is becoming increasingly powerful with entry into the World Trade Organization and successful bid for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games.

He said that the central government not only strives to develop the local economy but takes all necessary measures to protect the Tibetan heritage such as the Potala Palace, Sagya Temple and Norpu Lingka, fully respecting Tibetan people's religious belief.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to work concerning Tibetan returnees and spared no efforts to help them solve problems, said a local official Samzhub.

Sources said that as great changes are taking place in Tibet, an increasing number of overseas Tibetans will come back to the motherland, awakening from the Dalai Lama's separatist propaganda.

(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2002)

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