A Chinese Tibetologist delegation arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday to introduce and exchange views on the situation of Tibet with South African scholars and officials.
During a meeting with scholars from Wits University's Department of International Relations and officials from the South African Human Rights Commission on Wednesday, the delegates introduced Tibet's history, its democratic reform since 1959 and the great achievements of the Tibetan people during the past 50 years.
Shes-rab-nyi-ma, vice president of China's Central University for Nationalities and head of the Chinese delegation, said the old Tibet, where a feudal serfdom under a theocracy was practised, has become a free, equal and well-off society.
As a native Tibetan, Shes-rab-nyi-ma said he was a witness, participant and beneficiary of the great changes in Tibet.
He hoped the delegation's visit to South Africa would help South Africans to get an objective and better understanding of Tibet.
When meeting with Narandran Jody Kollapen, chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission, Shes-rab-nyi-ma said only those who had been to Tibet or those who had studied Tibet's development for a long time could give an objective judgment on Tibet's history and current situation. No one should ignore or deny the great economic and social progress in Tibet during the past years, he said.
Describing the meeting as "open, frank and helpful," Kollapen said that the delegation's introduction and visit had provided him and South Africans a new perspective on Tibet and a chance to know it in a more real and objective way.
The Tibetologist delegation will also meet officials from South Africa's ruling African National Congress and Communist Party members on Thursday.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2009)