Tibet On Way To Prosperity

A recent article from a Nepalese newspaper, Nepal Rising.

By Arun Ranjit

"Don’t walk fast. Don’t exert yourselves." These were the words first given to this scribe by an official of the Foreign Cultural Exchange Association (FCEA) of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the first meeting between us on arrival of this scribe at Lhasa’s Dong Ga Airport where the FCEA official was waiting there to welcome him.

Tibet has long been known as "Roof of the World" with its largest and highest plateau and an average altitude of 4000 meters above sea level in the world. It is a "Wonder-Land" to many, intriguing but little, understood, because unlike the rest of China this "Land of Lamas" had always been largely inaccessible.

Much of what wrapped Tibet in a shroud of mystery has now gone, what with the introduction of modern means of transport, several trunk highways, tunnels built overland and passenger and freight air services.

Looking back at history, a hundreds years ago Tibetan capital Lhasa was the "Forbidden City". Today, the magic remains, the path to Lhasa has become much easier.

After the fleeing of the Dalai Lama and his groups form Tibet in 1959, great changes have taken places in the city of Lhasa. Tibet, with no highway at all in the past, now has a highway network of thousands of kilometers centering Lhasa. Among all those, remarkably the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has turned the dreams of Tibetans into a realization.

Development in Tibet has definitely contributed to the development of other bordered nations. Thus, it could be said that "If Tibetan life revolves around Buddhism, Lhasa city’s life revolves quite literally and smoothing towards Westernization development."

The new changes in Tibet does make one feel that the current policy of Chinese government is really based on the interests of the Tibetan people, confirms to the will of the people and promotes the development and prosperity of Tibet Autonomous Region of People’s Republic of China.

After the great reforms Tibet was opened to the world in 1976 and since then flowing of tourists has been remarkable every year.

As this scribe was in Tibet visit at the invitation of the Chinese government sometime earlier, he has experienced that the government has given great importance to development and cultural preservation.

Anyway, it was possible due to the indisputable fact that Tibet as an inalienable part of China is recognized throughout the world.

It must be appropriate if we recalled the statement made by George Hamilton, the then British Secretary of State for India in 1903 who said that, "Tibet must still be regarded as a province of China."

Likewise, the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru also said while addressing the House of Representatives (Lok Sabha) on 15 May 1954 that "Over the last hundreds of years, as far as I know, at no time has any foreign country denied China’s sovereignty over Tibet."

Thus, China’s sovereignty over Tibet is indisputable. This is history’s verdict.

Today, with the visionary missions set up by the leaders of the People’s Republic of China, Tibet is the land of progress, going forward in an effort to keep pace with other more developed minority areas. But however, since long some Westerners have been observing Tibet through tainted glassed and applying double standards in assessing the so-called human rights issue in Tibet.

They insist on doing so even after the March 14 incident in Lhasa, spreading irresponsible opinions that confounded right and wrong. Ample facts showed that the Lhasa riots were violent crimes of beating, smashing, looting and burning. The riots seriously infringed on human rights, endangered life and property and sabotaged the social order.

Turning a blind eye to the atrocities, some people purposely distorted the facts and described these events as "peaceful demonstrations" to slander the Chinese government’s legitimate efforts to maintain social stability as "suppression".

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security, which together are essential to human rights. But the riot caused many deaths and serious injuries to hundreds of innocent civilians.

The rights to development, along with the right to life, are two fundamental rights commonly regarded by the international community as inalienable human rights.

Some people, however, have long looked at Tibetans’ development through rose-colored glasses. They intentionally distorted facts and denied that Tibet was experiencing its best era of development and stability and Tibetans were enjoying the broadest human rights ever.

Under centuries-long feudal serfdom, the Tibetan serfs were politically oppressed, economically exploited and frequently persecuted. Today Tibet has transformed form serfdom to a modern society.

Today’s Tibet, however, has achieved unprecedented progress. Economic output has exceeded 30 billion Yuan (about 4.3 billion U.S. dollars) and maintained an annual growth rate of more than 12 percent for seven consecutive years.

The per capita net income of farmers and nomads has been growing at a double-digit rate for five consecutive years. It reached 2,788 Yuan last year, up 14.5 percent year-on-year, which was 7 percentage points higher than the national average.

Monasteries and religious sites can be seen virtually everywhere, there are more monks, and even computers and mobile phones have been equipped with input software in Tibetan.

The Dalai clique, however, are still seeking to restore the old theocracy in Tibet, featured by the dictatorship by monks and the noble.

"The Chinese government has long been promoting unity, equality, mutual help and harmony among different nationalities, while the Dalai Lama strives to separate those who eat Zanba (Tibetan’s staple food, roasted qingke barley flour) and those who eat rice," the report said.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the release of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in this historic year, the Dalai clique has plotted and incited the Lhasa violence. It is an unabashed challenge to the world’s human rights cause, as well as to peace-loving people around the world.

It was also in the news that the Dalai Lama and his supporters want a high level of autonomy in and around Tibet, in order to undermine the current Chinese system of ethnic regional autonomy.

According to the Xinhua reports, Samdhong, the "prime minister" of the "Tibetan government-in-exile," said that they should seize the very rare opportunity provided by the Beijing Olympics to make breakthroughs in the "Tibet cause", to pave the way for the Dalai Lama to "return" to Tibet and to achieve a high level of autonomy in "Greater Tibet", as well as the goal of "abolishing" the existing management method on the reincarnation of Tibetan living Buddha.

For this, various institutions based in Western countries have also provided millions of US dollars in assistance.

March 10 is the anniversary of the so-called "Tibet uprising" in 1959. On that date, 49 years ago, Lhasa saw a bloody riot initiated by the Dalai Lama’s backers.

On the same date this year, a ceremony was held in Dharamsala to mark the event. The 14th Dalai Lama said expressed appreciation for the "Tibetan people’s sincerity, courage and resolution."

Immediately after the ceremony, about 300 monks from the Zhaibung Monastery tried to march into central Lhasa. In the following days, monks from other temples in Lhasa also tried to demonstrate but were restrained by police. When the monks’ efforts to spread unrest failed, rioters consisting of various wings of so-called Tibetan-government in exile came. They torched shops and vehicles, attacked innocent passers-by on the streets and even attacked ambulances on March 14.

After the Lhasa riot on March 14, which is so far known to have claimed at least 18 civilian lives and caused 382 injuries, spread violence even further by organizing rioters to attack Chinese Embassies and consulates in the United States, Canada, India, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia, the report said.

After Beijing won a bid for hosting the 29th Summer Olympic Games in 2008, Dalai clique claimed that it would be a "decisive battle" to seek for "Tibet Independence" by interfering with the Olympics. Because "People around the world will pay close attention to China (for Olympics) and that gives us a unique opportunity to bring political pressure to Chinese government."

Thus, head of Dalai clique’s "Tibet Independence Movement" has said that The Beijing Olympics is an important timing for international communities to press the Chinese government to improve human rights, continue dialogues with the Dalai Lama and peacefully resolve the Tibet issue.

"The Dalai Lama’s attempt only ended up in vain as only a few Tibetans participated in the March 14 Lhasa riot", says Professor Hu Yan from the Party School of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), said the report.

As the Tibetan issue is the very internal matter for Tibetans and Chinese, following the UN’s Charter not to interfere in the other country’s internal issue the Westerners should encourage dialogues between China and Tibet to solve the decade’s long issue instead of seeing Tibet from tainted glasses.

Anyway, Nepal being a follower of one-China policy should in no way tolerate any anti-Chinese activities to be engineered in her land.

Today Tibet has been developing as a centre of progress in all sectors from economic view points to development infrastructures, politico-lifestyle to socio-culture status and adopting the Western society preserving their eastern culture and history.

There is an air of the beginnings of prosperity everywhere.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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